Tag: Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Babies’ expectations may help brain development

Babies’ expectations may help brain development

July 20, 2015

A series of studies with infants 5 to 7 months old has shown that the portion of babies’ brains responsible for visual processing responds not just to the presence of visual stimuli, but also to the mere expectation of visual stimuli.

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WATCH: The optical illusion that makes it so hard to hit a curveball

WATCH: The optical illusion that makes it so hard to hit a curveball

June 24, 2015

This video, which was put together by a group of University of Rochester researchers, demonstrates a phenomenon known as the “curveball illusion,” which basically tricks hitters into thinking a curveball is dropping quicker than it is.

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Watch: The optical illusion that makes it so hard to hit a curveball

Watch: The optical illusion that makes it so hard to hit a curveball

June 23, 2015

In baseball, the curveball is a monumentally difficult pitch to hit. It turns out there’s a very good scientific reason why. In a recent paper, a group of University of Rochester cognitive scientists conducted some tests to propose a new model of how the human brain uses motion to estimate the location of an object — and explain why it can sometimes be tricked.

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We mimic the speech patterns of people we agree with

We mimic the speech patterns of people we agree with

May 26, 2015

When people talk, they tend to inadvertently take on each other’s speech patterns, adopting similar pronunciation, rates of speech, posture, and more. The degree to which we fall in with someone else’s speech patterns may have to do with how much we agree with them, and how willing we are to compromise.

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Imitation game: we unconsciously mimic the speech patterns of people who think like us

Imitation game: we unconsciously mimic the speech patterns of people who think like us

May 20, 2015

When we talk to a companion, psychologists tell us, we unconsciously mirror their posture, behavior, and speech patterns — monkey see, monkey do. New research from University of Rochester shows how certain social factors can modify this automatic behavior.

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Thinking alike changes how we speak

Thinking alike changes how we speak

May 19, 2015

As social creatures, we tend to mimic each other’s posture, laughter, and other behaviors, including how we speak. Now a new study from brain and cognitive sciences researchers shows that people with similar views tend to more closely mirror, or align, each other’s speech patterns. In addition, people who are better at compromising align more closely.

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Gambling monkeys have hot hands just like humans

Gambling monkeys have hot hands just like humans

January 29, 2015

A new experiment from the University of Rochester has found that monkeys, like humans, suffer from “hot hand” syndrome in gambling scenarios. The study, which was not conducted at a treetop casino where tuxedo’d monkey bartenders sling daiquiris, focused on three primates interacting with a computer program, which they controlled by shifting their eyes to the left or right.

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Study reveals how the human brain heals itself after surgical removal of brain tumor

Study reveals how the human brain heals itself after surgical removal of brain tumor

December 11, 2014

An interdisciplinary team of neuroscientists and neurosurgeons from the University of Rochester has used a new imaging technique to show how the human brain heals itself in just a few weeks following surgical removal of a brain tumor. The team found that recovery of vision in patients with pituitary tumors is predicted by the integrity of myelin–the insulation that wraps around connections between neurons–in the optic nerves.

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Want to boost your brain power? A new study says video games are the answer.

Want to boost your brain power? A new study says video games are the answer.

November 13, 2014

Remember when you told your kids that spending too much time playing video games would make them lazy?

Now there’s a perfect comeback: Playing video games can actually make you smarter.

Really. According to a study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, playing fast-paced action video games can make someone a better learner.

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Could playing video games make you smarter?

Could playing video games make you smarter?

November 12, 2014

“Prior research by our group and others has shown that action gamers excel at many tasks. In this new study, we show they excel because they are better learners,” said Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “And they become better learners by playing the fast-paced action games.” Bavelier said our brains keep predicting what will come next – whether when listening to a conversation, driving, or even preforming surgery. “

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