If you've seen the board-breaking power of a professional martial artist and thought it looked superhuman, don't worry: for a while now science couldn't fully explain it, either. The punches delivered by a top-notch fighter are so tough that muscle strength alone can't account for them. But researchers from Imperial College London and University College London have discovered that a unique brain structure could be what gives experts fists of fury.
There are a lot of hurdles to accurately predicting intelligence, from the difficulty of defining exactly what it is to accurately understanding the complexities of the human brain. Some techniques are surprisingly simple, like measuring the size of the brain. But others, like a new study that suggests brain imaging could crack the IQ code, require a little more finesse.
A new study that matches words with brain activity patterns could help neuroscientists understand how people think about abstract, complex concepts, researchers say. It lends a physiological definition to the concept of higher thinking, using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a computer program that condensed 3,500 Wikipedia articles.
Embedding minuscule glass tubes inside a mouse brain allows neuroscientists to monitor brain activity over long periods of time, watching neurons and tissue change with illness or aging. The method, developed at Stanford University, opens a porthole into the brain's deepest recesses.
MRI scans are already being used to explain current behavior by mapping blood flow to certain brain regions. Now researchers at UCLA think they can be used to predict your future behavior even better than you can.
Caution has prevailed in a Brooklyn judge's ruling that refused to admit brain scan evidence in an employer-retaliation case. But advocates of using brain scans as high-tech lie detectors will get another shot in an upcoming federal case in Tennessee, Wired reports.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.