Archive for November, 2010

The brain as MP3-encoder

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

MP3-encoding reduces efficiently the size of an audio file while still reproducing the quality of the original by reducing accuracy of certain parts of sound that are considered to be beyond the auditory resolution ability of most people. The brain uses the same trick. It takes advantage of the fact that the world is predictable, and pays less attention to parts it can predict. More on how the brain behaves like the MP3-encoder on pnas.org and dailyscience.com.

Put your intelligence to the ultimate test

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Find out if you are ultimately intelligent and take the online test. The “ultimate intelligence test” claims to cover the broadest range of cognitive skills that are believed to contribute to intelligence. The test is divided into 12 tasks that are designed to test 12 different aspects of working memory, reasoning, focus, and planning. More about the test in “How intelligent are you?” (smh.com.au).

Reengineering the brain

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Henry Markram is not the only one who aims to understand the the brain. Gero Miesenboeck records the activity of each neuron to figure out what they do. Watch the video below or read about Optogenetics: Controlling the Brain with Light (scientificamerican.com).

How does the brain shift attention?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

New research shows how our brains allocates attention to differen stimuli. The researchers have found that individuals can exert conscious control over the firing of these single neuron and, in doing so, manipulate the behavior of an image on a computer screen (brain-controlled robots of last weeks post are not so far away then). Read and watch the embedded video how the volunteers chose between the images on a computer screen by altering their thoughts (via discovermagazine.com)