Navigation Links
How the brain routes traffic for maximum alertness
Date:1/12/2012

A new UC Davis study shows how the brain reconfigures its connections to minimize distractions and take best advantage of our knowledge of situations.

"In order to behave efficiently, you want to process relevant sensory information as fast as possible, but relevance is determined by your current situation," said Joy Geng, assistant professor of psychology at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain.

For example, a flashing road sign alerts us to traffic merging ahead; or a startled animal might cue you to look out for a hidden predator.

When concentrating on a specific task, it's helpful to reconfigure brain networks so that task-relevant information is processed most efficiently and external distractions are reduced, Geng found.

Geng and co-author Nicholas DiQuattro, a graduate student in psychology, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain activity in volunteers carrying out a simple test. They compared their results to mathematical models to infer connectivity between different areas of the brain. The study appeared in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

The subjects had to look for a letter "T" in a box and indicate which way it faced by pressing a button. They were also presented with a "distractor": another letter T in a box, but rotated 90 degrees.

The distractor was either similar in appearance to the target, or brightened to be more attention-getting.

Subjects did better in trials with an "attention-getting" distractor than a less obvious one, and lit up specific areas of the brain accordingly.

The new work shows that the brain doesn't always "ramp up" to deal with the situation at hand, Geng said. Instead, it changes how traffic moves through the existing hard-wired network -- rather like changing water flow through a network of pipes or information flow over a computer network -- in order to maximize efficiency.


'/>"/>
Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. Selectively stopping glutathione sensitizes brain tumors to chemotherapy
2. Could Internet Addiction Disrupt Brains Connections?
3. Alcohol Targets Brain Reward Centers in Heavy Drinkers
4. In the brain, ORMOSIL nanoparticles hold promise as a potential vehicle for drug delivery
5. MIT: How does our brain know what is a face and whats not?
6. Personalized gene therapies may increase survival in brain cancer patients
7. Paranoid or Placid? Scans Show Pots Effect on Brain
8. Novel brain tumor vaccine acts like bloodhound to locate cancer cells
9. MRI Scans Show Brain Changes in Kids With Schizophrenia
10. Songbird brain synapses and glial cells capable of synthesizing estrogen
11. NJIT receives patent today for new shunt to aid brain-injured patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... The ... 3rd location in the greater Houston Area. The new location is located at 2255 ... Luke’s Hospital in Springwoods Village. This newest location will provide patients living in the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Texas Physical Therapy ... 960 Gruene Road in Building 2. The clinic is the group’s second in New ... says opening the company’s second New Braunfels location brings things full circle for the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... The IoT (Internet of Things) is revolutionizing the way the world operates. ... individual consumers alike. Laboratories can maximize their profit margin by increasing throughput. ... to $11 trillion dollars by the year 2025. McKinsey expects the IoT to have ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... , ... 82% of adults are unaware of the dangers that infectious bacteria play in mouth ... two times a day that dentists recommend. The ramifications of improper oral upkeep go far ... adults missing 164 million hours of work each year due to dental issues. That is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... March is ... that pack a punch when it comes to maintaining good health. Every day, two ... minutes, your kidneys filter every drop of your blood, eliminating waste, regulating fluid levels ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)...  Digital Pharmacist Inc. ( ... digital health company, announced today that it has ... to manage their prescriptions. Over three hundred pharmacy ... Pharmacy, USave Pharmacy and Owen,s Healthcare use the ... its product development schedule, the company now powers ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... The global capillary electrophoresis market to grow at a CAGR of ... Capillary Electrophoresis Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Newborns are highly vulnerable to infections ... their young immune systems typically mount weak antibody ... achieving strong vaccine responses in newborn animals, including ... trials — by adding compounds known as adjuvants ... papers, they also describe improved adjuvant formulations that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: