Acquiring a language is a difficult process. One of the best ways to learn involves the use of a tutor. This one-on-one interaction allows for direct learning as well as interaction without distraction. Usually, the teacher is an expert in that specific language. But when it comes to learning a first language, the most useful tutor happens to be an infant’s parent.
Babies actually begin to learn speech before birth as they gain perspective on phonetics. Afterwards, they rely on their parents to provide them with a variety of lessons to improve their ability to communicate. However, not all methods are effective and several parameters such as the frequency, amplitude, and timing of speech are critical in determining how well a child will attend to speech and, ultimately, learn speech sounds.
Most people take motion sensing for granted. Our eyes pick up on something moving and our brains are sent a signal to let us know something has occurred in our space-time continuum. Despite the simplicity of the task, the mechanisms allowing us this ability are incredibly complex. They have been studied for over fifty years and the neural circuitry underlying motion detection is probably the best described circuitry in the brain. Yet, researchers have not discovered all the answers.
It’s one of the guarantees of life: stress. At its core, it’s a perception of a physical or psychological threat and is designed to help us survive. But the triggers are varied and as such, there is no single way to deal with the impending sensation of harm.
For years, researchers have studied the stress spectrum and identified numerous behavioural changes. Most are relatively simple to understand such as heightened awareness, risk avoidance, and the fight or flight response.
Some memories just seem to go together. Think about an important experience in your life. You may also closely remember another experience that happened around that time too, like exchanging vows at your wedding, and then your friend’s epic dance moves later that same night. Somehow these two memories seem to be linked in your mind.
A new study led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), looks at this connection between memories and illustrates how certain memories become linked in the brain. The study is published in the July 22 online edition of Science.
Dan Randles: “We don’t fully understand how acetaminophen affects the brain”
It’s been known for more than a century that acetaminophen is an effective painkiller, but a new University of Toronto study shows it could also be impeding error-detection in the brain.
For years, neuroscientists have puzzled over how two abnormal proteins, called amyloid and tau, accumulate in the brain and damage it to cause Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Which one is the driving force behind dementia? The answer: both of them, according to a new study by researchers at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.
In the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the team led by Dr. Pedro Rosa-Neto, a clinician scientist at the Douglas and assistant professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry at McGill University, reports for the first time evidence that the interaction between amyloid and tau proteins drives brain damage in cognitively intact individuals.
A new study from Western University shows that the parts of our brain that provide us with our sense of touch are activated when we watch someone else learn a manual skill.
The findings by Heather McGregor and Paul Gribble from Western’s Brain and Mind Institute were published by the prestigious journal Current Biology.
Previous cognitive neuroscience research has proved that observing the actions of others activates many of the same brain areas that are involved in physically producing movement but until this new discovery, investigators like McGregor and Gribble didn’t know how this link between observation and action might facilitate actual learning.
Discovery opens door to development of new drugs to control weight gain and obesity
It’s rare for scientists to get what they describe as “clean” results without spending a lot of time repeating the same experiment over and over again. But when researchers saw the mice they were working with doubling their weight within a month or two, they knew they were on to something.