State transitions of the brain activity linked with the emergence of new thoughts

Canadian neuroscientists tracked transitions of brain States on fMRI and tied them with new thoughts. When watching the film transitions coincide with scene changes, and neurotic people the transitions were more frequent. The authors of an article published in the journal Nature Communications, say their approach allows to study the thinking of at rest without preparation, but may require additional checks.

Previously, the only way to learn about the human mind was introspection, or introspection. Now, cognitive science has developed new methods and progress in the understanding of the structure of consciousness. In particular, the scientists even managed to “guess” a person’s thoughts on fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), although this requires samples of brain States. For example, if the researchers recorded the condition of the brain when people thought about a certain scene of the film, I identified this idea next time.

However, to recognize the spontaneous thoughts, neuroscientists still don’t know how. Instead, they try to answer the question “how” (not “what”) one thinks, for example, how is the switching between different cognitive States or thoughts.

Jordan Poppink (Jordan Poppenk) and Julie CEng (Julie Tseng) from Queen’s University in Kingston offered a way to see the end of one thought and the beginning of another for fMRI. Neuroscientists have collected records fMRI 184 volunteers: they either just resting, or watching a movie. From each record was allocated by the activity of 15 well-known brain networks, and simplified the dimension to two-dimensional. In the end every state of the brain occupied a point in the plane, and the resulting curve, the authors associated with the development of human thought: if thoughts are disconnected, the graph will be a single point, and if the idea develops around a single theme, there will be “worms” — chain States that are close in space.

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