Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers uncover neural origins of expert intuition

24.01.2011
New findings reported this week in Science by researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) shed first-ever light on the neural mechanisms that enable board game experts to quickly generate optimal moves.

What makes experts different from the rest of us? Over the past century, this question has prompted a range of studies on various aspects of human cognition, revealing clues about the psychological and neurological origins of intelligence, perception and memory. While board games such has chess have provided the most productive setting for such studies, the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive expertise in board game play nonetheless remain poorly understood.

To clarify these mechanisms, the researchers used fMRI to study the brain activity of professional and amateur players of shogi, a Japanese board game. Unlike amateurs, professional shogi players are able to quickly perceive board patterns and generate moves without conscious thought, a unique intuitive capacity which grants them their superior skill. Imaging studies have identified processes specific to the brains of chess experts, but no research has yet clarified the neural substrates for expert intuition.

Using spot games of shogi, the researchers have now pinpointed for the first time two brain regions involved in specific aspects of such intuition. Activity in the precuneus of the parietal lobe, a brain region responsible for integrating sensory information, was observed when professional players perceived and recognized realistic board patterns. Rapid generation of next-moves, in contrast, was identified with activity in the caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia. Among professional players, the results moreover highlight a strong correlation between these regions during next-move generation, suggesting that the precuneus-caudate circuit in their brains has been honed to this specific task.

By shedding first-ever light on the elusive origins of expert intuition, these findings establish a crucial link between brain science and cognitive psychology research, opening the door to fundamental insights on brain function and applications in the design of new types of expert systems.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Keiji Tanaka
Cognitive Brain Mapping Laboratory
RIKEN Brain Science Institute
Tel: +81-(0)48-467-9342 / Fax: +81-(0)48-467-7100
Brain Science Research Planning Section
RIKEN Brain Science Institute
Tel: +81-(0)48-467-9757 / Fax: +81-(0)48-467-4914
Ms. Tomoko Ikawa (PI officer)
Global Relations Office
RIKEN
Tel: +81-(0)48-462-1225 / Fax: +81-(0)48-463-3687
Email: koho(at)riken.jp

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com
http://www.researchsea.com/html/article.php/aid/5800/cid/1?

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>