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posted by martyb on Monday December 20 2021, @11:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-hear^W-see-this! dept.

Visuals increase attention; now science explains why: Chemical's release in brain tied to processing of imagery, cells' activation:

In a paper published Dec. 17 in the journal Science Advances, authors from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (also referred to as UT Health San Antonio) report that norepinephrine, a fundamental chemical for brain performance, is locally regulated in a brain region called the visual cortex.

"Before our study, research suggested the possibility of local regulation of norepinephrine release, but it had never been directly demonstrated," said study senior author Martin Paukert, MD, assistant professor of cellular and integrative physiology at UT Health San Antonio.

[...] Norepinephrine is known to be involved in paying attention. "A certain amount of this chemical needs to be released for optimum brain performance and ability to pay attention," Dr. Paukert said. "So, if there is either too much of it or too little of it, it may affect how we process information."

[...] The team's findings also extend to cells called astrocytes that function as helper cells in the brain and central nervous system.

"When a person makes a movement, such as turning the head to listen to a parent, and that is combined with visual stimulation, then more norepinephrine is released where visual information is processed," Dr. Paukert said. "Our second finding, also important, is that astrocytes can reliably detect the rate of norepinephrine release."

Journal Reference:
Shawn R. Gray, Liang Ye, Jing Yong Ye, Martin Paukert. Noradrenergic terminal short-term potentiation enables modality-selective integration of sensory input and vigilance state, Science Advances (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abk1378)


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  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @12:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @12:36PM (#1206613)

    ... otherwise it deserves an Ig Nobel nomination for irony.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @01:01PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @01:01PM (#1206615)

    Maybe this is why my SO loves all the visual stimulation of a busy shopping mall*, she seems to need regular hits of this "drug". Meanwhile, if I spend more than a half hour with that kind of visual overload, I start to feel overwhelmed and really want to get out.

    *Busy shopping malls may be a thing of the past, the malls around here have lots of vacancies.

    • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Monday December 20 2021, @03:08PM (1 child)

      by crafoo (6639) on Monday December 20 2021, @03:08PM (#1206642)

      That is just natural instinct allowed to run free, unrestrained. Picking from a presented selection to obtain the best resources for her and her children. "Shopping".

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @07:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @07:34PM (#1206717)

        Except it's not about shopping for my SO (maybe for yours?)
        She's at the mall for visual stimulation, never buys anything. Her kids are in their 30s and shop online, they don't like malls.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by SomeGuy on Monday December 20 2021, @01:13PM (1 child)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Monday December 20 2021, @01:13PM (#1206619)

    "When a person makes a movement, such as turning the head to listen to a parent, and that is combined with visual stimulation, then more norepinephrine is released where visual information is processed,"

    But if Microsoft PowerPoint is involved, they all die of overdoses. :P

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @10:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20 2021, @10:21PM (#1206745)

      Reading the paper, it sure looks like this was an experiment on mice, not people.
      So all the human behaviors we're discussing may well be moot.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by crafoo on Monday December 20 2021, @03:11PM (1 child)

    by crafoo (6639) on Monday December 20 2021, @03:11PM (#1206644)

    It's crazy how much of our behavior is regulated and conditioned by glands releasing drugs into our brains. We really are creatures ruled by our emotions. Rationality plays a part, but it's seems to be firmly exiled to the back seat of the monkey brain bus.

    • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Tuesday December 21 2021, @12:31AM

      by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday December 21 2021, @12:31AM (#1206772) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, I get the impression the rationality gets applied as an afterthought, to try to justify the decision that was already made. Usually. You see a much exaggerated version of this effect in dreams: if something strange happens in a dream and you try to question how it could happen, your subconscious will often manufacture the most absurd explanations to explain it on the spot. The subconscious is really, really weird.

      --
      If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Tuesday December 21 2021, @12:26AM

    by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday December 21 2021, @12:26AM (#1206770) Homepage Journal

    Seems we might've been wrong about Sl@shd*t B*ta after all! Although, if images boost attention, what did all the icky whitespace around the images and text do to it?

    I think this means we should all enable the Vomit theme on SoylentNews. Moar visuals = moar attentions!

    --
    If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
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