Neuroscientists reveal magicians' secrets - Technology & science - Science - LiveScience NEW YORK — There is a place for magic in science. Five years ago, on a trip to Las Vegas, neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde realized that a partnership was in order with a profession that has an older and more intuitive understanding of how the human brain works. Magicians, it seems, have an advantage over neuroscientists. "Scientists have only studied cognitive illusions for a few decades. Magicians have studied them for hundreds, if not thousands, of years," Martinez-Conde told the audience during a recent presentation here at the New York Academy of Sciences. [ Video: Your Brain on Magic ] She and Macknik, her husband, use illusions as a tool to study how the brain works. After their epiphany in Las Vegas, where they were preparing for a conference on consciousness, the duo, who both direct laboratories at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona, teamed up with magicians to learn just how they harness the foibles of our brains. Most popular
Neuromarketing Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing research that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) and Steady state topography (SST) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state, also known as biometrics, including (heart rate and respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. Neuromarketing research raised interest for both academic and business side. In fact, certain companies, particularly those with large-scale goals, have invested in their own laboratories, science personnel and / or partnerships with academia.  The word "neuromarketing" was coined by Ale Smidts in 2002. Coke vs.
Scientists extract images directly from brain ::: Pink Tentacle Researchers from Japan's ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person's mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people's dreams while they sleep. The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Then, when the test subjects were shown a completely new set of images, such as the letters N-E-U-R-O-N, the system was able to reconstruct and display what the test subjects were viewing based solely on their brain activity. For now, the system is only able to reproduce simple black-and-white images. "These results are a breakthrough in terms of understanding brain activity," says Dr. The research results appear in the December 11 issue of US science journal Neuron. [Source: Chunichi]
Technology Review: Brain Coprocessors Ed Boyden, an Assistant Professor, Biological Engineering, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, will give a presentation on using light to study and treat brain disorders at 3.30pm on Wednesday at EmTech 2010. Watch a live feed of the session here. The last few decades have seen a surge of invention of technologies that enable the observation or perturbation of information in the brain. Functional MRI, which measures blood flow changes associated with brain activity, is being explored for purposes as diverse as lie detection, prediction of human decision making, and assessment of language recovery after stroke. Implanted electrical stimulators, which enable control of neural circuit activity, are borne by hundreds of thousands of people to treat conditions such as deafness, Parkinson’s disease, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Blue Brain Project The Dark Side of Oxytocin, the Hormone of Love - Ethnocentrism Yes, you knew there had to be a catch. As oxytocin comes into sharper focus, its social radius of action turns out to have definite limits. The love and trust it promotes are not toward the world in general, just toward a person’s in-group. Oxytocin turns out to be the hormone of the clan, not of universal brotherhood. A principal author of the new take on oxytocin is Carsten K. In a report published last year in Science, based on experiments in which subjects distributed money, he and colleagues showed that doses of oxytocin made people more likely to favor the in-group at the expense of an out-group. These nationalities were chosen because of a 2005 poll that showed that 51 percent of Dutch citizens held unfavorable opinions about Muslims, and other surveys that Germans, although seen by the Dutch as less threatening, were nevertheless regarded as “aggressive, arrogant and cold.” Well-socialized Dutch students might be unlikely to say anything derogatory about other groups. In Dr.
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