Recent brain researches that aim at simplifying its complexities

EEG recordings of brain activity

EEG recordings of brain activity

Brain, considered to be the most complicated part of human body still remains an enigma to scientists and medical professionals. This is the organ which assists in carrying out very simple daily activities like, seeing, identifying a person/place or interacting with strangers. Then this body part is the root cause of excessive worry or tension which often leads to severe physical symptoms.

Research works related to brain is nothing new. Rather it can be said that this integral part has received maximum attention from researchers. In recent times, some really laudable studies have been made which if successful will enable better control over this complicated organ.
Discussed below a few:

Particular brain wave to identify what a person has seen

Very recently a research team from Northwestern University, lead by researcher John B. Meixner, has conducted a study using EEG recordings of brain activity, drawing inference from participants activities in normal, daily lives. The findings have detected that a particular brain wave, P300, has potential to act as a marker so to identify objects, places, or other details that a person sees or recognizes on daily basis.

During the test it is seen that whenever a person recognizes a specific item from a list of non-meaningful ones, P300 brain wave tends to become larger. Researchers feel that this study may prove to be a breakthrough in criminal investigations as the subject can undergo a Concealed Information Test (CIT) using P300 brainwave, to determine whether he can recognize information related to a particular crime or other event.

To make sure that the CIT result becomes more realistic, Meixner conducted the test on 24 college student participants, fitting their outfits with small cameras which recorded both audio and video for 4 hours as the participants went through their daily routines.

These recordings were used to identify ‘probe’ or relevant items for each person. Next day when students were shown a series of words related to probe and irrelevant items, the test results revealed some interesting facts. These showed that P300 not only became larger for probe/relevant items but the brainwave efficiently distinguished identified probe items from irrelevant ones for each individual participant. Scientists are quite hopeful that CIT will not only benefit criminal law but it would certainly have great impact on memory research too.

A new area inside brain identified, related to anxiety

A recent study by a team of biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) decided to concentrate on a different brain area, the lateral septum (LS), as they felt it would offer more clues into how brain processes anxiety disorders. Their hunch indeed paid off!

While conducting the test on mice, the team used light to artificially activate specific, genetically identified neurons in the Later Septum portion of the brain. The team noticed that during activation, the mice turned more anxious. Further the test proved that this activation of neurons even for a brief, transient period produced a state of anxiety that lasted for more than half an hour.

Brain research work related to detection, or gaining better control over mind, scientists are exploring every field. Considering the pace of current researches, it is expected that very soon the veil of mystery shrouding this complex part of the nervous system will be removed.

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