Implicit bias, plasticity, and language were front and center in the most popular CNS stories of 2016. From using neuroscience findings to help understand and reduce bias to exploring why some people learn a second language more easily than others to recent debates over neuroimaging techniques, cognitive neuroscientists continue to chart new territory in their explorations of human thought.
Stay tuned for more great research in the field at next year’s meeting in San Francisco and beyond.
1. You Look Familiar: How Physical Similarity May Contribute to Stereotyping
Brandon Levy (NIMH) discusses how a tendency to generalize social information based on physical similarity might contribute to racial stereotyping.
None of Us is Immune: Leveraging Neural Circuitry to Reduce Implicit Bias
In her CNS 2016 keynote address, Elizabeth Phelps (NYU) explored research on how early learning associations shape implicit bias and how best we can reduce this unconscious bias as a society.
3. How A Brain Can Rewire After Surgery
A CNS 2016 people’s choice poster award covered the remarkable recovery of a patient with a post-surgery language deficit.
Work by Adriana Galvan (UCLA) and colleagues is revealing that the same changes in the brain that make adolescents sensitive to negative environmental changes, such as peer pressure to drink alcohol, make them sensitive to positive changes, such as movements for social impact.
5. Neuroscientists Working to Test Brain Training Claims
New research presented at CNS 2016 in New York explores who may benefit from cognitive training and the methods most likely to result in long-lasting, positive effects on cognition.
More on memory
Inducing Amnesia of Daily Events by Trying to Forget Unwanted Memories
7. Brain Connectivity and Language Learning: New Findings, New Questions
Why does learning a new language come easier to some than others? Angela Grant (Penn State) dives into this question in a guest post.
8. Decoding Reading in the Brain
A study using electrically stimulation in epilepsy patients has provided some of the most compelling evidence to date isolating where in the brain we recognize letters and read words.
9. Watch the Great Debate on Connectomics
It’s Moritz Helmstaedter (Max Planck Institute) v. Anthony Movshon (NYU) in this highlight of CNS 2016. Watch the debate and see what you think!
10. Debunking the Myth that fMRI Studies are Invalid
David Mehler (Cardiff University) scrutinizes a widely-publicized study critical of fMRI results, to determine the myths and facts surrounding the work.
Bonus on sleep
A new study isolated that the electrical signals from sleep are biological markers of cognitive abilities and could offer a window into human intelligence.
Happy holidays! Hope to see you in San Francisco!
-Lisa M.P. Munoz