Thursday, August 18, 2005

Behavior Predicted by Brain Waves

Okay, this research is complicated. I'll try to simplify it, keeping in mind that I am not fully, mentally functional.

Brain waves emanate from our head like a force-field. These waves can be measured by electrodes placed on our head. These brain waves, "EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS", corolate with behavior associated with mental tasks like solving a problem. The part of the brain that activates during this problem-solving is called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex. The more difficult the problem, the more the ACC activates.


By measuring ERPs, you can see how people learn from their mistakes. Some people learn more by positive reinforcement--make a good decision, receive a benefit. Some people learn more by making a mistake, "error", and getting punished.

Why is this important? Scientists are hoping to be able to measure how behavior develops. This looks like a good step. Perhaps some day we will know what type a learner a person is and then teach them in the way that best suits them. Or maybe we'll be able to guide the baby or child in the most efficient way to learn. Or, maybe we will help cure people with Autism or Schizophrenia by more effectively teaching them.

Exciting possibilities.
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