Neurofeedback induced Alpha waves desynchronisation enhances attention

Image

In a recent MEG neurofeedback study, participants learned to desynchronize their left and right parietal Alpha oscillations. The hemisphere-specific alpha supression training resulted in enhanced spatial attention for stimuli presented in the corresponding visual hemifield.  The study highlights the role of Alpha wave suppression in spatial attention. A link to the article in Neuron can be found here.

Ayahuasca compound changes brainwaves to vivid ‘waking-dream’ state- a fascinating scientific report coming from the Imperial College, London

Image

Ayahuasca and EEGIn a recent study conducted at the Psychodelic research Lab at the Imperial College London, scientists explored the electrophysiological changes, accompanying the altered states of consciosness induced by intake of the DMT component extracted from the Ayahuasca plant.

The EEG records made, while an individual was under the influence of DMT (the psychoactive component of the Ayahuasca plant), revealed EEG dynamics, different from the one observed during the intake of other consciousness state altering substances, such as psylocybin. Besides the expected drop in alpha and beta waves and the overall network desynchronysation,  scientists observed the emergence of a dominant rhythm in the Delta/Theta frequency range out of the neural chaos. This study opens a new window for exploring the role of criticality, counsciousness and their role in personally transformative experiences.

Link to the Imperial news report by Ryan O’Hare can be found here.

Original article: Timmermann, C., Roseman, L., Schartner, M. et al. Neural correlates of the DMT experience assessed with multivariate EEG. Sci Rep 9, 16324 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51974-4

Humans aren’t designed to be constantly happy – so stop trying

Image

human-happiness-neuroscience-public.jpg“A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth $11bln a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal. Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the world through popular culture. Indeed, “the pursuit of happiness” is one of the US’s “unalienable rights”. Unfortunately, this has helped to create an expectation that real life stubbornly refuses to deliver…”

The excerpt above stems from an article published in the online scientific writing space www.theconversation.com. Rafael Euba, the autor of the article, who is a consultant and senior lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London, explains why a permanent state of happiness would not be evolutionary advantageous and why humans are not hard-wired to be constantly happy. Link to the full article here

 

A computer system that knows how you feel

Image

Philip Kragel
CU Boulder postdoctoral researcher Philip Kragel. Credit: Glenn Asakawa/CU Boulder

The excerpt below stems from an article reviewing an intriguing study on emotion processing and identification is from the online journal Medical Express.

“Machine learning technology is getting really good at recognizing the content of images—of deciphering what kind of object it is,” said senior author Tor Wager, who worked on the study while a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder.

We wanted to ask: Could it do the same with emotions? The answer is yes.

Part machine-learning innovation, part human brain-imaging study, the paper, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, marks an important step forward in the application of “neural networks”—computer systems modeled after the human brain—to the study of emotion.

It also sheds a new, different light on how and where images are represented in the human brain, suggesting that what we see—even briefly—could have a greater, more swift impact on our emotions than we might assume.

“A lot of people assume that humans evaluate their environment in a certain way and emotions follow from specific, ancestrally older brain systems like the limbic system,” said lead author Philip Kragel, a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute of Cognitive Science. “We found that the visual cortex itself also plays an important role in the processing and perception of emotion.”

Link to the full Medical Express article here.

Brains work in sync during a successful therapy session

Image

Brain Synchronisation between a therapist and a client

For the first time researchers have been able to demonstrate that the brains of a client and therapist become synchronized during a music therapy session, a breakthrough that could improve future interactions between clients and therapists…

Read more about the study here

Source: Neuroscience News
Original Research: 
““Telling me not to worry…” Hyperscanning and Neural Dynamics of Emotion Processing During Guided Imagery and Music”. Jörg C. Fachner, Clemens Maidhof, Denise Grocke, Inge Nygaard Pedersen, Gro Trondalen, Gerhard Tucek and Lars O. Bonde.
Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01561

Neurofeedback gets you back in the zone

Image

New study from biomedical engineers demonstrates that a brain-computer interface can improve your performance. More information on this study can be found on the Science Daily website.

Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. (2019, March 12). Neurofeedback gets you back in the zone: New study from biomedical engineers demonstrates that a brain-computer interface can improve your performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 8, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190312143206.htm