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fMRI for feedback

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/26768/?p1=A1

 

new way to create and interpret real-time brain scans could help addicts control their cravings…scientists used a combination of brain-scanning and feedback techniques to train subjects to move a cursor up and down with their thoughts. The subjects could perform this task after just five minutes of training…scientists hope to use this information to help addicts learn to control their own brain states and, consequently, their cravings…reviously shown that people can learn to consciously control their brain activity if they’re shown their brain activity data in real time—a technique called real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)… efforts have been difficult to put into practice. Part of the problem is that scientists have had to choose which part of the brain to focus on, based on existing knowledge of neuroscience…focusing on a limited region adds extra noise to the system…whole-brain information cancels out a lot of the noise…researchers found that both addicts and healthy people could control their state of mind equally well…Addicts’ cognitive control issues are not linked to more general thinking, but instead limited to more emotionally charged thoughts, like cravings…

 

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