Academic journal article Journal of College Science Teaching

Braking Brain

Academic journal article Journal of College Science Teaching

Braking Brain

Article excerpt

Researchers led by cognitive neuroscientist Adam Aron, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego, have found white matter tracts--bundles of neurons, or "cables," forming direct, high-speed connections between distant regions of the brain--that appear to play a significant role in the rapid control of behavior.

Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the study is the first to identify these white matter tracts in humans, confirming similar findings in monkeys, and the first to relate them to the brain's activity while people voluntarily control their movements.

"The findings could be useful not only for understanding movement control," Aron said, "but also 'self-control' and how control functions are affected in a range of neuropsychiatric conditions such as addiction, Tourette syndrome, stuttering, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

To reveal the network, Aron and researchers from UCLA, Oxford University, and the University of Arizona performed two types of neuroimaging scan on healthy volunteers. …

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