Discovery Of ‘Thought Worms’ Opens Window To The Mind

Researchers at Queen’s University have established a method that, for the first time, can detect indirectly when one thought ends and another begins. Dr. Jordan Poppenk and his master’s student, Julie Tseng, devised a way to isolate “thought worms,” consisting of consecutive moments when a person is focused on the same idea. “What we call…

The Scent Of A Rose Improves Learning During Sleep

Effortless learning during sleep is a fantasy of many people. The supportive effect of smells on learning success when presented both during learning and sleep was first proven in an extensive sleep laboratory study. Researchers at the University of Freiburg Medical Center, the Freiburg Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP) and…

A New Theory Of Brain Organization And Consciousness Inspired By Thermodynamics

A new theory, inspired by thermodynamics, takes a high-level perspective of how neural networks in the brain transiently organize to give rise to memories, thought and consciousness. The key to awareness is the ebb and flow of energy: when neurons functionally tag together to support information processing, their activity patterns synchronize like ocean waves. This…

The Default Mode Network, Meditation And Social Cognition

“Honey, what are you thinking about?” asks my spouse as we sit at the kitchen table with our morning cups of coffee. “Oh nothing,” I reply. Our brains are fairly energy-intensive devices, consuming around 20 percent of the body’s energy, while making up only 2 percent of its mass. It has been known since the…

Sense Perception Hierarchy Differs Across Cultures

The accepted hierarchy of human senses — sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell — is not universally true across all cultures, research at the University of York indicates. The findings could prove significant for a range of practices in education and other professions to help further enhance how people understand and utilise their sensory perceptions…

Cognitive Control Is No Better In Creative Individuals

People who have creative achievements do not engage in any more or less cognitive control than less creative people, new research by a University of Arkansas researcher indicates. The finding contradicts previous research, which relied on laboratory tests, rather than real-life achievements, to measure creativity. Darya Zabelina, assistant professor of psychology, took a different approach…

Dialect Switching Uses Same Mechanisms As Language Switching

The cognitive control mechanisms that bilingual people rely on to keep from mixing up two languages also operate in people who speak two dialects, research from an international team of researchers has shown. Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland partnered with RWTH Aachen University, Germany, to study how quickly the brain can react when asked to…

Dual N-back Cognitive Training Improves Working Memory

Dual n-back training, one of the two methods most scientists use in cognitive training research, is significantly better in improving memory and attention, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity. The exercise didn’t make anyone smarter, but it did greatly improve skills people need to…