A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

How sleep builds relational memory

Credit: Gettyimages

Making connections requires brain circuits to be active and interact during sleep

Relational memory is the ability to remember arbitrary or indirect associations between objects, places, people or events -- such as names and faces.

Previous research has established that animal and human memory benefits from quality sleep. In a new U.S. National Science Foundation-supported study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, Maxim Bazhenov and Timothy Tadros of the University of California San Diego

School of Medicine developed a modeling approach that may explain the underlying mechanisms that strengthen or create new relational memories during sleep.

"This new computational research provides insights into the importance of sleep for the consolidation of memory," said NSF program director Jonathan Fritz.

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3 Thought Experiments That No One Can Solve

Credit: Unsplash by Andreas Kind

Thought experiments that will challenge your convictions

What is intelligence? What about the nature of knowledge or reality? How does our consciousness work? These are all questions that have been tantalizing philosophers and thinkers ever since the beginning of questioning itself. The latter is more than understandable because how could we know anything at all, if we don't understand ourselves beforehand? Moreover, after millennia of civilization, it seems that we haven't resolved an iota of the above-mentioned problems. Yet, we human beings haven't stopped searching for answers. We had invented many theories, instruments, and even machines that tried to explain the inexplicable. The hypotheses are uncountable. We won't try to outline even a few of them since it will take ages. Nevertheless, below you can enjoy three thought experiments that will dive you into the heart of this everlasting philosophical darkness – a mind that is trying to explain what the mind is.

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Social connections influence brain structures of rhesus macaques

Credit: Lauren JN Brent; A grooming chain of adult female rhesus macaques on an island off the coast of Puerto Rico
Number of grooming partners predicts the size of certain brain areas

What's the link between social life and brain structure? A team of researchers is one step closer to understanding that connection for rhesus macaques.

In work published in Science Advances, the scientists found that for these nonhuman primates, the number of social connections predicted the size of key groups of neurons and other tissue in parts of the brain responsible for empathy and social decision making.

The researchers determined that in macaques with more grooming partners, the mid-superior temporal sulcus and ventral-dysgranular insula were larger. They found no such link between brain structure and other variables like social status. The research was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

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3 Brain Systems That Control Your Behavior: Reptilian, Limbic, Neo Cortex

Credit: Gettyimages

The brain - mystery (un)solved

The human brain is arguably the most complicated thing in the known universe. After centuries of introspection, examinations, and experiments, we still don't know a lot about it. Of course, we've made all these terms, divided its structure into different areas, each one responsible for particular functions. But the truth is that the brain works as a holistic union and is not a composite of various parts but a single unit within the human body. However, it is a lot easier to understand it, if we use concepts and differentiate one part from another. Like the one put forth by Paul MacLean – the triune brain – that it is coming in three functional layers. The most bottom and ancient one – Reptilian Brain. Second – the Limbic System or Emotional Brain, "having to do with fear, arousal, anxieties, sexual longings, all those sorts of things – very mammalian". And third, The Cortex – responsible for thinking planning, moral judgments, etc.

Below you can enjoy an elucidating explanation of these three layers of the brain, their evolution, complex conversation, and connection with our behavior. Take a look at the video made by Robert Sapolsky, a professor of Biology and Neurology at Stanford University and a Research Associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya.

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SSA Recent Posts

22 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Jean Louis Théodore Géricault – The Raft of the Medusa (Museo Del Louvre, 1818-19); via Wikipedia The unrecognized genius Do you know which is the second most popular painting in the Louvre museum, second only to Mona Lina? If not, maybe you ...
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20 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Gettyimages Making connections requires brain circuits to be active and interact during sleep Relational memory is the ability to remember arbitrary or indirect associations between objects, places, people or events -- such as names and faces...
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17 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
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