Earlier experiments on mice in the maze, as well as studies involving people, “placed” in a virtual reality has allowed many to learn about how the brain reacts to normal, smooth movement in space. During the path finding and memorizing the route the brain creates a particular rhythmic pulse. They originate in the hippocampus — part of limbic system in the brain involved in memory formation and emotions, and also plays a role in retaining the attention.
In this case, as said the study’s lead author Arne eckstrom, today not fully known, these pulses are the result of direct perception of external data, or they formed as a result of the learning process, reports EurekAlert.org.
Experts from the University of California, Davis, invited to participate in the study, three people with severe epilepsy. Earlier in their brains were implanted with electrodes, allowing to follow how these people are attacks to choose for them the most effective treatments. In the study, electrodes in the brain of a volunteer was also allowed to learn about the processes going on in their brain while moving in space.
The participants of the study which brain between bouts of work, offered to “walk” through the virtual city shown on the computer screen. In the city were located “teleporting” — points, in contact with the participants was moved to another area of the virtual space. This movement was accompanied by the darkening of the screen for a short period of time, the exact duration of which was determined randomly. The participants were familiar with the point at which they moved, and they could roughly calculate the distance to it.
The study showed that during teleportation, the pulses of the hippocampus continued to appear, but their frequency varied depending on how far the study participants went back.
According to experts, the obtained results suggest that during the travel of the nerve impulses are not the result of the perception of the “roads”, and the result of the work of memory and learning process. This allows you to experience the distance and the speed of overcoming it, even if it happens in such a fantastic way, like teleportation.
The work of scientists published in the journal Neuron.