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.

  • Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during performed and imagined movements
    on August 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Filtering information for search engines, acting as an opponent during a board game or recognizing images: Artificial intelligence has far outpaced human intelligence in certain tasks. Researchers are showing how ideas from computer science could revolutionize brain research. They illustrate how a self-learning algorithm decodes human brain signals that were measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). […]

  • Neuroscientists discover a brain circuit dedicated to retrieving memories
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Neuroscientists who study memory have long believed that when we recall an event, our brains turn on the same hippocampal circuit that was activated when the memory was originally formed. However, neuroscientists have now shown, for the first time, that recalling a memory requires a 'detour' circuit that branches off from the original memory circuit. […]

  • Neurons involved in learning, memory preservation less stable, more flexible than once thought
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory. Cells that form these links have been deemed highly stable and fixed. Now, new research conducted in mice challenge that model, revealing that the neurons responsible for such tasks may be less stable, yet more flexible than previously believed. […]

  • Visual impairment among older adults associated with poor cognitive function
    on August 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    In a nationally representative sample of older US adults, visual impairment was associated with worse cognitive function. […]

  • Study: Playing smartphone app aids concussion recovery in teens
    on August 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Generally, after suffering a concussion, patients are encouraged to avoid reading, watching TV and using mobile devices to help their brains heal. But new research shows that teenagers who used a mobile health app once a day in conjunction with medical care improved concussion symptoms and optimism more than with standard medical treatment alone. […]

  • Could olfactory loss point to Alzheimer's disease?
    on August 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Simple odor identification tests may help track the progression of Alzheimer's disease before symptoms actually appear, particularly among those at risk. […]

  • Roots of schizophrenia: Excess of methionine during pregnancy?
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    An abundance of an amino acid called methionine, which is common in meat, cheese and beans, may provide new clues to the fetal brain development that can manifest in schizophrenia, pharmacology researchers report. […]

  • Child's home learning environment predicts 5th grade academic skills
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Children whose parents provide them with learning materials like books and toys and engage them in learning activities and meaningful conversations in infancy and toddlerhood are likely to develop early cognitive skills that can cascade into later academic success. […]

  • New machine learning program shows promise for early alzheimer's diagnosis
    on August 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    A new machine learning program appears to outperform other methods for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease before symptoms begin to interfere with every day living, initial testing shows. Early diagnosis and treatment -- the goal of the new computer based program -- is key to allowing those with the disease to remain independent longer. […]

  • Firmer, fitter frame linked to firmer, fitter brain
    on August 15, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    To determine why more aerobically fit individuals have better memories, scientists used magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), which measures the elasticity of organs, and found that fit individuals had a firmer, more elastic hippocampus—a region of the brain associated with memory. […]

  • Adult brains produce new cells in previously undiscovered area
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    A discovery may lead to new treatments for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Scientists have discovered that new brain cells are produced in the adult amygdala, a region of the brain important for processing emotional memories. Disrupted connections in the amygdala, an ancient part of the brain, are linked to anxiety disorders such as PTSD. The research marked a major shift in understanding the brain's ability to adapt and regenerate. […]

  • Prematurity leaves distinctive molecular signature in infants' cerebellum
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Premature birth, which affects one in 10 US babies, is associated with altered metabolite profiles in the infants' cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls coordination and balance, a team of researchers reports. […]

  • Running rats remember better
    on August 14, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Young rats with access to a running wheel show improved memory later in life and increased activity of neurons generated in adulthood, finds a new study. The results raise the possibility that exercise early in life may help to protect against age-related cognitive decline. […]

  • Brain scan study adds to evidence that lower brain serotonin levels are linked to dementia
    on August 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter -- a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and appetite. […]

  • Cognitive abilities seem to reinforce each other in adolescence
    on August 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    One of the most striking findings in psychology is that almost all cognitive abilities are positively related, which allows researchers to summarize people's skills on a wide range of domains as one factor, known as 'g' or 'general intelligence.' Despite this, the mechanisms underlying 'g' remain somewhat mysterious. In a new study, scientists use longitudinal data to directly compare different proposed explanations for the phenomenon of 'g.' […]

  • Imagining an action-consequence relationship can boost memory
    on August 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Imagining an action between two objects (the umbrella being lodged in the door lock) and a potential consequence (not being able to lock the door) may help people improve their memory for relationships with other objects, according to a recent story. […]

  • How the brain recognizes familiar faces
    on August 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Scientists have located two areas in the brain that help us recognize familiar faces. The discovery will help them delve deeper into the relationship between face recognition, memory, and social knowledge. […]

  • Reaction time variation may be a marker that predicts mortality in old age
    on August 9, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    A common indicator of neurobiological disturbance among the elderly may also be associated with mortality, according to a new study. […]

  • First circuit map of brain's learning and memory center
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    A significant development in understanding the brain: Scientists have, for the first time ever described the mushroom body connectome within the brain of fly larvae (Drosophila melanogaster) -- the circuit diagram of nerve cells. […]

  • Heartbeats could hold the key to understanding babies' inner world
    on August 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

    A novel new experiment to test how aware babies are of their bodies’ internal signals has been developed by researchers. The ability to consciously sense signals from your body is called interoception, and some people are more aware of these signals than others. These differences between people can influence a wide range of psychological processes, including how strongly you feel emotions, your decision-making, and mental health. […]

  • Longevity hormone boosts memory and protects against brain aging in mice
    on August 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    In a study that augues well for the therapeutic potential of klotho -- a life-extending protein hormone that a minority of people naturally produce at high levels -- scientists have found that administering a fragment of the klotho protein to young, aging or impaired mice rapidly improves their cognitive and physical performance. […]

  • Blocking enzyme linked to Alzheimer's may reverse memory loss
    on August 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Researchers can reverse memory loss in mice by interfering with the enzyme that forms the blockade. The enzyme, known as HDAC2, turns genes off by condensing them so tightly that they can't be expressed. […]

  • Youthful plasticity restored to brains of adult mice
    on August 8, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Like the rest of the body, the brain loses flexibility with age, impacting the ability to learn, remember, and adapt. Now, scientists report they can rejuvenate the plasticity of the mouse brain, specifically in the visual cortex. The study shows that manipulating a single gene triggers the shift, revealing it as a target for new treatments to recover the brain's youthful potential. […]

  • Are learning and unlearning bedfellows?
    on August 8, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    We know that sleep helps us integrate knowledge acquired during the day. But can we learn new things while sleeping? By exposing subjects to repeated auditory stimuli, a team of researchers has just demonstrated that the brain is capable of learning such sound patterns during certain sleep stages -- though they may be forgotten during deep sleep. […]

  • Sleep makes it possible for babies to associate words with content, and not with noise
    on August 8, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    For babies every moment is a new experience -- until the infant brain organizes the flood of stimulations. It has to save new information in its long-term memory, aggregate similar experiences and categorize them. Therefore, one thing seems to be crucial: sufficient sleep. Researchers have now discovered that babies can even associate them with meanings the first time -- much earlier than supposed. […]

  • Playing with your brain: Negative impact of some action video games
    on August 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Human-computer interactions, such as playing video games, can have a negative impact on the brain, says a new Canadian study. For over 10 years, scientists have told us that action video game players exhibit better visual attention, motor control abilities and short-term memory. But, could these benefits come at a cost? […]

  • MRI reveals striking brain differences in people with genetic autism
    on August 8, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Researchers using MRI have identified structural abnormalities in the brains of people with one of the most common genetic causes of autism, according to a new study, the first major study of its kind. […]

  • Tiny molecule has big effect on brain's ability to learn
    on August 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Prenatal brain development is a crucial period, and as new research has found, even small alterations to the way brain cells develop can have significant effects later in life. Scientists have shed light on the role that small molecules called microRNAs play in early brain development. The research found a close link between early brain developmental events and changes in cognitive function in adulthood. […]

  • Women have more active brains than men
    on August 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    In the largest functional brain imaging study to date, researchers compared 46,034 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging studies provided by nine clinics, quantifying differences between the brains of men and women. […]

  • Brain lays foundation for reason in childhood
    on August 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Structural connections between frontal and parietal areas in children's brains can predict their ability to reason later in life, reports new research. […]