Fluctuating Brain Network May Make us Better Thinkers

4th Oct 2016

Past research has indicated that the human brain is not static. Stanford University team have now discovered that the networking brain regions fluctuate depending on the complexity of tasks. The more interconnected the brain is, the better the performance on cognitive tasks, showing to be quicker and more accurate.

The researchers used fMRI scans to see how the brain coordinated activity. fMRI allowed them to pinpoint instances of networking by tracking the blood flow in brain region pairs. Another measurement used was pupil size. If the pupils dilate/widen, it was an indication that your brain is amplifying stronger signals to try to coordinate. 

By understanding these fluctuating patterns, it could reveal why some people learn new tasks more quickly and others struggle.

Ultimately the work could improve our understanding of brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Further research is still needing to be conducted, with plans to look into attention spans, memory and other aspects of thought.

To view the full article, please visit Neuron Journal.

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