Can Pupil Size Predict IQ?

Could IQ--a famous standard of intelligence that has long eluded quantification--be as easy to measure as pupil size? Could the reason why establish a link between norepinephrine and fluid intelligence (and therefore, Mental Mojo consumption--See last paragraph)? Georgia psychologists Jason Tsukahara and colleagues hypothesize affirmatively in a paper they published two months ago. First a little background. Pupils have long been known to vary in size due to changes in emotional state and cognitive effort (i.e., brain strain). As Tsukahara writes: Starting in…

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Is Your Reality an Illusion?

Since the dawn of humankind, we've believed that we've been immersed in a continuous flow of consciousness. But that was merely an illusion our brains created according to cognitive neuroscientists at the Swiss National Science Foundation.  Their paper, published earlier this month, is titled "Time Slices," and theorizes that consciousness works much like a movie reel--we rapidly perceive myriad discrete images and our brains splice them together to create what we perceive as consciousness. Because visual processing takes only a few milliseconds,…

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Brain Boosting Beats: Rhythm’s Effect on Focus

Since ancient times, drums have been the centerpiece of some of humanity's most important moments.  The rhythm of drums spirited soldiers into battle and elevated souls into alternative realities during religious ceremonies. Neuroscience is now revealing what humanity has innately appreciated all along: rhythm moves us--all the way down to our brain waves. Specifically, electroencephalographs (EEGs), which measure the electrical impulses in the brain, have revealed that drums stimulate the brain, causing its brainwaves to resonate in time with their rhythm…

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Like Water: The Wisdom of Bruce Lee

Two years before his death, at the age of 31, American martial arts icon Bruce Lee had an epiphany. Already a successful actor and filmmaker, Lee had accomplished much, but he wanted more. Self-consciousness over goals left unaccomplished consumed him. Sensing this inner struggle, Lee's sensei, Yip Man, said: "Preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don't interfere. Remember to never assert yourself against nature...never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but control it…

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Machines That Read Your Mind: The New Focus on Neurotech

Innovators in the neurotech industry will soon be able to use technology to read your mind: the proof is in the patents.  Indeed, patents in neurotechnology have skyrocketed from 300 a year in the 2000s to over 1,600 last year.  The most fascinating of those patents describe technologies that detect your emotional state and play appropriate music (e.g. Mozart when you are concentrating on something), read your brainwaves to determine what you truly think about a product…

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Sleep Like a Genius

Dreaming of success? Maybe it's literally time to stop dreaming. Sleep, or lack thereof, seems to be a common thread among some of history’s most successful people. Leonardo DaVinici never got a full night’s sleep, and instead relied on 20 minute naps every 4 hours! In this week’s Science Saturday, check out this infographic to help you sleep like a genius.    

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Become a Memory Grand Master

Ever struggle with names?  In this Wednesday Wisdom, renowned science journalist Joshua Foer discusses how mental athletes train their memories to perform unbelievable feats of memory: memorizing poems in a minute, shuffled packs of cards in two minutes and 1000 random digits in an hour.  The bottom line: it comes down to training, not talent.  Check out the video here.

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