Quick Study: Neuroscience: Crosswords don’t make you clever

Many people think classical music is going to enhance brain function (the Mozart effect) or playing particular games sharpens ones cognitive function. These theories have been looked at in detail and they don’t stand up. It is disappointing in a way, but what we have learned is that exercise is the key thing for brain function. Doing crosswords isn’t good for your brain? It is good for improving your crossword…


McDouble is cheapest and most nutritious “food” in human history

Morgan “Supersize Me” Spurlock spoke at Seton HIll in 2005 about the social damage caused by fast-food culture. (Morgan Spurlock autographed my hamburger wrapper.) The following article approaches the issue from another perspective. I, for one, scrupulously avoid buying a drink or fries, and always order a burger and salad from the McD’s value menu. It works pretty well. “The more I thought about the question, whether the McDouble is…


Study: Singing together synchronizes your heartbeat

The researchers found that each singer’s heartbeat was linked to the song’s melody – i.e. the speed and structure of the music. They also found that when the choir sang together, their heart rates tended to increase and decrease at similar times. “As soon as the singing begins, (the hearts) start following each other,” Vickhoff told CNN in an e-mail. Humming and performing the mantra as a group resulted in…


Brain, Interrupted

In most situations, the person juggling e-mail, text messaging, Facebook and a meeting is [not multitasking, but] really doing something called “rapid toggling between tasks,” and is engaged in constant context switching. As economics students know, switching involves costs. But how much? When a consumer switches banks, or a company switches suppliers, it’s relatively easy to count the added expense of the hassle of change. When your brain is switching…

More U.S. Children Being Diagnosed With Youthful Tendency Disorder

Cameron’s psychological problems run even deeper. He can name every one of his beloved, imaginary Pokemon characters, but the plain realities of the actual world he inhabits are an enigma: Ask Cameron the name of the real-life city councilman sponsoring the referendum to renovate the park just across the street from his house–a park he plays in daily–and he draws a blank. –The Onion.


New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade

Wonderful, inspiring article that uses text, photos, and audio samples to tell how a researcher remixed wordless sounds to create an artificial voice for a voiceless child. Patel can take that sound, run it through a computer and find out all kinds of things about how that person would sound if that person could speak words. “We can determine their pitch, the loudness, the breathiness of their voice, the changes…