Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long memories in brain activity explain streaks in individual behavior

Date:
February 12, 2013
Source:
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Summary:
Even with a constant task, human performance fluctuates in time-scales from seconds to minutes in a fractal manner. In a recent study a research group found that the individual variability in the brain dynamics as indexed by the neuronal scaling laws predicted the individual behavioral variability and the conscious detection of very weak sensory stimuli. These data indicate that individual neuronal dynamics underlie the individual variability in human cognition and performance. Results may also have a strong impact in understanding the neuronal mechanism of neuropsychiatric diseases in which behavioral dynamics are abnormal.

Even with a constant task, human performance fluctuates in time-scales from seconds to minutes in a fractal manner. In a recent study a Finnish research group found that the individual variability in the brain dynamics as indexed by the neuronal scaling laws predicted the individual behavioral variability and the conscious detection of very weak sensory stimuli. These data indicate that individual neuronal dynamics underlie the individual variability in human cognition and performance. Results may also have a strong impact in understanding the neuronal mechanism of neuropsychiatric diseases in which behavioral dynamics are abnormal.

Human performance in cognitive tasks varies from moment-to-moment so that the similar behavioral performance is clustered into streaks. The neuronal dynamics underlying this behavioral variability has remained unknown.

Similar scale-free and power-law distributed “avalanche dynamics” is observed in many natural systems such as sand piles, earthquakes, gene regulation, and also brain activity. However, the functional significance of the neuronal scale-free behavior has remained unknown. It is also unclear whether it is just epiphenomena without any further significance.

"We investigated whether the individual variability in the scaling-laws governing the detection of auditory and visual stimuli presented in the threshold of detection could be predicted by the variability in the neuronal scaling laws, explains Matias Palva," project leader in the Neuroscience Center of the University of Helsinki, Finland.

The researchers used magneto- and electroencephalography to record non-invasively human brain activity during the task performance. They found that both the behavioral and neuronal dynamics were characterized by scale-free dynamics. Individual variability in the neuronal scaling laws predicted the individual scaling laws in behavioral performance.

"These results suggest that the individual behavioral and psychophysical variability in task performance is largely a result of the inherent variability in the individual neuronal dynamics," says project leader Satu Palva.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. M. Palva, A. Zhigalov, J. Hirvonen, O. Korhonen, K. Linkenkaer-Hansen, S. Palva. Neuronal long-range temporal correlations and avalanche dynamics are correlated with behavioral scaling laws. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1216855110

Cite This Page:

Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Long memories in brain activity explain streaks in individual behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212075220.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2013, February 12). Long memories in brain activity explain streaks in individual behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212075220.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Long memories in brain activity explain streaks in individual behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212075220.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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