Brain scans used to predict behavior

Nov 30, 2005

Washington University scientists in St. Louis say they can predict whether people will win or lose a brief visual game by analyzing their brain scans.

The subjects' brain activity can be used to predict with about 70 percent accuracy whether a subject will give a correct or an incorrect response, said lead author Ayelet Sapir, a postdoctoral research associate in neurology.

Eleven seconds before volunteers played the game -- discriminating the direction of a field of moving dots -- scientists showed them a hint: an arrow pointing to where the moving dots were likely to appear.

After the hint and prior to the appearance of the moving dots, researchers scanned the volunteers with functional brain imaging, which reveals increases in blood flow to different brain areas indicative of increased activity in those regions.

Based on the brain activity patterns, scientists found they could frequently predict whether a volunteer's response would be right or wrong before the volunteers even had a chance to play the game.

Results appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences and in the journal's Dec. 6 print edition.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Looking for the best strategy? Ask a chimp

Jun 05, 2014

If you're trying to outwit the competition, it might be better to have been born a chimpanzee, according to a study by researchers at Caltech, which found that chimps at the Kyoto University Primate Research ...

Bright future for protein nanoprobes

Mar 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The term a "brighter future" might be a cliché, but in the case of ultra-small probes for lighting up individual proteins, it is now most appropriate. Researchers at the U.S. Department of ...

Hedges and edges help pigeons learn their way around

Jan 21, 2014

A study has found that homing pigeons' ability to remember routes depends on the complexity of the landscape below, with hedges and boundaries between urban and rural areas providing ideal landmarks for navigation.

Recommended for you

Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

5 hours ago

A dry wash full of 112-million-year-old dinosaur tracks that include an ankylosaurus, dromaeosaurus and a menacing ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex, is set to open to the public this fall in Utah.

Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey

16 hours ago

A new species of carnivorous crustacean has been identified, which roamed the seas 435 million years ago, grasping its prey with spiny limbs before devouring it. The fossil is described and details of its lifestyle are published ...

User comments : 0