To better understand the math, be disturbed brain
The paradox of improved performance through intervention.
We tend to think that our brain works as well as possible. Thus, we believe that if we rozbyrayemosya well in mathematics, this means that our brains are superior to those for whom brain mathematics is given not so easy. Of course, we understand that people do some things better than other things. Better to know the math does not mean to be smarter in everything. But we believe that at least in this area, better behavioral performance is deserving of a better brain, because we take for granted that the brain works to optimize behavior.
However, a growing number of cases in clinical neurology and more research in cognitive nevronaukah show that this assumption is not true. (Many of these cases and investigations described in the “paradoxical brain,” the new book edited Narindera Kapoor, which will be released next year from the publisher Cambridge University Press).
For example, if the brain optimizes behavior that affect normal brain activity should lead to a loss of function, not to improve them. Yet, in some cases, brain activity using noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation – both methods use the device outside the cranium, to influence what happens inside – may lead to paradoxical behavioral improvements.
Take the recent example: in the journal Current Biology on 23 November, researchers led by Roy Cohen Kadosh from Oxford University, reported as non-invasive brain stimulation may promote “awareness of numbers.
Almost every fifth person has a developmental disorder that makes it difficult for them to process and understand numbers, while others take on similar challenges from stroke, brain injuries or degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Almost no therapies for the treatment of disorders of computational abilities.
Cohen Kadosh Group concluded that non-invasive brain stimulation may be a valuable therapeutic intervention for patients with multiple disorders. You must do a lot of research before this conclusion is indeed confirmed data. Study patients are urgently needed, because the results of healthy subjects may differ from the results of patients. Nevertheless, the results are very interesting and show the fundamental and weird side of the human brain functions.
How research conducted: six days, 15 adults were studied to examine the association between nine random characters without knowing the numerical values to which they correspond. Training phase lasted almost two hours each day and during the first 20 minutes of each session, parietal lobe studied subjected to transcranial direct current stimulation.
It is believed that the parietal lobe, a brain region is critical to process variables and the numbers. It was found that individuals who have difficulty with numbers anomalies have the right parietal lobe and right parietal lobe is also considered critical to the development of numerical understanding in childhood.
In the late phase of the study subjects newly awareness numbers measured by different tests. The study was aimed to assess whether the change in parietal lobe activity has influenced the acquisition of numerical competence.
If the brain operates on the principle of optimizing behavior, then we can lower the computational abilities, disrupting parietal function but should not be possible to improve them so. However, this group saw Cohen Kadosh. Notably, this improvement was available and six months after training.
What lessons can this be done? It is becoming increasingly evident that complex brain functions – such as the coordination of movements, memory, language and mathematical thinking – in a decisive extent dependent on dynamic interactions between brain regions. This is the concept of “functional networks” – distributed parts of the brain are temporarily interact for a specific neural function.
Violation of the interaction network are important in common and devastating disorders, from epilepsy to depression. Damage to specific networks can lead to various neurological syndromes. In addition, as flaws and damage recovery depends on the architecture and capabilities of these networks to fit the window.
Behavior after injury or after modulation of activity in this brain region, reflecting the ability of the brain and its networks to adapt to disturbances. The final behavioral consequence of brain injury can be a deterioration of performance, but, paradoxically, and improve or even fix the existing detrimental effects of a stroke or illness.
In accordance with this notion, distributed, plastic networks of the brain, we found that the effects of non-invasive stimulation-dependent relations between target regions and the rest of the brain. Stimulation alters local brain activity and activity changes in distant structures. Thus, non-invasive stimulation may be used to systematically investigate the “paradoxical relief” – interference that leads to improved performance in both healthy individuals and patients with various disorders psychoneurologic. We can even consider its careful use in neurological or psychiatric therapy, as well as a team of Cohen Kadosh offers computational abilities.
Naturally, development of potential therapeutic applications of noninvasive brain stimulation is an interesting and promising. In recent years, some studies have shown that non-invasive stimulation may improve attention in healthy examinees, and this phenomenon can be applied to patients with stroke and allow them to recover from “neglect, failure to pay attention to one part of your world. In addition, research has shown that it is possible to facilitate learning motor functions in healthy patients to a combination of noninvasive brain stimulation of training and similar approaches are promising in promoting recovery of motor function after stroke.
Vidstavyvshy aside clinical medicine, such results provide important information about normal brain function. In 1620, the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega wrote in the consecration of “La Viuda Valenciana” (Widow of Valencia): “La gala del nadar es saber guardar la ropa” (Pride swimming, know how to protect clothing). This revised medieval Spanish proverb: “No se puede nadar y guardar la ropa” (Can not swim and protect clothing).
Indeed, jumping into a river or lake to swim, keep strict control while on his clothes, so it is not stolen probably was not an easy exercise. Proverbs, is still widely used in Spain and points to the need to assume full responsibility for the task, fully devote himself to him and not give him partial attention.
However, as indicating Lope de Vega, the real advantage is to achieve both swimming and clothing and health simultaneously. It seems that our brains are designed to perform just such a task. There are many examples to illustrate the fact that our nervous system works with “functional reserve. Under certain circumstances we are quite capable of higher performance, faster response, greater physical strength, better training. The most important issue, however, is that what can such a price “supernormal” performance.