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Brain Scans Can Detect Who Has Better Skills, Research Says

Wednesday October 3, 2018. 10:41 PM , from Slashdot
To gain new insight into how highly specialized workers learn skills or react to stressful situations, researchers are leveraging advanced scanning technologies to look at what's happening inside the brain. From a report: In the latest findings, a team of researchers studied surgeons as they performed surgical simulations and found they could identify novice from experienced surgeons by analyzing brain scans taken as the physicians worked [The story could be paywalled]. The researchers, who described their findings Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, said that the part of the brain involved in planning complex behaviors was more active in the novices. Skilled surgeons had more activity in the motor cortex, which is important for movement. The researchers, who developed a machine-learning system to analyze the scans, also showed that training resulted in a shift toward higher activity in the motor cortex. In total, the brains of roughly 30 surgeons and trainees were monitored while they performed pattern-cutting tasks that are part of professional tests for certifications. The brain-data metrics were more accurate than current professional tests used to assess the same manual skills, according to the study.

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