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Researchers Use Portable Brain-Mapping Device To 'See' Where Memory Fails

Update Date: Jun 19, 2014 11:04 AM EDT

Researchers have successfully used a portable brain-mapping device to show prefrontal cortex activity among veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. 

The activity was evident through the device when they were asked to recall information from simple memorization task. 

"When we retest those student veterans after we've provided therapy and interventions, they've shown marked improvement," said Alexa Smith-Osborne, an associate professor of social work, in the press release. "The fNIRS data have shown improvement in brain functions and responses after the student veterans have undergone treatment."

According to researchers, this type of brain imagining allowed them to "see" which brain region/regions fail to memorize or recall learned knowledge in student veterans with PSTD. 

"It also shows how PTSD can affect the way we learn and our ability to recall information, so this new way of brain imaging advances our understanding of PTSD." said bioengineering professor Hanli Liu. 

"This collaborative research is allowing the researchers to objectively measure the changes in the level of oxygen in the brain and relate them to some of the brain functions that may have been adversely affected by trauma or stress," added Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the UT Arlington College of Engineering, in the press release.

Priorly, many other neuropsychological studies have associated learning dysfunctions with PTSD. 

"It's not a one-size-fits-all treatment plan but a concentrated effort to tailor the treatment based on where that person is on the learning scale," Smith-Osborne added. 

The research has been published in the May 2014 edition of NeuroImage: Clinical.

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