Showing 100 posts tagged brain

Even worse news for those of us who are cognitively over-the-hill: the researchers find “no evidence that this decline can be attenuated by expertise.” Yes, we get wiser as we get older. But wisdom doesn’t substitute for speed. At best, older players can only hope to compensate “by employing simpler strategies and using the game’s interface more efficiently than younger players,” the authors say.

Your brain is over the hill by age 24

Humans now are trained to scan for the most important bits of information and move on, like how we read online. But that’s not how you’re supposed to read Moby Dick, or Middlemarch. Longer sentences require concentration and attention, not a break to check Twitter every 45 seconds. The Internet, and how it has changed our reading habits, is making it difficult for people, particularly young people, to read classic works of literature because our brains are trained to bob and weave from one piece of writing to the next. And 600 pages is just so many pages, you know? Pagination is like, the worst thing to happen to my life, and without a “Read All” option? Melville definitely needed a UX developer.

The Internet Is Probably Ruining Your Life, Marriage - The Wire

If society expects men to be witless dolts, always ready with a crude joke and ten beers in their stomachs, that’s only because they’re reacting to society’s expectations. In realizing these expectations, they simply exercise the part of their brains that will achieve what is required.

Men’s and women’s brains are the same, says scientist | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

The most accurate simulation of the human brain to date has been carried out in a Japanese supercomputer, with a single second’s worth of activity from just one per cent of the complex organ taking one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers 40 minutes to calculate. Researchers used the K computer in Japan, currently the fourth most powerful in the world, to simulate human brain activity. The computer has 705,024 processor cores and 1.4 million GB of RAM, but still took 40 minutes to crunch the data for just one second of brain activity.

Supercomputer models one second of human brain activity - Telegraph

The brain has only limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states — awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up,” Nedergaard said. “You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain guests or clean up the house, but you can’t really do both at the same time.

A good night’s sleep scrubs your brain clean, researchers find - NBC

Toddler brain scan gives language insight

The brain has a critical window for language development between the ages of two and four, brain scans suggest.

Environmental influences have their biggest impact before the age of four, as the brain’s wiring develops to process new words, say UK and US scientists.

The research in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests disorders causing language delay should be tackled early.

It also explains why young children are good at learning two languages.

» via BBC News

We all want to stay sharp-witted as we age, which explains the recent proliferation of brain games and puzzles. But newly published research suggests a low-tech way of retaining our mental agility: Learn to play a musical instrument. According to this research, people who spend many hours in the practice room not only process information unusually efficiently, but they also do a superior job of not letting occasional errors derail them.

Study: Musical Training Teaches Us to Detect Our Own Mistakes

Hewitt and Brant don’t know why some teenagers continue to learn at the pace of much younger children. It may be that smart kids gravitate to challenging activities and this keeps them receptive to learning. Or it could be that genes that lead to high IQ also trigger an extended learning period. Hewitt points out that an extended learning period does not necessarily mean a further increase in IQ. But a very smart teenager with an extended “sensitive period” of learning might be able to pick up a new language or a musical instrument. Such learning can have long-term benefits, Hewitt explains, even if the teenager has the same IQ before and after she learns the language or the instrument. “Even if in the end the IQ ends up being determined to a large extent by the genes, if there’s been a period where the environment makes a difference, that could have lifelong consequences,” Hewitt said.

For Teenage Brains, the Importance of Continuing to Learn Deeply | MindShift

A Multitasking Video Game Makes Old Brains Act Younger

Brain scientists have discovered that swerving around cars while simultaneously picking out road signs in a video game can improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of older adults. Some people as old as 80, the researchers say, begin to show neurological patterns of people in their 20s.

Cognitive scientists say the findings, to be published Thursday in the scientific journal Nature, are a significant development in understanding how to strengthen older brains. That is because the improvements in brain performance did not come just within the game but were shown outside the game in other cognitive tasks.

» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)

If your neurons can’t find lactate or glycogen, they get exhausted—enabling other parts of your brain to call for attention. It’s sort of like your brain is a super-excited third-grade classroom: The star student—that is, whatever you’re trying to focus on—will get most of your attention. And if the star student got enough to eat and enough rest, it can be called on periodically throughout the day. If not, other excitable parts of your brain will get your attention. Then your mind will start to wander.

Wait, What’s That? The Science Behind Why Your Mind Keeps Wandering | Fast Company | Business Innovation