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:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by ... View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand ... are expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical Solutions ... the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, to ... that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... announced the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The ... in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in ... These data will then be employed to support ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority ... as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use ... height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: