Janet Kwasniak , Janet Kwasniak

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Neuro-patch
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  • December 8, 2014
  • 01:02 PM
  • 64 views

Crows

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

I think it is time to look at crows again. There are three interesting papers want to commented on. What reminds me of crows is that I stumbled across a few years old blog by a linguist (he has probably changed his tune – so no references) who ridiculed the idea that birds were at […]... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 101 views

Reading patterns

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a paper (citation below) that takes a different look at language. It attempts to examine what happens in the brain when we read a story. There is the act of reading, the processing of the language, and the engagement in the story, all going on at the same time. “One of the main […]... Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 03:01 PM
  • 133 views

Synesthesia can be learned

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Synesthesia is a condition where one stimulus (like a letter) automatically is experienced with another attribute (like a colour) that is not actually present. About 4% of people have some form of this sensory mixing. It has been generally assumed that synesthesia is inherited because it runs in families. But it has been clear that […]... Read more »

Bor, D., Rothen, N., Schwartzman, D., Clayton, S., & Seth, A. (2014) Adults Can Be Trained to Acquire Synesthetic Experiences. Scientific Reports, 7089. DOI: 10.1038/srep07089  

  • November 17, 2014
  • 09:15 AM
  • 117 views

Habits and learning

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Habits allow us to perform actions without attending to every detail; we can do complex things and more than one action at a time without overloading our cognitive and motor systems. They are goal-directed macro actions made up of a sequence of simple primitive actions. A habit allows a complex action to be launched as […]... Read more »

Balderas, G. (2014) Habits as learning enhancers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00918  

  • October 15, 2014
  • 09:13 AM
  • 155 views

Remembering visual images

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is an interesting recent paper (see citation) on visual memory. The researchers’ intent is to map and areas and causal directions between them for a particular process in healthy individuals so that sufferers showing lost of that process can be studied in the same way and the areas/connections which are faulty identified. In this […]... Read more »

Nenert, R., Allendorfer, J., & Szaflarski, J. (2014) A Model for Visual Memory Encoding. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107761  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 12:11 PM
  • 150 views

Fine control

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

My last blog on timing in some neurons in the cerebellum has started a string of thoughts. Here we have a part of the brain with an anatomy that is well mapped as opposed to many other parts. It has more neurons than the rest of the brain put together. It has grown relatively larger […]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 07:17 AM
  • 151 views

A new feature of neurons

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There are articles asking, “Are we ever going to understand the brain?” They imply that we have been studying the brain for long enough to be able to say how it works, if we are ever going to, and therefore hinting that it is a permanent mystery. But every week or so some new wrinkle […]... Read more »

Johansson, F., Jirenhed, D., Rasmussen, A., Zucca, R., & Hesslow, G. (2014) Memory trace and timing mechanism localized to cerebellar Purkinje cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415371111  

  • September 30, 2014
  • 12:18 AM
  • 180 views

Conscious content

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

I have been thinking about some information in a not too recent paper. (see citation below) Panagiotaropoulos and others looked at the location of the content of consciousness in primates. They used binocular flash suppression (BFS) to give two different visual stimulation that compete for a place in the content of consciousness. Here is their […]... Read more »

  • September 27, 2014
  • 02:18 PM
  • 196 views

Sometimes choices are not thought out

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

In some competitive situations animals can produce random behavior rather than behavior based on prior experience. The anterior cingulate cortex is where strategies based on models of reality and history are generated; switching to random behavior is done by inputs to this part of the brain from the locus coeruleus. This was reported in a […]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 08:15 AM
  • 172 views

Doing a task while asleep

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (citation below) describes subjects working away at a task, categorizing words, while asleep. Here is the abstract: Falling asleep leads to a loss of sensory awareness and to the inability to interact with the environment. While this was traditionally thought as a consequence of the brain shutting down to external inputs, it […]... Read more »

Kouider, S., Andrillon, T., Barbosa, L., Goupil, L., & Bekinschtein, T. (2014) Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain. Current Biology, 24(18), 2208-2214. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.016  

  • September 12, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 178 views

Astrocyte role in gamma waves

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

The study of the brain has been very neuron centered. Glial cells outnumber neuron by about 10 to 1 in the cortex and are known to be important to brain function but it is not clear just what they do other than some housekeeping tasks and shepherding neurons to their final locations during development. Astrocyte […]... Read more »

Lee, H., Ghetti, A., Pinto-Duarte, A., Wang, X., Dziewczapolski, G., Galimi, F., Huitron-Resendiz, S., Pina-Crespo, J., Roberts, A., Verma, I.... (2014) Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(32). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410893111  

  • September 9, 2014
  • 08:54 AM
  • 179 views

Discovering rules unconsciously

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Dijksterhuis and Nordgren put forward a theory of unconscious thought. They propose that there are two types of thought process: conscious and unconscious. “CT (conscious thought) refers to object-relevant or task-relevant cognitive or affective thought processes that occur while the object or task is the focus of one’s conscious attention, whereas UT (unconscious thought) refers […]... Read more »

  • September 6, 2014
  • 05:38 AM
  • 183 views

Mind to mind transfer

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  I read the abstract of a new paper (see citation below) about brain-to-brain communication. I had been thinking while I read the title that we already do brain-to-brain communication – it’s called language. And sure enough the first sentence of the abstract said, “Human sensory and motor systems provide the natural means for the […]... Read more »

Grau C, Ginhoux R, Riera A, Nguyen TL, Chauvat H, Berg M, Amengual JL, Pascual-Leone A, & Ruffini G. (2014) Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25137064  

  • July 13, 2014
  • 09:23 AM
  • 270 views

Language and handedness

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  I am both left handed and dyslexic and so a recent paper on the connection in hemispheric dominance for hand and for language was a paper I had to read. The Mazoyer study seems to be the first to use a reasonable number of left- and as well as right-handed people to look at […]... Read more »

  • June 28, 2014
  • 09:48 AM
  • 243 views

Children’s effect on language

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  It seems that children can invent language, but adults cannot and they only invent ‘pidgins’. Languages once invented also are re-made by each generation’s learning of them. So it may be that languages carry the marks of how children think and communicate. A recent paper by Clay and others (citation below) investigates this idea. […]... Read more »

  • June 25, 2014
  • 08:41 AM
  • 323 views

Can fMRI be trusted?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  The use of brain images is often criticized. A recent article by M Farah looks at what ‘the kernals of truth’ behind the critiques are and how safe we are to trust the images. (citation below). She is concerned by the confusion of legitimate worries about imaging and false ones. The first criticism that […]... Read more »

  • June 22, 2014
  • 10:10 AM
  • 230 views

What is in a smile?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  We distinguish genuine from fake smiles, even though we appreciate the polite sort of fake smile in many cases. I have thought it was a settled matter. Smiles are marked by the raising of the corners of the mouth and pulling them back. A broad smile (fake or real) opens the mouth by lowering […]... Read more »

  • June 19, 2014
  • 08:13 AM
  • 275 views

Why do we get pleasure from sad music?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  Sadness is a negative emotion; and, we recognize sadness in some music; but yet, we often enjoy listening to sad music. We can be positive about a negative emotion. A recent paper by Kawakami (citation below) differentiates between some hypotheses to explain this contradiction. The hypotheses that the response has to do with musical […]... Read more »

Kawakami, A., Furukawa, K., & Okanoya, K. (2014) Music evokes vicarious emotions in listeners. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00431  

  • May 2, 2014
  • 09:02 AM
  • 422 views

Going up and coming down

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  Most people think of speaking as a top-down process and listening as a bottom-up one. So if I say something, the assumption is: I have an idea, it is put into words then commands to muscles, and the sounds of the words come out of my mouth. All is top-down, driven from a high-level […]... Read more »

  • April 26, 2014
  • 10:33 AM
  • 348 views

Ravens can play politics

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Ravens are often featured in mythology – spirit, god, creator, trickster, fortune teller and so on – heroes and villains. They are one of the most intelligent birds. A recent paper by Massen et al (citation below) shows that they are even more remarkable than science has so far shown. The social brain hypothesis is […]... Read more »

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