A study has revealed that our brain can distinguish between a real and a virtual world. The study which was published in Nature Neuroscience journal will help people who use virtual reality for military, gaming, scientific, commercial or other applications.
Mayank Mehta, a professor of neurology, physics and neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) said that the activity pattern inside the brain that is associated with spatial learning in the virtual world is absolutely different than the pattern which is seen during the processing of activity in the real world.
Let us have a look at this post to know about the study in details.
Mehta led the team to carry out the study which required them to monitor the hippocampus, an area of the brain which is associated with diseases like depression, stroke, epilepsy, schizophrenia, stroke, Alzheimer’s and post-traumatic stress disorders.
A non-invasive virtual reality surroundings was created by the researchers to find out if the hippocampus could actually create spatial maps using visual landmarks only. They particularly studied how hippocampal neurons inside the brains of rats, responded in the virtual world where they were unable to use sounds and smells as signals.
The researchers found out that the results of the study were different for virtual and real world surroundings. Mehta said in a statement, “the neural pattern in virtual reality is substantially different from the activity pattern in the real world. We need to fully understand how virtual reality affects the brain”.
When people try to remember something or walk, the activity in the hippocampus becomes rhythmic. These rhythms help in forming memories. According to Mehta, the rhythms are damaged in people with memory and learning disorders.
Doctors will be able to repair the impaired memory by synchronizing and retuning these rhythms.
By conducting the study, Mehta and his team made it possible to learn that there is a chance that damaged memory could be repaired.
What’s your thought?
Do you think this study will be really helpful for the doctors? Are you aware of any virtual reality application? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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