Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Looking For Something? Surprising Number Of Neurons Help Find It, Research Shows

Date:
July 18, 2007
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
A person searching for a ripe tomato at the grocery store is more likely to notice apples, strawberries and other red fruits as well, according to a new study that measured changes in blood flow in the brain. The researchers also discovered that more neurons are called into action to help the eyes find a particular object than has previously been documented.

A person searching for a ripe tomato at the grocery store is more likely to notice apples, strawberries and other red fruits as well, according to a new study that measured changes in blood flow in the brain. The researchers also discovered that more neurons are called into action to help the eyes find a particular object than has previously been documented.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers observed systematic changes in brain activity when participants focused on observing a certain object in motion, no matter where it appeared in their visual field.

"This increased activity in the brain is what helps you find objects you are looking for, even when you don't know exactly where the objects are," said UC Irvine cognitive scientist John Serences.

The study, co-authored by Serences and University of Washington associate professor Geoffrey Boynton, is published in the July 18 online edition of the journal Neuron.

In their study, researchers presented participants with a computer display of objects moving in different directions. Participants were asked to pay attention to objects moving only in a particular direction (for example, the object moving to the left). Using noninvasive fMRI to indirectly measure neural activity, researchers demonstrate that patterns of brain activity change when people pay attention to objects moving in different directions.

In addition, paying attention to one direction of motion makes the brain more responsive to other objects moving in that direction, no matter where the other objects appear in their visual field -- a phenomenon that has not previously been documented.

This research may enhance scientists' understanding of problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, while also explaining how healthy people's brains create awareness of their surroundings.

"By gaining a more thorough understanding of how a healthy human brain functions, we will be better equipped in the future to recognize, diagnose and treat abnormalities within the brain," Serences says.

This study was funded by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Looking For Something? Surprising Number Of Neurons Help Find It, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718140843.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2007, July 18). Looking For Something? Surprising Number Of Neurons Help Find It, Research Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718140843.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Looking For Something? Surprising Number Of Neurons Help Find It, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070718140843.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins