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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

developmental_clock_ucsd

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

Brain rewiring during learning boosted by drug

July 7, 2003

The the sense of touch can be significantly enhanced by cortical remapping using stimulant drugs, researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany have found.

The findings could help to restore touch sensation in the elderly or injured and lead to treatments for some forms of chronic pain associated with distortions of the brain’s body map.

Brain rewires itself after damage or injury, life scientists discover

May 17, 2013

connectome_brain_wiring

When the hippocampus, the brain’s primary learning and memory center, is damaged, complex new neural circuits — often far from the damaged site — arise to compensate for the lost function, say life scientists from UCLA and Australia who have pinpointed the regions of the brain involved in creating those alternate pathways.

The researchers found that parts of the prefrontal cortex take over when the hippocampus is… read more

Brain responses to androids in the ‘uncanny valley’

July 15, 2011

uncanny android

In an in-depth study of the “uncanny valley” phenomenon, an international team of researchers led by the University of California, San Diego has imaged the brains of people viewing videos of an “uncanny” android (compared to videos of a human and a robot-looking robot).

The term “uncanny valley” refers to an artificial agent’s (such as a robot) drop in likeability when it becomes too humanlike.… read more

Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory

April 6, 2009

SUNY Downstate Medical Center neuroscientists have discovered that a single dose of an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory (like emotional associations or spatial knowledge) blocks the activity of a substance, PKMzeta, that the brain apparently needs to retain much of its learned information.

The possibility of memory editing has enormous possibilities, but raises huge ethical issues.

Brain research? Pay it no mind

September 7, 2004

The human brain is so complex it simply defies the same kind of analysis that scientists devote to subatomic particles or human immune systems.

Brain Region That Can Be Stimulated To Reduce The Cognitive Deficits Of Sleep Deprivation Identified

February 8, 2008

Columbia University Medical Center researchers have reduced the deficits in working memory associated with extended sleep deprivation by using transcranial magnetic stimulation on the left lateral occipital cortex.

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