Thursday, April 29, 2010

12 Years Older??

According to a recent article by Lindsey Tanner, bad habits can age you by 12 years. Four common “bad” habits were identified: smoking, drinking too much, inactivity, and poor diet. Researchers followed 5000 Britishers for 20 years. “These habits, combined, substantially increased the risk of death and made people who engaged in them seem 12 years older than people in the healthiest group,” said lead researcher Elisabeth Kvaavik of the University of Oslo. Interestingly enough, most people have partial (if not complete) control over these four habits. This is just another indication that your lifestyle can make a big difference in the quality, and perhaps even the quantity, of your life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mulitasking and the Brain

People have debated the desirability and efficacy of multitasking for decades. Recently, an article by Rachael Rettner entitled "Why We Can't Do 3 Things at Once" reports on a new study related to the brain and multitasking.

Researchers said that when faced with two tasks, the brain's medial prefrontal cortex (MFC) divides so that half of the region focuses on one task and the other half on the other task. And what happens when you attempt a third task? Things get muddled. Check out the article yourself. It's fascinating!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mind-Reading Software

I've always told people that no one can "read your mind, so stop expecting others to to do so. Tell people what you want and what you think. You may not get everything you want, but you have a much better chance if you can articulate it."

Well, things may be a-changing . . .

You may want to check out an article entitled: 'Mind-reading' brain-scan software showcased in NY. Hmm-m-m-m.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Time-Space Synesthesia

Science is learning more about synesthesia. Synesthesia is the condition in which the senses are mixed (e.g., a sound or a number has a color, the sense of touch evokes emotions). There is also a strong time-space synesthesia. According to recent studies by David Brang of UC San Diego, Department of psychology, individuals with time-space synesthesia tend to perceive months of the year in circular shapes, usually just as an image inside their mind's eye.

(Hooper, Rowan. New Scientist Life. 2010.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cultural Neuroscience

Have you been introduced to the new genre of Cultural Neuroscience? Two researchers, Shihui Han and Georg Northoff, wrote an article entitled: "Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition: a transcultural neuroimaging approach." Although abundant evidence exists for diversity of human cognition
and behaviour across cultures, the question of whether the neural correlates of
human cognition are also culture-dependent is often not considered by
neuroscientists. Recent transcultural neuroimaging studies have
demonstrated that one’s cultural background can influence the neural activity
that underlies both high- and low-level cognitive functions. The examples provided about West-East Brains is fascinating. Also, Sharon Begley, writing for Newsweek ( providing additional examples in her article "West Brain, East Brain --What a difference culture makes."