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How our brain puts the world in order

Bochum researches investigate what happens when we put the world around us in order. They found out which areas of the brain help us to think inside the box (July 2016).

The world around is complex and changing constantly. To put it in order, we devise categories into which we sort new concepts. To do this we apply different strategies. A team of researchers at the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) led by Prof. Dr. Boris Suchan, department of neuropsychology, and Prof. Dr. Onur Güntürkün, department of biopsychology and the Bernstein Focus Neuronal Basis of Learning, wanted to find our which areas of the brain regulate these strategies. The results of their study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show that there are indeed particular brain areas, which become active when a certain strategy of categorisation is applied.

When we categorise objects by comparing it to a prototype, the left fusiform gyrus is activated. This is an area, which is responsible for recognising abstract images. On the other hand, when we compare things to particular examples of a category, there is an activation of the left hippocampus. This field plays an important role for the storage or retrieval of memories. The new results have been published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

Please read more in the complete press release by Ruhr University Bochum.