Janet Kwasniak , Janet Kwasniak

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Neuro-patch
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  • September 12, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 66 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
  • 68 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
  • 83 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
  • 164 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
  • 150 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
  • 236 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
  • 146 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
  • 174 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
  • 334 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
  • 265 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 »

  • April 23, 2014
  • 06:48 AM
  • 362 views

Why are some syllables preferred?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

 In a recent paper by Berent and others (citation below) they investigate language universals in syllable structure. Their argument goes: there is a preference for certain syllables over others across languages and even in people whose language does not include those syllables; a set of four syllables which do not occur in English shows this […]... Read more »

Berent, I., Pan, H., Zhao, X., Epstein, J., Bennett, M., Deshpande, V., Seethamraju, R., & Stern, E. (2014) Language Universals Engage Broca's Area. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095155  

  • April 11, 2014
  • 05:59 AM
  • 268 views

Don’t forget the cerebellum

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Many theories of humanness rely on a simple idea that the cerebral cortex is enlarged in humans relative to other primates and in primates relative to other mammals. So it must be the cerebral cortex that is the important part of the brain, giving us our smarts and our skills. What is often overlooked is […]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 06:07 AM
  • 502 views

Knowing your grandmother

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a spectrum of ways in which the brain may hold concepts that range from very localized to very distributed, and there is little agreement of where along that spectrum various concepts are held. At the one end is the ultimate local storage: a single ‘grandmother’ neuron that recognizes your grandmother in matter how […]... Read more »

  • April 5, 2014
  • 07:11 AM
  • 220 views

Curious publicity

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Our conscious image of what we are seeing usually appears complete; it is the whole visual field. This is an illusion. The image is built up from many narrower views of parts of the scene that we attend to in rapid succession. Our visual system also establishes a knowledge of the general balance of the […]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2014
  • 05:57 AM
  • 238 views

The power of sound

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Using faked sounds, subjects experienced the illusion that their hand was becoming more like marble according to a recent paper (citation below). We should not be as surprised by this illusion as we are. We assume that our perception of the substance of our bodies is not going to change. But in this illusion it […]... Read more »

Senna, I., Maravita, A., Bolognini, N., & Parise, C. (2014) The Marble-Hand Illusion. PLoS ONE, 9(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091688  

  • March 24, 2014
  • 09:49 AM
  • 272 views

Forget suppressed memories

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (see citation) has put a hole in another remnant of Freud’s influence, that suppressed memories are still active. Freud noticed that we can suppress unwelcome memories. He theorized that the suppressed memories continued to exist in the unconscious mind and could unconsciously affect behaviour. Uncovering these memories and their influence was a […]... Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 05:09 AM
  • 293 views

Brain, Ubuntu and Hegel

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a recent paper in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Marchetti and Koster, Brain and intersubjectivity: a Hegelian hypothesis on the self-other neurodynamics. (citation below)   The authors attempt to show that self-consciousness can be understood in the context of Hegel’s ideas of intersubjectivity. The parts of Hegel that they pick to illustrate the nature […]... Read more »

  • March 18, 2014
  • 03:12 AM
  • 721 views

What is conscious intent anyway?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (citation below) reports that conscious intent precedes motor preparation activity, and not that motor preparation is well underway before consciousness registers intent. Here is Zschorlich and Köhling conclusion: “Motor intention (intention in action) describes a process of motor preparation without executing an overt movement. In our study, we explored the link between […]... Read more »

  • March 15, 2014
  • 06:26 AM
  • 625 views

The pulvinar and attention

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

“The streetlight effect is a type of observational bias where people only look for whatever they are searching for by looking where it is easiest. The parable is told several ways but includes the following details: A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. […]... Read more »

  • March 5, 2014
  • 02:15 PM
  • 261 views

Communicating in sync

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

How do people coordinate their actions; how does communication work; how does it affect people; how do minds get in sync? When people communicate they do get in sync but there is no magical about this. We perceive the outside world including signals as well as scenery, we model this input and think about it, […]... Read more »

Hasson, U., Ghazanfar, A., Galantucci, B., Garrod, S., & Keysers, C. (2012) Brain-to-brain coupling: a mechanism for creating and sharing a social world. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(2), 114-121. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.12.007  

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