Navigation Links
Researchers capture wave of brain activity linked to anticipation
Date:2/26/2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center have, for the first time, shown what brain activity looks like when someone anticipates an action or sensory input which soon follows.

In the February 25 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, they say this neural clairvoyance involves strong activity in areas of the brain responsible for preparing the body to move.

The findings were made by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a group of student volunteers who brought with them favorite music CDs. The scientists examined brain images during the silence between songs, and found it brimming with activity. Other students who listened to music they had never heard in sequence before did not have that same neural bustle.

"This now explains how it is that, even before an anticipated song is actually heard, a person can start to tap fingers, dance, or sing to the music they imagine is coming next," says Josef Rauschecker, PhD, director of the Program in Cognitive and Computational Sciences (PICCS), at Georgetown University Medical Center.

While it makes sense that song sequences can be memorized and thus anticipated by a listener, no one before has ever documented the brain activity that is underway in the silence between songs, he says.

"The brain is all about anticipation and prediction, yet no one has shown what that looks like in terms of neural action," says Rauschecker.

He adds that this same process, known as cued associative learning, likely occurs whenever a human is expecting any particular action to happen, be it in sports, music, or language.

"It is how a skier is mentally prepared to go down a familiar course during the Olympics, or how a piano player knows to move fingers along the keyboard to hit the next correct key," Rauschecker says.

This sounds simple, but it isn't, he says. "It is not trivial to store a temporal sequence in the brain, because the brain doesn't have any moving parts like a tape recorder or CD player. The whole brain needs to be involved because it has to be ready to execute that sequence. "

In the students who knew the order of songs on their CD, the researchers found that during the anticipatory silence between the songs excitatory signals passed from the prefrontal cortex to the nearby premotor cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the brain's "executive" center, which plans and orchestrates complex cognitive behaviors. The premotor cortex and its associated systems, which include the basal ganglia and the cerebellum, is involved in preparing the body to act perhaps to move or to sing.

"These structures are involved in both thinking and acting, and it appears that music patterns are being stored and learned here," Rauschecker says.

"We hadn't anticipated that," he adds with a laugh. "We didn't know the premotor areas would be involved."

All animals have some ability to cognitively predict motor activity, he says. "That's why a bird can sing. But humans are the most associative of animals, which is why we have such a large prefrontal cortex. We have a lot of sequences that we need to store in order to predict what we should do."


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
215-514-9751
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UMMS researchers publish DNA identification of czars children
2. Researchers win award for best clinical paper in orthopedic physical therapy
3. Researchers uncover obesity gene involved in weight gain response to high-fat diet
4. Researchers generate functional neurons from somatic cells
5. UNH researchers studying spiny dogfish, Gulf of Maines mini shark
6. UT Southwestern researchers identify molecule that helps the sleep-deprived to mentally rebound
7. Case Western Reserve researchers develop wireless activation of brain circuits
8. Caltech and UCSD researchers shed light on how proteins find their shapes
9. Researchers call for nitrogen and phosphorus reductions to combat eutrophication in aquatic systems
10. Researchers explore new driver of transplant rejection: Platelets
11. Forget the antioxidants? McGill researchers cast doubt on role of free radicals in aging
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 Janice ... partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , ... or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater ... (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended by ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its ... Summits will run alongside the expo portion of the ... panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D ... design and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Tbilisi, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... disaster, taking the lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living ... the greenovative startup Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today ... designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) ... able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it exclusive global ... technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Additionally, ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August ... MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: