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.
02.22.2010 - An afternoon nap markedly boosts the brain’s learning capacity If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don’t roll your eyes. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that an hour’s nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter. Students who napped (green column) did markedly better in memorizing tests than their no-nap counterparts.
Brain innately separates living and non-living objects for proce For unknown reasons, the human brain distinctly separates the handling of images of living things from images of non-living things, processing each image type in a different area of the brain. For years, many scientists have assumed the brain segregated visual information in this manner to optimize processing the images themselves, but new research shows that even in people who have been blind since birth the brain still separates the concepts of living and non-living objects. The research, published in today's issue of Neuron, implies that the brain categorizes objects based on the different types of subsequent consideration they demand—such as whether an object is edible, or is a landmark on the way home, or is a predator to run from. They are not categorized entirely by their appearance. "When we looked at the MRI scans, it was pretty clear that blind people and sighted people were dividing up living and non-living processing in the same way," says Mahon. Story source
How Friends Ruin Memory: The Social Conformity Effect Humans are storytelling machines. We don’t passively perceive the world – we tell stories about it, translating the helter-skelter of events into tidy narratives. This is often a helpful habit, helping us make sense of mistakes, consider counterfactuals and extract a sense of meaning from the randomness of life. But our love of stories comes with a serious side-effect: like all good narrators, we tend to forsake the facts when they interfere with the plot. We’re so addicted to the anecdote that we let the truth slip away until, eventually, those stories we tell again and again become exercises in pure fiction. Just the other day I learned that one of my cherished childhood tales – the time my older brother put hot peppers in my Chinese food while I was in the bathroom, thus scorching my young tongue – actually happened to my little sister.
The Ten Most Revealing Psych Experiments Psychology is the study of the human mind and mental processes in relation to human behaviors - human nature. Due to its subject matter, psychology is not considered a 'hard' science, even though psychologists do experiment and publish their findings in respected journals. Some of the experiments psychologists have conducted over the years reveal things about the way we humans think and behave that we might not want to embrace, but which can at least help keep us humble.
The Cloud and Collaboration Paper written as a contribution to the Ars Electronica symposium on Cloud Intelligence. Let's take as a starting point the discussion of 'cloud intelligence' on the conference website: In the cloud of connections, we each become social neurons, mimicking the biological human brain but on a giant scale. This collective knowledge is far beyond anything a single search engine could index and archive.
How Our Brains Make Memories Sitting at a sidewalk café in Montreal on a sunny morning, Karim Nader recalls the day eight years earlier when two planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. He lights a cigarette and waves his hands in the air to sketch the scene. At the time of the attack, Nader was a postdoctoral researcher at New York University. He flipped the radio on while getting ready to go to work and heard the banter of the morning disc jockeys turn panicky as they related the events unfolding in Lower Manhattan. Nader ran to the roof of his apartment building, where he had a view of the towers less than two miles away. He stood there, stunned, as they burned and fell, thinking to himself, “No way, man.
Tactile-Kinestheti Tactile-Kinesthetic Learners Making up about 5% of the population, tactile and kinesthetic learners absorb information best by doing, experiencing, touching, moving or being active in some way. Enjoy feeling, discovery and action Remember by using tools, building models and manipulating things Learn through emotions, touch, movement and space Enjoy demonstrations of concept demonstrations Master skills through imitation and practice. Benefit from hands-on teaching techniques Find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time. Remember who did what in the past, rather than what they said or how they looked.
Guide to Getting Started in Machine Learning Someone at work recently asked how he should go about studying machine learning on his own. So I’m putting together a little guide. This post will be a living document…I’ll keep adding to it, so please suggest additions and make comments. Fortunately, there’s a ton of great resources that are free and on the web. The very best way to get started that I can think of is to read chapter one of The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction (2009 edition).
Weight Loss Improves Memory John Gunstad, an associate professor in Kent State University’s Department of Psychology, and a team of researchers have discovered a link between weight loss and improved memory and concentration. The study shows that bariatric surgery patients exhibited improved memory function 12 weeks after their operations. “The initial idea came from our clinical work,” Gunstad said. “I was working at Brown Medical School in Rhode Island at the time and had the chance to work with a large number of people who were looking to lose weight through either behavioral means or weight loss surgery.” of Gunstad discussing his research
Biofeedback Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will. Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception. Biofeedback may be used to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes that often occur in conjunction with changes to thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Eventually, these changes may be maintained without the use of extra equipment, even though no equipment is necessarily required to practice biofeedback. Biofeedback has been found to be effective for the treatment of headaches and migraines.
Neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine and allied disciplines, philosophy, physics, and psychology. It also exerts influence on other fields, such as neuroeducation and neurolaw. The term neurobiology is usually used interchangeably with the term neuroscience, although the former refers specifically to the biology of the nervous system, whereas the latter refers to the entire science of the nervous system.