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Scientists find flexible brain is better for learningTUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011 15:14 PM

Scientists find flexible brain is better for learning A study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed ways to determine how much a person can learn.

Researchers collected brain imagining data from participants performing a motor task and then analyzed the data using a new technique. They found that flexibility - how different regions of the brain partner together in different combinations - may predict how well a person can learn.

"What we wanted to do was find a way to predict how much someone is going to learn in the future, independent of how they are as a performer," said Scott T. Grafton, senior author and professor of psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara.

The team of researchers added that these findings may help clinically. For instance, in healthy people this information could accelerate learning by indicating when individuals should study, practice or acquire a new skill.

Previous studies only allowed researchers to examine each layer of the brain separately. However, new computational methods were developed to analyze multilayer networks, which enables them to view one snapshot in time or a different set of connections between the same set of brain regions.


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