Navigation Links
Brain power shortage
Date:7/16/2012

Can you teach an old dog (or human) new tricks? Yes, but it might take time, practice, and hard work before he or she gets it right, according to Hans Schroder and colleagues from Michigan State University in the US. Their work shows that when rules change, our attempts to control our actions are accompanied by a loss of attention to detail. Their work is published online in the Springer journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience.

In order to adapt to changing conditions, humans need to be able to modify their behavior successfully. Overriding the rules we adhere to on a daily basis requires substantial attention and effort, and we do not always get it right the first time. When we switch between two or more tasks, we are slower and more likely to commit errors, which suggests switching tasks is a costly process. This may explain why it is so hard to learn from our mistakes when rules change.

The authors explain: "Switching the rules we use to perform a task makes us less aware of our mistakes. We therefore have a harder time learning from them. That's because switching tasks is mentally taxing and costly, which leads us to pay less attention to the detail and therefore make more mistakes."

A total of 67 undergraduates took part in the study. They were asked to wear a cap, which recorded electrical activity in the brain. They then performed a computer task that is easy to make mistakes on. Specifically, the participants were shown letter strings like "MMMMM" or "NNMNN" and were told to follow a simple rule: if 'M' is in the middle, press the left button; if 'N' is in the middle, press the right button. After they had followed this rule for almost 50 trials, they were instructed to perform the same task, but with the rules reversed i.e. now if 'M' is in the middle, press the right button; and if 'N' is in the middle, press the left button.

When the rules were reversed, participants made more consecutive errors. They were more likely to get it wrong twice in a row. This showed they were less apt to bounce back and learn from their mistakes. Reversing the rules also produced greater control-related and less error-awareness brain activity.

These results suggest that when rules are reversed, our brain works harder to juggle the two rules - the new rule and the old rule - and stay focused on the new rule. When we spend brain energy juggling these two rules, we have less brain power available for recognizing our mistakes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Exercise Can Shield the Aging Brain, Studies Show
2. Mayo Clinic creates tool to track real-time chemical changes in brain
3. The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation contributes $10 million to TGen for brain cancer research
4. Brain Scans Using New Dye May Predict Alzheimers
5. Strong communication between brain and muscle requires both having the protein LRP4
6. Better treatment for brain cancer revealed by new molecular insights
7. Pediatric tumors traced to stem cells in developing brain​​
8. Electrical brain stimulation can alleviate swallowing disorders after stroke
9. Study of Retired NFL Players Finds Evidence of Brain Damage
10. Study finds new gene mutations that lead to enlarged brain size, cancer, autism, epilepsy
11. Kernicterus Brain Damage in Babies Linked to Medical Malpractice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... “End Time GPS”: a dauntless and enlightened study ... Time GPS” is the creation of published author, Wesley Gerboth, a World War II ... and space-vehicle projects. Now, at age ninety-one, he shares the Wisdom God bestowed upon ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... , ... “The Adventures of Joey, The Dog Who Barks at Puddles”: a ... to the fullest, as God intended. “The Adventures of Joey, The Dog Who Barks ... pursuing her passion for writing, especially about truth and human behavior. , Published by ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... The physicians of KSF Orthopaedic Center PA are proud to announce the ... located at 2255 E. Mossy Oaks Rd., Suite 440, Spring, Texas 77389 inside the ... living in the north Houston area (The Woodlands, Conroe, Magnolia, Kingwood, Humble) with an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... Oklahoma City Convention Center at 10 North Broadway Avenue, will be an educational ... of relevant, practical instruction in the management of chronic pain. , Oklahoma is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... of adults are unaware of the dangers that infectious bacteria play in mouth disease, while ... a day that dentists recommend. The ramifications of improper oral upkeep go far beyond bad ... 164 million hours of work each year due to dental issues. That is why Mediaplanet ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ... "Company"), a clinical-stage oncology and dermatology biopharmaceutical company, ... Financing Commitment Term Sheet (the "Definitive Financing") it ... of the Company,s stockholders, who are referred to ... a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The key factors driving the growth ... accelerating economic growth and increasing healthcare expenditure. Some of the ... expectancy of ESRD patients, rising demand for home PD treatment ... of the market is hindered by high treatment costs and ... ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- As a result of diagnostic technology increasing ... allergic diseases, cutting edge developments in targeted drugs ... in which pharmaceutical and biotech companies are addressing ... both a high quality meeting and a platform ... research scholars and doctors. The event will also ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: