Experts Learn How To Manipulate Brain Activities To Boost Confidence

Admin | Published 2017-01-18 07:14
Confidence is vital to wellbeing. Self-doubt or low self-esteem may lead to serious mental disorders such as anxiety or panic attacks. Thus, a group of international experts started studying on how to improve self confidence by manipulating brain activities. A group of international experts learned a new technique called 'Decoded Neurofeedback', which may boost confidence in individuals. This strategy involves brain scanning and AI to detect the occurrence of specific complex patterns in the brain when confidence increases. "How is confidence represented in the brain? Although this is a very complex question, we used approaches drawn from artificial intelligence (AI) to find specific patterns in the brain that could reliably tell us when a participant was in a high or low confidence state. The core challenge was then to use this information in real-time, to make the occurrence of a confident state more likely to happen in the future," Dr. Mitsuo Kawato, Director of the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories at ATR, Kyoto, and one of the authors of the study told the Science Daily. For the study, researchers gathered 17 participants who were asked to do a perpetual task. Whenever experts detect a boost of confidence, the subjects receive a monetary reward. "Crucially, in this study confidence was measured quantitatively via rigorous psychophysics, making sure the effects were not just a change of mood or simple reporting strategy. Such changes in confidence took place even though the participants performed the relevant task at the same performance level," Dr. Hakwan Lau, Associate Professor in the UCLA Psychology Department, was the senior author on the study and an expert in confidence and metacognition said in an interview. According to experts, they are now developing other strategies to help people with different psychiatric issues. They said this study about confidence may be a groundwork for future researches to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias. Dr. Hakwan Lau, Associate Professor in the UCLA Psychology Department, was the senior author on the study and an expert in confidence and metacognition, "crucially, in this study confidence was measured quantitatively via rigorous psychophysics, making sure the effects were not just a change of mood or simple reporting strategy. Such changes in confidence took place even though the participants performed the relevant task at the same performance level."
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