Time for Understanding Time in the Brain

“Time is passing too fast!” Many of us use that phrase every day when we feel like our kids are growing up fast or when a deadline sneaks up on us. When Virginie van Wassenhove hears that phrase, it conjures an entirely different point of view. She goes straight to consciousness, musing on how we perceive reality.

“When it comes to time, we tend to use linguistic shortcuts that may abuse the state of reality and fundamentally bias the way we think about time and the way scientists conceptualize issues related to time,” she says. “I am interested in understanding how the slow time scales of squishy matter afford us to assign meaning to reality.”

A cognitive neuroscientist at CEA and INSERM in Paris, van Wassenhove is working to understand the neural underpinnings of time. She has organized a symposium on the topic at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) annual meeting in San Francisco this month — featuring scientists who are exploring evidence of how we construct mental models of time. Click to read

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Does herpes cause Alzheimer’s?

Summary: The herpes simplex virus 1, the virus responsible for cold sores, may account for 50% of Alzheimer’s disease cases. HSV1 causes protein deposits which are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Findings also reveal antiviral treatments can help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in those with HSV1.

Source: Frontiers

What causes Alzheimer’s disease? The answer could be right under our noses, says leading expert Professor Ruth Itzhaki. Her latest paper presents a lifetime of research evidence that the herpes virus responsible for cold sores can also cause Alzheimer’s – and new data which show antiviral drugs drastically reduce the risk of senile dementia in patients with severe herpes infections. The review in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience raises the tantalizing prospect of a simple, effective preventive treatment for one of humanity’s costliest disorders.

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Link Between Psychiatric Disorders and Events During Prenatal Development Identified

Summary: A new study reports genetic variants that are critical for the development of the brain during fetal development are also frequently found in psychiatric disorders.

Source: Aarhus University.

Particular genetic variants in the human genome that are important for the development of the brain early in the life of the foetus are frequently found in psychiatric disorders. This is shown by a study carried out by iPSYCH.

Researchers studied a total of eight million genetic variants and in connection with this they found that a number of these variants occur particularly often in people who have one of more of the following psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, autism and ADHD.

This background is provided by Professor Thomas Werge from the Mental Health Services & University of Copenhagen and the Lundbeck Foundation’s Initiative for Integrated Psychiatric Research, commonly referred to as iPSYCH, which has received a total of DKK 361 million in funding from the Lundbeck Foundation. He explains:

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A Fascinating Sign Of High IQ

This sleep pattern is linked to stronger reasoning and better analytical and conceptual thinking.

Despite higher intelligence, night owls tend to get slightly worse grades in school.

This may be because the school day starts too early for them.

Morning types who rise early, also known as ‘larks’, tend to do around 8% better in school.

Later in life, though, the higher intelligence of night owls tends to shine through.

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Want to Innovate? Science Says, “Be A Nonconformist!”

Creativity is a process of making something unique and useful, and this process can lead to innovation. Unique creations require flexibility of thought and skills to entertain and develop uncommon ideas, which are borne out of differing opinions, not consensus. Remarkable ideas that supersede current knowledge flourish in the presence of diverse intellectual perspectives where conformity and status quo are challenged. A diverse group can create distinctive ideas, drawing on the variety of experiences from different backgrounds, thoughts, views, and skills. Intellectual diversity, a multiplicity of ideas, philosophies, and perspectives, is the main contributor to creativity and innovation. However, when you are in a climate where intellectual diversity is not valued, you may be mistaken for a troublemaker. Notable innovators in history thought and behaved differently from others and were nonconformists. They were often misunderstood or seen as troublemakers, such as Click to read

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How Modern Life Is Changing Our IQs and Problem-solving Skills

Synopsis- How Modern Life Is Changing Our IQs and Problem-solving Skills

Our brains have been getting smarter in response to modern life, but a surprising new study suggests the trend may have peaked. So how can you maximise your thinking?

Can you solve this problem? You have a wolf, a goat and a cabbage, and you need to get all three across a river in one piece. You have a boat, but it’s so small that it can fit only you and one of the items, and you can’t leave the wolf and the goat or the goat and the cabbage alone together. How do you get them all across?

This classic logic puzzle is at least a thousand years old. It is attributed to Alcuin of York, a medieval poet and scholar who died in 804, though it probably circulated in oral form before then. There’s another version with a fox, a goose and a bag of beans, and a related tale about three lascivious (but jealous) husbands and their wives who must also be ferried across a river without any hanky-panky on the boat or the shore.

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Synesthesia: Hearing colors and tasting sounds

Synesthesia: Hearing colors and tasting sounds

Can you taste sounds or visualize symphonies of color whenever you hear a song? If your answer to these is “yes,” you may have a wonderful condition known as synesthesia, which you share with many great artists, writers, and musicians.

By his own account, Nabokov saw each letter in different colors, despite the fact that text was printed all-black on white paper.

Interestingly, both his wife and his son shared this fascinating ability, though they each saw different palettes of color for the alphabet.

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