Real-time brain feedback can help people overcome anxiety | KurzweilAI
People provided with a real-time readout of activity in specific regions of their brains can learn to control that activity and lessen their anxiety, say Yale researchers.
They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to display the activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (a brain region just above the eyes) to subjects while they lay in a brain scanner.
Through a process of trial and error, these subjects were gradually able to learn to control their brain activity. This led both to changes in brain connectivity and to increased control over anxiety. These changes were still present several days after the training.
Extreme anxiety associated with worries about dirt and germs is characteristic of many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hyperactivity in the orbitofrontal cortex is seen in many of these individuals.