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Ultrasound directed to the human brain can boost spatial resolution

RATE THIS! +18
Posted in Medicine on 15th Jan, 2014 09:39 PM by AlexMuller

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have found that ultrasound directed to a specific region of the brain can boost performance in sensory discrimination. The study provides the first demonstration that low-intensity, transcranial-focused ultrasound can modulate human brain activity to enhance perception.

 
“Ultrasound has great potential for bringing unprecedented resolution to the growing trend of mapping the human brain’s connectivity,” said William “Jamie” Tyler, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, who led the study. “So we decided to look at the effects of ultrasound on the region of the brain responsible for processing tactile sensory inputs.”
 
Testing effects of ultrasound on processing tactile stimulation
 
The scientists delivered focused ultrasound to an area of the cerebral cortex that processes sensory information received from the hand — the human primary somatosensory cortex (S1).
 
To stimulate the median nerve — a major nerve that runs down the arm and the only one that passes through the carpal tunnel — they placed a small electrode on the wrist of human volunteers and recorded their brain responses using electroencephalography, or EEG. Then, just before stimulating the nerve, they began delivering ultrasound to the targeted brain region.

Tags: brainultrasoundperceptionsensory informationEEG

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-16
+2
Neuroscience is generating very interesting insights as the funding and the research scope grows. Great Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-16
+1
These observations are surprising. The brain waves associated with the tactile stimulation had weakened, but people got better at detecting differences in sensations.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-16
+0
It seems paradoxical, but researches suspect that the particular ultrasound waveform they used alters the balance of synaptic inhibition and excitation between neighboring neurons -focused ultrasound changed the balance of ongoing excitation and inhibition processing. Perhaps selecting the particular waveform was lucky Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-16
+2
This work could help to extend the capabilities of ultrasound for noninvasively tweaking brain circuits to help us understand how the human brain works Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-17
+0
Neuroscience is generating very interesting insights as the funding and the research scope grows. Great Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-02-18
+0
How lucky is Ace to have you two as parents!!!!! Found your site by anicdect on my first day as an empty nester..I love it!!! Love that boy as much as you can and take a billion pictures. It goes by so quick. Thank you for the smiles!!! Lori Reply


 

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