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Neuroskeptic

Neuroskeptic
For years, I and others have been arguingthat the current system of publishing science is broken. Publishing and peer-reviewing work only after the study's been conducted and the data analysed allows bad practices - such as selective publication of desirable findings, and running multiple statistical tests to find positive results - to run rampant. So I was extremely interested when I received an email from Jona Sassenhagen, of the University of Marburg, with subject line:Unilaterally raising the standard. Sassenhagen explained that he's chose to pre-register a neuroscience study on a public database, the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS). His project, Alignment of Late Positive ERP Components to Linguistic Deviations ("P600"), is designed to use EEG to test whether the brain generates a distinct electrical response - the P600 - in response to seeing grammatical errors.

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The brain scan that can read people's intentions A team of world-leading neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a person's brain and read their intentions before they act. The research breaks controversial new ground in scientists' ability to probe people's minds and eavesdrop on their thoughts, and raises serious ethical issues over how brain-reading technology may be used in the future. The team used high-resolution brain scans to identify patterns of activity before translating them into meaningful thoughts, revealing what a person planned to do in the near future. It is the first time scientists have succeeded in reading intentions in this way. "Using the scanner, we could look around the brain for this information and read out something that from the outside there's no way you could possibly tell is in there.

High fat diets and depression: a look in mice Only a few weeks ago I looked at a study on fast food consumption and depression, and only a few days ago I talked about a brand new study looking at high fat diets and protection from heart attack damage. And today, we’ve got another study on high fat diet, this time in mice, and depressive-like behavior. What is the effect of a high fat diet? Well, it appears to be getting more complicated with each new study. But it this study, at least, it looks like diet-induced obesity might produce depressive-like effects in mice.

I deleted my Facebook account Today I joined a growing number of dissatisfied former Facebook users by deleting my account. For me, the last straw was when Facebook removed the “interests” section from my profile because I wasn’t willing to link those interests to advertisements for things I was interested in. Facebook made this creepy decision because it doesn’t want the same things that I do. Night Photography - Digital Photography Tutorial [ Print-friendly ] Night photography has an attraction all its own. There's something about scintillating lights from office windows hanging in the dark of the night -- a modern version of the starry skies -- that appeal to us.

Can mental activity protect against memory problems in multiple sclerosis? A new study shows that a mentally active lifestyle may protect against the memory and learning problems that often occur in multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is published in the June 15, 2010, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "Many people with MS struggle with learning and memory problems. This study shows that a mentally active lifestyle might reduce the harmful effects of brain damage on learning and memory. That is, learning and memory ability remained quite good in people with enriching lifestyles, even if they had a lot of brain damage (brain atrophy on brain scans). In contrast, persons with lesser mentally active lifestyles were more likely to suffer learning and memory problems, even at milder levels of brain damage," said study author James Sumowski, PhD, with the Kessler Foundation Research Center in West Orange, New Jersey.

Neuroscience Coverage: Media Distorts, Bloggers Rule Brain as Icon “Superwoman has been rumbled,” declared a Daily Telegraph article in 2001 that chronicled how the human brain’s inability to “multitask” undercuts the prospects for a woman to juggle career and family with any measure of success. The brain as media icon has emerged repeatedly in recent years as new imaging techniques have proliferated—and, as a symbol, it seems to confuse as much as enlighten.

Building Wealth- Income and Expenditure Of course the math is simple- if you want to build wealth, there are only two main ingredients. 1) Make more money than you spend, and save the difference. 2) Get a decent rate of return on your savings. Most of this blog focuses on step 2. For step 1 which I touch on only from time to time, I largely avoid the topic of income, as that’s something that is closely tied to one’s profession. THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM For many years, scientists’ understanding of how the brain processes language was rather simple: they believed that Wernicke’s area interpreted the words that we hear or read, then relayed this information via a dense bundle of fibres to Broca’s area, which generated any words that we spoke in response. But subsequent experiments with brain imaging have revealed the existence of a third region of the brain that is also indispensable for language. This region is the inferior parietal lobule, also known as “Geschwind’s territory”, in honour of the American neurologist Norman Geschwind, who foresaw its importance as early as the 1960s. Brain imaging studies have now shown that the inferior parietal lobule (angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus) is connected by large bundles of nerve fibres to both Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. The inferior parietal lobule is one of the last structures of the human brain to have developed in the course of evolution.

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