Scientists Shed New Light On Right Brain Activity

Dec 16, 2009

It’s a world first: thanks to new technology developed by the University of Victoria, Canada, researchers can now show how multiple parts of the right brain dynamically process spatial relationships.

“We already know that most people’s right brains deal with the relationship between things in 3-D space,” says UVic researcher Phil Zeman. “But until now we didn’t know how multiple areas in the right interact with each other for spatial processing. This information is vital to understanding the key functions of the right brain, including why people with traumatic brain injury have difficulties with spatial navigation and how pharmaceuticals such as antidepressants affect the brain.”

Zeman, along with his supervisor Dr. Ron Skelton, and PhD student Sharon Lee, are using UVic-developed technology to show how people process information. The MOST-EEG (Multiple Origin Spatio-Temporal -EEG) uses the electrical activity obtained from a person’s scalp, recorded while a study participant plays a for example, to construct a meaningful representation of the that took place while the participant learned and used the layout of the virtual environment. In general, the tool provides a 3-D representation of the coordination of multiple regions of the brain during different mental states and can be applied in multiple applications and contexts.

The UVic researchers found that the brain activity of healthy adults shows strong and predominantly right hemisphere involvement during navigation tasks in the video game space. When subjects were instructed to find their way to a hidden target location in the 3-D game environment (a common video game task) they used their right hemisphere as they navigated. This right brain activity was greater during the navigation task compared to when people were simply told to go to a target that they could see from their starting position. The results strongly suggest the act of finding our way requires the right hemisphere of the brain. A 3-D model showing the active brain areas and connections is posted at www.spatialbrain.com.

The UVic team hopes to apply the MOST-EEG technique and navigation in virtual environments to develop a better understanding of neural and cognitive deficits after .

Explore further: Know the brain, and its axons, by the clothes they wear

Provided by University of Victoria

4.3 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research Gives New Perspective On Brain Activities

Sep 08, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Victoria (Canada) researcher Phil Zeman has developed a new and less expensive procedure for analyzing EEG (electroencephalogram) data that identifies the location of special brain activities.

Brain center for 'sound space' identified

Sep 19, 2007

While the visual regions of the brain have been intensively mapped, many important regions for auditory processing remain terra incognita. Now, researchers have identified the region responsible for a key auditory process—perceiving ...

Recommended for you

Know the brain, and its axons, by the clothes they wear

22 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—It is widely know that the grey matter of the brain is grey because it is dense with cell bodies and capillaries. The white matter is almost entirely composed of lipid-based myelin, but ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Apr 17, 2014

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Rapid whole-brain imaging with single cell resolution

Apr 17, 2014

A major challenge of systems biology is understanding how phenomena at the cellular scale correlate with activity at the organism level. A concerted effort has been made especially in the brain, as scientists are aiming to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.