Navigation Links
USC scientists probe connection between sight and touch in the brain
Date:9/8/2011

Shakespeare famously referred to "the mind's eye," but scientists at USC now have also identified a "mind's touch."

USC scientists have discovered that as you look at an object, your brain not only processes what the object looks like, but remembers what it feels like to touch it as well. This connection is so strong that a computer examining data coming only from the part of your brain that processes touch can predict which object you are actually looking at.

Building on previous work demonstrating a comparable link between the visual and auditory sectors of the brain, Antonio and Hanna Damasio's research group at the USC Dornsife Brain and Creativity Institute, used magnetic resonance brain scans and specially programmed computers to explore how memory and the senses interact.

The findings appear in the September issue of the journal Cerebral Cortex. The article, authored by Kaspar Meyer, Jonas Kaplan, Ryan Essex, Hanna Damasio and Antonio Damasio, was highlighted as Editor's Choice.

The Damasio team asked a group of participants to watch five video clips of hands touching various objects, then used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the part of the participants' brains that is responsible for processing touch sensations. When a specially programmed computer was given the data generated by the scan, the computer was able to accurately predict, just based on how the "tactile" part of the cerebral cortex had reacted, which of the five video clips the participant had been seeing.

"When asked to imagine the difference between touching a cold, slick piece of metal and the warm fur of a kitten, most people admit that they can literally 'feel' the two sensations in their 'mind's touch,'" said Kaspar Meyer, the lead author of the study.

"The same happened to our subjects when we showed them video clips of hands touching varied objects," he said. "Our results show that 'feeling with the mind's touch' activates the same parts of the brain that would respond to actual touch."

Human brains capture and store physical sensations, and then replay them when prompted by viewing the corresponding visual image.

"When you hold a thought in your mind about a particular object, that is not just mental fluff. It is rather a detailed memory file that is being revived in your brain," Antonio Damasio said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Biomedical/health informatics scientists to present cutting-edge science, health IT
2. Scientists offer way to address age-old questions
3. USC scientists identify key protein linked to acute liver failure
4. Scientists make turfgrass safer for animals, deadly for insects
5. Scripps Research scientists pinpoint shape-shifting mechanism critical to protein signaling
6. New cellular surprise may help scientists better understand human mitochondrial diseases
7. Scripps Research scientists establish new class of anti-diabetic compound
8. Scripps Research scientists produce first stem cells from endangered species
9. Scientists announce human intestinal stem cell breakthrough for regenerative medicine
10. Scientists unravel the cause of rare genetic disease: Goldman-Favre Syndrome explained
11. Hurricane Irene: Scientists collect water quality and climate change data from huge storm
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... Der weltweite Biobanking-Sektor wird bis ... Gespräch mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus verschiedenen Branchen wurde ... um diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... Zu den Schwierigkeiten ... Mittel für die Biobank, die Implementierung Zeit sparender Technologien, ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA ... centralized platform that is designed to enhance fraud ... latest release in the RSA Fraud & Risk ... enable organizations to leverage additional insights from internal ... tools to better protect their customers from targeted ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... 9, 2017 The biomass boiler market report ... biomass boiler market globally in terms of revenue (US$ ... The market for biomass boilers has been segmented on ... and country/region. The market based on feedstock type, has ... biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and others. On ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... LEAWOOD, Kan. , Feb. 22, 2017  Aratana Therapeutics, ... licensing, development and commercialization of innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion ... 14, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss financial results ... 2016. Interested participants and investors may access ... dial-in: ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... CINCINNATI , Feb. 22, 2017 Scientists ... drives inflammation and organ damage in Gaucher and maybe ... fewer risks and lower costs than current therapies. ... Children,s Hospital Medical Center , which also included investigators ... , report their data Feb. 22. The study ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational ... is pleased to announce the launch of a new scholarship for young scientists seeking ... This merit-based scholarship is open to all high school seniors, 17 years or older; ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... NDA ... PhD, MD former Acting Deputy Director in the FDA CDRH Division of Cardiovascular, ... has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. , In Dr. Spyker’s accomplished ...
Breaking Biology Technology: