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Artists 'have structurally different brains'

Artists 'have structurally different brains'
17 April 2014Last updated at 05:35 ET By Melissa Hogenboom Science reporter, BBC Radio Science Brain scans revealed artists have more grey matter in parts of their brains Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found. Participants' brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery. The research, published in NeuroImage, suggests that an artist's talent could be innate. But training and environmental upbringing also play crucial roles in their ability, the authors report. As in many areas of science, the exact interplay of nature and nurture remains unclear. Lead author Rebecca Chamberlain from KU Leuven, Belgium, said she was interested in finding out how artists saw the world differently. In their small study, researchers peered into the brains of 21 art students and compared them to 23 non-artists using a scanning method called voxel-based morphometry. Alice Shirley - artist Related:  Art & ScienceNeuroscience

Art, Science and the Sublime: 3 questions with Anna Dumitriu » IAI TV Is the Romantic idea of the sublime still relevant? Yes, says Anna Dumitriu, and not just for art, but for science too. Anna Dumitriu is a Brighton-based contemporary artist best known for her work in bio-art. Her practice encompasses installations, interventions and performances, often incorporating diverse materials such as bacteria, robotics, digital projections and embroidery, Dumitriu seeks to blur the boundaries between the arts and the sciences. Dumitriu is founder and Director of the Institute of Unnecessary Research and lead artist on the "Trust me, I'm an artist: towards an ethics of art/science collaboration" project working with the Waag Society in Amsterdam. Nature has always been one of the most powerful ways of accessing the sublime. Science is a means of study the natural world, in all its forms, and for making predictions about it. Is science is encroaching on art’s territory, or vice-versa? The sublime an experience somewhere between terror and awe.

Empathy for others’ pain rooted in cognition rather than sensation, CU-Boulder study finds | News Center The ability to understand and empathize with others’ pain is grounded in cognitive neural processes rather than sensory ones, according to the results of a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The findings show that the act of perceiving others’ pain (i.e., empathy for others’ pain) does not appear to involve the same neural circuitry as experiencing pain in one’s own body, suggesting that they are different interactions within the brain. “The research suggests that empathy is a deliberative process that requires taking another person’s perspective rather than being an instinctive, automatic process,” said Tor Wager, the senior author of the study, director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU-Boulder. A study detailing the results was published online today in the journal eLife. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided funding for the study.

Hz #17 -"FEELTRACE and the Emotions (after Charles Darwin)" Rapid changes in science, technology and new media will lead to more sophisticated ideas about what it means to be human, in thought, body, emotional response and artistic expression. New relationships will form between humans, machines and animals with the human functioning as a networked resource that can be accessed globally over the internet. Genetically emotionally or otherwise enhanced individuals could become the fashionable norm; synthetic biology could replace plastic surgery, with the further complication of not knowing where those genetic modifications will take them as individuals or us as a species. This paper documents both the technical and theoretical development of the collaborative interactive new media video project "The Emotions (after Charles Darwin)" which explores some of the above concepts. Keywords Donald E. "No Longer is human existence defined by its unique temporal and spatial coordinate; one body, one life in a specific space and time. Testing at the BMI Lab

Man Missing Most Of His Brain Challenges Everything We Thought We Knew About Consciousness Yet miraculously, the man was not only fully conscious, but lived a rich and unhindered life, working as a civil servant and living with his wife and two kids, blissfully unaware of the gaping hole in his brain. His ability to function without so many of the key brain regions previously considered vital for consciousness raises some major questions about existing theories regarding how the brain works and the mechanisms underlying our awareness. For example, neuroscientists have often asserted that a brain region called the thalamus, which relays sensory signals to the cerebral cortex, is indispensable for consciousness. Similarly, researchers have shown that it is possible to cause people to lose consciousness by using electrodes to manipulate the activity of a brain region called the claustrum, which receives input from a wide variety of brain areas and communicates extensively with the thalamus.

Harvard’s Biovions vs. Sandra Bullock’s Gravity: Should We Use Art to Teach Science? If you haven’t seen the mesmerizing video, “The Inner Life of the Cell” produced by Harvard University in 2007, take a moment to watch it below. The video is fascinating. With beautifully choreographed animation, the stunning visuals and music will captivate any audience. The video makes science not only enchanting, but approachable. If you didn’t feel like you knew how cells lived and worked before, watching this video would put you right in the cells’ world and teach you first hand. Harvard University has used this video to teach undergraduate and medical students about cell biology. Perhaps no surprise, the videos produced by the Biovisions project have won several awards. Why am I so amazed? In the Biovions videos, we see very realistic, albeit artistically rendered, animations that are intended to represent—to mimic—the life of a cell. Recently, Warner Brothers launched an equally mesmerizing film starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock: Gravity. Help spread visual literacy.

mcb80x Art and Neuroscience: a State of the Union To prepare for Thursday’s This is Your Brain on Art panel at 3rd Ward, in Brooklyn, NY, I outlined several distinct approaches in the current conversation between art and neuroscience, a field of inquiry often dubbed neuroaesthetics. The following outline is most likely incomplete. It is an attempt to quickly organize the many strains of research and thought on these issues, so please post any additions you think of in the comments section below. I tried to identify a few lines of inquiry into the relationship between art and the brain, and to describe the angle of each line’s approach to that relationship. Here are three approaches: 1. This is the approach that studies what happens to art when it enters the brain: how our brains reconstruct, assess, and fasten judgement to works of art. This approach can focus on any artform as it enters the brain, such as: Visual art. 2. Some further thoughts on these parallels, specific to film. 3.

Your Brain Has A DELETE Button And Here's How To Use It! There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” This means the more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. This is why, to quote another old saw, “practice makes perfect”. The more you practice piano, or speaking a language, or juggling, the stronger those circuits get. Scientists have known this for years. However, nowadays researchers learn another part of the truth: In order to learn something, even more important than practicing is the ability to unlearn, or to break down the old neural connections. This is how it works: Imagine your brain is a garden, except instead of growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables, you grow synaptic connections between neurons. “Glial cells” are the gardeners of your brain—they act to speed up signals between certain neurons. This is how your brain makes the physical space for you to build new and stronger connections so you can learn more. This is why sleep matters:

The Dense Microcosmic Worlds of Painter Robert S. Connett Since he was a child, Robert S. Connett was fascinated by nature. And not just any type of nature, but the tiny worlds that quietly exist without being discovered. They thrive under rocks and under microscopes and Connett was the kid who went out looking for them, bringing home everything from spiders and earwigs to snakes. This perhaps explains the self-taught painter’s equally fascinating worlds he conjures on a canvas, often in painstaking detail. These “underworlds,” as Connett describes them, are often comprised of densely populated organisms. The organisms are a combination of accurate depictions based on scientific observation, as well as plucked from the artist’s own mind. detail of “MICROVERSE II” (2015) “MICROCOSMIC GARDEN,” detail Sea Flowers (2014)

Scientists Surprised to Find No Two Neurons Are Genetically Alike The past few decades have seen intensive efforts to find the genetic roots of neurological disorders, from schizophrenia to autism. But the genes singled out so far have provided only sketchy clues. Even the most important genetic risk factors identified for autism, for example, may account for only a few percent of all cases. Much frustration stems from the realization that the key mutations elevating disease risk tend to be rare because they are less likely to be passed on to offspring. Accepted dogma holds that—although every cell in the body contains its own DNA—the genetic instructions in each cell nucleus are identical. A paper published on April 28 in Science by a group founded two years ago—the Brain Somatic Mosaicism Network (BSMN)—outlines a research agenda for using new technologies to explore the genetic diversity found in each cell and to investigate what links, if any, tie such mutations to a variety of neurological conditions.

Merging art with science Through a series of profile stories, ScienceNetwork WA takes a look at the people behind the science in Western Australia and what inspires them. AS A kid mesmerised by art Eleanor Gates-Stuart did not have an inkling where this passion would take her in life. She had no idea it would send her to the depths of the world’s biggest gold mine in outback WA, to labs in California to understand the ID coding of fingerprints, to Taiwan to work as a professor of ‘techno arts’. She could never have envisaged that one day she’d lure crowds of hundreds of thousands to watch giant insects projected onto buildings in Canberra, for bringing about the production of perfectly scaled titanimum weevils, for fusing science, art and communication together in a riotous array of artworks, scientific papers and scientific collaborations. And she probably never envisaged herself in Perth. Among her many projects was a Science Arts Commission which allowed Dr Gates-Stuart to examine the 100-year history of wheat.

Neuroscientists Discover a Song That Reduces Anxiety By 65 Percent (Listen) Anxiety — that feeling of dread, fear, worry and panic — is certainly nothing new. Hippocrates wrote about it in the fourth century BCE. As did Søren Kierkegaard in the 1860s. And Sigmund Freud addressed the disorder in 1926. However, jump to the present and we’re seeing a significant uptick — especially with youth. Pharmaceutical drugs tend to be the classic treatment for treating anxiety (as well as the biggest money maker). Anxiety & Generation Y A 2013 survey found that 57 percent of American female university students reported episodes of “overwhelming anxiety.” Marjorie Wallace, CEO of the charity Sane, believes that generation Y (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) is the age of desperation. Writes Rachael Dove in Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y: “So, what’s going on? Writer Claire Eastham, 26, agrees on her blog We Are All Mad Here: “I spend a lot of time worrying about what I am going to do with my life. Technology also contributes to the rise of anxiety.

Arts/Sciences #19: Jonas Degrave Does Artificial Intelligence understand Culture made by Real Intelligence? Art in the age of the deep learning singularity. Over the last years, remarkable breakthroughs have made clear that the scientific community is on a path towards General Purpose Artificial Intelligence, an algorithm which can do everything mankind can do, and probably more. Deep learning, an approach based on artificial neural networks, seems to show a hint of what such an AI might look like. Leaps of progress have been made in the area of various type of media, such as text, images and video. In this lecture, we'll go out on a leg and explain the philosophical issues we see looming at the horizon of AI. About Jonas Degrave Jonas Degrave (1989, Veurne) is Phd researcher in the area of robotics and machine learning at Ghent University.

Study uncovers how brain damage increases religious fundamentalism Research has found religious belief is associated with certain regions of the human brain, but there is still much to learn about how these areas influence religious belief. A new study in the journal Neuropsychologia found that lesions in a particular brain region tend to increase religious fundamentalism. “Human beliefs, and in this case religious beliefs, are one of the cognitive and social knowledge stores that distinguish us from other species and are an indication of how evolution and cognitive/social processes influenced the development of the human brain,” Jordan Grafman of Northwestern University, the study’s corresponding author, told PsyPost. Grafman and his colleagues examined male Vietnam combat veterans with lesions to part of the brain known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. They found veterans with these lesions reported higher levels of religious fundamentalism compared to those without the lesions. Grafman cautioned that the results of the study were limited.