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 July 23, 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
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