Researchers have identified how the brain reconfigures its connections to minimise distraction and improve efficiency.
The discovery explains the way in which the brain takes advantage of our knowledge of situations, according to a new study at the University of California.
Professor Joy Geng, researcher on the study, elaborated: “In order to behave efficiently, you want to process relevant sensory information as fast as possible, but relevance is determined by your current situation.”
Instead of increasing activity and power when processing information, researchers found that the brain instead changes the way that traffic moves through brain networks to maximise efficiency.
The revelation was made by Professor Geng and co-author Nicholas DiQuattro when they used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study brain activity in volunteers when carrying out simple tests.
Focusing on specific tasks and maintaining attention levels are problems encountered by dementia patients.
Consequently, this new understanding of how the processes are controlled could lead to new treatments for the condition.
Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.