Sunday, October 21, 2012

Functional Specificity

Functional specificity refers to the idea that discrete parts of the brain handle distinct tasks. Scientists have long known that functional specificity exists in certain domains: in the motor system, for example, there is one patch of neurons that controls the fingers of your left hand, and another that controls your tongue. And now researchers have discovered that portions of the brain appear dedicated to language only. That finding marked a major advance in the search for brain regions specialized for sophisticated mental functions. The researchers used an innovative method to analyze fMRI data, subject by subject, allowing them to discern individual patterns of brain activity. More about their findings tomorrow.


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