Do People Control Thoughts Better When They See Their Brain Activity?

(Telegraph) In other news, five hundred years after Leonardo painted the most famous picture in Western art, new research suggests that his model may have been an expectant mother - and that he painted her for precisely that reason.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2011) — People Control Thoughts Better When They See Their Brain Activity

As humans face increasing distractions in their personal and professional lives, University of British Columbia researchers have discovered that people can gain greater control over their thoughts with real-time brain feedback.

The study is the world’s first investigation of how real-time functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) feedback from the brain region responsible for higher-order thoughts, including introspection, affects our ability to control these thoughts. The researchers find that real-time brain feedback significantly improves people’s ability to control their thoughts and effectively ‘train their brains.’

“Just like athletes in training benefit from a coach’s guidance, feedback from our brain can help us to be more aware of our thoughts,” says co-author Prof. Kalina Christoff, UBC Dept. of Psychology. “Our findings suggest that the ability to control our thinking improves when we know how the corresponding area in our brain is behaving.”

For the study, published the current issue of NeuroImage journal, participants performed tasks that either raised or lowered mental introspection in 30-second intervals over four six-minute sessions. fMRI technology tracked real-time activity in the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC), the region of the brain involved with higher-order thoughts.

(See the original article here)

Also see How Can Your Bladder Make You a Better Decision Maker?, How Does a Placebo Still Work Even When You Know It’s a Placebo? and Can Child Brain Scans Pick Out Future Criminals?

Be first to comment