Scientific News

Do jazz and classical pianists' brains work the same way?

It may be an anachronism, but if Duke Ellington and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had to play the same piece of music, do you think their brains would show similar activity? According to a study published in NeuroImage, the brains of jazz pianists don't operate quite the same way as their classical counterparts. But why would a musician's brain activity change depending on the kind of music they play?

Playing music requires highly developed brain structures with complex interactions between various abilities, and musical training induces sensorimotor plasticity. Previous research has already established that, for certain tasks, the brains of musicians work differently than those of ...

Can neuroergonomics optimize airplane pilot training?

In just a few years, planes may be able to use an interface to assess the cognitive and emotional states of their pilots and "act" accordingly to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers and flight attendants. Carried out by the ISAE Aeronautics and Space Insititute (Toulouse, France), a recent study has demonstrated the potential benefits of monitoring brain activity in pilots during real flight conditions. It’s an opportunity to discover how neuroergonomics can optimize human-machine interactions.

There is growing interest in the use of tools to monitor individuals’ cognitive performance in their work environment and daily lives. Known as neuroergonomics, this area of ...

When it comes to advertising, do monkeys and humans have the same taste?

While we humans may be used to seeing a scantily clad man or woman touting the bottle of perfume of a particular brand, how do monkeys feel about sex and notoriety in advertising? Sure, amongst the ranks of crazy research, this study certainly has its place, but it does nevertheless raise an interesting question: can we induce brand preferences in monkeys, as we can in humans?

As a preamble to their study, researchers at the Universities of Stanford, Colorado – Boulder, Durham and Pennsylvania remind us that sexual representations and social status are always a reliable means of arousing consumer desire. Many experiments have shown that explicit sexual content in an ad increases ...

Can we guess what someone is thinking?

I’m thinking of someone right now. Can you guess who it is? Probably not! Yet, incredible as it may sound, we’re now able to read into people's brains. Through a new process developed by a team of researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Scarborough (Canada), we’re now able to digitally recreate the image of the person someone is thinking about. How is this possible?

According to Dan Nemrodov, a co-author of the article published in eNeuro: “When we see something, our brain creates a mental percept, which is essentially a mental impression of that thing. We were able to capture this percept using EEG to get a direct illustration of what’s ...

Do numbers come naturally to newborns?

In humans, the representation of numbers and space are deeply intertwined. We create mental representations of numbers on a line from left to right, with the smallest numbers on the left and the largest numbers on the right. Italian researchers have shown that hours after birth, newborns already have a rudimentary sense of numbers. Their study raises the following question: is the mental spatial representation of numbers innate?

In the preamble to their study, Rosa Rugani and her collegues (Universities of Padua and Trento, Italy) present recent research that calls into question the belief that humans represent numbers on a mental number line (MNL) based on their reading/writing ...

Can having the right color jersey help you win the match?

Have you ever heard an athlete complain that they weren't wearing their lucky jersey after losing a game? Athletes are often superstitious, and sometimes they may focus on the color of their uniform. But lots of people think that an athlete's chances of winning depend on the color they're wearing. A study on judo looked into just this question. To win a fight, is it better to have a blue or white judogi?

Evolutionary psychologists are interested in the influence of color on athlete performance during competition. For example, they consider what are called “red effects:" (empirical) evidence of the positive influence of wearing red in a competition. They attribute these effects ...

Why are green vegetables good for the brain?

"Spinach? Gross!” Do you remember saying this as a kid? Maybe you love it now that you’re an adult? If broccoli and other veggies are fairly popular today; this wasn’t always the case. In addition to their digestive benefits, a recent American study shows that regularly consuming green vegetables could delay cognitive decline. Why are these foods good for our brains?

Good nutrition may contribute to good cognitive health. Martha Clare Morris and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago wanted to study the effects of the primary and bioactive nutrients found in leafy, green vegetables (salad, cabbage, celery, etc.); namely vitamin K (phylloquinone), lutein, ...

Love at first sight: what happens in the brain?

Two pigeons smooching on a branch; aren’t they adorable? How did the two of them fall in love? Actually, much like us: suddenly, unpredictably, and automatically. The experience of falling head-over-heels in love intrigues us because we don’t really know what’s happening. Yves Agid, a professor and researcher in neurology and neuroscience is helping us to better understand love at first sight. What happens in our brain when we suddenly fall in love?

A racing pulse, sweating, a feeling like an electric current, etc.: these physical “symptoms” are the manifestation of intense, yet uncontrolled emotions that each of us have felt in the presence of a perfect stranger. In an ...

Can we predict a person s creative potential?

In the arts and sciences, but also in everyday life, creative thinking is central. Recently studies in psychology and neuroscience have identified the regions of the brain involved in creativity. A new international study more precisely reveals the neural architecture behind a highly creative brain. It’s an opportunity to answer the question: why are certain people more creative than others?

For their study, Roger E. Beaty (a psychologist at Harvard) and his Austrian and Chinese colleagues focused on the neurocognitive characteristics of highly creative people. They wanted to find out whether there is a specific profile of brain connectivity in these individuals and whether ...

Can we comfort others by simply holding their hands?

Holding someone’s hand when they’re feeling stressed is a natural and often instinctive act, but not an insignificant one. A Franco-Israeli-American research team has just demonstrated the comforting power of human touch, in particular because it synchronizes the brain waves of the sufferer with those of the comforter. How can holding someone’s hand be helpful?

Today, the analgesic powers of social interaction, empathy, and physical contact remain unclear. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) was carried out by researchers at the Universities of Colorado (US), Haifa (Israel), and Paris Diderot (France) with the goal of testing ...

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