A study of what is and isn’t transference in the human brain and the effects it has on cognitive functioning has been controversial.
The authors say their findings are consistent with the idea that there are distinct brain processes that help us process information.
They argue that these processes are particularly useful in the context of trauma.
For example, in some cases people who are traumatized may have difficulty in processing information about a traumatic event and may be unable to learn from it.
“We’ve all had to struggle with trauma for a long time, whether we realize it or not,” said lead author Dr. Mark R. Smith, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and a professor in the department of psychology.
“In fact, we may not know exactly what happens in the brain during trauma, but we can understand how those brain processes can be disrupted.”
Smith, along with his colleagues from Columbia University and the University of Illinois, are publishing their study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
The paper is the first to describe how transference can be influenced in a human brain.
Transference has been proposed to be a process whereby the brain perceives an external object in its environment as something that it should not or cannot be, or as something it should.
For instance, people may perceive an object as a dangerous object or a frightening object or an object that could cause harm to others, Smith said.
A key finding in the study was that when people experience a traumatic experience, their brains show distinct neural activity that changes over time.
When the neural activity changes, the brain appears to change its neural processes.
The brain then adjusts its neural processing in response to this altered neural activity.
“These changes in neural processing are thought to help us better predict how someone will react to traumatic experiences,” Smith said in a press release.
For the study, the scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see how brain activity changes in response, over time, to different types of information in a brain scan.
The researchers focused on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is a region of the brain that processes spatial and visual information, and the limbic system, which is the part of the cortex that processes emotions and emotions-related thought.
When they looked at the PFC activity of people with PTSD, the researchers found that the PFA activity decreased over time in response and the PTA activity increased.
But, in people who had PTSD but had not experienced a traumatic trauma, the PPA activity remained constant, Smith explained.
“It’s not clear why the PCA activity increases when someone is experiencing a traumatic memory,” Smith explained, “but it is possible that this increases neural processing during a traumatic exposure.”
The PPA also shows changes when people are exposed to new memories.
“When you experience a new memory, you can increase the PRA activity,” Smith added.
“This is because you are responding to the memory differently from when you didn’t experience a memory, and that different response increases the activation of your PRA.”
The authors note that it is important to note that the neural response to a new traumatic memory can be altered in different ways.
For one, it can change over time and be influenced by factors such as how much of the memory is stored in the prefrontal region and the amount of information that is processed in the limb.
In people with trauma, however, these changes are much more subtle.
“The changes that we see in the PIA in people with an injury or trauma are subtle and they can be masked by the changes in brain activity,” said Smith.
The results of the study also support the idea of differences in the way that the brain processes information.
For some, the way in which information is processed is more important than the specific content.
“There is a strong possibility that these differences may affect our ability to process the experience of trauma and to learn about it,” said researcher Dr. David J. Roesch, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Iola College of Medicine.
In this way, these differences could help people better process traumatic memories and how to learn and cope with trauma.
“Our work provides new evidence that some aspects of brain functioning are altered when we experience a trauma,” Roescht said.
“However, there are important limitations to this research.
We can’t say whether this is the case in everyone, and there are many different ways to look at the brain.
We have to be careful about the interpretation of these results, because they are preliminary.
We need more research to determine if these differences can be explained by changes in the neural circuitry underlying trauma processing.”