Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Saturday, 08.23.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 10  11  12  13  14  15  16
 17  18  19  20  21  22  23
 24  25  26  27  28  29  30
 31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Dec 22,2006
Watching with intent to repeat ignites key learning area of brain
by Bend Weekly News Sources

Tapping the region may prove important in rehabilitation

Watch and learn. Experience says it works, but how? University of Oregon researchers have seen the light, by imaging the brain, while test subjects watched films of others building objects with Tinker Toys.

As detailed in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), found that when a person watches someone else perform a task with the intention of later replicating the observed performance, motor areas of the brain are activated in a fashion similar to that with accompanies actual movement.

 
 Scott H. Frey, professor of psychology and director of the Lewis Center for Neuroimaging at the University of Oregon.
"We've been looking at the process of motor learning through observation in the context of procedures," said principal investigator Scott H. Frey, professor of psychology and director of the Lewis Center for Neuroimaging at the University of Oregon. Frey's interest is geared toward improvements in rehabilitation for individuals suffering brain or bodily injury.

"Teaching a physical skill often involves someone demonstrating the essential action components after which the learner tries to reproduce what has been observed. This is true for behaviors ranging from learning to eat with utensils, playing an instrument or performing surgery. We wanted to know how the brain takes what is seen and translates it into a motor program for guiding skilled movements," he said.

In the experiment, 19 college-aged, healthy adults watched a series of digital videos of another person putting together or disassembling objects using six toy parts. In one condition, participants simply watched the activity; in another, they observed clips with the intention to be able to reproduce the actions in the correct sequential order minutes later.

Despite lying completely still during these tasks, observing with the intention to learn actions and subsequently reproduce them engages areas of the brain known to contribute to motor learning thorough actual physical practice. In particular, Frey said, the amount of activity occurring in the intraparietal sulcus — when watching to learn accurately — predicts how well these actions are reproduced minutes later.

Frey's group and others have previously implicated that this region is involved in organizing goal-directed manual actions. In effect, Frey said, the activity in intraparietal cortex may act as a thermometer that shows how well a person is translating what they are observing into a motor program for later performance.

"What appears vital is the intention of the observer rather than simply the visual stimulus that is being viewed," Frey said. "If the goal is to be able to do what you are seeing, then it appears that activity through your motor system is up-regulated substantially."

Using fMRI, researchers are able to monitor changes in activity throughout the entire brain while people think by taking advantage of differences in the magnetic properties of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin. These changes closely track underlying neural activity.

The findings "implicate the parieto-frontal mirror system in encoding the spatial components of observed actions and the primary motor cortex in the formation of novel motor memories through observation," wrote Frey and research assistant Valerie E. Gerry in their conclusions.

"This study is the first in a series of several experiments that we plan to do," Frey said. "It tells us something about how our own motor systems can be engaged and stimulated even in the absence of overt movements. This could prove important as a means of facilitating rehabilitation of individuals with movement impairments or paralyses."

The National Institutes of Health and the James S. McDonnell Foundation funded the research through grants to Frey.

993 times read

Related news
Discovery: Music and the brain by Bob Kast - CNS posted on Dec 07,2007

Innate or learned, recognition begins almost at birth by Scott_LaFee posted on Mar 16,2007

Scientists make detailed brainstem images by UPI posted on Feb 29,2008

Implanted device may detect, prevent epileptic seizures by Bend Weekly News Sources posted on Feb 09,2007

Older adults concern for health linked to walking difficulty by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Mar 24,2009

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 15 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?