Observing brain activity during learning errors
A major goal in neuroscience is to be able to use magnetic resonance images of brain activity to identify how a person learns. Researchers from ETH and the University of Zurich have taken an important step forward by showing that mistakes made during a learning process activate certain areas of the brain.
Just as a doctor is able to use a blood test to determine the health of a patient’s liver, neurologists are trying to develop non-invasive tests to examine the brain activity of their patients. Using imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), medical practitioners are able to measure activity in certain areas of the brain based on the blood flow in these areas. Linking the brain activities made visible with fMRI technology to the respective neuronal processes – i.e. the activity of specific neuron networks – remains a difficult task.