Neuroscience,

The Medici Effect

What do termites and architecture have in common?
Music records and airlines?
And what does any of this have to do with
health-care, card-games or cooking ?

Most of us would assume nothing. But out of each of these seemingly random combinations have come groundbreaking ideas that have created whole new fields. In his bestselling book, Frans Johansson takes us on a fascinating journey to the Intersection: a place where ideas from different industries and cultures meet and collide, ultimately igniting an explosion of extraordinary new innovations.

Cognitive Training Can Alter Biochemistry Of The Brain

ScienceDaily  — Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have shown for the first time that the active training of the working memory brings about visible changes in the number of dopamine receptors in the human brain. The study, which is published in the journal Science, was conducted with the help of PET scanning and provides deeper insight into the complex interplay between cognition and the brain's biological structure.

Why Sleep Is Needed To Form Memories

ScienceDaily — If you ever argued with your mother when she told you to get some sleep after studying for an exam instead of pulling an all-nighter, you owe her an apology, because it turns out she's right. And now, scientists are beginning to understand why.

In research published recently in Neuron, Marcos Frank, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, postdoctoral researcher Sara Aton, PhD, and colleagues describe for the first time how cellular changes in the sleeping brain promote the formation of memories.

How Your Brain Deciphers Cocktail Party Banter

ScienceDaily  — Anyone who has tried to carry on a conversation in a roomful of talkers knows how difficult it can be to concentrate on what one person is saying while tuning everyone else out.

Sleep May Help Clear Brain For New Learning

ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2009) — A new theory about sleep's benefits for the brain gets a boost from fruit flies in the journal Science. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found evidence that sleep, already recognized as a promoter of long-term memories, also helps clear room in the brain for new learning.

Popular Songs Can Cue Specific Memories, Psychology Research Shows

ScienceDaily (Jan. 23, 2009) — Whether the soundtrack of your youth was doo-wop or disco, new wave or Nirvana, psychology research at Kansas State University shows that even just thinking about a particular song can evoke vivid memories of the past.

Brain Hub That Links Music, Memory And Emotion Discovered

ScienceDaily  (Feb. 24, 2009) — We all know the feeling: a golden oldie comes blaring over the radio and suddenly we're transported back — to a memorable high-school dance, or to that perfect afternoon on the beach with friends. But what is it about music that can evoke such vivid memories?

Brain Music: Putting The Brain's Soundtracks To Work

ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2009) — Every brain has a soundtrack. Its tempo and tone will vary, depending on mood, frame of mind, and other features of the brain itself. When that soundtrack is recorded and played back -- to an emergency responder, or a firefighter -- it may sharpen their reflexes during a crisis, and calm their nerves afterward.

Touch Helps Make The Connection Between Sight And Hearing

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2009) — The sense of touch allows us to make a better connection between sight and hearing and therefore helps adults to learn to read. This is what has just been shown by the team of Édouard Gentaz, CNRS researcher at the Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition in Grenoble (CNRS/Université Pierre Mendès France de Grenoble/Université de Savoie).

These results, published March 16th in the journal PloS One, should improve learning methods, both for children learning to read and adults learning foreign languages.

Neuroscientists Identify Physiological Link Between Trial And Error And Learning

ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2009) — Learning through trial and error often requires subjects to establish new physiological links by using information about trial outcome to strengthen correct responses or modify incorrect responses. New findings, which appear in the latest issue of the journal Neuron, establish a physiological measure linking trial outcome and learning.

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