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As part of the digital puzzle-like game, participants had to reveal regions of an image that were covered by a blank mask. By the end of the neurofeedback training regimen, ASD patients had significantly increased the connectivity between the STS and the somatosensory cortex even when they were no longer engaged in playing the video game (i.e. Importantly, this change in neural activity was correlated with a decrease in ASD symptom severity.
For millennia psychiatric disease has plagued the human population.
It has remained difficult to treat, let alone to cure, in part because of its obscured etiology.
Often, surgeons look through a microscope and use long-handled, fine-tipped instruments to pull the tumor away from the brain before removing it with a sucker.
A quarter of the body’s blood courses through the veins and arteries of the brain; if one of them is torn, bleeding and stroke can result.
♦ is the neuroscience researcher at the Peabody Essex Museum.
A Harvard Medical School doctoral graduate, she is the first neuroscientist to join the staff of an art museum.In a recent study published in the scientific journal sought to ameliorate symptoms of ASD by increasing the connection between these two regions using neurofeedback training.f MRI neuroimaging was used to scan the brains of ASD patients (males fifteen to twenty-five years of age) while they played a video game.f MRI), that allowed us to begin to identify biological markers of psychiatric disease; to point to a mark on a brain scan and say, “this is what’s wrong here.” It is these same neuroimaging technologies that are now enabling treatment of the disorders that they initially delineated.Neurofeedback training is a process by which an individual can change the way their brain operates. We are motivated to solve the problems that keep us from winning games, completing puzzles, or scoring points.When these two regions “talked” to one another (exhibiting the desired neural activity), patients were rewarded in the game: a piece of the masked image would become visible. So, it appears that, under some circumstances, our innate drive to play can be harnessed to heal.Because the patients were motivated to play the game and uncover the masked images, over time, they learned to unconsciously reproduce the neural activity that resulted in this reward. In response to this realization, I can’t help but wonder: what happens to our experience of play when it is endowed with purpose?But, Marsh explained, surgery could leave him paralyzed, or worse.The family faced a difficult choice, between the certainty of a slow, predictable decline and the possibility of an immediate cure—or catastrophe. “I’ve told them you should do it.” Flattered, Marsh agreed to go ahead.He had become stooped, and had begun walking with a cane, even though he was only in his late fifties.Now he sat with his wife and son in the consulting room of Henry Marsh, a London neurosurgeon, looking at a scan of his brain, which showed a tumor growing near the base of his skull.