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New technique reveals brain function

30.11.2005


Researchers have a relatively good understanding of "where" and "when" the brain edits incoming information; the question is “how” does this happen. It may be that researchers at the University of Bergen have found the answer.

Cognitive neuroscience research has revealed many different aspects of the brain’s functional capacity. It has not been possible to assemble the results of the different methods used to map the brain’s activity as yet, to give researchers a complete picture of what is happening in the brain. Researchers have a relatively good understanding of part of the story, for example “where” or “when” the brain edits incoming information, but how these two aspects relate to one another has been poorly understood.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a technique whereby researchers can see the movement of blood and fluid through the brain. The movement patterns can indicate where there is activity within the brain. Another technique, called event-related potentials (ERPs), is used to measure electronic activity in the brain and gives data about how the brain processes information that is resolved temporally.



In the work published in PNAS, Eichele and his colleagues show how it is possible to integrate the results from both fMRI and ERP studies to produce results that are spatiotemporally resolved. Their technique results in complementary and accurate mapping of mental processes within the brain in terms of both location and time duration.

The UiB research team have successfully undertaken research work with this new technique that is leading to a much better understanding of the brain’s cognitive functions.

Prof. Kenneth Hugdahl | alfa
Further information:
http://fmri.uib.no/engelsk_info.shtml
http://www.uib.no

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