Neural activity in natural settings

When scientists design an experiment, we try really hard to minimize the number of variables so that we can identify a clear change caused by our experimental parameters. This is useful because it allows us to ask a specific question and manipulate a unique condition to study its effects. Though this may be experimentally useful, there is a disconnect between the findings of these experimental paradigms and how our bodies function in “real-life”.

This new paper, from our lab at Stanford, tries to address the congruence between experimental paradigms and natural conditions. We looked at neural responses in parietal cortex during an arithmetic condition and then used that activation to track our patients neural activity in their natural lives (i.e., when they had a conversation with friends & family).

The article is open access: Nature Communications

The video of our patient’s with their simultaneous neural activity plotted: Video here

Press coverage: Time Magazine, CNN, Fox, Science Daily

Enjoy!

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