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This Is Your Brain

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The Limitless Drug: What If It Were Possible to Learn Any New Skill as If We Were Children?

You’ve heard to start studying foreign languages (and music and reading and memorization skills and more) at a young age, when your brain is better prepared to retain that information. New research suggests a drug typically used to combat epilepsy and bipolar disorder could help us retain that skill even as we age.

Findings

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Making Art Boosts Seniors’ Psychological Resilience

German researchers report positive changes in the brains of recent retirees who learned how to create visual art.

Mosaic

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Can You Supercharge Your Brain?

Applying mild electrical currents to your head could take away pain, help memory, and improve attention—and the U.S. military is very interested.

Health Care

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This Is Your Body on Laughter

Several new studies exploring the effects of laughter are contributing to a fast-growing body of research that finds just how important it is to keeping us happy, healthy, and sane.

Quick Studies

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Want to Remember Your Notes? Write Them, Don’t Type Them

Dust off your pens and notebooks. A new study finds laptops make note-taking so easy it’s actually ineffective.

True Crime

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Revisiting Austin Street: The Death of Kitty Genovese, 50 Years Later

The public murder of a young woman near her home in Kew Gardens made the bystander effect a household term in 1964. Now, fifty years later, it can be used to illustrate another psychological phenomenon: the surprising fallibility of memory.

Quick Studies

Memory

Which Sensation Is Best for Memories?

In a battle of the senses, hearing loses.

Quick Studies

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Are Ugly Faces More Memorable?

Sure, but you’re also more likely to think you remember a beauty you don’t even know.

 

crime-lineup

The Limits of Memory for Witnesses of Crime

Using so much brainpower to make quick decisions during a crime keeps us from creating lasting memories.

 

brain-on-math

Your Child’s Brain on Math

Why do some children benefit more from tutoring than others? And does one small education study have the ability to drastically change our behavior as parents?

 

(PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK)

The Audacity of Brainless Slime Mold

Dispatches from the weird world of unicellular biology, where essentially brainless critters do a fair job of helping us understand aspects of human behavior–such as how we use memory.

 

(PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK)

More Evidence Music Training Boosts Brainpower

A German study finds young children who took instrumental music lessons did better than their peers on verbal memory tests.

Features

Illustration: Sébastien Thibault

Speak, Memory

How the science of recall is finally helping us to learn other languages.

 

Drawing Helps Kids Recount Details of Sex Abuse

Research finds child sex-abuse victims discuss their experiences in greater detail after drawing a picture of the traumatic events.

 

An Unforgettable World Series? Only If Your Team Wins

New research suggests details of decisive games fade more quickly from the memories of the losing team’s fans.

 

Eyewitness IDs Can Be Made Better

It’s business as usual for many police agencies, even after bungled eyewitness procedures led to high-profile exonerations.

 

A Genuine Jolt to the Memory

Little bits of electricity have been shown to help people remember names, a finding that might have implications for restoring memories and making new ones.

 

Art and Alzheimer’s: Another Way of Remembering

How the life and death of the Chicago painter known as Hilgos helped bring art — and a better quality of life — to Alzheimer’s patients.

 

A Really Hard Test Really Helps Learning

Challenging tests and falling short may be hard on the ego, but they can do more than mere studying for eventually getting it right.

 

Bodily Fitness Bulks Up Brain, Too

 

 

More on the Making of Brainiac Mice

Time to stir up the nature-versus-nurture debate a bit.

 

Total Recall … Or At Least the Gist

Two Cornell psychologists found we have two separate systems for memories, which helps explain how we can “remember” things that never happened.

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Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be To Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

Would You Rather Go Blind or Lose Your Mind?

Americans consistently fear blindness, but how they compare it to other ailments varies across racial lines.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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