Monday 4 June 2012

Chileans learn science through music - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Chileans learn science through music - Americas - Al Jazeera English

A very noble and interesting experiment based clearly on brain's plasticity.  Might also tell us more about why we need and invented art 

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Art and the Limits of Neuroscience

( Illustration from the article: Leif Parsons)

I just realised that I have never posted the latest brilliant article, "Art and the Limits of Neuroscience" by Alva Noë!!! He discusses the new 'hot topic' neuroaesthetics, a brilliant argument about how and why it does not work.
( )

One correction. In his text, Noë says:

"What is striking about neuroaesthetics is not so much the fact that it has failed to produce interesting or surprising results about art, but rather the fact that no one — not the scientists, and not the artists and art historians — seem to have minded, or even noticed."

Well, we have noticed indeed, and we do mind!

So -to be continued...

lva Noë is a philosopher at CUNY’s Graduate Center. He is the author of “Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons From The Biology of Consciousness.” He is now writing a book on art and human nature. Noë writes a weekly column for NPR’s13.7: Culture and Cosmos blog. You can follow him on Twitter andFacebook.

Friday 3 February 2012

Internet changes your brain - new scientific study

OK, new evidences in a respectable scientific journal.

PDF of the full article available at

Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study

Fuchun Lin1., Yan Zhou2., Yasong Du3., Lindi Qin2, Zhimin Zhao3, Jianrong Xu2*, Hao Lei1*


Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is currently becoming a serious mental health issue around the globe. Previous studies regarding IAD were mainly focused on associated psychological examinations. However, there are few studies on brain structure and function about IAD. In this study, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate white matter integrity in adolescents with IAD.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Seventeen IAD subjects and sixteen healthy controls without IAD participated in this study. Whole brain voxel-wise analysis of fractional anisotropy (FA) was performed by tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to localize abnormal white matter regions between groups. TBSS demonstrated that IAD had significantly lower FA than controls throughout the brain, including the orbito-frontal white matter, corpus callosum, cingulum, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and corona radiation, internal and external capsules, while exhibiting no areas of higher FA. Volume-of-interest (VOI) analysis was used to detect changes of diffusivity indices in the regions showing FA abnormalities. In most VOIs, FA reductions were caused by an increase in radial diffusivity while no changes in axial diffusivity. Correlation analysis was performed to assess the relationship between FA and behavioral measures within the IAD group. Significantly negative correlations were found between FA values in the left genu of the corpus callosum and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders, and between FA values in the left external capsule and the Young's Internet addiction scale.


Our findings suggest that IAD demonstrated widespread reductions of FA in major white matter pathways and such abnormal white matter structure may be linked to some behavioral impairments. In addition, white matter integrity may serve as a potential new treatment target and FA may be as a qualified biomarker to understand the underlying neural mechanisms of injury or to assess the effectiveness of specific early interventions in IAD.

(Thanks to Timothy Senior for the initial info)