Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biofeedback for your brain?

Date:
September 10, 2010
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
There is new evidence that people can learn to control the activity of some brain regions when they get feedback signals provided by functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI).

There is new evidence that people can learn to control the activity of some brain regions when they get feedback signals provided by functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI).

Related Articles


Dr. Andrea Caria and colleagues used this specialized imaging technique during training sessions in three groups of healthy participants who were asked to assess visual emotional stimuli (negative or neutral pictures). The scientists were interested in the signals generated by the insula, a brain region implicated in emotion regulation. While performing the test, the investigators provided the subjects with specific, unspecific, or no feedback about the extent of the activation of the insula.

They found that the individuals who received specific feedback were able to successfully increase the activity of the insula and perceived the negative pictures as being more unpleasant. The reverse was also true, i.e., when the insula's level of activity was decreased, a reduced sensitivity to negative stimuli was observed.

The two other groups, who received unspecific or no feedback, were not able to enhance insula activity and showed no changes in subjective emotional responses.

The lead author, Dr. Andrea Caria, commented, "Our study demonstrates that voluntary control of emotionally important brain systems is possible. More importantly, after learning to voluntarily regulate the insula, the participants experienced emotionally negative material as more aversive than before training. This means that individuals can modify their perception to aversive stimuli."

"This technique may provide a mechanism to obtain some measure of voluntary control over the activity of particular brain regions, and thus mental processes, that are typically beyond our reach. It may open new avenues for cognitive and behavioral therapies," added Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

The authors agree, noting that their findings may be relevant for the development of novel approaches for the clinical treatment of emotional disorders such as antisocial behavior or social phobia which have shown hypoactivity and overactivity, respectively, in the insular region. However, more research is necessary before such treatments may become available.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrea Caria, Ranganatha Sitaram, Ralf Veit, Chiara Begliomini, Niels Birbaumer. Volitional Control of Anterior Insula Activity Modulates the Response to Aversive Stimuli. A Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. Biological Psychiatry, 2010; 68 (5): 425 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.020

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Biofeedback for your brain?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909091116.htm>.
Elsevier. (2010, September 10). Biofeedback for your brain?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909091116.htm
Elsevier. "Biofeedback for your brain?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909091116.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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