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 Special brain wave boost slows motion

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Date posted: 04/10/2009

Researchers have found that they can make people move in slow motion by boosting one type of brain wave. The findings offer some of the first proof that brain waves can have a direct influence on behavior, according to the researchers, who report their findings online on October 1 in Current Biology.

"At last we have some direct experimental proof that brain waves influence behavior in humans, in this case how fast a movement is performed," said Peter Brown of University College London. "The implication is that it is not just how active brain cells are that is important, but also how they couple their activity into patterns like beta activity."

There are many types of brain waves, distinguished by their frequency and location, Brown explained. In the new study, the researchers injected a small electrical current into the brain through the scalps of fourteen people while the participants manipulated the position of a spot on a computer screen as quickly as they could with a joystick.

The electrical current used increased normal beta activity, a wave that earlier studies linked to sustained muscle activities, such as holding a book. Beta activity drops before people make a move.

Unlike most previous work, which used constant brain stimulation, the new study employed an oscillating current, more like that underlying normal brain activity. As a result, people's fastest times on the computer task were 10 percent slower.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com



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