“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.
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.
Our 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.
Guest Post by Lisa Qu, Northwestern University
Beer 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.
33School 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.
Cookie or apple? Many of us would choose the cookie if we were by ourselves. But what about around others? If you have ever been at, say, a conference where you see many of your peers choosing an apple, you might choose one as well. New research suggests that this behavioral change also happens on the neurological level: Social norms shift brain activity related to how we value foods.
Q&A with Marta Kutas
Marta Kutas has been smitten from the beginning with ERPs – event-related potentials, measures of electrical activity in the brain. She calls them “temporally exquisite instruments for investigating what the brain does – loosely, the mind.”
“The memorable peaks in life come scattered among the many hard and often dreary days of work.” -Michael Gazzaniga
In an interview with National Geographic on the occasion of his new book, Michael Gazzaniga, a founder of CNS, talks about his work on the “split brain,” his early years at Caltech, the nature of consciousness, and much more. He also reflects on where the next big breakthroughs in understanding the brain will come from in the next 50 years: