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Brain Sees Violent Video Games as Real Life — Study

June 23, 2005

The brains of players of violent video games react as if the violence were real, a study has suggested.

It found that as violence became imminent, the cognitive parts of the brain became active and that during a fight, emotional parts of the brain were shut down.

It suggests that video games are training the brain to react with this pattern.

Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation

January 28, 2010

Scientists at Emory University have extended the fear map from the amygdala to part of the brain known as the prelimbic cortex.

It was found that mice lacking a critical growth factor in the prelimbic cortex have trouble remembering to fear electric shocks. The discovery could help improve diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.

Brain science to help teachers get into kids’ heads

September 17, 2009

The foundation of successful learning is improving “executive function,” a collection of cognitive processes important for self-control and focusing on the task at hand, concluded scientists at the Decade of the Mind (DOM) symposium last week in Berlin, Germany.

“Executive function” could be achieved with relatively small changes, such as altering the timetabling of exercise sessions or encouraging the learning of a musical instrument, they said. “One day, a… read more

Brain Scans Teach Humans to Empathize with Bots

August 2, 2010


To test whether the sections of the brain that are activated when a human sees a robot expressing powerful emotions are the same as when a human sees another human expressing them, an international group of researchers stuck volunteers into an fMRI machine. They did not respond to the robots’ facial movement. But when they were told to concentrate on the emotional content of the robots’ expressions, their brains evidenced… read more

Brain scans reveal why some people feel your pain

May 31, 2011

Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have observed atypical neurophysiological activity in amputees who experience synesthetic pain (pain synesthetes) when observing pain in another.

The researchers found that reduced alpha and theta brainwaves in pain synesthetes may reflect inhibition of normal inhibitory mechanisms (neurotransmitters involved in the processing of observed pain) as well as increased synesthetic pain.

The researchers used EEG to record brain activity in eight amputees who experienced both… read more

Brain scans ‘reveal baby thoughts’

July 30, 2003

Researchers at Birkbeck College and University College London are attempting to answer questions on baby brain development by monitoring brain waves.

Increased gamma-band activity, which is associated with the representation of hidden objects, will “inform fundamental issues about how infants process their visual world,” they believe.

Brain Scans Reflect Problem-Solving Skill

February 23, 2003

The first large-sample imaging study to probe individual differences in “general fluid intelligence” has been conducted by researchers at Washington University, using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

It shows how differences in the ability to reason and solve problems might translate into differences in the firing of neurons.

Brain scans may be used as lie detectors

January 29, 2006

Functional magnetic resonance imaging was able to spot lies in at high accuracy rates in recent experiments. The method detects tiny changes in blood flow in certain areas.

Brain scans don’t lie about age

August 17, 2012


Sophisticated brain scans can be used to accurately predict age, give or take a year.

“We have uncovered a ‘developmental clock’ of sorts within the brain — a biological signature of maturation that captures age differences quite well, regardless of other kinds of differences that exist across individuals,” says Timothy Brown of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Together with UCSD’s Anders Dale… read more

Brain scans detect signs of autism by six months

July 11, 2012

Image of white matter pathways extracted from diffusion tensor imaging data for infants at-risk for autism. Warmer colors represent higher fractional anisotropy (credit: Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University)

Abnormal brain development in high-risk infants who develop autism may be detected as early as age 6 months — before the appearance of autism symptoms.

Autism is typically diagnosed around the age of 2 or 3. Research suggests that the symptoms of autism — problems with communication, social interaction and behavior — can improve with early intervention.

Early autism risk biomarkers 

“For the first time, we have an… read more

Brain scanning may be used in security checks

May 11, 2009

Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify ­identities for security checks.

The U.S. government’s IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) is seeking development proposals to enhance such biometric-signature technologies.

Brain scanners can tell what you’re thinking about

October 29, 2009

Neuroscientists can now use “neural decoding” to recreate moving images that volunteers are viewing, read memories and future plans, diagnose eating disorders, and detect which of two nouns a subject is thinking of, all at rates well above chance.

Brain scanner predicts your future moves

April 14, 2008

Researchers have measured brain activity 7 seconds before they carried out the associated task (pressing a specific button).

By deciphering the fMRI brain signals with a computer program, the researchers could predict which button a subject had pressed about 60% of the time.

Brain scan reveals memories of where you’ve been

March 13, 2009

Functional MRI scans of the hippocampus (responsible for memory) have for the first time been used to detect a person’s location in a virtual environment.

The finding suggests that more detailed mind-reading, such as detecting memories of a summer holiday, might eventually be possible, says Eleanor Maguire, a neuroscientist at University College London.

Brain rhythm associated with learning linked to running speed

June 28, 2011

Rhythms in the brain that are associated with learning become stronger as the body moves faster, neurophysicists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found.

The experiment was performed by measuring electrical signals from hundreds of mice neurons using microwires, the researchers said. Nearly a hundred gigabytes of data was collected every day.

Analysis of the data showed that the gamma rhythm, a… read more

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