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Partial-observation mazes in virtual reality have been used to find that they can decode from brain activity the subjects’ abilities to predict their positions and scenes within the maze, as well as the degree of confidence in their predictions. Brain activity is measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, while subjects are engaged in a VR maze game. Despite having no knowledge of the final destination, subjects appear to be able to use their predictions and map memory to help estimate their positions in the maze and choose the right way to proceed.

Brain Activity Helps Explain Response to Alcohol and How People Recognize Emotions Before Becoming Intoxicated

People who need to drink relatively high amounts of alcohol before feeling its effects, a genetically influenced risk factor for future heavy drinking and alcohol problems, may have differences in brain connectivity that impair their ability to interpret facial expressions and recognize their own intoxication, a new study suggests. The paper, in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, is believed to be the first to demonstrate differences in brain connectivity between people with low and high responses to alcohol. Varying levels of responses to alcohol — for example, how many drinks a person consumes before feeling intoxicated — are known to be related to neurobiological processing. Low responders, who drink more alcohol before feeling affected by it, are at greater risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD) than high responders, who feel the effects of fewer drinks. Scientists using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are exploring the possibility that low responders are less a

New Study Exposes Potential Expansion Barriers to Functional MRI for Medicare Patients

A new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study found that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) steadily increased from 2007-2014 but has now been static due to potential expansion barriers. This diagnostic imaging method is critical in determining brain functions as well as for assessing the potential risks of surgery or other invasive treatments of the brain. This American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR) study is the first of its kind to assess the nationwide adoption of fMRI.