According to a new study in humans ultrasound may improve sensory perception. Scientists at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have demonstrated that ultrasound, directed to a specific region of the brain, can boost performance in sensory discrimination.
The scientists delivered focused ultrasound to an area of the cerebral cortex that processes sensory information received from the hand. To stimulate the median nerve, a major nerve that runs down the arm and the only one that passes through the carpal tunnel, they placed a small electrode on the wrist of human volunteers and recorded their brain responses using electroencephalography, or EEG.
“In neuroscience, it’s easy to disrupt things,” said Tyler. “We can distract you, make you feel numb, trick you with optical illusions. It’s easy to make things worse, but it’s hard to make them better. These findings make us believe we’re on the right path.”
The study is published in journal Nature Neuroscience.
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