Brain Imaging Analysis Can Identify Participants under Regular Mental Training
by João R. Sato, Elisa H. Kozasa, Tamara A. Russell, João Radvany, Luiz E. A. M. Mello, Shirley S. Lacerda, Edson Amaro
Multivariate pattern recognition approaches have become a prominent tool in neuroimaging data analysis. These methods enable the classification of groups of participants (e.g. controls and patients) on the basis of subtly different patterns across the whole brain. This study demonstrates that these methods can be used, in combination with automated morphometric analysis of structural MRI, to determine with great accuracy whether a single subject has been engaged in regular mental training or not. The proposed approach allowed us to identify with 94.87% accuracy (p<0.001) if a given participant is a regular meditator (from a sample of 19 regular meditators and 20 non-meditators). Neuroimaging has been a relevant tool for diagnosing neurological and psychiatric impairments. This study may suggest a novel step forward: the emergence of a new field in brain imaging applications, in which participants could be identified based on their mental experience.
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