Scientific News

Is our brain like a bee colony?

Besides the need to protect them because they play a fundamental role in pollination (which is essential to the survival of many plant and animal species), bees can tell us a lot about how our brains work. A research team from Sheffield studied their behavior and discovered analogies to the way our neurons interact during the decision-making process. How can a colony of bees be related to the human brain?

A colony of honeybees works as a whole; each of its members depends on the others for survival. This specificity, also found in ants, intrigued scientists, especially those interested in psychophysics. This science studies the links between physical stimuli and the resulting ...

Does working on the top floor of a building increase risk-taking?

Tell me which floor your office is on and I’ll tell you how risky your investment proposal is! While we might prefer otherwise, we all know that investment and legal decisions aren't always completely objective, especially because they are linked to the personalities of the actors involved. And a new and unexpected factor has just been unveiled in a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology: the altitude at which we make a financial decision. Let’s see the full details.

The research team led by Sina Esteky, an assistant professor of marketing at Miami University’s business school, first looked at data from more than 3,000 hedge funds from 2013 (500 ...

Can virtual reality improve learning?

Welcome to the virtual palace of memory. In this special place, you may meet Michael Jackson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Donald Duck or even Martin Luther King Jr. There are two ways to visit: on a computer screen where you move around using your mouse; or using a virtual reality headset where you are completely immersed in the environment. And if at the end of the visit, we asked you to remember where you had seen the different characters, in which one of these visiting modes do you think you would remember best?

Virtual reality is a computer technology that allows users to physically dive into an artificial environment that reproduces sensory experiences, including sight, sound, touch ...

How does a soccer fan's brain work?

With the FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia, we thought it was an appropriate time to take a look at this study published in Scientific Report in November 2017. Whether you’re a soccer fanatic or not, discover what happens in the brain of a soccer fan who feels they're part of a group, a family. What sorts of altruist behavior do they show?

Belonging to a group is considered to be a basic human need. Research has shown that humans have a tendency to favor their ingroup, or the group to which one belongs. In this area, soccer fans provide extraordinary research subjects. Their behaviors show their strong attachment to the group, their real and constant solidarity. But ...

Can we transfer memories from one living being to another?

David Glanzman expects to see a lot of surprise and skepticism in response to the study discussed here. He and his colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles have managed to transfer memories from one sea snail to another. Their experiment raises questions about our conception of memory, something which was little debated in the (neuro) scientific community until now. Let’s take a look at why this transfer of memory in mollusks should be approached with care.

Before delving into the experimental details and the debate they provoke, it should be noted that the research conducted by Glanzman focuses on the study of the engram, a biological trace of memory in the ...

Can friendship be seen in the brain?

Birds of a feather flock together. Can this popular saying be seen in the brain? Empirically speaking, sociology has shown that we associate with people that are like us; something known as (social) homophily. American researchers have studied this phenomenon on a neural level. As incredible as it may seem, they were able to identify a person’s friends by analyzing their reactions in the brain while watching video clips! Let’s take a closer look.

The intuition that we tend to choose friends who are like ourselves has been confirmed through research on homophily. The sociological variables that help forge social ties include social origin, age, education, place of ...

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 ...

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