Neuroscientists found that our brain activity can be used to identify us, as it is unique to every human being, leading also to predict intelligence by analyzing the mapping images of brains.
The research, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, relies on the assumption that some brains work better than others at certain activities, due to the way they are “wired”. These brain “connectivity profiles” allow scientists to identify people from MRI images and to observe how their brains work.
Researchers analyzed the scans of 126 subjects in the Human Connectome Project, an initiative to study how some areas of the human brain connect with each other. The subjects were tested on motor abilities, memory, intelligence and abstract reasoning.
“The more certain regions are talking to one another, the better you’re able to process information quickly and make inferences,” says Emily Finn, co-author of the study, from Yale.
Scientists found that strong connections between two or more areas of the brain enhance the individual’s intelligence, making the person able to relate information, understanding it and making better and faster decisions than the rest. Nevertheless, researchers say that these MRI screenings only capture the brain at a particular moment, which doesn’t explain how the connections are formed.
The researchers hope these findings will help others to develop better treatments for psychological diseases, taking into account that every brain is unique. It will help to predict how the diseases will progress according to each individual, and what’s going to be the patient’s response to treatment.
Other experts go further and believe that these findings could help develop custom education, predict criminal behavior, and decide whether a prison inmate is really violent or not. However, scientists point out that further research is needed, as they are a long way from applying the findings in the real world. They are merely beginning to understand how it works.
“What happens in an MRI scanner isn’t what happens in daily life,” said Judy Illes, a neuroethics at the University of British Columbia. “It’s not wrong to say there are weird ethical implications to this, but we’re still a long way from doing this with enough accuracy to apply in the real world,” Finn concluded, according to WIRED.
Source: Nature Neuroscience