Monkey mind control

Even while remaining motionless, macaques are able to increase the activity of a particular brain region, improving their concentration and search abilities

Jessica P. Johnson
May 26, 2011
While it has long been known that humans and other primates consciously control their brain activity in order to produce and regulate movement, recent studies of ADHD patients and others revealed that people can also consciously control activity in movement-related brain areas without moving at all. Now, the same ability has been discovered in monkeys: Macaque monkey can actively increase the neural activity of certain brain regions to improve their concentration and better identify visual targets, according to research published yesterday (May 26) on Science Express.
Image: Wikimedia commons
This is the first example of "direct" neural control in these animals, said Robert Schafer, a linkurl:neuroscience postdoc;http://bcs.mit.edu/people/postdocs.html at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lead author on the study. The monkeys were able to alter their brain activity "without eye movements, visual stimulation, or training of any behavioral response," he said."In the past, functional MRI studies have shown that humans...
R.J. Schafer and T. Moore, "Selective attention from voluntary control of neurons in prefrontal cortex," Science Express, doi: 10.1126/science.1199892, 2011.



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