Brains “irrelevance filter” identified

December 10th, 2007 - 4:32 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 10(ANI): Swedish researchers believe they have uncovered the “irrelevance filter” in the brain that weeds out unnecessary information, thereby only leaving those details essential to form a good memory.

The researchers found that people good at remembering things, even with distractions, have more activity in the basal ganglia.

These findings, they state, would also help in understanding the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dr Torkel Klingberg and colleague Fiona McNab conducted the research on 25 volunteers by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to keep a check on what was happening in their brains.

The volunteers had to perform a computer-based task where they had to respond to target visual images, with or without distractions.

The Swedish researchers found that the neural activity increased in the basal ganglia and the prefrontal cortex of brain, preparing to “filter out” the upcoming distracters even before the visual display.

John Duncan, Medical Research Council scientist said that this work will give a base in understanding other important parts of brain.

“This is very interesting work and gives a window on important parts of the brain, BBC quoted Duncan, as telling Nature Neuroscience.

“The basal ganglia are very strong candidates for involvement in brain disorders where people have difficulty with attentional control.

The team is currently probing into the methods of improving attention and working memory in children with ADHD and monitoring any changes with fMRI.

However, Duncan is uncertain that these findings will assist in understanding the ADHD.

“But there will be many brain regions that filter irrelevant information, so it is too early to tell if these findings will have a bearing on conditions such as ADHD, ” he added. (ANI)

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