Older news items (pre-2010) brought over from the old website
Attention, it’s all about connecting
An imaging study in which volunteers spent an hour identifying letters that flashed on a screen has shed light on what happens when our attention wanders. Reduced communication in the ventral fronto-parietal network, critical for attention, was found to predict slower response times 5-8 seconds before the letters were presented.
Daniel Weissman presented the results at the 38th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held Nov. 15 to 19 in Washington, DC.
Brain activity distinguishes false from true recollection
Although memory confidence and accuracy tend to be positively correlated, people sometimes remember with high confidence events that never happened. A new imaging study reveals that, in cases of high confidence, responses were associated with greater activity in the medial temporal lobe when the event really happened, but with greater activity in the frontoparietal region when the memory was false. Both of these regions are involved in event memory, but the medial temporal lobe focuses on specific facts about the event, while the fronto-parietal network is more likely to process the global gist of the event.
Kim, H. & Cabeza, R. 2007. Trusting Our Memories: Dissociating the Neural Correlates of Confidence in Veridical versus Illusory Memories. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 12190–12197.
Brain network related to intelligence identified
A review of 37 imaging studies may have finally answered an age-old question: where is intelligence. Following on from recent evidence suggesting that intelligence is related to how well information travels throughout the brain, the researchers believe they have identified the stations along the routes intelligent information processing takes. These stations primarily involve areas in the frontal and the parietal lobes, many of which are involved in attention and memory, and more complex functions such as language. Basically, the researchers theorize that your level of intelligence is a function of how well these areas communicate with each other. It’s particularly interesting to note that these various imaging studies had remarkably consistent results despite the different definitions of intelligence used in them.
Jung, R.E. & Haier, R.J. 2007. The Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) of intelligence: Converging neuroimaging evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30(2), 135-154.