|An fMRI image, taken at the exact instant an fMRI researcher thought about fMRI research on fMRI researchers, has pretty colors.|
Dr. Morto Salmone, the Editor-in-Chief of Online Publishing Module #437- Brain Connections and Such, is particularly excited about the new study:
"Functional MRI obsession is an understudied condition with an unknown cause that can only be diagnosed by its symptoms. This study is an important first step in understanding how the brain is involved in the widespread employment of reverse inferences that is so characteristic of the disorder."
For the study, 15 researchers with classic symptoms of fMRI obsession, and 20 healthy volunteers that were hanging out at an area Dave & Busters with nothing better to do, underwent fMRI scanning while exposed to images culled from a variety of previous fMRI studies. Prior to this test, the machines had been calibrated to account for each participant's level of pattern recognition. Studies performed in the past have demonstrated that pattern recognition may be dependent on genetic expression and is unique to an individual. As expected by the researchers, subjects suffering from fMRI obsession found more patterns in randomly generated images.
Interestingly, analysis of the resulting scans showed significant differences in brain patterns between the healthy participants and those with fMRI obsession. The fMRI obsessed researchers showed "functional decoupling," a decreased connectivity between regions devoted to pattern recognition and brain areas involved with executive function. It's all very interesting, and only a stupid person would be confused by this.
The authors suggest this reduction in brain connectivity could impair pattern perception, potentially increasing sensitivity to random noise and pretty, pretty colors. They are calling for additional research into the phenomenon, and for lawmakers to consider stiff prison sentences for researchers demonstrating symptoms. "It's better to be safe and lock these people up."