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Home » Archive by Category "How Brains Work" (Page 4)

How Mirror Neurons Signal Empathy and Moral Decision-Making

Mirror neurons are a type of neuron that is equally active when we are performing an activity or watching someone else perform that activity.  They have been shown to have a role in imitation, in empathy, and most recently their activity has been shown to predict moral choices that involve others.

Cognitive Skills and Reading

Reading involves the simultaneous, coordinated use of multiple mental processes, including attention skills, working memory, visualization, and planning according to an article written by Betsy Hill and published by EdCircuit.

When Brains Learn to Walk

In some fascinating research, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis scanned the brains of babies as they learned to walk.  In the initial stages, the connection between the default-mode network (the brain networks we use while we're daydreaming or letting our minds wander) works with the motor cortex. 

Why We Root for the Underdog

In one study, people rooted for a fictional basketball team described as being expected to lose, rather than the team that was supposed to win, 88 percent of the time.  Scientists have put forward a number of different theories on why we have such a tendency to favor the less favored. 

Do Smartphones Make You Dumber?

Research is now showing that just having your phone on your desk, even though it is turned off, results in poorer performance on demanding cognitive tasks than if the cell phone is out of sight and in another room. 

Do Brains Blink?

The research says that our brains do, in fact, "blink," every time we shift our attention!  When we shift our attention from one object to another, the activity of the neurons in the visual cortex is temporarily disrupted.

Punctuation in Text Messages

Have you ever wondered whether to put a period at the end of your text message?  It may sound trivial, but it can make a difference in how your message is perceived. 

Research Suggests Visual Skills Are Different from IQ

Research at Vanderbilt University suggests that people differ significantly in their visual skills and showed that visual skills were not associated with IQ.

Gratitude is Good for the Brain

Expressing gratitude can help with depression, help us sleep better and make us feel more connected to those around us.  Perhaps surprisingly, the beneficial effects seem to last for months afterward.  

Cognitive Skills: The Foundation for Learning

Cognitive Skills are the mental processes our brains use to take in, organize, understand and retrieve information. So much of what happens in our brains are processes we aren’t even aware of when they happen. But while they may happen non-consciously, they define our ability to learn.