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How the Developing Brain Moves from Cooties to Crushes

credit: Modestas JonauskaFor the first time, researchers have found the signals for “cooties” and “crushes” in the developing brain. In a new study, cognitive neuroscientists have highlighted how the brain responds to gender across a range of ages.

Watch 2 Videos: Anjan Chatterjee and Marta Kutas at CNS 2015

Two videos from CNS 2015 are now available:

1. From the origins of Max Factor to the evolutionary role of art, Anjan Chatterjee of the University of Pennsylvania delivered the CNS 2015 keynote address about the neuroscience of art and aesthetics. Watch the full talk here:

Faster Task Switching for Bilinguals?

People’s Choice Award-Winning Posters

Poster_screenPeople who speak multiple languages seem to effortlessly shift from one language to another. A logical conclusion from such observations would be that multilingual individuals are better able to switch between tasks. But recent research suggests that is not necessarily the case: In a new study, scientists found that switching between tasks actually took longer for bilinguals than monolinguals.

Intelligent Neuroprostheses Mimic Natural Motor Control

Credit: José del R. Millán

Users can drive this brain-controlled wheelchair reliably and safely over long periods of time thanks to the incorporation of “shared control” techniques. This wheelchair illustrates the future of intelligent neuroprostheses.

Babies Learn Language Socially

IMG_20150329_181352299“It has to be social.” That’s the advice Patricia Kuhl gave to me and another CNS 2015 attendee following her riveting talk about language development. It doesn’t matter exactly when you introduce a new language to a child under 7, she said, as much as it matters that the learning is in a social setting.

Rats, Reasoning & Rehabilitation: Neuroscientists are Uncovering How We Reason

CNS 2015 Press Release

March 29, 2015 – San Francisco – Even rats can imagine: A new study finds that rats have the ability to link cause and effect such that they can expect, or imagine, something happening even if it isn’t. The findings are important to understanding human reasoning, especially in older adults, as aging degrades the ability to maintain information about unobserved events.

5 Lessons from the Neuroscience of Art and Aesthetics

The packed CNS 2015 keynote on the neuroscience of art and aesthetics was full of big ideas. Here are 5 to ponder:


Linking the Past to the Future Through Memory past, present, and future are intimately linked by our memories. Scientists know now that the same brain processes we use to remember the past, also help us plan for the future and imagine different possible scenarios. Recent research even suggests that in depressed people, impaired memory not only makes it difficult for remember past events but also to imagine different outcomes – making their situation feel even more dire.

Building Your Brain’s Smell Library

Guest Post by Lisa Qu, Northwestern University

BeerPumpsBeer and neuroscience – an unlikely combination, you might think, for anything other than a collegiate shooting the breeze over drinks. But in my field of study – olfaction – they can be tightly intertwined.

From Snow Days to Car Buying, Do People Make Good Decisions?

33 superintendents along the U.S. East Coast had a daunting decision to make this week: With a massive winter storm forecasted, they had to weigh whether to keep the schools open or to close in anticipation of the poor weather. Many factors go into the decision, such as temperature and anticipated snowfall, but there are also a host of other more subtle factors like the expectation of road safety based on the last storm and how many other good calls they’ve made this year.