Navigation Links
'Brain waves' challenge area-specific view of brain activity

Our understanding of brain activity has traditionally been linked to brain areas when we speak, the speech area of the brain is active. New research by an international team of psychologists led by David Alexander and Cees van Leeuwen (KU Leuven University of Leuven) shows that this view may be overly rigid. The entire cortex, not just the area responsible for a certain function, is activated when a given task is initiated. Furthermore, activity occurs in a pattern: waves of activity roll from one side of the brain to the other.

The brain can be studied on various scales, researcher David Alexander explains: "You have the neurons, the circuits between the neurons, the Brodmann areas brain areas that correspond to a certain function and the entire cortex. Traditionally, scientists looked at local activity when studying brain activity, for example, activity in the Brodmann areas. To do this, you take EEG's (electroencephalograms) to measure the brain's electrical activity while a subject performs a task and then you try to trace that activity back to one or more brain areas."

In this study, the psychologists explore uncharted territory: "We are examining the activity in the cerebral cortex as a whole. The brain is a non-stop, always-active system. When we perceive something, the information does not end up in a specific part of our brain. Rather, it is added to the brain's existing activity. If we measure the electrochemical activity of the whole cortex, we find wave-like patterns. This shows that brain activity is not local but rather that activity constantly moves from one part of the brain to another. The local activity in the Brodmann areas only appears when you average over many such waves."

Each activity wave in the cerebral cortex is unique. "When someone repeats the same action, such as drumming their fingers, the motor centre in the brain is stimulated. But with each individual action, you still get a different wave across the cortex as a whole. Perhaps the person was more engaged in the action the first time than he was the second time, or perhaps he had something else on his mind or had a different intention for the action. The direction of the waves is also meaningful. It is already clear, for example, that activity waves related to orienting move differently in children more prominently from back to front than in adults. With further research, we hope to unravel what these different wave trajectories mean."


Contact: David Alexander
KU Leuven

Related medicine news :

1. Toxicity map of brain may help protect cognition for cancer patients
2. AgedBrainSYSBIO, a medium-scale research initiative against neurodegenerative diseases
3. Public lecture at UC Riverside to address brain-mapping project
4. Brain tumor cells killed by anti-nausea drug
5. Immortality gene mutation identifies brain tumors and other cancers
6. Similar neuro outcomes in preterm infants with low-grade brain bleeding as infants with no bleeding
7. Univ. of MD School of Medicine finds depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells
8. Penn research shows that suppressing the brains filter can improve performance in creative tasks
9. Outside the box: UCLA uses brain aneurysm treatment to stop irregular heart rhythms
10. Study: Dynamic new software improves care of aging brain
11. New early warning system for the brain development of babies published in video journal
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The ... a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is ... leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members and over 200 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Live Very Well ... vision insurance plans on . The multi-carrier insurance exchange platform offers ... products, allowing consumers to compare, quote and match plans to meet their needs. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Stress, anxiety, illness, infection or even a need for eyeglasses ... Heather Spader, MD, a new pediatric neurosurgeon at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, ... tumors. , “Bad headaches that don’t go away, that don’t have any ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... MOSI recently added two state-of-the-art augmented reality (AR) experiences from INDE ... their collection of interactive exhibits within the Kids In Charge! building. In collaboration with ... get closer than ever to a range of animals as they drink, sleep and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, ... held an annual fundraising event, a 5K walk known as “Making Strides Against Breast ... substance abuse which is also located in Battle Creek, joined in for this campaign ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 MEDTEC Japon 2016, ... d,Asie portant sur la conception de ... se tiendra à Tokyo ... avril 2016. ... - Logo - ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TOKYO , Nov. 30, 2015 MEDTEC Japan 2016, ... and Manufacturing industry, is to be held in Tokyo from 20 th  - 22 ... --> -->   --> ...   the United States . With the aging population ... markets continuing to grow steadily. --> the United States ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... -- QT Vascular Ltd., together with its subsidiaries (the "Company" ... Medical LLC and Quattro Vascular Pte. Ltd., collectively the ... and distribution of advanced therapeutic solutions for the minimally ... that a three-judge panel of the United ... Circuit ("Federal Circuit") has unanimously granted the Group and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: