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Your search has returned 1319 articles:
  • News

    Extra fingers, often seen as useless, can offer major dexterity advantages

    An extra finger can be incredibly handy. Two people born with six fingers per hand can tie their shoes, adroitly manage phones and play a complicated video game — all with a single hand, a study shows.

    These people’s superior dexterity, described June 3 in Nature Communications, suggests that instead of being seen as aberrations that ought to be surgically removed, extra fingers can...

    06/12/2019 - 07:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    A new experiment didn’t find signs of dreaming in brain waves

    In a nighttime experiment called the Dream Catcher, people’s dreams slipped right through the net. Looking at only the brain wave activity of sleeping people, scientists weren’t able to reliably spot a dreaming brain.

    The details of that leaky net, described May 27 at bioRxiv.org, haven’t yet been reviewed by other scientists. And the results are bound to be heavily scrutinized, as they...

    06/04/2019 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Being bilingual is great. But it may not boost some brain functions

    Advantages of speaking a second language are obvious: easier logistics when traveling, wider access to great literature and, of course, more people to talk with. Some studies have also pointed to the idea that polyglots have stronger executive functioning skills, brain abilities such as switching between tasks and ignoring distractions.

    But a large study of bilingual children in the U.S...

    05/24/2019 - 07:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • Soapbox

    A cognitive neuroscientist warns that the U.S. justice system harms teen brains

    A teenager’s brain does not magically mature into its reasoned, adult form the night before his or her 18th birthday. Instead, aspects of brain development stretch into a person’s 20s — a protracted fine-tuning with serious implications for young people caught in the U.S. justice system, argues cognitive neuroscientist B.J. Casey of Yale University.

    In the May 22 Neuron, Casey describes...

    05/22/2019 - 11:00 Health, Neuroscience, Science & Society
  • News

    A new AI acquired humanlike ‘number sense’ on its own

    Artificial intelligence can share our natural ability to make numeric snap judgments.

    Researchers observed this knack for numbers in a computer model composed of virtual brain cells, or neurons, called an artificial neural network. After being trained merely to identify objects in images — a common task for AI — the network developed virtual neurons that respond to specific quantities....

    05/13/2019 - 07:00 Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience
  • News

    An AI used art to control monkeys’ brain cells

    New artwork created by artificial intelligence does weird things to the primate brain.

    When shown to macaques, AI-generated images purposefully caused nerve cells in the monkeys’ brains to fire more than pictures of real-world objects. The AI could also design patterns that activated specific neurons while suppressing others, researchers report in the May 3 Science.

    This...

    05/02/2019 - 14:00 Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience
  • News

    A mysterious dementia that mimics Alzheimer’s gets named LATE

    A newly described dementia strikes people in their last decades of life. The disease, aptly named LATE, comes with symptoms that resemble Alzheimer’s disease, but is thought to be caused by something completely different.

    An international team of scientists and clinicians describe the disease and officially christen it LATE, which stands for the more technical description, “limbic-...

    04/30/2019 - 12:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    A neural implant can translate brain activity into sentences

    To communicate, people unable to talk often rely on small eye movements to spell out words, a painstakingly slow process. Now, using signals picked up by a brain implant, scientists have pulled entire sentences from the brain.

    Some of these reconstructed words, spoken aloud by a virtual vocal cord, are a little garbled. But overall, the sentences are understandable, researchers from the...

    04/24/2019 - 13:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder Opportunity’s future, animal consciousness and more

    Lost Opportunity

    NASA’s Opportunity rover explored Mars for more than a decade until a dust storm last year led to its demise, Lisa Grossman reported in “After 15 years on Mars, it’s the end of the road for Opportunity” (SN: 3/16/19, p. 7).

    Reddit users had a lot of questions about the rover, nicknamed Oppy. scazon wanted to know why the estimated life spans for Opportunity and...

    04/23/2019 - 06:15 Planetary Science, Neuroscience, Biophysics
  • Feature

    When anxiety happens as early as preschool, treatments can help

    When Molly was 10 months old, her parents took her to a Halloween party with other young families. While the other babies explored their surroundings, Molly sat and watched. She’s always been cautious, says Molly’s mom, Rachel. Early on, though, the little girl’s shyness didn’t raise red flags.

    By the time Molly turned 4, however, life was getting harder — for everyone. Even though she...

    04/21/2019 - 06:00 Psychology, Mental Health, Neuroscience, Clinical Trials