Mind-reading through the eyes

Scientists say they may be able to glean information about stored memories and past events by tracking a subject’s eye movements, even when the subject is unable – or unwilling – to describe what they remember. The research, appearing in the journal Neuron, shows the relationship between activity in the hippocampus, eye movements, and both conscious and unconscious memory.

The hippocampus is a brain region that is critical for conscious recollection of past events, but the precise role of this area in memory remains controversial. According to one theory, even if explicit memory retrieval fails, the hippocampus might still support expressions of relational memory (e.g., memory for the co-occurrence of items in the context of some scene or event).

To test this theory, Drs. Deborah Hannula and Charan Ranganath, both from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, used fRMI to examine participants’ brain activity while they attempted to remember previously studied face-scene pairings. During scanning, participants were shown a previously studied scene along with three previously studied faces and were asked to identify the face that had been paired with that scene earlier. Eye movements were also monitored during the task and provided an indirect measure of memory.

During each test, participants frequently spent more time viewing the face that had been previously paired with the scene – an eye-movement-based memory effect. What is more surprising is that hippocampal activity was closely tied to the participants’ tendency to view the associated face, even when they failed to identify it. Activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area required for decision making, was sensitive to whether or not participants had responded correctly and communication between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus was increased during correct, but not incorrect, trials.

The findings suggest that even when people fail to recollect a past event, the hippocampus might still support an expression of memory through eye movements. Furthermore, the results suggest that even when the hippocampus is doing its job, conscious memory may depend on interactions between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.

The researchers posit that it may be possible to track memory in otherwise uncooperative individuals. “It is conceivable that eye-tracking could be used to obtain information about past events from participants who are unaware or attempting to withhold information,” offers Dr. Hannula. “In other words, there may be circumstances in which eye movements provide a more robust account of past events or experiences than behavioral reports alone.”

Related:
Those blinded by brain injury may still “see”
Selective memory erasure achieved
Liar, Liar, Your Prefrontal Cortex Is On Fire

Source: Neuron

, ,

Comments are closed.

Natural Blue Tigers Eye Crystal Gemstone Palm Stone Pocket Worry Meditation Rock picture

Natural Blue Tigers Eye Crystal Gemstone Palm Stone Pocket Worry Meditation Rock

$14.00



40mm Blue Cat's Eye Opal Natural Quartz Crystal Healing Stone Ball Sphere Decor picture

40mm Blue Cat's Eye Opal Natural Quartz Crystal Healing Stone Ball Sphere Decor

$9.99



2 Lbs Raw Crystals (You Pick) Bulk  Wholesale Rough Gemstone Lot picture

2 Lbs Raw Crystals (You Pick) Bulk Wholesale Rough Gemstone Lot

$21.00



Tumbled Golden Tigers Eye Crystals Bulk 1

Tumbled Golden Tigers Eye Crystals Bulk 1" to 2" Large Polished Healing Stones

$25.50



Natural Rough Crystals & Stones: Choose lb or oz HUGE RANGE (Wholesale Bulk) picture

Natural Rough Crystals & Stones: Choose lb or oz HUGE RANGE (Wholesale Bulk)

$7.35



Natural Rare Tiger Eye Crystal Ball Gemstone Sphere Stone Healing HOT picture

Natural Rare Tiger Eye Crystal Ball Gemstone Sphere Stone Healing HOT

$2.39



Jalapeno Ranger Eye picture

Jalapeno Ranger Eye

$8.00



Vintage lot of 10 Signal Glass Marble Cat Eye RED Reflectors Rat Rod custom picture

Vintage lot of 10 Signal Glass Marble Cat Eye RED Reflectors Rat Rod custom

$34.95



Crystals for Capricorn Zodiac Sign, Amethyst, Tigers Eye, Carnelian, Fluorite picture

Crystals for Capricorn Zodiac Sign, Amethyst, Tigers Eye, Carnelian, Fluorite

$10.95



New ESS Profile NVG Ballistic Goggles Military Tactical Eye Protection Coyote picture

New ESS Profile NVG Ballistic Goggles Military Tactical Eye Protection Coyote

$26.95



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes