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 meaningless lower-face acts

Improbable can find but one formal scientific study which features investigations of fMRI monitored responses to meaningless lower-face acts (a.k.a. ‘gurns’). Experiments carried out in year 2000, under the protocols of the UK’s Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospital Research Ethics Committee, were designed to answer the question: ‘Can the cortical substrates for speechreading be distinguished […]

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 […]

Romance, food, dieting, and fMRI, all in one study

Here’s a scientific study that combines the era’s most irresistible topics — romance, food, and dieting  — with the era’s favorite cogno-intellectual expensive electromechanical procedure, fMRI. The study is: “The way to her heart? Response to romantic cues is dependent on hunger state and dieting history: An fMRI pilot study,” Alice V. Ely, Anna Rose Childress, Kanchana Jagannathan, Michael R. […]

Spiraling difficulty of reliably interpreting scans of people’s brains

This new study suggests that some people’s personalities make it more difficult to get accurate MRI (and fMRI) pictures of their heads: “Individual Differences in Impulsivity Predict Head Motion during Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” Kong X-z, Zhen Z, Li X, Lu H-h, Wang R, et al., (2014) PLoS ONE, 9(8): e104989. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104989. The authors are at Beijing […]