The Neuroscience Of Learning: 41 Terms Every Teacher Should Know by Judy Willis M.D., M.Ed., radteach.com As education continues to evolve, adding in new trends, technologies, standards, and 21st century thinking habits, there is one constant that...
Click above to view full image! Any book lover can tell you: diving into a great novel is an immersive experience that can make your brain come alive with imagery and emotions and even turn on your senses.
In autism, brain regions tailored to respond to voices are poorly connected to reward-processing circuits, according to a new study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The research could help explain why children with autism struggle to grasp the social and emotional aspects of human speech. "Weak brain connectivity may impede children with autism from experiencing speech as pleasurable," said Vinod Menon, PhD, senior author of the study, published online June 17 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Animals that are socially isolated for prolonged periods make less myelin in the region of the brain responsible for complex emotional and cognitive behavior, researchers at the University at Buffalo and Mt.
Via Deborah McNelis
Researchers develop novel method to image worm brain activity and screen early stage compounds aimed at treating autism and anxiety. A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and The Rockefeller University in New York has developed a novel system to image brain activity in multiple awake and unconstrained worms. The technology, which makes it possible to study the genetics and neural circuitry associated with animal behavior, can also be used as a high-throughput screening tool for drug development targeting autism, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and other brain disorders. The team details their technology and early results in the paper "High-throughput imaging of neuronal activity in Caenorhabditis elegans," published on-line in advance of print by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . "One of our major objectives is to understand the neural signals that direct behavior—how sensory information is processed through a network of neurons leading to specific decisions and responses," said Dirk Albrecht, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at WPI and senior author of the paper. Albrecht led the research team both at WPI and at Rockefeller, where he served previously as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Cori Bargmann, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a co-author of the new paper. To study neuronal activity, Albrecht’s lab uses the tiny worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a nematode found in many environments around the world. A typical adult C. elegans is just 1 millimeter long and has 969 cells, of which 302 are neurons. Despite its small size, the worm is a complex organism able to do all of the things animals must do to survive. It can move, eat, mate, and process environmental cues that help it forage for food or react to threats. As a bonus for researchers, C.elegans is transparent. By using various imaging technologies, including optical microscopes, one can literally see into the worm and watch physiological processes in real time. In addition to watching the head neurons light up as they picked up odor cues, the new system can trace signaling through "interneurons." These are pathways that connect external sensors to the rest of the network (the "worm brain") and send signals to muscle cells that adjust the worm's movement based on the cues. Numerous brain disorders in people are believed to arise when neural networks malfunction. In some cases the malfunction is dramatic overreaction to a routine stimulus, while in others it is a lack of appropriate reactions to important cues. Since C. elegans and humans share many of the same genes, discovering genetic causes for differing neuronal responses in worms could be applicable to human physiology. Experimental compounds designed to modulate the action of nerve cells and neuronal networks could be tested first on worms using Albrecht’s new system. The compounds would be infused in the worm arena, along with other stimuli, and the reaction of the worms’ nervous systems could be imaged and analyzed.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Pacific Standard Your Child's Brain on Math Pacific Standard Parents whose children are struggling with math often view intense tutoring as the best way to help them master crucial skills, but a new study released on Monday suggests that for some...
Brain games will make you smarter! The internet is making you dumber! Alcohol is killing your brain cells! The brain is a mystery we've been trying to solve for ages, and the desire to unlock its secrets has led to vast amounts of misinformation.
"There is...a growing body of research that technology can be both beneficial and harmful to different ways in which children think. Moreover, this influence isn’t just affecting children on the surface of their thinking. Rather, because their brains are still developing and malleable, frequent exposure by so-called digital natives to technology is actually wiring the brain in ways very different than in previous generations. What is clear is that, as with advances throughout history, the technology that is available determines how our brains develops. For example, as the technology writer Nicholas Carr has observed, the emergence of reading encouraged our brains to be focused and imaginative. In contrast, the rise of the Internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and efficiently.
"The effects of technology on children are complicated, with both benefits and costs. Whether technology helps or hurts in the development of your children’s thinking depends on what specific technology is used and how and what frequency it is used. At least early in their lives, the power to dictate your children’s relationship with technology and, as a result, its influence on them, from synaptic activity to conscious thought.
"Over the next several weeks, I’m going to focus on the areas in which the latest thinking and research has shown technology to have the greatest influence on how children think: attention, information overload, decision making, and memory/learning. Importantly, all of these areas are ones in which you can have a counteracting influence on how technology affects your children."
The first role of trained infotention is to recognize whether or not multitasking, single-minded focus, or alert but diffused attention is the most appropriate mind-tool for the task at hand. However, for those many situations in which multitasking is either necessary or preferable or both, the most important question is whether -- and to what degree -- multitasking more effectively is a learnable skill. -- Howard
"Results showed that participants did much better at multitasking after training. Interestingly the benefits transferred to the untrained dual task. Brain training can thus be used to get better at multitasking!"
"The brain contains billions and billions of neurons. These cells communicate with one another by releasing small endogenous chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, into the synapse, where they are then taken up by specific receptors on neighboring cells. There are many types of neurotransmitters in the brain—what they have in common is that they are produced inside a neuron, released into the synapse, and then cause an excitatory or inhibitory effect on receptor cells, helping to propagate or downgrade action potentials."
When listening, this oscillation synchronizes to the sounds we are hearing. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have found that this influences the way we listen.
Via Dimitris Agorastos
Is the internet and social media influencing your brain? Documentary filmmaker Tiffany Shlain investigates our changing behaviors in the connected world.
How do media and technology impact our brain? According to a "a recent study, Dr. Small observed brain activity in two groups of subjects interacting with a search engine –one that was 'net-savvy' and one that was 'net naïve'. The results showed increased brain activity in the experienced netizens, reflecting Shlain’s hypothesis that our online behaviors stimulate more brain systems."
For more information and to view a video on "our connected world" click through to the article.