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
1. Why It Should Always Be the Season for Exercise
Michelle Voss (University of Iowa) talks about progress in her lab and others in understanding the connection between exercise and mental health.
2. Genetic Effects on Cognition are Stronger as We Age
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
3. Watch 2 Videos: Anjan Chatterjee and Marta Kutas at CNS 2015
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
6. Have Schools Forgotten Brain Science?
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.
7. Cochlear Implants Enable Deaf Children to Distinguish Basic Linguistic Features Rapidly
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.
8. Babies Learn Language Socially
“It has to be social,” Patricia Kuhl (University of Washington) explained at #CNS2015 following her riveting talk about language development in children.
9. How the Developing Brain Moves from Cooties to Crushes
Eva Telzer (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) talks about how the brain responds to gender across a range of ages
10. When Children Try to Remember Many Things At Once
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
11. Patterns of Brain Activity Match Vividness of Memories
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.”
12. New Brain Imaging Techniques Can Improve Testing for Mild Concussions
Neuroscience research is starting to reveal new ways to diagnose concussions, Nick Wan (Utah State University) reports, even absent the telltale behavioral symptoms.
13. Simulating Real-World Emotion in the Lab: A New Method
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).
14. Conformity Can Be Good for Your Eating Habits
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!