How much of a treatment is mind over matter? It is well documented that people often feel better after taking a treatment without active ingredients simply because they believe it’s real — known as the placebo effect.
A team of researchers from Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Dartmouth College is the first to demonstrate that placebos reduce brain markers of emotional distress even when people know they are taking one. [Read more…] about Study: The placebo effect works even when people know they are taking a placebo
Is This the Future of Mental Health? (USC Viterbi School of Engineering):
“Brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) provide a direct pathway to the brain to translate brain signals into actions … Below, Shanechi (Note: Maryam Shanechi, PhD, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering) answers some questions about her work and what the future might hold for our understanding and treatment of mental disorders.
What potential does this hold for the future not just of mental health, but of understanding our brains as a whole?
Neuropsychiatric disorders are a major cause of disability worldwide with depressive disorders being the most disabling among them. About 30% of major depression patients are treatment-resistant – that’s about 5 million people in the US alone. [Read more…] about Neuroengineering meets neuroethics to address treatment-resistant depression
Dear Elkhonon, a pleasure to have you with us. Let’s get out the gate by discussing how are new ideas born — for example, how exactly did you first think about writing your new book, Creativity: The Human Brain in the Age of Innovation?
Originally, I set out to write a book about how the brain deals with novelty — a long-standing focus of my own research. But the more I thought about it, the more the subject of creativity was coming up, so I decided to tackle novelty and creativity at the same time.
Do we need yet another book on Creativity?
We absolutely do. Creativity is not just an individual feat; it is embedded into a culture which either foster, stifles, or shapes it in a variety of ways. And it is never a strictly solitary process, since even the most creative mind draws on the previously accumulated knowledge. So, in order to truly understand creativity, we must integrate neuroscientific and cultural perspectives into a coherent narrative. To my knowledge, this has not been done before, and this is what my book aims to accomplish.
I am particularly fascinated by the dynamic relationship between over- and underactivation of prefrontal cortex areas in the creative process and discuss it extensively in the book. This is one of the most intriguing and possibly most consequential aspects of the brain machinery of creativity.
What have we learned about the brain mechanisms of creativity over the last five to ten years?
We have learned a lot: that creativity is not a monolithic trait; that is consists of many moving parts and may take many paths even within the same arena of human endeavor; that it is not linked to any single brain structure or to a single gene or even a small group of genes.
How do you define Creativity, and what can Neuroscience contribute to its understanding?
Creativity is often defined as the ability to come up with content which is both novel and salient. [Read more…] about A conversation with Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg on Creativity, Neuroscience, and Technological Innovation
Proud to confirm a new excellent Speaker @ 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (December 5–7th).
Belén Guerra-Carrillo is an NSF fellow and a doctoral student at UC Berkeley in Prof. Silvia Bunge’s Building Blocks of Cognition Lab. She is particularly interested in the neural and cognitive mechanisms that give rise to changes that occur as a result of learning, and uses multiple methodologies–eye-tracking, neuroimaging, big data and more– to gain a richer picture of how and when these changes take place, as well as the factors that may influence individual learning trajectories, as evidenced by the fascinating recent study published just two weeks ago and outlined below.
UC Berkeley study links cognitive longevity to higher education (The Daily Californian):
“A study led by campus researchers found that higher levels of education are linked to later ages of peak cognitive performance…The team was able to use anonymous data gathered from almost 200,000 subscribers to Lumosity, an online cognitive training program, whose users consented that their results could be used for scientific research. Lumosity became involved in the study through its Human Cognition Project, which aims to provide researchers with cognitive data from Lumosity’s training tools [Read more…] about Belén Guerra-Carrillo to speak about Cognition, Learning and How to Conduct a 200,000-participant Study at the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit
“When Facebook’s Mark Chevillet describes the company’s new “typing by brain” initiative, he has a way of keeping it from sounding totally crazy [Read more…] about The dual challenge ahead of Facebook’s Typing-by-Brain project: 1) develop the neurotechnology, 2) develop the science
Mapping Creativity in the Brain (The Atlantic):
“The writer Edith Wharton, a self-professed “slow worker,” dismissed the idea of easy creative triumph. “Many people assume that the artist receives, at the outset of his career, the mysterious sealed orders known as ‘Inspiration,’ and has only to let that sovereign impulse carry him where it will,” she wrote in her 1925 book The Writing of Fiction. The artistic impulse, she continued, was instead achieved through “systematic daily effort.”
But while she championed diligence, Wharton was also driven by [Read more…] about To boost creativity, combine systematic daily effort with diverse emotional states