Neurofeedback gets you back in the zone

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New study from biomedical engineers demonstrates that a brain-computer interface can improve your performance. More information on this study can be found on the Science Daily website.

Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. (2019, March 12). Neurofeedback gets you back in the zone: New study from biomedical engineers demonstrates that a brain-computer interface can improve your performance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 8, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190312143206.htm

Frequency tuned brain stimulation boosts memory

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Using electricity to precisely stimulate the brain can boost people’s working memory, a study suggests. A group of 60 to 76-year-old adults underwent personalised transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), followed by a memory test. The result was a rapid improvement in working memory performance, accompanied by functional brain connectivity changes in the individuals who received the non-invasive stimulation.

Improving local and long-range connectivity within the temporal cortex instantiated as restored theta-gamma coupling, and theta synchronisation across the fronto-temporal regions was the key to the observed improvement, according to the researchers. More information about this study can be found on the BBC News website or via Nature Neuroscience

Hyper Brain, Hyper Body: The Trouble With High IQ

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Highly intelligent people are more sensitive to their environment than the rest of the population. Their elevated brain and body sensitivity allows them to perceive, process, evaluate and respond quicker and in a more efficient manner to the environment. This hypersensitivity, however, comes at a cost; people with high IQ possess a general over-excitability in multiple domains that may put them at risk to developing psychological and physiological conditions involving elevated sensory, and altered immune and inflammatory responses.

The link below is to an open access study that investigates the link between high IQ and the presence of self-reported and diagnosed emotion regulation disorders and immune system related dysfunctions, such as asthma,allergies and diabetes.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2017.09.001

 

Are you a Doer or a Procrastinator? It is encoded in your brain!

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Are you a Doer or a Procrastinator?

Scientists at the Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum in Germany examined the brains of 264 healthy volunteers who were also asked to complete a survey assessing their ability for initiating actions and action control. The data analysis revealed that the size of one’s amygdala and the strength of its connectivity with the dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex (dACC) correlate with one’s self-reported ability to control their actions. Participants with over-sized and over active amygdala and a weaker connectivity between the amygdala and the dACC exhibited (self-reported) poor action control, while participants with smaller amygdala, densely connected with the dAC, were able to initiate actions better. Similar pattern of activation and connectivity between amygdala and two further corticolimbic structures- the ventro-medial prefreontal cortex (VMPC) and the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex has been reported to correlate with one’s capacity for voluntarily and deliberate emotion control.

 

RUB(2018, August 22). How Brains of Doers Differ From Those of Procrastinators. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved August 22, 2018 from http://neurosciencenews.com/doer-procrastinator-brains-9724/Original Research: Abstract for “The Structural and Functional Signature of Action Control” by Caroline Schlüter, Christoph Fraenz, Marlies Pinnow, Patrick Friedrich, Onur Güntürkün, and Erhan Genç in Psychological Science. Published August 17 2018.
doi:10.1177/0956797618779380

Largers Brains Are Organised Differently From Smaller Brains

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USA scientists who analyzed over 3000 MRI brain scans from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort, a NIMH IRP sample, and the Human Connectome Project found that larger brains were not just an up-scaled version of the smaller brains but were organised differently; with increasing brain size, certain brain areas became enlarged, better connected and metabolically more expensive, but others remained unchanged in size and resource allocation.

The enlarged, ‘prioritized’ brain areas, were these, necessary for higher order cognitive processing and information synchronization and integration, and the areas that did not change in size, were these, involved in lower order sensorimotor and emotional processing. Researchers believe that they have discovered a fundamental principle of cost-effective brain organisation that can explain the variability in cognitive and emotional functionality of people with smaller and bigger size brains.

Here is a link to a video interview with one of the researchers

Source:Normative brain size variation and brain shape diversity in humans. Reardon PK, Seidlitz J, Vandekar S, Liu S, Patal R, Park MTM, Alexander-Bloch A, Clasen LS, Blumenthal JD, Lalonde FM, Giedd JN, Gur R, Gur R, Lerch JP, Chakravarty MM, Satterthwaite T, Shinohara RT, Raznahan A. Science, First Release Online, May 31, 2018.