Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - HUMANERRORS (Brain imaging of human errors)

This two-year ToK knowledge project allowed our region to develop a state-of-the-art technique for functional brain imaging. This included recording eye movements within the magnetic field using remote eye tracking equipment, developing a specialised (possibly patentable) device for precise synchronising visual display and time marking the eye movement data with respect to the magnet scanning cycle, and using event-related analysis based on the eye movement response. Combining these components is, to our knowledge, unique and provides our region with a new and credible facility in fMRI. This was only made possible by Dr Natalia Passynkova's expertise and attention to detail. There was also some reverse transfer, as the PI's knowledge of eye movement controlled Dr Passynkova to a new appreciation of the potential of using objective oculomotor variables in fMRI studies. The work also led to a new collaboration with Dr Heinrich Neubauer (Magdeburg).

Dr Passynkova also participated in our local seminars and post-graduate teaching and became an integral member of staff for two years. This has led to a deeper appreciation of the value of fMRI among our group, and we are now incorporating this knowledge into a new cross-faculty grant proposal on 'ageing of the brain'.

Scientifically, we found that we could image very focal brain areas that are involved in monitoring self-made errors, and appear to be involved in individual pre-dispositions to making these errors, and possibly regions involved in self-awareness.

These results are quite surprising, as we did not expect oculomotor control could tap into such high level conreo centres. We now believe this opens up a new approach to objectively quantify individual differences in high-level error monitoring, with potential impact in many neiurologival conditiosn, especially those typically seen in again populations (such Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other dementias).

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United Kingdom