Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify decision-making area of the brain

05.11.2002


New research from investigators in the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen’s University and the Centre for Brain and Mind at The University of Western Ontario has provided the first neuro-imaging evidence that the brain’s frontal lobes play a critical role in planning and choosing actions.



Their study is published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The research team has found that a small region in the frontal lobe of the human brain is selectively activated when an individual intends to make a particular action and not another. These findings help explain why individuals with frontal lobe damage sometimes act impulsively and often have problems making decisions.


“We have identified signals in the normal human brain that we can now investigate in patients with neurological or psychiatric disorders that affect frontal lobe function,” says team member Doug Munoz, professor in the Departments of Physiology and Psychology at Queen’s, and holder of a Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience. “For example, subjects diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder should produce different patterns of brain activation that we can identify. We will then be able to see if these patterns change when they are treated with medication.”

The lead author on the paper is Jason Connolly, a neuroscience graduate student at Western. Other members of the team include Dr. Munoz from Queen’s, and Mel Goodale and Ravi Menon from Western.

The researchers used a new fMRI "single-event" method to study the changes in blood flow in the frontal lobes as volunteers prepared to perform one of two different kinds of movements when a visual target was presented. Not only did the signals in the frontal lobes build up over time as the volunteers got ready to respond, but the nature of the activity varied and depended on whether they were planning to make one kind of movement rather than another.

Future experiments by the research team will explore how these frontal circuits interact with other areas of the brain in the planning and control of everyday behaviour, as well as investigating patient groups.

Contacts:

Nancy Dorrance, Queen’s News & Media Services, 613.533.2869
David Pulver, Queen’s News & Media Services, 613.533.6000 ext. 77559

Nancy Dorrance | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://qnc.queensu.ca/story_loader.php?id=3dc6a29d000a9
http://www.queensu.ca/

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>