What Do the Brains of Successful People Have in Common?

One may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but neuroscience is revealing that one can judge a person from a snapshot of their brain. So suggest researchers at the Human Connectome Project (HCP)–a really cool cognitive consortium dedicated to mapping neural networks in the human brain.  This past September, the HCP released a study focused on what they refer to as the “axis of connectivity:” the neural networks that fire when the brain is idle. Researchers noticed that nearly all of the brains whose axes of connectivity actively fired during periods of idleness belonged to successful people (physically fit, educated, high earning, etc.) while those with inactive axes of connectivity belonged to unsuccessful people (those who had one or more negative traits, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, low income, poor health, etc.). Moving forward, researchers hope to address the obvious quandary presented by the findings: do the negative traits suppress the axis of connectivity, or does a suppressed axis of connectivity create negative traits? And more importantly, can weakened axes of connectivity be strengthened so as to curb negative behaviors?  Team Mojo will stay tuned to the HCP and update you as soon as augmented findings are released.

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