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New brain signal analysis enhances understanding of brain functionality

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A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School have introduced a new method for analysing brain signals which could improve treatments for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, pain, epilepsy and depression. 

One of the key findings of the research is the enhanced ability to analyse direct brain recordings.

This means that scientists can now better understand how brain activity correlates to different tasks and behaviours. 

The method,  published in NeuroImage, also allows researchers to directly extract patterns of brain activity over time, revealing how different brain areas process stimuli during tasks such as image identification.

David Darrow, MD, MPH, an assistant professor at the U of M Medical School, a neurosurgeon with M Health Fairview and senior author, stated: “This breakthrough provides a more detailed understanding of the brain’s complex activity, akin to upgrading from a basic telescope to a sophisticated space observatory. 

“This innovation could impact various aspects of everyday life — from education and mental health to artificial intelligence, paving the way for future technological advancements and a deeper understanding of human cognition.”

“This research represents a significant advance in our ability to analyse neural signals. It opens up new possibilities for understanding the complex dynamics of the human brain, paving the way for future discoveries in neuroscience,” added Alexander Herman, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School, attending psychiatrist with M Health Fairview and co-senior author.

The research team is working on the next iteration of the platform, which will allow them to decode brain signals and apply strategies for integrating them into medical devices and new treatments.

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