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The Neuroscience of Trauma from Sexual Assault

Guest Post by Kathryn Gigler, Northwestern University

“I believe that you believe something happened to you.” The young woman repeated the detective’s statement to me again. It had been the detective’s response to her question of whether he believed her account of the brutal sexual assault she had experienced the past weekend.

When Children Try to Remember Many Things At Once on your shoes and jacket, then grab your lunch bag and turn off the lights – sounds simple, right? But to a 5-year-old, this multi-step process could be tricky to follow, especially if the child is distracted. What’s at play here is working memory – holding things in your mind that you can’t see. A new study has found that children actually recruit similar brain areas as adults for working memory but have a lower capacity for remembering multiple things at once.

What Makes an App Educational?

Just last week, a widely publicized study came out showing that more than one-third of children under age of 1 have used a device like a smartphone or tablet and that most children have used mobile devices by age 2. With this increased usage has come an explosion in educational apps for young children. But how can parents and developers decide what an truly educational app looks like?

New Brain Imaging Techniques Can Improve Testing for Mild Concussions

Guest Post by Nick Wan, Utah State University

Last year, college football player Kosta Karageorge committed suicide, with his last text sent to his mother was “Sorry if I am an embarrassment, but these concussions have my head all [messed] up.” Two years prior, NFL player Junior Seau committed suicide via chest wound, leaving his brain to be studied by the National Institutes of Health – and ultimately finding damage to his brain.

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.