Brain Waves The human brain is more complex than your scientists suspect. They are busily mapping where certain functions occur, and how parts of the brain activate in syncronicity. They know that parts of the brain, near the stem, are older than, for instance, the forebrain, and that a human can survive remarkably well with only half a brain, as long as that half is either the right or left, intact. But what your scientists do not know is that beyond the old brain and the new, the subconscious and the conscious, the right and the left halves - there are yet more subdivisions of the human brain.
Decision-Making and Control in the Brain Damage to the brain's frontal lobe is known to impair one's ability to think and make choices. And now scientists say they've pinpointed the different parts of this brain region that preside over reasoning, self-control and decision-making. Researchers say the data could help doctors determine what specific cognitive obstacles their patients might face after a brain injury. For the study, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) examined 30 years worth of data from the University of Iowa's brain lesion patient registry and mapped brain activity in almost 350 people with lesions in their frontal lobes. They linked these maps with data on how each patient performed in certain cognitive tasks. MRI scans of a human brain show the regions significantly associated with decision-making in blue, and the regions significantly associated with behavioral control in red.
Intute: Encouraging Critical Thinking Online Encouraging Critical Thinking Online is a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students' analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. Two units are currently available, each consisting of a series of exercises for classroom or seminar use. Students are invited to explore the Web and find a number of sites which address the selected topic, and then, in a teacher-led group discussion, to share and discuss their findings.
Brain Structures and Their Functions The nervous system is your body's decision and communication center. The central nervous system (CNS) is made of the brain and the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is made of nerves. Together they control every part of your daily life, from breathing and blinking to helping you memorize facts for a test. Nerves reach from your brain to your face, ears, eyes, nose, and spinal cord... and from the spinal cord to the rest of your body. Sensory nerves gather information from the environment, send that info to the spinal cord, which then speed the message to the brain. The brain then makes sense of that message and fires off a response.
UCSB scientists discover how the brain encodes memories at a cellular level (Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. "When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen," said senior author Kenneth S. Critical thinking web We have over 100 online tutorials on different aspects of thinking skills. They are organized into modules listed below and in the menu above. Our tutorials are used by universities, community colleges, and high schools around the world.
Neurotechnology Neurotechnology is any technology that has a fundamental influence on how people understand the brain and various aspects of consciousness, thought, and higher order activities in the brain. It also includes technologies that are designed to improve and repair brain function and allow researchers and clinicians to visualize the brain. Background The field of neurotechnology has been around for nearly half a century but has only reached maturity in the last twenty years.
Researchers show that memories reside in specific brain cells Our fond or fearful memories — that first kiss or a bump in the night — leave memory traces that we may conjure up in the remembrance of things past, complete with time, place and all the sensations of the experience. Neuroscientists call these traces memory engrams. But are engrams conceptual, or are they a physical network of neurons in the brain? In a new MIT study, researchers used optogenetics to show that memories really do reside in very specific brain cells, and that simply activating a tiny fraction of brain cells can recall an entire memory — explaining, for example, how Marcel Proust could recapitulate his childhood from the aroma of a once-beloved madeleine cookie. In that famous surgery, Penfield treated epilepsy patients by scooping out parts of the brain where seizures originated.
Wikipedia: Critical Thinking Critical thinking is a type of clear, reasoned thinking. According to Beyer (1995) Critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgements. While in the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned and well thought out/judged. The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.' Etymology
Neurogenesis: How To Grow New Brain Cells Adults can still grow new brain cells — neurogenesis — but what are they for? For a long time scientists believed that neurogenesis was impossible: adults had all the brain cells they were ever going to have. Now we know that’s not true. Imagining the Future Invokes Your Memory I REMEMBER my retirement like it was yesterday. As I recall, I am still working, though not as hard as I did when I was younger. My wife and I still live in the city, where we bicycle a fair amount and stay fit. We have a favorite coffee shop where we read the morning papers and say hello to the other regulars.
OECD: Brain & Learning EDUCERI › Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) - Brain and Learning Is the current classroom model of learning “brain-unfriendly”? Why are students failing to master numeracy and literacy skills efficiently enough to be employable? Why are one out of six students disruptive and school-haters? Since 1999, CERI's “Brain and Learning” project has been working towards a better understanding of the learning processes of an individual’s lifecycle. Neuroplasticity Contrary to conventional thought as expressed in this diagram, brain functions are not confined to certain fixed locations. Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity—it refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly-held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how - and in which ways - the brain changes throughout life. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury.
Is the Purpose of Sleep to Let Our Brains “Defragment,” Like a Hard Drive? Neuroskeptic is a neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field and beyond at the Neuroskeptic blog. Why do we sleep? We spend a third of our lives doing so, and all known animals with a nervous system either sleep, or show some kind of related behaviour. But scientists still don’t know what the point of it is. There are plenty of theories. Some researchers argue that sleep has no specific function, but rather serves as evolution’s way of keeping us inactive, to save energy and keep us safely tucked away at those times of day when there’s not much point being awake.