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Abstract thoughts in the brain are commonly experienced by humans in daily life. The processing of our brain of things that are commonly linked with our feelings, including music, language, and art, are all abstractions. In a recent study, these mental abstractions are found to be correlated with the region of our brain that is responsible for economic value and rewards.

How Do Abstract Thoughts Work?

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(Photo: Fiona Art from Pexels)

Most abstract thoughts utilize our immediate sensory reality to consolidate the information we can recognize for application. Our senses put a lot of effort into going through the whole cycle of information streaming. This is done by analyzing every bit of complicated information we acquire and transforming it into a simpler version that our thought process can grasp.

Research on the brain's abstraction has been recently examined to determine how our minds recast billions of information into a plain, straightforward thought. The experts chose artificial intelligence-powered technology to study the attributes and methods applied to our abstract thoughts and how it helps us get through the day by finding solutions to real-life problems.

Abstract thoughts were examined by neurology experts from prestigious institutions using the combined technology of algorithm, classic brain imaging, and machine learning. With the collection of technology from AI specialists and expertise from neuroscientists, the process of how the brain works through abstractions was found in the study published in the journal eLife Neuroscience, titled "Value Signals Guide Abstraction During Learning.'

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Brain's Abstract Thoughts: Mental Abstractions, Economic Value, and Visual Stimuli

Based on the research, the brain system responsible for the rewards and benefits, also known as the economic value, excessively throws signals to the region that manages visual processing. The value signals transported across the two regions were determined to be a crucial aspect of intelligence. From the curated value signals, the brain will then select specific information to form abstract thoughts.

The research on the mental abstractions, according to a report by Medical Xpress, can be a potential key to neurological advancements and future studies. The correlation between the value signals and mental abstractions can also be utilized in psychiatric disorder treatments, rehabilitation, and new aspects in AI technology development.

Abstract thoughts on the brain were tested in the research through problem-solving. The test was conducted through a screen while the subjects are in magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. In the examination, the subjects were given a reward if they answer the problems correctly. The subjects have two available solutions to answer the problems, including responses based on the information presented on the screens or through an answer that required abstract thoughts.

The research shows that the group who used the mental abstraction option when answering the problems had their signals fused with the mental region where valuables and rewards are prioritized.

Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International's chief researcher and lead author of the study Aurelio Cortese said that the study allowed the team to identify the connection between the basic visual stimuli and the complexity of the mental abstraction process. According to a report by Mirage News, Cortese said that the study could contribute to the ongoing venture of the neuroscience community regarding the constant presence of value signals observed in any brain activity almost every time.

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