July 1, 2011

DT Friday Freakout: Neuroscience Edition

A couple of stories from the world of neuroscience to freak you out over the weekend:

[image: newscientist.com/Michael Crabtree]

They know when they've been sleeping; they know when they're awake. A study at Kings College London using MRI scans of napping babies' brains found that they have a heightened awareness of when you're angry or sad:

While the babies' brains responded in a similar way to both happy and neutral sounds, sad sounds - such as the sound of crying - resulted in stronger activation in regions of the brain called the insular cortex and gyrus rectus. This pattern of activity is also seen when adults who are awake hear sad sounds.
Holy crap, the babies are monitoring us, even after they've gone the f*ck to sleep. [newscientist via borthwick]

In completely unrelated news, I'm sure, a 2009 Yale study found that people will basically believe anything that has a neuroscience explanation attached, even when that explanation is irrelevant or illogical. [nih.gov]

1 Comment

As someone with a neuroengineering degree (seriously...hence the username), I can attest to the fact that people will believe any explanation I give them

...until they hear a contradictory explanation from their mother, aunt, friend "who heard that...", trusted blog or checkout-aisle-sourced magazine. At which point, all the science in the known universe will not convince them otherwise.

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