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,

Professional athletes learn faster than University students

There’s a common stereotype that depicts athletes as being grunts that are all brawn and no brain. In reality, the truth couldn’t be farther. Athletes, the good ones at least, seemingly posses an above average intelligence, and a recent study by cognitive scientists at University of Montreal adds further weight to this statement. In the study professional and amateur athletes bested university

Understanding boredom and whether or not it can be cured

Boredom seems to be a dominant “affliction” of the 21st century. That’s not to say it’s a sole modern life problem. People have been bored since the dawn of mankind, and actually some of the world’s greatest advancements surfaced from the need to battle boredom. Understanding, on an empirical level, what is boredom and what causes it, and in term

Cognitive computing milestone: IBM simulates 530 billon neurons and 100 trillion synapses

First initiated in 2008 by IBM, the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program whose final goal is that of developing a new cognitive computer architecture based on the human brain. Recently, IBM announced it has reached an important milestone for its program after the company successfully simulated 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses on most powerful supercomputer.

Viewing photos of cute animals at work boosts productivity, Japanese study says

Interestingly enough, a group of cognitive psychologists at Japan’s Hiroshima University found that browsing through cute photos, such as those of baby animals like kittens, serves as a productivity booster. Although the lolcats peak is long gone, there’s still a significant wave of viral enthusiasm for sharing and collecting photos of cute animals – a practice often times associated with

Computer analyses fine art like an expert would. Art only for humans?

When fine art is concerned, or visual arts in general for that matter, complex cognitive functions are at play as the viewer analyze it. As you go from painting to painting, especially different artists, the discrepancies in style can be recognized, and trained art historians can catch even the most subtle of brush strokes and identify a certain artist or period, solely

Pulling all-nighters before tests is counter-productive – does more harm than good

The findings of a new research at UCLA, suggest that cramming all night before a big test, something that we’ve all went through at least once in a point of our lives with personal mixed results, is generally counter-productive as the sleep deprivation acts its toll on cognitive performance. Whether we’re talking about high school or university, especially the latter, we’ve all

We make mistakes more often and learn harder when rules change

Someone whose been driving for 20 years, let’s say, in the United States and somehow ends up driving a car in the UK will be in a lot of trouble. Going from right side driving to left side driving, or vice versa, will bewilder just about anyone, and if you’ve gone through such an experience maybe you can relate to

Human brain perceives men as persons and women as parts, study finds

When you first see this magnificent painting by Ukranian painter Oleg Shuplyak, your brain perceives the portrait of the famous Beatles frontman John Lenon. However, on a closer look, one will immediately notice that the portrait is actually made out of a sum of parts – a table and a troubadour make for the mouth, two men dressed in long clothes make

Humans think more rationally in a foreign language, study finds

“Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language as you would in your native tongue?” asks Boaz Keysar, a psychologist at University of Chicago, who recently published a study which discusses this highly interesting question. The scientists involved in the study found that, indeed, counter to popular belief thinking in a foreign language makes take you more rational

Chewing gum makes you smarter

Chewing without actually eating seems pretty weird, if you think a bit about it, even so it’s a highly popular habit best described by the billion dollar industry of chewing gum. If you’re one of the regular chewers, here’s something to lighten your mood for the day – chewing gum increases your cognitive abilities, albeit for a short burst of

Expand short-term memory through exercises

The average brain can only hold about five to seven pieces of information at a time within 30 seconds – this is called working memory. What people usually do to get pass the 30 seconds interval is they re-expose themselves to the information, for instance if you want to remember a 7 digit phone number (seven pieces of information) you’ll

Cognitive Research

  For some reason, people are a bit reluctant to believe the things neuroscientists are telling them. Things such as bar graphs or data just to not appeal to them, especially when they try to dig inside your brain. So scientists tried to find a way to make the people believe them and believe it or not, the solution was