brain

Your Big Blue Brain on a Silicon Chip

The new experimental "brain chips" developed by researchers at IBM and DARPA represent a fundamental breakthrough in computing power. If these brain chips are ever commercialized, they would make possible what are essentially thinking, artificial brains. Just as the human brain is capable of building and re-wiring synapses as part of an evolutionary learning process, these IBM brain chips are able to form, re-form and strengthen artificial synapses, giving them the ability to take on tasks related to sentient beings. Instead of being mere calculators, the new era of computers would be able to "sense, perceive, interact and recognize" in the same way that humans can.

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Study: Brain Games Give Cognitive Boost

At last, there is scientific proof that it’s possible to boost generalized cognitive performance with specific training, in this case web-based brain games.

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The Unintended Consequences of Obsessing over Consequences (or why to support youth risk-taking)

Developmental psychologists love to remind us that the frontal lobe isn’t fully developed until humans are in their mid-20s. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for our ability to assess the consequences of our decisions, our ability to understand how what we do will play out into the future. This is often used to explain why teens (and, increasingly, college-aged people) lack the cognitive ability to be wise.

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Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ

Stupidity appears to be contagious, and you can catch it from the media you consume. Researcher Markus Appel had college students read a story about a “foolish soccer hooligan” who got drunk, got into fights, etc., or a more neutral story without the dumb behavior.

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Vivid Print Ads Change Your Memory

Remember that fresh, buttery popcorn you had a few weeks ago? Maybe you didn’t really have it at all, and the memory was created by a magazine ad. Impossible, you say? Actually, new research shows that some print ads can be impactful enough to create a false memory of having tried a product that doesn’t even exist.

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Navigating a New Age of Discovery for the Human Brain

With the launch of the Allen Human Brain Atlas - the first-ever 3D, interactive atlas of the anatomy and genes that comprise the human brain - is it possible that we've just entered a radically new Age of Discovery? Rather than discovering the unimagined riches of new continents, we may be on the cusp of unlocking the full potential of the human brain.

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Border Bias: How to Beat It

When we lived in Indiana, our first house was quite ordinary but had one feature some found a little odd: one edge of our little lot was the Michigan state line. An errant frisbee throw required one to retrieve the disc from another state.

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Choice Fatigue

Your brain gets tired, and one fatiguing activity is making choices. Various studies show that as people make more decisions, their subsequent decisions are rushed or they don’t decide at all.

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The Twitter Spot in Your Brain

These days, you can’t go online without bumping into someone styling himself as a social media guru, a Facebook expert, or a power user of Twitter. And, if you check their online profiles, they actually do have thousands of friends and followers. But are these real friends, or did the supposed expert socializers simply crank up an automation software to rapidly build their follower base? Surprisingly, how capable of being social a person is can be revealed by a brain scan.

A new study has found that individuals with larger amygdalas (an area of the brain usually associated with fear and other emotions) have more friends and more complex social networks.

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What Your Dog Can Teach You about Customers

Dogs have many attributes we’d like to see in our customers – they are completely loyal, usually enthusiastic, and are always happy to see us. That might be too much to hope for from our human customers, but a recent study showed something interesting about how dog brains work that we should keep in mind even when dealing with humans.

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