Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The brain gets the big picture

01.11.2002


When you look at a picture, your brain has to put together lines, patterns and shapes to make a meaningful scene. New research by neuroscientists at the University of California, Davis and the University of Minnesota shows that higher regions of the brain can quickly recognize patterns and shapes and tell lower areas of the brain to stop processing the information. The finding confirms predictions from computer models and helps explain how the human brain makes sense of what the eyes see.



Scott Murray, Bruno Olshausen and David Woods from UC Davis and the VA Medical Center in Martinez, with Daniel Kersten and Paul Schrater from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see which parts of the brain were active as subjects looked at different patterns and shapes.

Current theories hold that a lower area of the brain called the primary visual cortex responds to simple features such as edges and lines and passes this information on to higher, pattern-recognizing parts of the brain.


When the researchers showed subjects random patterns of lines, the primary visual cortex lit up on the fMRI scan. When the same lines were organized into a shape, a higher part of the brain called the lateral occipital complex (LOC) was activated, but the primary visual cortex was less active. That shows that when the LOC recognizes a pattern in the information it gets from the primary visual cortex, it can send a message back down the pathway to tell the lower area of the brain to stop responding.

"Things in the environment are not random. The higher areas of the brain expect order and pick it out," Murray said. The brain should be better able to detect new or different items if it can pick out common patterns first, he said.


The research is published in the October 28 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Media contacts: Scott O. Murray, Center for Neuroscience, 530-757-8789, somurray@ucdavis.edu; Andy Fell, News Service, 530-752-4533, ahfell@ucdavis.edu

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://redwood.ucdavis.edu/scott/research/fmri/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Developing a digital holography-based multimodal imaging system to visualize living cells
03.06.2020 | Kobe University

nachricht Possible physical trace of short-term memory found
03.06.2020 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: K-State study reveals asymmetry in spin directions of galaxies

Research also suggests the early universe could have been spinning

An analysis of more than 200,000 spiral galaxies has revealed unexpected links between spin directions of galaxies, and the structure formed by these links...

Im Focus: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

An MRI technique has been developed to improve the detection of tumors

03.06.2020 | Medical Engineering

K-State study reveals asymmetry in spin directions of galaxies

03.06.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

The cascade to criticality

03.06.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>