Scientists developed a device to measure the brain activity when it receives any information or communicates
A team of researchers from Drexel University and Princeton University build a wearable brain-imagining device that make possible to measure the movement in brain when we communicate. It further measure how our brains align when we receive and share information.The new finding will help researchers to understand how information can be conveyed more effectively and why some messages get lost in translation.
The new device uses a system called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) that uses light to measure brain activity through oxygen in blood cells. With the help of the device subjects could be monitored more closely, which is not possible when people have to recline inside the bulky fMRI scanners.
Talking about the new discovery one of the team member, Banu Onaral, from Drexel University said
“Now that we know fNIRS is a feasible tool, we are moving into an exciting era when we can know so much more about how the brain works as people engage in everyday tasks,”
Scientists did an experiment with a native English speaker and two Turkish speakers to check the potential of the device. All of them wear one device and ask them to tell a real-life story in their native language. Those stories plus another recorded at a live storytelling event, were played to 15 English- Speaking listeners. They all were also wearing headbands.
During the process scientists keep a close eye on the prefrontal and parietal areas of the brain. These regions linked to reasoning and understanding as well as discerning the beliefs goals of other people.
They noticed that the brain activity of the listeners matched up with the English storyteller. Moreover, the team noted matching patterns in oxygenated and deoxygenated haemoglobin concentrations in the brains of both the speakers and the listeners.
It is yet not properly clear that how these areas of the brain work, the fact that matching patterns were shown in the listeners after a short delay strongly suggests that some kind of message decoding is taking place. At least we know that we have some method for monitoring synced brain activity that actually works.
During Previous study on speaker-listener relationships, similar correlations were witnessed. It also establish a new and reliable way of measuring brain coupling during social interaction.
“Being able to look at how multiple brains interact is an emerging context in social neuroscience,” says one of the researchers, Hasan Ayaz from Drexel University.
Now [we] have a tool that can give us richer information about the brain during everyday tasks – such as natural communication – that we could not receive in artificial lab settings or from single brain studies.”