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People control thoughts better when they see their brain activity: UBC study
Date:4/8/2011

l or poorly, and they could adjust their thoughts accordingly," says co-author Graeme McCaig, a graduate of UBC's Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering's Human Computer Interaction specialization. "As a result, participants who received the real-time feedback were able to focus on the mental task more consistently."

The study points to the possibility of improving our everyday lives through fMRI-assisted advances in our ability to focus our minds on personal or professional matters, according to the research team, which includes Matt Dixon, Kamyar Keramatian and Irene Liu.

The findings also raise hope for clinical treatments of conditions that can benefit from improved awareness and regulation of one's thoughts, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, the researchers says. For example, with increased availability of fMRI technology, real-time brain feedback represents a potentially important complement to feedback provided by a therapist or a patient's own self-monitoring ability.


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Contact: Basil Waugh
basil.waugh@ubc.ca
604-822-2048
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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