This is your brain on Scrabble™ : an fMRI study

It almost goes without saying that Improbable endeavours to keep our readers up-to-date with current fMRI research projects. In respect of which, may we recommend : ‘This is your brain on Scrabble: Neural correlates of visual word recognition in competitive Scrabble players as measured during task and resting-state’ published in the journal Cortex, Volume 75, […]

The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study

Brain researchers, using advanced fMRI technology, made another unexpected advance toward understanding how the brain does or does not work. Their newly published study is: “The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study,” Jean-Pierre Royet, David Meunier, Nicolas Torquet, Anne-Marie Mouly and Tao Jiang, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 10, October 2016, article 511. The authors, at […]

How well scientists understand how to figure out how the brain works…

An essay (in The Elusive Self blog) about a demonstration of how little anyone really understands how the brain works: False functional inference: what does it mean to understand the brain? A few days ago Eric Jonas and Konrad Kording [pictured here] (J&K) posted a thought-provoking paper on bioRxiv entitled “Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?” […]

When is a Transport Map Too Complex for Your Brain?

This new study explains, maybe, why so many people feel overwhelmed in navigating a big city by metro or bus. The study is: “Lost in transportation: Information measures and cognitive limits in multilayer navigation,” Riccardo Gallotti, Mason A. Porter, Marc Barthelemy, Science Advances, epub February 19, 2016. The authors, at the Institut de Physique Théorique, France, the […]

High-achieving professors’ brains – are they different (to low-achieving professors’)?

A new (and possibly unique) research project has performed detailed examinations of the physical structure of the brains of high-achieving university professors. More specifically, Chinese high-achieving university professors. Or, to be precise, male Chinese high-achieving university professors. Inspired (in part) by a 1999 study entitled ‘The exceptional brain of Albert Einstein’ (in: The Lancet, vol. 353, […]

fMRI of the Brains of People Eating High and Low Quality Steak

A further innovation in the study of the brain, and/or in the study of people eating cooked meat: “Neural connectivity of the right and left nucleus accumbens after eating high and low quality steak,” W.N. Tapp, T.H. Davis, D. Paniukov, and Markus F. Miller [pictured below], Meat Science, vol. 112, February 2016, p. 113. The authors, […]

fMRI and Forrest Gump Open Science

“The human brain is designed to process vast amounts of input that are continuously gathered through the senses. However, most experiments study the brain via simplified stimuli that do not resemble the complexity of a natural environment — a mismatch that needs to be addressed in order to better understand how the brain works.” What […]

Studies: “Interacting with Women Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Functioning”

As discussed in this week’s podcast, some scholars believe that “Interacting with Women Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Functioning.” That is the title and theme of a Dutch study published in 2009. The study is: “Interacting with Women Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Functioning,” Johan C. Karremans, Thijs Verwijmeren, Tila M. Pronk, and Meyke Reitsma, Journal of […]