Unless you are this woman, you probably have a long mental list of moments and facts you wish you could remember -- but for the life of you, you can't. To use a personal example, I periodically Google the words "yellow house Berlin," hoping to produce the name of that one hostel I lived in for a summer in college; alas, no success yet.
Ever wondered what your brain sounds like on the inside? Trinity College philosophy professor Dan Lloyd has created a program that orchestrates our brainwaves. Scanning brains on an MRI, Lloyd can watch as certain areas of the brain light up and then assign different frequencies to the areas of the brain used, correlating the intensity of usage with volume. The results are bizarrely beautiful.
On the greens of the lovely Bethpage Black for this weekend's U.S. Open and golf courses across the nation, it’s a taboo never spoken about yet easily identified – the yips. Talented, sometimes elite-level golfers, suddenly unable to hold their putter straight for seemingly simple tap-ins. It’s like a virus infecting the golfer's mind, causing involuntary reflexes with no warning and no mercy. Cures for the yips are as unknown as its very cause. But two researchers are recruiting the inflicted and hoping that an MRI will shed light on a disease devastating weekend warriors everywhere.
Neuroscientists are already able to read some basic thoughts, like whether an individual test subject is looking at a picture of a cat or an image with a specific left or right orientation. They can even read pictures that you're simply imagining in your mind's eye. Even leaders in the field are shocked by how far we've come in our ability to peer into people's minds. Will brain scans of the future be able to tell if a person is lying or telling the truth?
Scientists reveal the first “wiring diagrams” of the cerebral cortex, shedding light on the infrastructure behind human intelligence.
By Laura AllenPosted 07.25.2008 at 12:37 pm 2 Comments
The famed molecular biologist Francis Crick turned to neuroscience in the 1970's. But by 1993, he was so chagrined by the ignorance of his new field that he penned an editorial in the journal Nature. "It is intolerable that we do not have [a connection map of] the human brain," he wrote. "Without it there is little hope of understanding how our brains work except in the crudest way."
There was no such map in 1993 because the only way to get one was to use anatomical methods: inject dye into the brain of an organism, kill it, and trace the color trail in the neurons with microscopes. Of course ethics rule out this sort of experimentation on humans.
A better understanding of how zoning out leads to mistakes could help scientists develop "wake-up" systems
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.22.2008 at 11:43 am 1 Comment
We probably didn't need a formalized brain study to tell us that we zone out during repetitive and/or monotonous tasks and that mistakes are more commonly made when we do. That much we've figured out for ourselves. Fortunately, though, the study by scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway and Southampton University in the UK discovered something else about those times when we space.
A new software shows promise for predicting human thought patterns—time to whip out the tin foil hat?
By Matt Ransford Posted 03.06.2008 at 7:59 am 0 Comments
Tin Foil Hat
No need to whip out that tin foil hat quite yet.
Get out your tin foil hats, paranoids. Your fears are one step closer to reality. Berkeley scientists are reporting in Nature that they have developed software, which, in conjunction with an fMRI scanner, can read your mind. And 80 to 90% of the time, the machine was right. Okay, settle down. These are early reports and there are more than a few caveats.