People Control Thoughts Better When They See Their Brain Activity
The study is the world’s first investigation of how real-time functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) feedback from the brain region responsible for higher-order thoughts, including introspection, affects our ability to control these thoughts. The researchers find that real-time brain feedback significantly improves people’s ability to control their thoughts and effectively ‘train their brains. (…)
The findings also raise hope for clinical treatments of conditions that can benefit from improved awareness and regulation of one’s thoughts, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, the researchers says. For example, with increased availability of fMRI technology, real-time brain feedback represents a potentially important complement to feedback provided by a therapist or a patient’s own self-monitoring ability. via H/T @psychoBOBlogy
I’ve attended talks where this type of study is going on with drug addicts and sexual offenders. Laying in the MRI machine, they get to see live feedback on their unwanted thoughts in the form of a bar graph. The objective is to make that bar on the graph go down, by thinking of other things. I suppose this ties into strengthening new neural pathways while older, stronger and negative ones atrophy from non-use. That’s the theory anyway.