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Perceptual and cognitive changes induced by decoded fMRI neurofeedback

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Real-time fMRI neurofeedback methods have been increasingly popular in cognitive neuroscience fields. A major reason for this is that real-time fMRI neurofeedback methods have potential to allow researchers to test whether a brain region is causally related to a certain type of information processing related to perception, cognition, and behavior. However, there are several methodological concerns about conventional neurofeedback methods. To address these concerns, we recently developed a new real-time fMRI neurofeedback method, which we call decoded fMRI neurofeedback (DecNef; Shibata et al., Science, 2011). In this talk, I will present two our recent studies using DecNef. In the first study, we found that visual perceptual learning of an orientation can be induced by DecNef. In the second study, we show that a higher socio-cognitive function, facial preference, can be changed by DecNef. Our studies show that DecNef can work as a powerful tool for cognitive neuroscience to better clarify causal relationships between a brain region and a certain type of information processing in humans.

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