How the mind searches for words and concepts in memory may have its origins in age-old patterns by which human and nonhuman animals search for food and other resources in their physical environment. That is the theory which received fresh support from a neuroimaging study which examined the brain activity of study participants as they searched their long-term memories for words related to various concepts. In addition to teaching us about the basic strategies that people use to find relevant information, this work may also inspire a novel approach to understanding schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis, in which disorganization of speech and thought is a fundamental symptom.
The study was published on October 12, 2023 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers in the IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and their collaborators. Its findings provide neural evidence of a continuity between foraging in space and mind.
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Neuroimaging study reinforces theory of mental ‘foraging,’ inspiring new approaches to understanding schizophrenia and other disorders
Huge congrats to Willa Mannering, who defended her PhD and is off to use neural networks to make the world a better place! Dual PhDs in both Psychology and Cognitive Science, so it's technically Dr. Dr. Mannering. Willa has accpeted a position as Artificial Intelligence Engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.