Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’
Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley.
The results suggest that training people in reasoning skills – the main focus of LSAT prep courses – can reinforce the brain’s circuits involved in thinking and reasoning and could even up people’s IQ scores.
“The fact that performance on the LSAT can be improved with practice is not new. People know that they can do better on the LSAT, which is why preparation courses exist,” said Allyson Mackey, a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute who led the study. “What we were interested in is whether and how the brain changes as a result of LSAT preparation, which we think is, fundamentally, reasoning training. We wanted to show that the ability to reason is malleable in adults.”
Are you a stumbler? While I don’t spend oodles of time bouncing through StumbleUpon, every once in a while I come across a gem that I just need to share. The Human Brain, is a collection of the most amazing images of, wait…you guessed it…the brain, that you have ever seen. It includes detailed views of every angle, with the ability to zoom in and out and add clear labels if desired. It also included histological sections which can be zoomed in right down to the cellular level.
I urge you, if you want to experience jaw-dropping images, to visit the human brain website.
In a very entertaining talk, Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert explains the “real” reason for brains and how evolutionary evidence proves that the brain has evolved to control movement and not as a thinking or feeling organ.
Perhaps one of Wolpert’s best lines is when he compares tenured professors to Sea Squirts. Appartently, Sea Squirts swim around the ocean as juveniles and then implant themselves on a rock where they remain indefinitely. Once they no longer need to move, they digest their brains which, Wolpert contends, is proof that their brain was only necessary for movement. As Wolpert so eloquently put it:
Once you don’t need to move, you don’t need the luxury of that brain. This animal is often taken as an analogy to what happens in universities when professors get tenure…
Very cool video brought to you by the folks at Scientific American. Check out how neuroscientists are using magic to study the brain.