Brain Scan Study Sheds Light on How the Brain’s Wiring Leads to Cognitive Control

Philadelphia, PA (Scicasts) — How does the brain determine which direction to let its thoughts fly? Looking for the mechanisms behind cognitive control of thought, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California and United States Army Research Laboratory have used brain scans to shed new light on this question. By using structural imaging techniques to convert brain scans into “wiring diagrams” of connections between brain regions, the researchers used the structure of these neural networks to reveal the fundamental rules that govern which parts of the brain are most able to exert “cognitive control” over thoughts and actions. Earlier research has long placed the frontal cortex as the core of this cognitive control network, which allows people to stay focused on one task or switch to a radically…


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