Intelligence News -- ScienceDaily Intelligence - nature or nurture? Researchers find a gene for intelligence and also that a bigger brain matters, yet other recent articles show how motivation affects learning.

  • The mere presence of your smartphone reduces brain power, study shows
    on June 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off — suggests new research. […]

  • Anti-epilepsy drug restores normal brain activity in mild Alzheimer's disease
    on June 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    An anti-epileptic drug has been tested for its potential impact on the brain activity of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease. The team documented changes in patients' EEGs that suggest the drug could have a beneficial effect. […]

  • Chatter in the deep brain spurs empathy in rats
    on June 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    By combining electrical monitoring of neural activity with machine learning, a team of neuroscientists has tuned into the brain chatter of rats engaged in helping other rats. The results clarify earlier conflicting findings on the role of specific brain regions, such as the insula, in guiding antisocial and psychopathic behavior, and may shed light on how to encourage altruistic behavior in humans. […]

  • Interventions to prevent cognitive decline, dementia
    on June 22, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Cognitive training, blood pressure management for people with hypertension, and increased physical activity all show modest but inconclusive evidence that they can help prevent cognitive decline and dementia, but there is insufficient evidence to support a public health campaign encouraging their adoption, says a new report. […]

  • Proton pump inhibitors do not contribute to dementia or Alzheimer's disease
    on June 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Noting that the prescription of proton pump inhibitors is on the rise among middle-aged and older adults, a team of researchers designed a new study to examine PPIs and the risk of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. […]

  • Video games can change your brain
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Scientists have collected and summarized studies looking at how video games can shape our brains and behavior. Research to date suggests that playing video games can change the brain regions responsible for attention and visuospatial skills and make them more efficient. The researchers also looked at studies exploring brain regions associated with the reward system, and how these are related to video game addiction. […]

  • Frequent sexual activity can boost brain power in older adults
    on June 22, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    More frequent sexual activity has been linked to improved brain function in older adults, according to a new study. […]

  • New technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
    on June 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Some basic processes underlying memory consolidation have been discovered by researchers. The work identifies some of the electrical events responsible for specific neuronal activity in the hippocampus: a region of the brain with fundamental roles in episodic memory. […]

  • Predicting cognitive deficits in people with Parkinson's disease
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Parkinson's disease is commonly thought of as a movement disorder, but after years of living with the disease, approximately 25 percent of patients also experience deficits in cognition that impair function. A newly developed research tool may help predict a patient's risk for developing dementia and could enable clinical trials aimed at finding treatments to prevent the cognitive effects of the disease. […]

  • Three ways neuroscience can advance the concussion debate
    on June 21, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    While concussion awareness has improved over the past decade, understanding the nuances of these sports injuries, their severity, symptoms, and treatment, is still a work in progress. Neurologists and neurotraumatologists have reviewed the science of concussions and outlined several areas where neuroscience and clinical research can help create consensus in the field: definitions of what acute and chronic concussions are, diagnostics, and management and treatment. […]

  • Forgetting can make you smarter
    on June 21, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    A new review paper proposes that the goal of memory is not to transmit the most accurate information over time, but to guide and optimize intelligent decision making by only holding on to valuable information. […]

  • The brain mechanism behind multitasking
    on June 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Scientists have identified a brain mechanism that enables more efficient multitasking. […]

  • New technique makes brain scans better
    on June 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    To help scientists take advantage of huge numbers of low-quality patient brain scans, a team of researchers has devised a way to boost the quality of these MRI scans so that they can be used for large scale studies of how strokes affect different people. […]

  • Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer's
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    The Mediterranean diet is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia. Now, researchers have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil. In a new study, the researchers show that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain -- classic markers of Alzheimer's disease. […]

  • New approach to teaching music improvisation enhances creativity
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    New research looks at developing processes for musical improvisation that enhance creativity. […]

  • Long-term memories made with meaningful information
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    When trying to memorize information, it is better to relate it to something meaningful rather than repeat it again and again to make it stick, according to a recent study. […]

  • Losing train of thought or it's hard to multi-task? You may be having one drink too many
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Impairments using information that help with decision-making and planning simple tasks are linked with one's frequency of alcohol or drug use. A new study shows that cognitive impairments constitute a broader problem among substance users in the US general population. This is the first study to find associations between deficits in attention with frequency of binge drinking and use of marijuana, cocaine, opioids, tranquilizers and stimulants in the general population ages 18 and older. […]

  • Modeling Gulf War illness: Knowing the cause of brain dysfunction is key to finding a cure
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    When hundreds of thousands of American troops deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990 and 1991 in the First Gulf War, they were exposed to a variety of chemicals. These chemicals -- especially when coupled with war-related stress -- seem to still be affecting nearly 200,000 Gulf War veterans -- or 25 to 32 percent of those who served -- more than 25 years later, and the constellation of resulting symptoms has been termed Gulf War illness. […]

  • Mapping how words leap from brain to tongue
    on June 19, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    How the brain narrows down a smorgasbord of related concepts to the one word you're truly seeking is a complicated and poorly understood cognitive task. Looking at epilepsy patients who had a grid of electrodes directly atop their brains, researchers delved into this question and found that wide, overlapping swaths of the brain work in parallel to retrieve the correct word from memory. […]

  • Why the 'peculiar' stands out in our memory
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Memories that stick with us for a lifetime are those that fit in with a lot of other things we remember -- but have a slightly weird twist. It's this notion of 'peculiarity' that can help us understand what makes lasting memories. […]

  • More brain activity is not always better when it comes to memory, attention
    on June 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Potential new ways of understanding the cause of cognitive impairments, such as problems with memory and attention, in brain disorders including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are under the spotlight in a new research review. […]

  • All in the eyes: What the pupils tells us about language
    on June 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    The meaning of a word is enough to trigger a reaction in our pupil: when we read or hear a word with a meaning associated with luminosity ("sun," "shine," etc.), our pupils contract as they would if they were actually exposed to greater luminosity. And the opposite occurs with a word associated with darkness ("night," "gloom," etc.). These results open up a new avenue for better understanding how our brain processes language. […]

  • More amyloid in the brain, more cognitive decline
    on June 15, 2017 at 1:12 am

    The amount of amyloid plaques in a person's brain predicts the rate at which his or her cognition will decline in the next four years, outlines new research. […]

  • Predicting treatment effectiveness for adults with autism
    on June 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have identified certain brain regions that significantly correlate with an increase in social abilities following a virtual environment based training program. Adults on the autism spectrum who showed greater activity in the social brain network prior to the training improved more in emotion recognition than those who showed less activity. […]

  • Concussion effects detailed on microscopic level
    on June 13, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    New research has uncovered details about subcellular-level changes in the brain after concussion that could one day lead to improved treatment. […]

  • Cognitive-related neural pattern to activate machines
    on June 13, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    A study has identified a functional brain pattern linked to cognitive behavior able to activate an iPad's touchscreen. Results may be useful in brain-machine interfaces, of particular interest for people with physical difficulties to communicate with the outside world. […]

  • Elevated brain amyloid level associated with increased likelihood of cognitive decline
    on June 13, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Among a group of cognitively normal individuals, those who had elevated levels in the brain of the protein amyloid were more likely to experience cognitive decline in the following years, according to a study. […]

  • Socioeconomic background linked to reading improvement
    on June 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Neuroscientists have found that dyslexic children from lower income families responded much better to a summer reading program than children from a higher socioeconomic background. Using MRI data, the team also found anatomical changes in the brains of children whose reading abilities improved -- in particular, a thickening of the cortex in parts of the brain known to be involved in reading. […]

  • How do preemies perform in school?
    on June 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Parents of prematurely born babies often fear their children may go on to struggle in school, but findings from a new large-scale study should reassure parents. […]

  • Concentration spans drop when online ads pop up
    on June 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Researchers have shown that measurements of the brain's electrical activity can be used to test the influence of intrusive online advertisements on internet users' concentration and emotions. […]