Navigation Links
U of M researchers find learning in the visual brain
Date:11/10/2010

A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Engineering have found that an early part of the brain's visual system rewires itself when people are trained to perceive patterns, and have shown for the first time that this neural learning appears to be independent of higher order conscious visual processing.

The researchers' findings could help shape training programs for people who must learn to detect subtle patterns quickly, such as doctors reading X-rays or air traffic controllers monitoring radars. In addition, they appear to offer a resolution to a long-standing controversy surrounding the learning capabilities of the brain's early (or low-level) visual processing system.

The study by lead author Stephen Engel, a psychology professor in the College of Liberal Arts, is published in the Nov. 10 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

"We've basically shown that learning can happen in the earliest stages of visual processing in the brain," Engel said.

The researchers looked at how well subjects could identify a faint pattern of bars on a computer screen that continuously decreased in faintness. They found that over a period of 30 days, subjects were able to recognize fainter and fainter patterns. Before and after this training, they measured brain responses using EEG, which records electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain.

"We discovered that learning actually increased the strength of the EEG signal," Engel said. "Critically, the learning was visible in the initial EEG response that arose after a subject saw one of these patterns. Even a tiny fraction of a second after a pattern was flashed, subjects showed bigger responses in their brain."

In other words, this part of the brain shows local "plasticity," or flexibility, that seems independent of higher order processing, such as conscious visual processing or changes in visual attention. Such higher order processing would take time to occur and so its effects would not be seen in the earliest part of the EEG response.

Engel says these finding may also help adults with visual deficits such as lazy eye by accelerating the development of training procedures to improve the eye's capabilities.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@umn.edu
612-626-1720
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers discover important link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension
2. Hebrew University researchers discover expanded role for cancer-causing gene
3. Researchers expand cyberspace to fight chronic condition in breast cancer survivors
4. Researchers led by St. Michaels Hospital receive grant to teach new method of CPR
5. Fox Chase researchers identify risk factors for the spread of breast cancer to lymph nodes
6. Mayo researchers find mortality rates from liver diseases underestimated
7. Inhaled steroids increase diabetes risk, say Lady Davis Institute researchers
8. Researchers develop successful method for extracting and archiving patient radiation dose info
9. Potential new treatment for deadly nipah and hendra viruses identified by Weill Cornell researchers
10. UM researchers are studying child-mother interactions to design robots with social skills
11. U of M researchers identify possible key to treating, understanding post-traumatic stress disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Dickinson Insurance and ... and financial preparation services, is providing an update on a charitable event that ... City Rescue is a locally recognized nonprofit that provides shelter and care for ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX ... CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will ... and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association ... Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this ... health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and ... aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one ... U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at ... former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central ... and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today ... included the unveiling of new signage at its headquarters ... as at a few other company-owned facilities across the ... patients, some of whom will begin to see the ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will host its fiscal ... Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 7:00 a.m. (CDT) ... a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). In ... guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will also highlight the ... long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading global digital ... its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. Oz Show ... Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show kicked off ... The segment features ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: