Intelligence linked to ability of ignoring distractions

People with higher IQ have a much better ability to ignore background distractions, because they are just much better at filtering out useless information. Now personally, I’m not a big fan at defining intelligence, especially using the IQ type of tests, and even less any results that are demonstrated starting from here. Reality has shown us that IQ is a

Your brain detects grammar errors even when you’re not aware of them

A rather debatable theory in psychology says  the brain detects grammar errors even when we don’t consciously pay attention to them, sort of working on autopilot. Now, researchers at University of Oregon have come with  tangible evidence pointing toward this idea after they performed a brain scan study. The team of psychologists, led by Laura Batterink, a postdoctoral researcher, invited native-English speaking

Autism can be detected by analyzing brain activity

Researchers Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the University of Toronto have demonstrated for the first time that is possible to confirm or independently assess clinical diagnoses of autism in children simply by analyzing their brain activity. Reliable and efficient, their method might be employed at a massive scale as a means of accurately detecting the condition much

Our most fondest and valuable memories are cemented during sleep

A topic of great interest in neurology and psychology is memory. While a lot of efforts have been made towards identifying what mechanisms and processes govern memory formation and retrieval, very few things are understood with respect to its storage. This is because our memories aren’t static, they always shift position and become either more anchored – through repetition for

Chimps also ‘think about thinking’ akin to humans

Our close primate relatives, chimpanzees, have been constantly amazing us with their incredible cognitive abilities and personality traits that are so similar to our own. If you believe much of what you undertake today is limited to human cognition only, think again. Chimps do it too – thinking about thinking that is, as the findings of a recent research by

Brain scan shows key differences in mental disorders

One of the biggest problem in psychiatry today, though the doctors practicing it regularly hand out medication and treatment, is the lack of clear biological markers. Basically, most of the diagnosis is made based on reported and evaluated symptoms that might not hint towards the real mental affliction the said person is suffering from. Brains scans offer the best solution

MRI shows a decrease in volume in certain brain regions of professional fighters

For decades, there’s been significant discussions on how professional fighting affects the brain, but not much scientific progress has been made on the matter. Now, a new (not yet peer reviewed) MRI study has shown that important regions and connections of the brain have decreased in volume in both amateur and professional fighters with the most experience. 104 boxers and

Highly controversial brain scan predicts whether criminals are likely to reoffend

As the writers on Nature depict it, it evokes the dystopian worlds of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick – if you’ve read his works or seen Minority Report, you’ll understand it. Neuroscientists have developed a brain scan that shows how likely are convicted felons to commit crimes again. Brain scanning felons Kent Kiehl, a neuroscientist at the non-profit Mind

Heavy drinkers may get extra “brain fuel” from alcohol

When a lion hunts a gazelle, he is actually hunting the weakest of the herd, the one which is the slowest. Repeating the hunt, in time only strengthens the herd. The drunken version of this is that the same things happen with alcohol and neurons: sure, alcohol destroys some neurons, but it’s only the weaker ones, and the remaining ones

Cackatoos exhibit remarkable self-control akin to humans

You might be used to seeing birds peck grains as soon as you throw the food in front of them, so it’s no wonder why might find this surprising. University of Vienna established a cognitive experiment centered around a most intelligent type of bird – Cackatoos – and found that they’re capable of self-control, restraining themselves from immediately eating food

Flipping a single “molecular switch” makes an old mouse brain young

A single molecular switch can make the transition between the active, malleable brain of an adolescent and the mature, stable brain of an adult; yep, a single gene can turn us back to the childlike curiosity we exhibit as adolescents. Researchers have known for quite a while that adolescent brains are typically more malleable (or plastic) than adult ones, allowing

A scientific explanation for the “phantom limb”

Every once in a while, some people who have had a limb, organ or some other body part amputated or removed still experience it, feel its pain and experience the sensation that it’s still attached to the body and is moving appropriately with other body parts. This sensation is typically referred to as  phantom limb. Now, researchers at Oxford University have

How the brain loses and gains consciousness

For more than two centuries physicians have been using general anesthetics to perform surgeries, however even now in the 21st century scientists know very little about what happens to the brain when the patient moves to and fro a state of consciousness. This becomes even more important when you consider the very rare but frightening cases in which some patients

Wireless brain-interface boasts promising start

We’ve showed you some incredible brain-computer interface scientific advances in the past few weeks alone, be it the merged rat brain organic computer or flexible electronic “tattoo” that might enable functioning telepathy, and the field is only growing. We couldn’t be more happy, you can imagine, since the potential medical uses alone for this kind of technology are simply staggering.

Baby’s ability to interpret languages is innate, research shows

Despite having brains that are still “under construction”, babies are able, even three months before full term, to distinguish between different syllables. It was recently shown that full born babies, even just a few days after they are born, display remarkable linguistic sophistication: they can distinguish between two different languages [1], they can recognizes their mother’s voice[2], and they can

Learning to play a musical instrument doesn’t make you smarter, study finds

There seems to be a general belief, especially among parents, that if you send children to music lessons the experience will make them smarter. However, a group of researchers at  University of Toronto, intrigued  by this highly thrown about, yet never proven, link between the two conducted a study to see if this belief genuinely holds. Their findings suggest, in the authors’ own words,

How the brain tackles tongue-twisting words and why it’s important

Can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie? Sorry about that folks – that was a bit twisted right? Just earlier you’ve used your  lips, tongue, jaw and larynx in a highly complex manner in order to render these sounds out loud. Still, very little is known of how the brain actually manages to perform this

Biological marker for dyslexia found. Good news: reading can be improved

Researchers at Northwestern University claim they have uncovered the mechanisms that lead to difficulty in reading. Apparently, there is a direct correlation between one’s ability to encode speech sound in the brain and ease of reading. The scientists also devised an experiment and saw that children with reading impairment significantly improved after being fitted with a listening device. It’s rather

How seals sleep with only half their brain

A new study led by an international team of biolgoists has shown just some brain chemicals allow seals to sleep with only half of the brain. “Seals do something biologically amazing — they sleep with half their brain at a time. The left side of their brain can sleep while the right side stays awake. Seals sleep this way while

Babies can tell two languages apart as early as seven months-old

A new study by scientists at University of British Columbia and Université Paris Descartes found that babies growing up in bilingual environments are more than well equipped to tackle the challenge of distinguishing between the two from a very early age – as young as seven months old according to the findings. Scientists, linguistics and neurologists mostly, have always been