Cognitive flexibility, which refers to the brain’s ability to switch between mental processes in response to external stimuli and different task demands, seems to begin developing during the first two years of life, which is much earlier than previously thought. UNC BRIC researchers led by Weili Lin, PhD, used magnetic resonance imaging techniques to show the emergence of a functional flexible brain during early infancy.
Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to readily switch between mental processes in response to external stimuli and different task demands. For example, when our brains are processing one task, an external stimulus is present, requiring us to switch our mental processes to attend to this external stimulus. This ability of switching from one to another mental task is the cognitive flexibility. Such flexibility can predict reading ability, academic success, resilience to stress, creativity, and lower risk of various neurological and psychiatric disorders. To shed light on the development of this critical cognitive process during early infancy, researchers at the UNC Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) at the UNC School of Medicine conducted a brain imaging study in infants to examine the emergence of neural flexibility, which refers to the frequency with which a brain region changes its role (or allegiance to one functional network to another). Neural flexibility is thought to underlie cognitive flexibility… Continue reading.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Dinggang Shen, Ph.D., Professor, Radiology, UNC-Chapel Hill, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Shen was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions to automated analysis and interpretation of medical imaging data..