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  • Some cultures say memory improves with age - Futurity
    Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Society and Culture Related Articles When we meet can my phone come too Charging for mistakes can sharpen brain Bankruptcy no longer a death knell Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Negative stereotypes about certain groups such as the notion that the elderly have poor memories can affect performance Older people could be doing better if they were not pulled down by stereotype threat says Corinna Löckenhoff Credit Kris Kesiak Flickr Some cultures say memory improves with age Cornell University right Original Study Posted by Krishna Ramanujan Cornell on October 9 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license A new study tests the idea that traditional societies see aging in a more positive light than modern societies a presumption supported by anecdotes and personal narratives but lacking systematic cross cultural research In a study designed to measure perceptions of aging researchers found that Tsimané Amazonian forager farmers viewed old people as having better memories than young people while people in Poland and the United States viewed the young as having better memories In other variables the researchers found more consensus across the different groups For example all three societies perceived older people as being more respected and generally wiser about life issues than younger people There have been anecdotal reports and theoretical reasoning that people in traditional societies look at aging more favorably says Corinna Löckenhoff associate professor of human development at Cornell University and associate professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City However this is the first study of aging perceptions to gather quantitative data and to use the same questions across modern and traditional societies Löckenhoff says Coauthors from the University of Wroclaw Poland did all the fieldwork and collected data while Löckenhoff provided the theoretical underpinnings and study design considerations In the study the researchers showed participants a photo of a young person and a photo of the same person that had been digitally altered to make him or her look older Participants were then asked a series of questions to assess their attitudes toward aging Why men don t live as long as women These questions tested such perceptions of aging as respect received whose opinion is more respected wisdom life satisfaction who is more satisfied with their life memory who is more forgetful and new learning In response participants were asked to point at the older or younger face They found that across the different societies there was

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/tsimane-aging-1022002-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Our working memory stinks, but new brain network helps - Futurity
    Washington University in St Louis Yale University Science and Technology Related Articles 500 giant steps in fight against disease Plant animal immunity We are family Microbe tomb on teeth reveals medieval microbiome Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Because we think a lot of higher level cognitive processes are going on there it s much more complicated to study and so we need to get more and more clever in the way that we approach it says Samantha Michalka The frontal cortex is one of the final frontiers Credit plaits Flickr Our working memory stinks but new brain network helps Boston University right Original Study Posted by Barbara Moran Boston University on August 27 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license Humans have lots of remarkable skills we write novels build bridges and compose symphonies But despite all that we have a surprising deficit our working memory can track only four items at one time Would you buy a computer with a RAM capacity of 4 asks David Somers professor and chair of the Boston University department of psychological and brain sciences Not 4 MB or GB or 4K just 4 So how the heck do humans do all this stuff There s so much information out there and our brains are very limited in what we re able to process adds Samantha Michalka a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology We desperately need attention to function in the world Michalka is lead author and Somers is senior author of a new study that sheds light on this enduring mystery of neuroscience how humans achieve so much with such limited attention New attention network The work published in Neuron identifies a previously unknown attention network in the brain It also reveals that our working memory for space and time can recruit our extraordinary visual and auditory processing networks when needed Why our eyes multitask even if we try to focus Prior to this work scientists believed that visual information from the eyes and auditory information from the ears merged before reaching the frontal lobes where abstract thought occurs The team performed functional MRI experiments to test the conventional wisdom The experiments revealed that what was thought to be one large attention network in the frontal lobe is actually two interleaved attention networks one supporting vision and one supporting hearing So instead of talking about a single attention network says Somers we now need to talk about a visual attention network and an auditory attention network that work together Space and time The scientists wondered just how closely the networks cooperate and when Our visual system is terrific at processing space but just okay at processing time says Somers But our auditory system is amazing for processing time but not very good for space In other words when a person tries to locate something in space

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/brain-network-working-memory-991092-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Why a shocking noise sticks in our mind - Futurity
    Arizona University of California at Irvine University of California Berkeley University of California Davis University of California Santa Barbara University of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Copenhagen University of Florida University of Illinois University of Iowa University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Science and Technology Related Articles This quick visual test predicts IQ Early energizers powered prehistoric life Ice Age sloth bone unearthed in Iowa Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print The findings help explain why it only takes seconds to develop post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD from a shock or sudden event Credit Jason Flickr Why a shocking noise sticks in our mind New York University Posted by David March NYU on August 25 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license Sudden traumatizing sounds can form lasting memories in the brain s flight or fight region Researchers were able to heighten and improve hearing in rats by stimulating the brain region known as the locus coeruleus Our study gives us deeper insight into the functions of the locus coeruleus as a powerful amplifier in the brain controlling how and where the brain stores and transforms sudden traumatizing sounds and events into memories says senior study investigator and neuroscientist Robert C Froemke an assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center Credit Sam Flickr Our findings if confirmed by future studies in animals and people should help us better understand how to improve hearing and memory abilities in those suffering from hearing loss or possibly even Alzheimer s disease as well as how to alter or minimize memories involved in disorders like post traumatic stress disorder The findings help explain why it only takes seconds to develop post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD from a shock or sudden event and suggest how traumatizing memories can be reshaped or dampened to lessen symptoms of PTSD The results also may help explain how electrical impulses such as those produced by cochlear implants for the hearing impaired can better be used to improve hearing Associate sound with food The researchers chemically stimulated the locus coeruleus in rats while simultaneously playing them a sound paired with a food reward After a two week training period to ensure the rats associated the sound with food the same sound was played much more quietly They found the locus coeruleus and auditory cortex still responded to the sound even at nearly imperceptible levels for the

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/shocking-sounds-memory-989212/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Old friend or lookalike? How your brain knows - Futurity
    of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Science and Technology Related Articles Good looks and singing aren t a trade off for birds Early primate skull found in Saudi Arabia Does dyslexia make it hard to learn sounds Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print You see a familiar face and say to yourself I think I ve seen that face But is this someone I met five years ago maybe with thinner hair or different glasses or is it someone else entirely asks James J Knierim That s one of the biggest problems our memory system has to solve Credit FadilahPH Flickr Old friend or lookalike How your brain knows Johns Hopkins University right Original Study Posted by Jill Rosen Johns Hopkins on August 20 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license You see a guy at the grocery store is he a college classmate or just a lookalike One tiny spot in the brain holds the answer Neuroscientists have identified the part of the hippocampus that creates and processes this type of memory furthering our understanding of how the mind works and what s going wrong when it doesn t The findings appear in Neuron You see a familiar face and say to yourself I think I ve seen that face But is this someone I met five years ago maybe with thinner hair or different glasses or is it someone else entirely asks study leader James J Knierim a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University s Zanvyl Krieger Mind Brain Institute That s one of the biggest problems our memory system has to solve The hippocampus hypothesis Neural activity in the hippocampus allows someone to remember where they parked their car find their home even if the paint color changes and recognize an old song when it comes on the radio Brain researchers theorized that two parts of the hippocampus the dentate gyrus and CA3 competed to decide whether a stimulus was completely new or an altered version of something familiar The dentate gyrus was thought to automatically encode each stimulus as new a process called pattern separation In contrast CA3 was thought to minimize any small changes from one experience to the next and classify the stimuli as being the same a process called pattern completion So the dentate gyrus would assume that the person with thinner hair and unfamiliar glasses was a complete stranger while CA3 would ignore the altered details and retrieve the memory of a college buddy Same or different Prior work by Knierim s group and others provided evidence in favor of this long standing theory The new research shows however that CA3 is more complicated than previously thought Parts of CA3 come to different decisions and they pass these different decisions to other brain areas The final job of the CA3 region is to make the

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/memory-brain-hippocampus-986172/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Strangers, not friends, light up this brain network - Futurity
    Cretaceous asteroid wipe out mollusks too S Africa birthplace of modern humans Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print A really cool feature of the PMN is that it seems to show its response patterns regardless of what you re doing says Adrian Gilmore The PMN doesn t seem to care what it is that you re trying to do It deactivates when we encounter something new and activates when we encounter something that we ve seen before Credit iStockphoto Strangers not friends light up this brain network Washington University in St Louis right Original Study Posted by Gerry Everding WUSTL on August 13 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license New research helps identify how the brain determines if we re experiencing something new or previously known A newly discovered brain network helps us recognize for instance whether the face before us belongs to a familiar friend or a complete stranger Forthcoming in Trends in Cognitive Sciences the study pulls together evidence from multiple neuroimaging studies and methods to demonstrate the existence of previously unknown and distinct functional brain network one that appears to have broad involvement in human memory processing Activity in this network tells us if you re looking at something that you perceive to be novel or familiar says Adrian Gilmore first author of the study and a fifth year psychology doctoral student at Washington University in St Louis When an individual sees a novel stimulus this network shows a marked decrease in activity When an individual sees a familiar stimulus this network shows a marked increase in activity New or familiar Described by study authors as the Parietal Memory Network PMN the new memory and learning network shows consistent patterns of activation and deactivation in three distinct regions of the parietal cortex in the brain s left hemisphere the precuneus the mid cingulate cortex and the dorsal angular gyrus Activity within the PMN during the processing of incoming information encoding can be used to predict how well that information will be stored in memory and later made available for successful retrieval The PMN exhibits opposite patterns of activity depending on whether the information being retrieved is recognized as new or familiar the more familiar the information the more activity in the PMN the study finds Researchers identified interesting characteristics of the PMN by analyzing data from a range of previously published neuroimaging studies Using converging bits of evidence from dozens of fMRI brain experiments their study shows how activity in the PMN changes during the completion of specific mental tasks and how the regions interact during resting states when the brain is involved in no particular activity or mental challenge Capturing our attention This study builds on research by Marcus Raichle and other neuroscience researchers at Washington University which established the existence of another functional brain network that remains surprisingly active when the brain is not

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/brain-new-memory-980862/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Insulin resistance may boost risk of memory loss - Futurity
    of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Health and Medicine Related Articles For fairer transplants gerrymander maps Off label drug doesn t ease lower back pain Pregnant smokers get subpar help to quit Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print If you don t have as much fuel you re not going to be as adept at remembering something or doing something says Auriel Willette This is important with Alzheimer s disease because over the course of the disease there is a progressive decrease in the amount of blood sugar used in certain brain regions Those regions end up using less and less Credit iStockphoto Insulin resistance may boost risk of memory loss Iowa State University right Original Study Posted by Angie Hunt Iowa State on July 27 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license The fact that obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers is well known A new study suggests that memory loss and Alzheimer s disease should also be a top concern Researchers discovered a strong association between insulin resistance and memory function decline increasing the risk for Alzheimer s disease Insulin resistance is common in people who are obese pre diabetic or have type 2 diabetes For the study scientists examined brain scans in 150 late middle aged adults who were at risk for Alzheimer s disease but showed no sign of memory loss The scans detected if people with higher levels of insulin resistance used less blood sugar in areas of the brain most susceptible to Alzheimer s When that happens the brain has less energy to relay information and function says Auriel Willette a research scientist in the food science and human nutrition department at Iowa State University Not enough fuel If you don t have as much fuel you re not going to be as adept at remembering something or doing something he says This is important with Alzheimer s disease because over the course of the disease there is a progressive decrease in the amount of blood sugar used in certain brain regions Those regions end up using less and less The work published in JAMA Neurology focuses on the medial temporal lobe specifically the hippocampus a critical region of the brain for learning new things and sending information to long term memory It is also one of the areas of the brain that first show massive atrophy or shrinkage due to Alzheimer s disease This is the first study to look at insulin resistance in late middle aged people average

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/obesity-memory-alzheimers-insulin-968272/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Why schizophrenia makes it hard to remember - Futurity
    pregnancy Easy policies let more kids go vaccine free Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print This shows that the memory problems in people with schizophrenia are not the same as those of people with Alzheimer s disease where the brain region is damaged and deteriorating It s more like those of people with other cognitive deficits such as ADHD says Cameron Carter Credit iStockphoto Why schizophrenia makes it hard to remember University of California Davis right Original Study Posted by Phyllis Brown UC Davis on July 24 2015 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license While medications can often treat the delusions and hallucinations that accompany schizophrenia it s been more challenging to address memory problems which can make it difficult to perform daily activities People with schizophrenia have difficulty retrieving associations within a context and this creates a pervasive loss of memory that makes everyday life a challenge says J Daniel Ragland professor of psychiatry in the UC Davis School of Medicine You can t work if you can t remember the next step in what your boss told you to do Ragland and colleagues say the memory troubles arise from dysfunction of frontal and temporal lobe regions in the brain Memory is most impaired when people with schizophrenia try to form relationships between items remembering to also buy eggs milk and butter when buying flour to make pancakes and that this encoding problem is accompanied by dysfunction in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex People with schizophrenia also have greater difficulty retrieving this relational information even when they can remember the individual items and this relational retrieval deficit is accompanied by functionally specific dysfunction in a brain area called the hippocampus If you re going to develop a drug or other therapy to improve memory we found that this frontal and temporal lobe relational memory network may be a target or biomarker for treatment development Ragland says What brain scans show For the study researchers used fMRI to analyze the brains of 60 men and women with schizophrenia The participants viewed a series of pictures of everyday objects and made either an item specific encoding decision about whether the object was living or non living or made a relational encoding decision about whether one of the objects could fit inside of the other during fMRI scanning This was followed by an item recognition task consisting of previously studied objects presented together with never studied objects Participants had to assess whether or not the object was previously studied Participants also were tested on their associative recognition of which objects were paired together during the relational encoding task The more severe pattern of relational memory deficits and dorsolateral prefrontal and hippocampal dysfunction was revealed by contrasting the item specific and relational memory conditions during encoding and retrieval In the participants diagnosed with psychosis the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex appeared substantially less activated than in

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/schizophrenia-memory-966892/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Possible 'babysitter' spotted in nest of 24 dinosaurs - Futurity
    atomic sharpness Top electron problem gets a KO punch Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print The 24 younger animals appeared to be quite similar in size Though the team considered whether they might have been embryos still in their eggs various observations suggest they had already hatched Credit Nobu Tamura Wikimedia Commons Possible babysitter spotted in nest of 24 dinosaurs University of Pennsylvania right Original Study Posted by Katherine Unger Baillie Penn on August 28 2014 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license A rock slab that contains the fossils of 24 very young dinosaurs and one older one suggests a caretaker was watching the group of hatchlings scientists say Amateur paleontologists discovered the fossils which are about 120 million years old in the Lujiatun beds of the Yixian Formation in northeastern China s Liaoning Province A rock slab containing fossils of 24 very young dinosaurs and one older individual suggests post hatchling cooperation a behavior exhibited by some species of modern day birds Credit U Pennsylvania Though the entire specimen is only about two feet across it contains fossils from 25 creatures all of the species Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis Psittacosaurs were plant eaters and are among the most abundant dinosaurs yet discovered The specimen had previously been described only briefly in a one page paper in 2004 The people who found and extracted the fossils did not record their exact original location which hampers the investigation to some degree But Peter Dodson professor of paleontology at the University of Pennsylvania and Brandon Hedrick a doctoral student in the department of earth and environmental science felt there was much more to say about the specimen I saw a photo of it and instantly knew I wanted to explore it in more depth Hedrick says Caught in a slurry of debris To analyze the material in which the animals were preserved the researchers examined thin slivers of rock under the microscope and samples of ground up rock using a technique called X ray diffraction which relies on the fact that different kinds of minerals bend light in unique ways Both analyses suggested the rock was composed of volcanic material an indication that the animals were caught in flowing material from an eruption The fossils orientation supported this idea The findings are reported in the journal Cretaceous Research If they were captured in a flow the long axis their spines would be oriented in the same direction Hedrick says That was what we found They were likely trapped by a flow though we can t say exactly what kind of flow Because there was no evidence of heat damage to the bones the researchers believe the flow was likely a lahar a slurry of water mud rock and other debris associated with volcanic eruptions Was it a nest The 24 younger animals appeared to be quite similar in size Though the team considered whether

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/psittacosaurs-fossils-caregivers-754942/ (2016-02-11)
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