Brain-computer interface experiment

On April 28th, 2022, Lauren Sanders, a neuroscientist and senior writer, published an article regarding the internal neurological development of kids to teens. Sanders’s primary inquiry surrounded a research article about how the development of what individuals perceive benefits them influences what voices they interact with. Specifically, Sanders’s scope of inference is based on Daniel Abrams’s study where the brain activity of a group of individuals aged seven through 16 was observed to see their responses to the voices of a mother and to unfamiliar voices too.

Abrams posed the idea that the brain activity of teens is piqued by the possibility and mystery of reward when engaging with unfamiliar voices. The biologist and anthropologist Leslie Seltzer continues this conversation by juxtaposing this idea with how kids have more increased brain activity when hearing the voice of their mother. She introduces the theory that our maturity connects to how we are less dependent on a mother figure and more dependent on our peers. Moreover, she extends this research on how powerful the voices of maternal figures have in the reduction of stress hormones.

In an age where communicating messages can be sent over text, Seltzer claims that there exists a power of voice over text where emotions and neurological signals greatly increase by hearing the authentic/emotional message in person. Further research can be conducted on the difference between voice and text, which could provide even more insight into how the increase technology use in teens could influence how teens respond to voices.

These differences in brain activities reminded me of the functions of membrane proteins. One of the significant functions of membrane proteins is signal transduction, where proteins act as receptors for hormone signals and neurotransmitters. On a more micro level, this biological lens informed me of how we humans react and respond to these voices from cell to cell.

I feel that it’s quite early to make full conclusions about causation, especially since the scope of the study is small. It’s hard to draw these connections when there are confounding variables like socioeconomic status and stability in the household, especially if these factors can simply disrupt the fluidity of communication between parental figures and children.

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