Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Functional magnetic resonance imaging offers insights into mental fatigue

Date:
December 10, 2012
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Brain scans could help scientists uncover the neurobiological mechanisms underlying mental fatigue.

We all perhaps know the feeling of mental exhaustion, but what does it mean physiologically to have mental fatigue? A new study carried out using brain scans could help scientists uncover the neurobiological mechanisms underlying mental fatigue.

Related Articles


According to Bui Ha Duc and Xiaoping Li of the National University of Singapore writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal Computer Applications in Technology, mental fatigue has become commonplace as many people face increasing mental demands from stressful jobs, longer working hours with less time to relax and increasingly suffer sleep problems. Mental fatigue has received attention from those involved generally in health and well being as well as from the military and transport industry. After all, mental fatigue not only affects the health of individuals but can also have implications for road safety and international security.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor activity in the brains of ten student volunteers (male and female aged 19 to 25 years) deprived of sleep for 25 hours and given a simple task repeatedly through that period. They carried out scans at 9am, 2pm, 3am, 9am the following day. All volunteers had to have avoided alcohol and caffeine for the 24 hours prior to the experiment, were all physically and mentally fit prior to participation and none had any sleep problems.

The activation of the left thalamus increases with sleep deprivation, going in an exactly opposite trend to the inferior parietal that (following the circadian rhythm) decreases in activation from 9 am to 3 am next day and then increases in activation. This finding fits with logic as the inferior parietal cortex integrates information from different sensory modalities. As all the information has to go through the thalamus and then is sent by the thalamus to the inferior parietal, when the inferior parietal decreases in activation, the thalamus must increase its activation to get the information sent through.

The team explains that a gradual increase in mental fatigue led to decreased activity in the volunteers' brains in specific regions: the anterior cingulate gyrus, right inferior frontal, left middle frontal and right superior temporal cortex. The anterior cingulate cortex has been described as an interface between motivation, cognition and action, and has been implicated in using reinforcement information to control behavior. The fMRI scans suggest that decreased activity in this part of the brain is therefore linked to those familiar feelings of mental fatigue including lethargy and slowness of thinking.

"The research provides a neurophysiologic basis for measuring the level of mental fatigue by EEG, as well as for the intervention by non-invasive neural stimulation to maintain wakefulness," the team says. "We have developed devices for both, which will be commercialized by our spinoff company, Newrocare Pte Ltd."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiaoping Li, Bui Ha Duc. Functional neuroimaging of circadian fatigue. International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2012; 45 (2/3): 156 DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2012.050704

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Functional magnetic resonance imaging offers insights into mental fatigue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210101630.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2012, December 10). Functional magnetic resonance imaging offers insights into mental fatigue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210101630.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Functional magnetic resonance imaging offers insights into mental fatigue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210101630.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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