Associative Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback - Relation to "Synesthesia"


via @statnews: ‘Inception’ in the lab: Scientists are trying to implant false visions in people




Neurofeedback creates new associations: stripes to color. On "Inception"? How to trick the brain out of depression?

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Associative Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback. Stripe orientation becomes color. Synesthesia 



Reading notes from the scientific article by

  • A subject undergoes 3 days of neurofeedback (A-DecNef) where (s)he is shown red, green and grey grids with vertical and horizontal orientations.
  • Scientists can tell from a previous classifier experiment which brain area is activated for red and which for green.
  • What the scientists do during the feedback is that they determine how much red activation you induce either correctly or by confusion and they provide that feed back to you in the form of a grey circle, whose size is proportional to the activation (but they don’t tell you what the grey circle or its size represents).
  • Then they ask you to mentally magnify it, probably in an effort that you scale up whatever estimation you did (I guess so).
  • After this Neurofeedback training, they show you red and green gratings with two different orientations. They demonstrate that you will mistakenly consider a colorless vertical grid as being red. Quote: “Neurofeedback induced signals for red paired with an achromatic vertical grating”.
  • This association of a color to an orientation that we make up is relevant to synesthesia.
  • The bright side of the research is discussed: You can’t just tell a depressed brain to cheer up, you will make things worse; you have to somehow trick it.