Thursday, May 28, 2009

Einstein's Brain

According to paleoanthropologist Dean Falk at Florida State University, Einstein's brain (on the surface at least) looks different from other brains. At least a dozen subtle variations in his brain's surface have been identied, variations that may have heightened his ability to see physics in a new way. Part of Einstein's brain, the visual-spatial reasoning region, is believed to have been about 15% larger than average/normal brains, and the supramarginal gyrus was not divided with the Sylvian fissure. The inference is that his anatomy might have given Einstein an advantage in three-dimensional thinking (e.g., theory or relativity). Check it out.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Emotion Signature in Temporal Lobes

For the first time, researchers at the University Medical Center of Geneva, Switzerland, have identified spatial signatures of emotion in the primary auditory cortex (PAC). This area located in the temporal lobes at the side of the brain (responsible for the sensation of sound) react more strongly to emotional vocalisations (anger, sadness, relief and joy) than to neutrality. Understanding emotions is vital to social skills. This may help to unravel what is going on in the brain in conditionn such as Schizophrenia, Autism, and even depression.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Autism and the Amygdala

MRI Brain Scans at the University of North Carolina have found differences in the size of the amygdala in the brains of children diagnosed with Autism (as compared to brains of children who do not have this diagnosis). By the age of two, the amygdala is already about 13% larger and then apparently stops growing. The question now is whether children are born with Autism or whether it develops sometime during the first two years of life? The amygdala (and there are two of them in the limbic area of the brain) helps an individual to process faces and emotions.