Brain Researchers Start Mapping the Human ‘Connectome’ (Press release):
“Analogous to the Human Genome Project—which mapped the human genetic code—the Human Connectome Project seeks to map “the complete, point-to-point spatial connectivity of neural pathways in the brain,” according to Arthur W. Toga, PhD, and colleagues of David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles. They write, “For neuroscientists and the lay public alike, the ability to assess, measure, and explore this wealth of layered information concerning how the brain is wired is a much sought after prize.”
“The 100 billion neurons of the human nervous system interconnect to form a relatively small number of “functional neural networks” responsible for behavior and thought. However, even after more than a century of research, there is no comprehensive map of the connections of the human brain.”
–> To Learn More: To Be (Your Connectome), or Not to Be (Your Genome)
By: Laurie Bartels
The Sound of Music
Whether you realize it or not, you already know a lot when it comes to music. According to Daniel Levitin, former record producer, current neuroscientist, psychologist and author of This Is Your Brain On Music, you know: Read the rest of this entry »
Teamwork Builds Big Brains (Science Now):
– “The average adult human’s brain weighs about 1.3 kilograms, has 100 billion or so neurons, and sucks up 20% of the oxygen we breathe. It’s much bigger than an animal our size needs. According to a new computer model, the brains of humans and related primates are so large because we evolved to be social creatures.“
– “The idea behind the so-called social intelligence hypothesis is that we need Read the rest of this entry »
By: Sebastian Seung @ MIT
NO ROAD, NO trail can penetrate this forest. The long and delicate branches of its trees lie everywhere, choking space with their exuberant growth. No sunbeam can fly a path tortuous enough to navigate the narrow spaces between these entangled branches. All the trees of this dark forest grew from 100 billion seeds planted together. And, all in one day, every tree is destined to die.
This forest is majestic, but also comic and even tragic. It is all of these things. Indeed, sometimes I think it is everything. Every novel and every symphony, every cruel murder and every act of mercy, every love affair and every quarrel, every joke and every sorrow — all these things come from the forest. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Dr. Helena Popovic
We are the architects and builders of our own brains.
For millennia, however, we were oblivious to our enormous creative capabilities. We had no idea that our brains were changing in response to our actions and attitudes, every day of our lives. So we unconsciously and randomly shaped our brains and our latter years because we believed we had an immutable brain that was at the mercy of our genes.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Alvaro Fernandez
You may have noticed that Amazon.com is sharing aggregated data on how ebook readers interact with the books they are reading. For example, the “Popular Highlights” section (towards the bottom of our Kindle book page) ranks the Top 10 sentences that Kindle readers have highlighted and shared while reading The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: 18 Interviews with Scientists, Practical Advice and Product Reviews, to Keep Your Brain Sharp (April 2009; 182 pages; ranked #1 in Kindle Store’s Preventive Medicine section).
This information is invaluable to authors and publishers - as you can imagine, we’ll make sure to not only maintain but to elaborate on these topics as we prepare future editions of the book.
So, what are so far the Top Ten Quotes on Lifelong Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, Read the rest of this entry »
By: Dr. Jerome Schultz
(Editor’s note: below you have the final part of the 6-part Stress and the Brain series. If you are joining the series now, you can read the previous parts via the links below.)
Understanding the Human Brain and How It Responds to Stress
TO FIGHT, FLEE, OR FREEZE — THAT IS THE QUESTION
With a better understanding of the neurobiology of stress, the LD — ADHD — stress connection becomes clear. Students with learning disabilities or ADHD, confronted with the stress created by exposure to tasks that are in reality or in their perception too difficult (and thus threatening), exhibit the protective behavior of any organism under extreme stress: They fight, they flee, or they freeze. When these kids don’t understand why they can’t do what other kids can do (master the stressor), and they can’t see any way to get out of a situation that won’t go away, they begin to shut down. Read the rest of this entry »