Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Young or old - we can all be distracted

Changes in brain, not age, determine one's ability to focus on task

"We found that both performance and brain-activation differences of older good performers and the older poor performers are predicted by changes in brain structure, specifically by the volume of white matter connecting the right and left hemispheres of the frontal lobes,"

So - regardless of age, focus is a matter of how your brain is built.

[Mr. Miyagi]Focus Daniel-San![/Mr. Miyagi]

Atlas of brain unfolds

New online atlas provides collective maps of human brain folds

While obviously not a "map" as such, seeing as each individual brain's folds are akin to fingerprints in thier uniqueness, but still, a pretty cool. The "map" images are based on averages so there is still a significant amount of data that could be derived from the images., Yellow!

Color perception is not in the eye of the beholder: It's in the brain

"Researchers at the University of Rochester have found that the number of color-sensitive cones in the human retina differs dramatically among people--by up to 40 times--yet people appear to perceive colors the same way"

This is pretty cool. It brings to mind a study I read and can't find currently of a particular tribe of South American natives that only had language for 2 or 3 colors - green, not green and red. They couldn't really understand other colors like orange or variations of shades of green.

Perhaps the colors we percieve and how we percieve them are related to nurture rather than nature - to find that out would prove to be very interesting indeed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sticks and stones....

But apparently the words you use CAN hurt you - at least that's the gist of this study on how labels shape our attitudes toward violence.

Politicians have known this for ages. How you name something, or how you frame it affects the perception of the idea. Think of (for a controversial example) the abortion debate. You aren't pro or anti-abortion you are "pro-life" or "pro-choice" - the words describing the two positions don't refer in any way to the actual concept they are defining.

But, it turns out that it's even deeper than that - the nouns and adjectives we use can be powerful cues to how we make sense of people's behavior.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Emotions rule....everything

Humans are governed by emotions—literally

This actually comes as a surprise to nobody. I can't think of any decisions by any government, ever, that weren't driven primarily by emotional reaction.

Seems like we're coming to a much more complete realization that emotions play a much larger role in our everyday actions than what anyone would have supposed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Smoking makes you stupid

Well, according to this University of Michigan study: Does smoking cloud the brain? The answer seems to be, yes.

It's long term and it seems that the toxins enter the brain and hasten cognitive decline. So, if you smoke - prepare to get less intelligent more quickly as you grow older.

Of course, putting a known toxic and carcinogenic substance like tobacco smoke into your system willingly argues for a certain lack of intelligence to begin with - but that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Mind map your computer

TheBrain Technologies Corporation provides some software that lets you organize your computer files in a "mind map" format.

Pretty cool.

Along those same lines - try the Kartoo search engine sometime - it kind of does the same thing for Internet searches.

Friday, October 14, 2005

One more reason to stop...

Does smoking cloud the brain?
Keeping in mind that an association does not necessarily imply that there is causality, it's still worth looking at.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fish make you smart...

Well, not quite but they mey help you prolong an active mental health.

Cause my brain is bigger...yea, that's the ticket...

Liars' Brains Wired Differently

Apparently they have more grey matter in thier prefrontal cortex as opposed to "normal" brains. They theorize that they use more neuronal connections to master the complexities of deciption.