Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What to ignore

Discovery disproves simple concept of memory as 'storage space'

Apparently better memory may not be about storage volume, but more about being able to have the ability to filter out useless information and pick out only the things that are worth transferring to awareness.

In other words: smart people are better at ignoring things.

You see Tomato...I see....Tomato

Everyone’s eyes are wired differently

And yet, despite actual physical differences in how our eyes are wired, we perceive color pretty much the same. I posted about this previously, and this only enhances my prior questions - is our perception of color a neurological, physical, or cultural thing?

Nature, nurture...blah, blah, blah....

And this is your brain on Hypnosis....

» Watching the brain under hypnosis

Basically, the brain shows direct evidence of perception of things that are not there. Personally, I'd like to see this linked to false memories as well.

So, now we have images of our brains under stress, and under hypnosis. We also have fMRIs of brains under the influence of various drugs and alcohol including addicted brains. We have images of brains under various types of psychological disorders (depression, schizophrenia, autism, etc.).

So, what's left?

Maybe a brain image of somone in love, under the influence of metaphysical effects...the list is probably pretty endless, and there are likely images of stuff I don't know about.

Ain't medical technology fun?

This is your brain on Stress...

UPHS News: Penn Research Permits First-Ever Visualization of Psychological Stress in the Human Brain

We have lots of studies on the effects of stress on cognitive performance (e.g.: Yerks-Dotson) - but actually getting an IRB passed through that allows us to put a subject under psychological stress and then look at their brains through an fMRI is definitely a good thing.

I wonder what that proposal looked like:

Q: What are the potential harmful effects to the participants?
A: Um...well...stress, for one....

Gaming the future

Researchers use brain scans to predict behavior

The upshot of the article is that fMRI scans seem to show when a brain is planning ahead and anticipating moves in a game.

So, we have identified a future perspective cognitive process in the brain as it relates to a specific type of game.

The Zen of Brain development

Meditation associated with structural changes in brain

Studies have shown that mediation can produce alterations in brain activity, and meditation practitioners have described changes in mental function that last long after actual meditation ceases, implying long-term effects. However, those studies usually examined Buddhist monks who practiced mediation as a central focus of their lives.

Studies also found that, in an area associated with the integration of emotional and cognitive processes, differences in cortical thickness were more pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation could reduce the thinning of the cortex that typically occurs with aging.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gaming education

Games turn geography into child’s play

This is a personal project of mine, and one that I think has a LOT of room for growth. Games are not incorporated into education nearly enough.

And don't even get me started on using gaming technology.