Recently, a new study, whose findings appear in the journal “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience”, explores the impact of using cutting-edge technology in order to change brain waves and its subsequent effect on the mood of an individual.
More specifically, the researchers tested the use of transcranial focused ultrasound on the brain waves and mood of the selected participants and concluded that using these ultrasounds on a part of the prefrontal cortex in the brain can help in improving mood.
Transcranial focused ultrasound is a newly developed technology that has been observed to be effective in controlling the pattern of brain waves. By doing so, a number of different effects on the cognition of a person can be achieved.
Previously, researchers used other ways to control brain waves of a person including transcranial direct current stimulation as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation.
While both of these methods provided the scientists with a way to study and control brain waves, new study, is more advanced and precise in comparison. In addition, they help in giving access to deeper parts of the brain for better understanding.
According to the researchers from the new study, animal-based trials including transcranial focused ultrasound have shown that it triggers certain neural activity. Secondly, in humans, the technology has been seen to change activities in different parts of the brain.
Therefore, the main goal of the new study was to see the potential effects of the technology on brain waves which can ultimately help in controlling mood.
Furthermore, such a method could also help in the treatment or management of various neurological as well as psychiatric issues prevalent around the world.
The main area of interest in the new researchers was the right inferior frontal gyrus which is usually linked to mood and similar responses.
In order to look at the effect of the technology on this and other parts of the brain, the researchers conducted two experiments. The recruited participants in both experiments were healthy and had no serious health issues.
Changes in mood using transcranial focused ultrasound were the primary focus in both of the experiments.
The only difference was that the researchers looked only at mood in the first experiment but in the second one, they observed mood along with changes in activities linked to the mood in the brain.
In the first participants, a total of fifty-one participants were recruited who were further divided into two groups with one group being experimental and the other acting as a placebo.
Both groups were given thirty seconds of transcranial focused ultrasounds. The participants were also asked to fill surveys later. Through this experiment, it was discovered that the technology helps in improving moods twenty and thirty minutes after usage.
For the second experiment, only nine participants received transcranial focused ultrasounds. Additionally, the researchers also measured the brain activity of the participants via magnetic resonance imaging.
Through this experiment, it was discovered that transcranial focused ultrasound altered the brain waves of the areas linked to mood and slowed down the activities in the brain generally.
Like the previous experiment, the moods of the participants improved in the second one too. These findings are significant because these are the first to test transcranial focused ultrasound on healthy participants.
In the future, the researchers hope to uncover the mechanism behind how brain waves change the mood in a person.