Brain-mapping device to ‘see’ where memory fails

Brain-mapping device to ‘see’ where memory fails
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Brain-Mapping Device To ‘See’ Where Memory Fails. Researchers have developed a new brain-mapping device that can map brain activity when a person tries to recall information from a memorisation task.

Researchers have developed a new brain-mapping device that can map brain activity when a person tries to recall information from a memorisation task.

This may help doctors give a targeted treatment instead of a generalised one.

The portable device, developed by researchers at University of Texas in Arlington, showed limited prefrontal cortex activity among student veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when they were asked to recall information from simple memorisation tasks.

“This type of brain imaging allows us to ‘see’ which brain region or regions fail to memorise or recall learned knowledge in students veterans with PTSD,” said lead researcher Hanli Liu, a professor of bioengineering.

“It also shows how PTSD can affect the way we learn and our ability to recall information, so this new way of brain imaging advances our understanding of PTSD,” Liu added.

The team used functional near-infrared spectroscopy to map brain activity responses during cognitive activities related to digit learning and memory retrial.

“When we retest those student veterans after we have provided therapy and interventions, they have shown marked improvement,” said co-author Alexa Smith-Osborne, associate professor of social work at University of Texas.

With that information, Smith-Osborne said mental healthcare providers could customise a treatment plan best suited for that individual.

The study was published in NeuroImage: Clinical.

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