We searched our blog archives for some of our favorite stories of the year. Exercise, art, language, and the social and developing brain top our 15 stories from 2015:
Nature and nurture
Michelle Voss (University of Iowa) talks about progress in her lab and others in understanding the connection between exercise and mental health.
Lifestyle choices, such as exercise, can moderate the effects of genetics, but research is finding that genes play a bigger role in cognition as we age.
Art and poetry
Watch Anjan Chatterjee’s (University of Pennsylvania) #CNS2015 keynote address about the neuroscience of art and aesthetics and Marta Kutas’ award lecture, full of science poetry.
4. And if you want to learn even more about the neuroscience of art: Beauty is in the Brain of the Beholder and 5 Lessons from the Neuroscience of Art and Aesthetics
5. And more about Kutas’ work in making sense of electrical patterns in the brain: One Foot in Psychology and One in Biology
Children – from school to social
Chris Forsythe discusses how no field of science has more direct bearing on the effectiveness, productivity, and happiness of youth than neuroscience, yet students are being discouraged from exploring it – and how he’s trying to change that.
Niki Vavatzanidis (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and Technische Universität Dresden) discusses a new study that suggests that after only 4 months with a cochlear implant, brain signals can distinguish basic linguistic features as proficiently as in hearing children.
“It has to be social,” Patricia Kuhl (University of Washington) explained at #CNS2015 following her riveting talk about language development in children.
Eva Telzer (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) talks about how the brain responds to gender across a range of ages
A study out of Boston Children’s Hospital and Northwestern found that children recruit similar brain areas as adults for working memory but have a lower capacity for remembering multiple things at once.
More on memory
Researchers found that the memories we recall most vividly have the greatest patterns of brain reactivation.
“Recollection is what happens when we suddenly feel like we are reliving a moment from our past inside our head, says Marie St-Laurent of the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest. “It is the subjective experience of being transported back in the moment.”
Neuroscience research is starting to reveal new ways to diagnose concussions, Nick Wan (Utah State University) reports, even absent the telltale behavioral symptoms.
A new study is offering a new way to look at the impact of sustained emotion on cognition – a chat with BJ Casey (Weill Cornell Medical College).
Erik Nook (Harvard) and Jamil Zaki (Stanford) discuss how social norms shift brain activity related to how we value foods.
Only recently have we begun to study smell in humans the way we have studied vision or our other senses, as Lisa Qu (Northwestern) discusses.
Happy holidays and New Year!