Newborns are born largely blind, with dark, blurry, colourless and two-dimensional vision, Tseng says. While in the womb, there is no chance to develop vision. But they respond to auditory cues, which is why the best way to connect with newborns is to talk to them. At two months, they start to see a bit of colour – mainly red and green. By six months, they can see in full colour, although images remain quite blurry. By one year, Tseng says, they can see almost as well as adults. “We started to study infants because at first we didn’t believe that they could learn at such a young age,” says Tseng, who has a PhD in psychology from University of California, Irvine, and has spent most of her career studying perception, attention and learning in adults. “But so far I am convinced that infants have more cognitive learning ability than previously thought,” she says. Through the studies, the researchers are also beginning to understand the correlation between an infant’s learning ability and his or her future development.
For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist. The Future of the Mind gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. One day we might have a “smart pill” that can enhance our cognition; be able to upload our brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a “brain-net“; control computers and robots with our mind; push the very limits of immortality; and perhaps even send our consciousness across the universe. Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about “consciousness” and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness. With Dr. Kaku’s deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, The Future of the Mind is a scientific tour de force–an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience.
Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York have reversed depression-like behaviors in mice in an unexpected way. Rather than silencing the hyperactive neurons that triggered the rodents’ symptoms, the team boosted their activity even further. This triggered a compensatory, self-tuning response that brought the neurons’ firing—and the rodents’ behaviors—back to normal. “There’s a saying in Chinese: If you push something to an extreme, the only way it can go is in the opposite direction,” said Ming-Hu Han, who led the study, published today April 17 in Science. Although his team needs to confirm their results in humans, Han added, “it could give us new avenues for treating depression that are conceptually very different to the classical therapeutic strategy.” Rather than identifying the cause of an illness and reversing it, it may be possible to push those causes even harder and get the body to right itself.
Parce qu’elles visent à placer la recherche au cœur des enjeux les plus contemporains, les Rencontres Université–Société sont articulées autour de quatre thèmes faisant écho à la demande sociale : 1) Bien-être, handicap et santé; 2) Développement et durabilité; 3) Qualité de vie et travail; 4) Art, culture, société. Universitaires, acteurs socio-économiques et culturels, grands témoins et médias ont proposé une restitution des travaux réalisés dans le cadre des ateliers et ont engagé la discussion avec le public à travers 4 tables rondes et un débat final.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of whether or not human evolution is a story of brains over brawn. I study the evolution of the human body and how and why the human body is the way it is, and I’ve worked a lot on both ends of the body. I’m very interested in feet and barefoot running and how our feet function, but I’ve also written and thought a lot about how and why our heads are the way they are. The more I study feet and heads, the more I realize that what’s in the middle also matters, and that we have this very strange idea —it goes back to mythology—that human evolution is primarily a story about brains, about intelligence, about technology triumphing over brawn.
Read also: The Evolution of the Human Head
There are few things more personal than one’s aesthetic taste. When you really connect to a piece of art or music, it touches something deep inside. It moves you in a way that often escapes words. But what’s going on in your brain when you are moved like this? This question is explored in the recently-published paper, Art reaches within: aesthetic experience, the self and the default mode network. The study, undertaken by researchers from NYU and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. The burgeoning field of neuro-aesthetics attempts to address the mysteries of the human preoccupation with art by studying the underlying brain mechanisms. And,while understanding the artistic creative process itself is certainly a formidable challenge, many of the open questions concern the response to works of art by their viewers, listeners, and readers. What makes us so drawn to certain artistic creations, so influenced and moved by them? In recent years,we have learned a considerable amount from brain imaging studies about the neural correlates of aesthetic experience and how they relate to sensory, reward,and emotion neural processes.
The principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are based on a very simple idea: we feel according to what we think, in other words, our thoughts and cognitive constructions are at the root of our emotions and behavior patterns. CBT is based on three fundamental propositions:
- Cognitive activity affects behavior;
- Cognitive activity may be monitored and altered; and
- Desired behavior change may be effected through cognitive change.
CBT is a fundamentally empowering approach, in that it has successfully identified certain ways of thinking that can make the difference between sanity and insanity, between happiness and unhappiness, and it has developed a variety of techniques to teach patients to substitute these dysfunctional patterns of thinking, which are often at the root of their problems.