Harvard Scientists Explore How Tools and Equipment are Mechanized By The Brain [VIDEO]By Khaleb Skye A. Cruz, UniversityHerald Reporter
People without hands represent tools in the brain the same way as those who have complete limbs, Read on to find out more.
Harvard University researchers say that had and tool coordination is innate. Previous studies have shown that blind people have the same "visual system's specificities" as to people with perfect vision. Repeated tests proved that different parts of the brain are activated when people encounter different objects.
May it be tools, body parts, animals, or houses, everything gets processed in different regions of the brain.
This study demonstrates that visual experience unnecessary for the emergence of this particular organization. Because blind people have "touched" and used tools, it raises the question of whether other sensory experiences could be responsible for the specialization of the visual cortex in processing "manipulable" objects.
In a recently published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ella Striem-Amit, Gilles Vannuscorps, and Alfonso Caramazza state that the brains of people born without hands represent tools and hands much like the brains of people born with complete limbs. This suggests that the connection between hands and tools is deeply ingrained in brain organization.
The Harvard University researchers used the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or fMRI. They have recruited volunteers and tracked their brain activities as they were shown images of hands and feet, as well as images of tools and large objects like tables and refrigerators. Out of five participants born without hands, four showed the signature hand-tool overlap.
The research concludes that for some foundational types of brain organization, the experience is simply not needed. Per Harvard Gazette, this study was funded by Società Scienze Mente Cervello-Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto and the Provincia Autonoma di Trento. The European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science also took part.