Study: Are neuromarkers on the cusp of transforming education and mental health?


Brain Scans May Help Pre­dict Future Prob­lems, And Solu­tions (NPR):

Brain scans may soon be able to help pre­dict a per­son­’s future — some aspects of it, anyway.

Infor­ma­tion from these scans increas­ing­ly is able to sug­gest whether a child will have trou­ble with math, say, or whether some­one with men­tal ill­ness is going to respond to a par­tic­u­lar treat­ment, accord­ing to a review of dozens of stud­ies pub­lished Wednes­day in the jour­nal Neuron.

The review found “grow­ing evi­dence that brain mea­sures can pre­dict future out­comes or behav­iors,” says John Gabrieli, a brain sci­en­tist at MIT and the review’s lead author. And the results are often “bet­ter than cur­rent­ly avail­able tests or clin­i­cal mea­sures,” he says.

The find­ing sug­gests that edu­ca­tors and men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als could soon have new tools to help them decide how to assist a strug­gling stu­dent or patient…predictive brain scans are not ready for use in the gen­er­al pub­lic, says Gabrieli. “We’re not with­in a year of using any of these,” he says. “But we might be with­in some­thing like five years.””

Study: Pre­dic­tion as a Human­i­tar­i­an and Prag­mat­ic Con­tri­bu­tion from Human Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science (Neu­ron)

  • From the abstract: Neu­roimag­ing has great­ly enhanced the cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science under­stand­ing of the human brain and its vari­a­tion across indi­vid­u­als (neu­ro­di­ver­si­ty) in both health and dis­ease. Such progress has not yet, how­ev­er, pro­pelled changes in edu­ca­tion­al or med­ical prac­tices that improve people’s lives. We review neu­roimag­ing find­ings in which ini­tial brain mea­sures (neu­ro­mark­ers) are cor­re­lat­ed with or pre­dict future edu­ca­tion, learn­ing, and per­for­mance in chil­dren and adults; crim­i­nal­i­ty; health-relat­ed behav­iors; and respons­es to phar­ma­co­log­i­cal or behav­ioral treat­ments. Neu­ro­mark­ers often pro­vide bet­ter pre­dic­tions (neu­ro­prog­no­sis), alone or in com­bi­na­tion with oth­er mea­sures, than tra­di­tion­al behav­ioral mea­sures. With fur­ther advances in study designs and analy­ses, neu­ro­mark­ers may offer oppor­tu­ni­ties to per­son­al­ize edu­ca­tion­al and clin­i­cal prac­tices that lead to bet­ter out­comes for people.

–>To learn more about the future of brain health and men­tal health, check out this pre­sen­ta­tion deliv­ered by Dr. Thomas Insel, Direc­tor of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health, at the 2014 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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