brain activity

03/06/2014 - 12:07

People born unable to see are readily capable of learning to perceive the shape of the human body through soundscapes that translate images into sound, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 6. With a little training, soundscapes representing the outlines and silhouettes of bodies cause the brain's visual cortex—and specifically an area dedicated in normally sighted people to processing body shapes—to light up with activity.


11/18/2013 - 07:45

Researchers have found that listeners engage with classical music more when musicians improvise. Although improvisation is not commonly associated with classical music, the new study suggests that introducing elements of improvisation into classical concerts could increase audience engagement.


08/22/2013 - 08:23

It is easier to be generous in theory than it is in practice. In a new study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, researchers show that there is a difference. We are often more generous when dealing with hypothetical payments than we are with actual ones. To examine what happens in the brain when we take genuine decisions as opposed to imaginary ones, the researchers split 38 participants into two groups and asked them to make decisions on different suggested donations to charity while measuring their brain activity.


08/12/2013 - 15:01

The "near-death experience" reported by cardiac arrest survivors worldwide may be grounded in science, according to research at the University of Michigan Health System. But in this week’s PNAS Early Edition, a U-M study shows shortly after clinical death, in which the heart stops beating and blood stops flowing to the brain, rats display brain activity patterns characteristic of conscious perception. 


01/29/2013 - 13:47

Using fMRI, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and their US colleagues have studied the brain activity of doctors when treating patients. The study, which is published in Molecular Psychiatry, is an attempt to pin down the role of the therapist in the so-called placebo effect.

11/29/2012 - 08:03

Anyone who has ever played in an orchestra will be familiar with the phenomenon: the impulse for one’s own actions does not seem to come from one’s own mind alone, but rather seems to be controlled by the coordinated activity of the group. And indeed, interbrain networks do emerge when making music together – this has now been demonstrated by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. The scientists used electrodes to trace the brain waves of guitarists playing in duets. They also observed substantial differences in the musicians’ brain activity, depending upon whether musicians were leading or following their companion.