I always thought their was a LINK at Cal Poly!

I always thought there was a LINK at Cal Poly!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Video gaming causes increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills. This has been shown in a new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus. The positive effects of video gaming may also prove relevant in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders.”

“The research project leader Linda Brzustowicz, Rutgers professor and chair of the Department of Genetics, in the School of Arts and Sciences, says that genes in a narrow region of two chromosomes (15q23-26 and 16p12) responsible for oral and written language impairments can result in similar behavioral characteristics with one family member developing autism and the other having only language difficulties.

Specific language impairment is one of the most common learning disabilities, affecting an estimated 7 percent of children. It is not considered to be an autism spectrum disorder. Autism effects one in 88 children nationally – with nearly five times as many boys than girls diagnosed – about half of whom have some degree of language impairment.”

“”These adolescents had noisier neural activity than their classmates, even when no sound was presented,” said Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Communication Sciences at Northwestern and corresponding author of the study.

In addition, the neural response to speech for the adolescents from a lower maternal educational background was erratic over repeated stimulation, with lower fidelity to the incoming sound.”

“”As ethics researchers, we had been running experiments examining various unethical behaviors, such as lying, stealing, and cheating,” researchers Maryam Kouchaki of Harvard University and Isaac Smith of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business explain. “We noticed that experiments conducted in the morning seemed to systematically result in lower instances of unethical behavior.”

This led the researchers to wonder: Is it easier to resist opportunities to lie, cheat, steal, and engage in other unethical behavior in the morning than in the afternoon?”

“Within the brain, researchers “think that rich clubs have a key role to play in making global communication efficient and are also important for supporting integration of information,” said Olaf Sporns, a computational neuroscientist at Indiana University in Bloomington. Sporns first described the rich club in the brain, along with collaborator Martijn van den Heuvel, a neuroscientist at the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus in the Netherlands.”

“In an interview with Medical Xpress, PhD candidate Dan-Mikael Ellingsen discussed the paper he and his colleagues published inProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “In recent years, functional brain imaging studies have shown that expecting a treatment to relieve negative symptoms – like pain, anxiety or unpleasant taste – leads to not only subjective reports of relief, but also suppressed brain activity in sensory circuitry during aversive stimuli, such as noxious heat or touch, threatening images, and unpleasant taste,” Ellingsen tellsMedical Xpress.”

“Preserved specimens of the brains of mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and Göttingen physician Conrad Heinrich Fuchs, taken over 150 years ago, were switched – and this probably happened soon after the death of both men in 1855. This is the surprising conclusion reached by Renate Schweizer, a neuroscientist at Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. She has now correctly identified the two brains, both of which are archived in a collection at the University Medical Center Göttingen.”


chelseadudley · November 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

In response to “Maternal Education and the Brain,” it was very interesting to learn about the difficulties in cognitive and reading abilities for children with mothers that have a lower educational background. What jumped out at me in the article was the fact that children with high income families are exposed to 30 million more words than the children with families on welfare. That shows just how important getting a good education is because the results extend beyond a degree and a good job. I bet most women would never think that their education level would affect their future children’s cognitive abilities. I also thought that it’s interesting how women are having children later and later in life. This is a good thing when discussing this article because when you are older you are more likely to have gone through higher education before having kids.

chelseadudley · November 3, 2013 at 10:50 am

In response to “Good for the Brain!(video gaming!),” I first was intrigued by the subject of the article. Most people nowadays say that video games are harmful for adolescents and oppose playing video games every day. I found it interesting that playing “Super Mario 64” increased spatial orientation and strategic planning. But this also makes sense because I used to play “Mario Cart” with my brother all the time and I can understand how the game helps with strategic planning (that’s how you win the race!). I agree that more studies should be done on the effects of video gaming but I am happy that at least Mario wasn’t dissed by the scientific world!

Sarahvais · November 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

In response to “morality: it depends on the time of day?” I found it interesting that people would have any difference at all. Thinking about it though it makes complete sense. As we wear on in our days we do things which will make our days easier such as lying or cheating. In the mornings we have that fresh start and a better outlook on the day as nothing has clouded our views yet. Though people may become more bitter or disheartened as the day goes on I would not have thought that this would have been to the extend of blatantly lying or cheating.

Will · November 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm

In response to “good for brain! (video gaming),” With more and more controversy surrounding whether video games are bad for people in today’s media, it is nice to see some actual scientific research that supports that video games are beneficial. They used MRI to observe the changes in the brain when subjects played Super Mario 64 (i played this as a child) and it showed significant activity in the parts of the brain used for spatial navigation and memory. Working this part of the brain often could help retain its function as we age and with future research could help the video game industry regain its respect from worried parents out there.

Will · November 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

In response to “morality: it depends on the time of day.” Morality is never a constant thing and this article brings in scientific research that may determine why that is a fact. I found it very interesting that people tend to lie as the day got closer to the evening. Is this because we are more asleep in the morning to cheat, lie, or steal or is it that we are more awake in the afternoon to make more immoral choices? Maybe increasing the sample size and ranging the testing to more than just college-aged students could yield more results. Maybe using children for the experiment? This is definitely an interesting idea to test and I hope for more articles like this one.

agarman · November 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I read the article ‘Mind over gray matter: Placebo improves both pleasure and pain,” and what an amazingly important study! The study in a nutshell, this is a complex study, reads that from fMRI scans “…depending on whether the starting point was painful or pleasant, neurocircuitry associated with emotion and reward underpinned improvement of both pain and pleasant touch by dampening pain but increasing touch pleasantness.” This should have major implications in the medical field as far as trying to attain positive experiences to effect and provide relief from negative symptoms. This study clearly illustrates the powerful relationship between our mind and how we think, feel and experience and it also serves as a relevant and practical tool for myself personally. I am a big fan of meditation, guided mediation and positive affirmation listening experiences and this study is further knowledge that the process of meditation is by far one of the best tools we as humans can use to inhibit pain and boost pleasure. I am a psych. major and cant wait to learn more about the power of positive effects on healing throughout my coursework in this field.

Natasha Mehta · November 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

In response to “morality: it depends on time of day??”, I thought this article would be interesting because I am taking an Ethics course this quarter. Thus far, we have discussed several aspects of morality and how every person’s moral code is different. I find it interesting that someone would be more likely to lie or cheat as the day goes on, because that shows that our morality is always changing. I would be interested to see what other moral decisions people would change throughout the day, such as what time of day people would be more likely to donate to charity or when they are likely to volunteer for something.

noahpetrik · November 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

In response to “Good for the Brain!(video gaming!),” it is refreshing to see the positive light in video games. It seems for years video games have been getting a negative reputation because people see games like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty and blanket those intense violent-heavy games to discredit all video games. I had also never thought about the therapeutic value in these games, especially for people suffering from mental disorders like Schizophrenia and PTSD. Seeing how patients would much rather play a video game than take tests, if these games do help out with spatial navigation, memory formation, and strategic planning, then it could be beneficial for the science field going forward.

Natasha Mehta · November 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

In response to “good for the brain! (video gaming!),” I knew that certain aspects of video gaming was good for memory and motor skills, but I didn’t realize to what extent or why. It’s interesting that playing such games actually increases the grey matter in the brain. I’m always particularly interesting in new studies that may help prolong or eliminate the onset of Alzheimer’s because I know a handful of people who have it or who already have symptoms of it. With that, I would be interested to see how helpful playing video games would be to these people.

JessicaZacarias · November 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

In response to “Moral in the morning, but dishonest in the afternoon”, I was very surprised that there was statistically significant data that you may be more moral at different times of the day. Does this mean to suggest that your personality can also change throughout the day? I feel like in general, people’s morals values do not change and if they do it is over a long period of time. To suggest that you could answer something quite honestly in the morning and answer that same question differently a few hours later seems bizarre. I would be intrigued to learn about more research on this theory. This is also something that could easily vary with age. Since brain development and identity formation is still all occurring with college students, it would be interesting to test adults in their from 30-60 years old. (Maybe we can get politicians to answer our questions in the morning rather than evening if this holds true for that age group as well).

veronicaflesch · November 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

In response to the placebo effect article:
I used to be rather skeptical about the placebo effect… until one day I empirically discovered just how real it was. I drink coffee most mornings, and often feel that without the caffeine, I can’t be as focused or productive. Last year, I was just about finished with a bag off coffee that I had been using to wake myself up for at least the past month or so. I still distinctly remember my roommate looking at the empty bag quizzically as I was about to throw it away, and asking, “You drink decaf?” I looked at the bag, and saw that it was in fact decaf. I didn’t know whether to be more shocked at the fact that I was so sure the coffee gave me energy every morning when it actually didn’t, or the fact that I was unobservant enough to notice the word “decaf” on a bag for an entire month. Anyway, I think the placebo effect is a fascinating demonstration of the overlap between the psychological and physical, and how mental states can actually alter your physical state (as in how believing I was drinking coffee made my body physically feel more energized).

smarch · November 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm

In response to “How poverty molds the brain: Poor neural processing of sound linked to lower maternal education”

One of the initial questions I had formulated as I was reading was how might we remedy this situation, so that children from lower income families (with weakened auditory processing) can learn and retain information more effectively? This is a difficult question because one has to consider the effect over many generations including the mother (whose lack of education may have promoted this condition in the children), the children themselves, and perhaps the implications of their hindered processing on their offspring in the future. I thought the mechanism by which learning was being impeded was rather interesting in that higher noise levels in classrooms makes it more difficult for affected children to learn because their brain has difficulty processing auditory input. Unless special attention is given to this matter, it seems there is potential for a domino effect to occur through generations of a family, particularly due to the link between socioeconomic status and quality of education, that may persist in a family. One possible solution I envisioned is to create some sort of tutoring program in one-on-one or small-group settings that will enhance these kids’ learning abilities as a result of increased focus on particular student’s needs and lower noise levels, which research has shown impedes their learning to begin with. I think this article’s topic is very important because education is a vital component in life and all children should be afforded an equal opportunity to receive a quality education.

lesliewong · February 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm

In “good for the brain! (videogaming!)” article, a study showed an increase in gray matter in subjects who played a video game for a period of time. It amazes me to find that video games can stimulate the brain. The more I think about it, the more I realize that some games do in fact increase motor skills and strategic skills (due to competition). My parents told me when I was younger that playing video games would cause me to have a low attention span but maybe video games are more beneficial than detrimental. As we age, Sudoku may help stimulate the brain but video games may be more helpful. Who knew that we could have fun and do something good for our minds?

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