Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ed Links Brain Stuff Edition I

Subliminal Learning Demonstrated In Human Brain

Although the idea that instrumental learning can occur subconsciously has been around for nearly a century, it had not been unequivocally demonstrated. Now, new research uses sophisticated perceptual masking, computational modeling, and neuroimaging to show that instrumental learning can occur in the human brain without conscious processing of contextual cues.

How The Brain Compensates For Vision Loss Shows Much More Versatility Than Previously Recognized

New insights into how the brain compensates for loss of sight suggests the brain is more adaptable than previously recognized.

Learning Suffers If Brain Transcript Isn't Transported Far Out To End Of Neurons

Neuroscientists have solved a mystery that lies at the heart of human learning, and they say the solution may help explain some forms of mental retardation as well as provide clues to overall brain functioning.

The Brain Hides Information From Us To Prevent Mistakes

When we notice a mosquito alight on our forearm, we direct our gaze in order to find its exact position and quickly try to swat it or brush it away to prevent it bite us. This apparently simple, instantaneous reaction is the result of a mental process that is much more complex than it may seem.

Brain Noise Is Good: New Study Overturns Notion That Brain Noise Quiets Down With Maturity

Canadian scientists have shown that a noisy brain is a healthy brain. "Brain noise" is a term that has been used by neuroscientists to describe random brain activity that is not important to mental function. Intuitive notions of brain-behavior relationships would suggest that this brain noise quiets down as children mature into adults and become more efficient and consistent in their cognitive processing. But new research overturns this notion.

How Does Language Exist In The Brain?

Despite much research on acquisition of languages amongst monolingual persons, scientists still have to ask themselves basic questions about bilingual acquisition: How do babies realize that they are in a bilingual environment? What are the clues for them in discovering this? How is discrimination between languages produced in infants? The aim of new research is to find out how the brain acquires and manages languages and to discover in what way languages being similar or different is influential in this process.

Transfer Of Learning Traced To Areas Of The Brain

Practice makes perfect, but a question that still remains a mystery is why it is so difficult to transfer learning from a trained to an untrained task? Why are we no better at remembering faces when we have been training our memory for words? Scientists now show in the journal Science that the answer lies in the brain areas activated by each task.

Plastic Brain Outsmarts Experts: Training Can Increase Fluid Intelligence, Once Thought To Be Fixed At Birth

Can human beings rev up their intelligence quotients, or are they stuck with IQs set by their genes at birth? Until recently, nature seemed to be the clear winner over nurture. But new research suggests that at least one aspect of a person's IQ can be improved by training a certain type of memory.

Computer Model Reveals How Brain Represents Meaning

Scientists have taken an important step toward understanding how the human brain codes the meanings of words by creating the first computational model that can predict the unique brain activation patterns associated with names for things that you can see, hear, feel, taste or smell. The model predicts brain activation patterns for thousands of concrete nouns.

How Fairness Is Wired In The Brain

In the biblical story in which two women bring a baby to King Solomon, both claiming to be the mother, he suggests dividing the child so that each woman can have half. Solomon's proposed solution, meant to reveal the real mother, also illustrates an issue central to economics and moral philosophy: how to distribute goods fairly. Researchers have now discovered that the quality of reason struggles with emotion to find equitable solutions, and have pinpointed the region of the brain where this takes place. The concept of fairness, they found, is processed in the insular cortex, or insula, which is also the seat of emotional reactions.

Brain's 'Trust Machinery' Identified

The brain centers triggered by a betrayal of trust have been identified by researchers, who found they could suppress such triggering and maintain trust by administering the brain chemical oxytocin. The researchers said their findings not only offer basic insights into the neural machinery underlying trust; the results may also help in understanding the neural basis of social disorders such as phobias and autism.

Crystal (Eye) Ball: Visual System Equipped With 'Future Seeing Powers'

Catching a football. Maneuvering through a room full of people. Jumping out of the way when a golfer yells "fore." Most would agree these seemingly simple actions require us to perceive and quickly respond to a situation. An assistant professor of cognitive science argues they require something more -- our ability to foresee the future.

Justice In The Brain: Equity And Efficiency Are Encoded Differently

Which is better, giving more food to a few hungry people or letting some food go to waste so that everyone gets a share? A new study finds that most people choose the latter, and that the brain responds in unique ways to inefficiency and inequity.

Depression Diversity: Brain Studies Reveal Big Differences Among Individuals

Depressed people may have far fewer of the receptors for some of the brain's "feel good" stress-response chemicals than non-depressed people, new research shows. And even among depressed people, the numbers of these receptors can vary greatly -- and may be linked with the severity of their symptoms and response to treatment.

Does The Brain Control Muscles Or Movements?

One of the major scientific questions about the brain is how it can translate the simple intent to perform an action -- say, reach for a glass -- into the dynamic, coordinated symphony of muscle movements required for that action.

Psychologists Demonstrate Simplicity Of Working Memory

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but humans may have even less to work with than previously thought. Researchers found that the average person can keep just three or four things in their "working memory" or conscious mind at one time. This finding may lead to better ways to assess and help people with attention-deficit and focus difficulties, improve classroom performance and enhance test scores.

Human Brain Appears 'Hard-wired' For Hierarchy

Human imaging studies have for the first time identified brain circuitry associated with social status. Researchers found that different brain areas are activated when a person moves up or down in a pecking order -- or simply views perceived social superiors or inferiors. Circuitry activated by important events responded to a potential change in hierarchical status as much as it did to winning money, reflecting its influential role in human motivation and health.

1 comment:

Craig Johnson said...

Nice "brain" articles you got there. I used some of them in my research papers about brain vitality.