March 17


Identifying brain’s preparation for action: Predicting skilled performance from preparation

By Margaret

Neuroscience researchers from University College London and Bangor University recently published an article in the journal Neuron detailing their identification of patterns that happen in the brain immediately before test subjects perform various complex actions. They found that the brain uses the milliseconds before starting a complicated sequence of motions to “stack” each step in the correct order. This could have significant applications in post-stroke rehabilitative treatments and therapies for stuttering and other conditions by deepening our understanding of how the brain prepares to do everyday tasks.

Key Takeaways:

  • It has been discovered by neuroscientists how the brain functions seconds before we take a series of movements such as sports or playing a musical instrument.
  • To understand these patterns they have studied the magnetic fields created at the user’s heads and identifying the unique patterns that make them up.
  • This research could lead to the understanding of interventions which have to be undertaken post stroke or to improve the life of people living with stutter.

“”To our surprise we also found that this preparatory pattern is primarily reflecting a template for position (1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on) which can be reused across sequences — like cabinet drawers into which one can put different objects. This is a way for the brain to be efficient and flexible, by providing a blueprint for new sequences and staying organized.””

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