Brain Essay Scan

Brain Essay Scan-88
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by difficulties in communicating and interacting in social settings.Neuroimaging studies have identified correlates of these behavioral symptoms at the level of neural connectivity: two key regions implicated in social processing, the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and the somatosensory cortex, have been shown to be connected more weakly—to “talk” to one another less—in ASD patients relative to healthy control subjects.As part of the digital puzzle-like game, participants had to reveal regions of an image that were covered by a blank mask. By the end of the neurofeedback training regimen, ASD patients had significantly increased the connectivity between the STS and the somatosensory cortex even when they were no longer engaged in playing the video game (i.e. Importantly, this change in neural activity was correlated with a decrease in ASD symptom severity.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by difficulties in communicating and interacting in social settings.Neuroimaging studies have identified correlates of these behavioral symptoms at the level of neural connectivity: two key regions implicated in social processing, the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and the somatosensory cortex, have been shown to be connected more weakly—to “talk” to one another less—in ASD patients relative to healthy control subjects.As part of the digital puzzle-like game, participants had to reveal regions of an image that were covered by a blank mask. By the end of the neurofeedback training regimen, ASD patients had significantly increased the connectivity between the STS and the somatosensory cortex even when they were no longer engaged in playing the video game (i.e. Importantly, this change in neural activity was correlated with a decrease in ASD symptom severity.

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Because the patients were motivated to play the game and uncover the masked images, over time, they learned to unconsciously reproduce the neural activity that resulted in this reward. In response to this realization, I can’t help but wonder: what happens to our experience of play when it is endowed with purpose?In a recent study published in the scientific journal sought to ameliorate symptoms of ASD by increasing the connection between these two regions using neurofeedback training.f MRI neuroimaging was used to scan the brains of ASD patients (males fifteen to twenty-five years of age) while they played a video game.He had become stooped, and had begun walking with a cane, even though he was only in his late fifties.Now he sat with his wife and son in the consulting room of Henry Marsh, a London neurosurgeon, looking at a scan of his brain, which showed a tumor growing near the base of his skull.They decided to seek a second opinion from an older, eminent neurosurgeon. The surgery began at nine in the morning and continued late into the night.Brain surgery is slow and dangerous, and removing a tumor can be like defusing a bomb.But, Marsh explained, surgery could leave him paralyzed, or worse.The family faced a difficult choice, between the certainty of a slow, predictable decline and the possibility of an immediate cure—or catastrophe. “I’ve told them you should do it.” Flattered, Marsh agreed to go ahead.It is based on the premise that the human brain is plastic: it has the ability to alter its structure and function. Yet, explaining this seemingly innate drive to play is difficult, as play is often characterized as an act performed without purpose and without the expectation of practical outcomes. Researchers are now harnessing this robust and universal motivation to play to treat patients suffering from psychiatric disorders. Many neurofeedback training programs employ a digital game interface to deliver feedback (from neuroimaging, for example) to patients about what their brains are doing: what parts of the brain are active, which regions are talking to which other regions, etc.During neurofeedback training, patients receive information about what their brain does naturally, and then they change it. When the desired regions of the brain spontaneously become active at the right time, patients receive a reward in the game, perhaps more points or an extra life.

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