University of Illinois family studies researchers believed that if the attention restoration theory, which describes how interaction with natural environments can reduce mental fatigue and restore attention, worked for individuals it might also work for families to help facilitate more positive family interactions and family cohesion. They tested their theory by looking at sets of moms and daughters who were asked to take a walk together in nature and a walk in a mall.
Boosting activity in brain areas related to thinking and problem-solving may also protect against worsening anxiety, suggests a new study by Duke University scientists. Using noninvasive brain imaging, the researchers found that at-risk people were less likely to develop anxiety if they had higher activity in a region of the brain responsible for complex mental operations. The results may be a step towards tailoring psychological therapies to the specific brain functioning of individual patients.
It's not just our eyes that play tricks on us, but our ears. That's the finding of a landmark Australian-Italian collaboration that provides new evidence that oscillations, or 'strobes', are a general feature of human perception. While our conscious experience appears to be continuous, the University of Sydney and Italian universities study suggests that perception and attention are intrinsically rhythmic in nature.
In a study that looked at data over a 10-year period, York University researchers, in collaboration with Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), found that more than two-thirds of youth and children with an acute concussion do not seek medical follow-up or clearance as recommended by current international concussion guidelines.
Cognitive psychologists of the Higher School of Economics have experimentally demonstrated that people are capable of estimating the mean size of visible objects and their approximate number simultaneously, showing for the first time that these two cognitive processes are independent of each other and do not follow the rules of mathematical statistics. The results of this experiment, published in PLOS One, can inform new approaches to statistical data visualisation and statistical education.
The ability to form long-term social memories is essential for remembering faces and developing social bonds. Scientists at NUS Medicine have now discovered that the tiny CA2 region in the hippocampus is involved in the linking up of memory fragments (consolidation) to form long-term memories, and that a neuropeptide, substance P, is involved in this process. Since CA2 is responsible for social memory, this finding has significant implications for how long-term social memories are formed.
Researchers at the University of York have shed new light on sleep's vital role in helping us make the most of our memory.
Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas have demonstrated in a pilot study that cognitive training improves innovative thinking, along with corresponding positive brain changes, in healthy adults over the age of 55. The study, published recently in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, reveals that a specific strategic cognitive training program enhanced innovation in healthy adults.
A University of Illinois at Chicago social psychologist reports on two studies that examined why some people are inclined to believe in various conspiracies and paranormal phenomena.
Emotion and repeated exposure are both known to play a role in long-term memorization, but why do we remember things that are not emotionally charged and have only been seen or experienced a few times in the past? To answer this question, scientists decided to challenge the memory of individuals they had tested in the laboratory a decade previously. They discovered that participants recognized images seen for only a few seconds ten years earlier.