Ghuman, Wang, and their colleagues turned to individuals who have been present process mind surgical procedure for epilepsy. Some folks with extreme or in any other case untreatable epilepsy decide to have the small elements of their mind that set off their seizures surgically eliminated. Earlier than any operation, they might have electrodes implanted of their brains for per week or so. Throughout that point, these electrodes monitor mind exercise to assist surgeons pinpoint the place their seizures begin and establish precisely which little bit of mind ought to be eliminated.
The researchers recruited 20 such people to volunteer of their examine. Every individual had 10 to fifteen electrodes implanted for someplace between three and 12 days.
The pair collected recordings from the electrodes over the complete interval. The volunteers have been all in hospital whereas they have been monitored, however they nonetheless did on a regular basis issues like consuming meals, speaking to buddies, watching TV, or studying books. “We all know so little about what the mind does throughout these actual, pure behaviors in a real-world setting,” says Ghuman.
The sting of chaos
The group discovered some stunning patterns in mind exercise over the course of the week. Particular mind networks appeared to speak with one another in what seemed like a “dance,” with one area showing to “pay attention” whereas the opposite “spoke,” say the researchers, who offered their findings on the Society for Neuroscience annual assembly in San Diego final yr.
And whereas the volunteers’ brains appeared to go between totally different states over time, they did so in a curious manner. Slightly than merely transferring from one sample of exercise to a different, their brains appeared to zip between a number of different states in between, apparently at random. Because the mind shifts from one semi-stable state to a different, it appears to embrace chaos.