A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE: active memory human pattterns (Identity)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, July 03, 2018, 19:21 (764 days ago) @ David Turell

Using fMRI when studying humans in memory tasks:


"Brain activity is driven by encounters with external stimuli and situations, simultaneously occurring with internal mental processes. A team of researchers from Stanford University, with funding from the NIH BRAIN Initiative, in part through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), has discovered how the brain dynamically handles cognitive tasks while it also is engaged in internal mental processes.


"'The team developed a computational model to make fundamental findings that have never before been revealed about how our brain processes information at various levels during daily decision making."


"'We now think that a whole set of internal, or hidden, brain states can influence how you process tasks. Here, we identify hidden brain states and demonstrate for the first time that they influence human cognition and decision making in profound ways."


"The working memory exercise consisted of recalling pictures of faces, places, tools and body parts that appeared sequentially on a monitor. In the most difficult challenge—a two-back working memory task—the participant was required to recall what had been displayed two images prior to the current image. In an easier challenge—a zero-back task—the participant was shown an image as a cue and asked to indicate when that cue appeared amongst different consecutively displayed images. Researchers also conducted scans while participants viewed a blank frame, to establish a baseline.


"During the two-back working memory exercise, researchers identified dominant brain patterns that they called a high cognitive-load state. "The 2-back working memory condition is the most challenging," Menon said. "You have to keep the information in mind and constantly refresh, and update, and respond." said Menon.


"'When you are doing the two-back task, you must engage a particular configuration of brain circuits," he said. "If you don't engage it, or if you don't engage it at the right time, your performance suffers. The way states are engaged has a big impact on how well a subject does the working memory task."

"A further novel finding of the study is the indication of a transition state that the researchers inferred from the data. The team showed that the transition state plays an important role in working memory.

"'We know that when you go from one task condition to another your brain state is not changing instantaneously; it takes time for systems to come online as you go from a low cognitive load to a high cognitive load," explained Menon. "The strength of the study is that we showed that the states we identify, the transitions between states, and the relationships of these same states to behavior is very consistent across multiple datasets."

"The researchers also wanted to know whether the hidden brain states impact how well a participant will perform tasks. "For example, we asked whether performance would be negatively affected if you get distracted because you are thinking about something, and don't engage the brain systems and networks optimally."

"Menon explained that there is an optimal brain state for each task condition and that failure to engage these states in a timely manner is associated with poorer working memory performance."

Comment: Another example of how the soul uses brain networks.

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