Thursday, September 27, 2012
Train Your Brain
You "train your brain" at some level every time you develop a habit or hone a skill. Psychologist Anna Rose Childress and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania used a combination of brain-scanning and feedback techniques to train subjects to move a cursor up and down using only their thoughts. The subjects could perform this task after just five minutes of training. Earlier studies have shown that people can learn to consciously control their brain activity if they're shown their brain activity data in real time—a technique called real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Using this technology people have learned to control chronic pain and depression. Similar feedback methods may be able to help people alter their behaviors in relation to substance abuse.