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Relation between the mental model and brain function measured by functional neuroimaging

Grant number: 15/24233-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Li Li Min
Grantee:Gabriela Salim Spagnol
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (FCM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID

Abstract

The theory of mental models presupposes the existence of different brain functioning styles to problem solving. The theoretical construct has two main operating models; the operating style, characterized by the focus on the operation and the pursuit of accuracy, reliability, efficiency, prudence, discipline and compliance, with a pronounced concern with problem solving; and the strategic style, characterized by low adherence to standards, sometimes considered undisciplined, capable of tangential thinking and to pursue an innovative approach to tasks and problems. Although these styles are seen in our daily life and can be classified by behavioral descriptive methods, there is not a biological correlate to support this theory. The central objective of this work is to test the hypothesis of theoretical constructs of mental models through brain images, trying to detect significant differences in neural activation patterns and set a related physiological marker for operational and strategic mindsets. We well recruit volunteers and apply the test Questionnaire for Personal Inclinations (QIP®, in Portuguese) to classify the mental model. Participants will be divided into two groups of mental models (operating vs. strategic) each made up of 15 volunteers. These groups will be matched for age, sex and education. Psychometric tests will be applied to compare the performance of these groups. Volunteers will be submitted to the examination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) equipment Philips, Achieva, 3T. We will make the acquisition of resting-state and activation paradigm. We will use block design (on-off) to assess activation in three states: making simple decision (visual search of objects on images), complex decision-making (one chess move) and subjective perception (Rorschach figure). We will use SPM12 for fMRI analysis of images. Thus, we expect to check if there is a neurobiological match for theoretical mental constructs.