JUN 29, 2022 9:00 AM PDT

How the Brain Makes Sense of Self -Motion While Observing an Object in Motion

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

University of Rochester researchers published a study in eLife in which they examined a novel neural mechanism involved in causal inference as the brain detects another object in motion during self-motion. They found a type of neuron with properties that distinguishes between self-motion and the motion of other objects.

The study was focused on what happens when you look at a moving object and experience a disorienting perception of feeling like you are in motion or stationary, with objects moving around you. You may have experienced this sensation if you are sitting in a moving train and view a passing train, or you are walking in the ocean waves and become dizzy when you look down to observe them. 

The brain can suppress the background to focus on something moving in your field of view and make causal inferences about sensory input. As humans age, the brain becomes less adept at suppressing the background and responding to foreground motion. A previous study conducted by the University of Rochester research team found that younger people were 40% faster than older participants when detecting moving foreground objects. However, the brain can be trained to perform better at identifying foreground motion by 20% with regular practice.

This research has implications for treating brain disorders and developing artificial intelligence as well as the automobile safety world. According to researcher Dr. Greg DeAngelis, “Although the brain probably uses multiple tricks to solve this problem, this new mechanism has the advantage that it can be performed in parallel at each local region of the visual field, and thus may be faster to implement than more global processes. This mechanism might also be applicable to autonomous vehicles, which also need to rapidly detect moving objects.” This study is a significant contribution to neuroscience scholarship, because previously scientists did not know much about the neuronal activity involved in the brain’s response involving self-motion and the motion of other objects.

The University of Rochester research team will continue to explore interactions between brain regions that process sensory inputs and those parts involved in executive functioning.

Sources: 

eLife, University of Rochester News
 

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
JUN 01, 2022
Health & Medicine
Afraid of New Things? Your Genes Could be Responsible
JUN 01, 2022
Afraid of New Things? Your Genes Could be Responsible
Afraid of New Things? You’re Genes Could be Responsible Scientists have discovered a significant difference in how ...
JUN 13, 2022
Technology
A 'Goldilocks amount' of time sent online could be good for teenagers' wellbeing
JUN 13, 2022
A 'Goldilocks amount' of time sent online could be good for teenagers' wellbeing
We live in an age where everyone is online, but moderation is key to a healthy life. We all love being online, but we al ...
JUN 24, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Pain Medications with High Abuse Potential More Likely to Achieve Approval
JUN 24, 2022
Pain Medications with High Abuse Potential More Likely to Achieve Approval
Researchers found that pain medications with a high potential for abuse are more likely to be approved than medications ...
JUL 05, 2022
Neuroscience
Second-born Infants Sleep 50 Minutes Longer with Responsive Parenting
JUL 05, 2022
Second-born Infants Sleep 50 Minutes Longer with Responsive Parenting
Researchers have trained mothers how to help their newborns sleep more at night. The methods work both for firstborns an ...
JUL 14, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Why Does Weed Smell?
JUL 14, 2022
Why Does Weed Smell?
What is behind the aroma of cannabis? Here's the science involved in why weed smells the way it does.
AUG 04, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Artificial Intelligence Shows Promise in Diagnosing Strokes
AUG 04, 2022
Artificial Intelligence Shows Promise in Diagnosing Strokes
Quick identification and intervention is critical in successfully treating a stroke. During a stroke, blood supply to th ...
Loading Comments...