Imaging Reveals White Matter Benefits

A recent study has demonstrated that how and where memories are formed changes as we age. It appears that developing the brain's white matter, which powers neurotransmitter activity, leads to higher cognitive skills and the all important concept of cognitive reserve accumulation. According to this theory, borne out in other recent studies, the act of education and knowledge building seems to protect the brain from decline. Cross-training such as learning new skills and responding to different stimuli, in conjunction with regular exercise, appears to reinforce and strengthen the cognitive advances and may ward off decline, or delay it considerably in those with a genetic predisposition towards Alzheimer's. There is a forthcoming Stanford study that examines this very question.

How do the children and grandchildren of those who have Alzheimer's and may be genetically disposed to the disease respond? With the drive to open-sourcing the human genome and the explosion of individual genetic testing this issue will be answered deus ex machina whether or not the healthcare industry determines to address it openly or not. Possibly, we will look back to 2007 as a seminal year in world history - 40 or 50 years from now and certainly by the end of the century.

This question is certainly amongst the Top Ten developments for the year, which will be revealed on the 31st for Cognitive Labs' readers.


Pyramid Protection

Egypt to copyright the pyramids...

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Historical Brain Exercises

Mathew Brady

The Civil War was documented first by Matthew Brady and later by Ken Burns. A penultimate struggle, it featured 2nd and 3rd generation elites on both sides as well as new characters. Getting immigrants to vote and volunteer for the war effort became a strategy that was important to Republicans. They did this by promoting 'native' leaders, such as Franz Sigel:

Franz Sigel (November 18, 1824 – August 21, 1902) was a German military officer and immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union general in the American Civil War...

Sigel was promoted to major general on March 21, 1862. He served as a division commander in the Shenandoah Valley and fought unsuccessfully against Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, who managed to outwit and defeat the larger Union force in a number of small engagements. He commanded the I Corps in Maj. Gen. John Pope's Army of Virginia at the Second Battle of Bull Run, another Union defeat, where he was wounded in the hand.

Over the winter of 1862–63, Sigel commanded the XI Corps, consisting primarily of German immigrant soldiers, in the Army of the Potomac. During this period, the corps saw no action; it stayed in reserve during the Battle of Fredericksburg. Sigel had developed a reputation as an inept general, but his ability to recruit and motivate German immigrants kept him alive in a politically sensitive position. Many of these soldiers could speak little English beyond "I fights mit Sigel", which was their proud slogan. They were quite disgruntled when Sigel left the corps in February 1863 and was replaced by Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, who had no immigrant affinities.

So yes, we'll eventually be rolling out a whole series of Civil War games...

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Free-Range brain is number one.

is number 1 on dogpile when you type in brain. Similarly it performs well on Live, Ask.com(Jeeves), Google, and Yahoo. This is totally organic and free-range,fat-free, anti-oxidant, pro-flavenoid, green tea consuming, hikes around freely, and pro-solar, as an experience. :-)


3.3 million visitors

We passed 3.3 million visitors, that's 6.6 million eyeballs-broken out individually.



midDecember update

We're sending out a traffic update to friends of cognitive labs that is real time through just a few minutes ago. So, watch your email if you are on this exclusive list. It's up, of course.

Archon X Prize

Learn more about the archon X prize for genomics via this video.
Most of our test takers want to learn more about their DNA

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The Case for Interstellar Spam

A Russian scientist, Alexander Zaitsev, advocates not only listening for intelligent life through efforts such as Arecibo or the Allen array of radio telescopes, but actively sending messages to nearby stars.

Only 163 years ago the telegraph was introduced and the first message was "What hath God wrought?" Now, we've moved on to IM and Facebook.

It could be that sending interesting messages (SPAM) out there is just the trick to get a response. "Hello, we're Earth. We're great. We're #1. We're great because we're sending this. And by the way this is really old technology."

Then again, an ant might consider that its pheromone-based communications intended to reach other ant colonies would comprise the best option to reveal all that is unknown in the ant's conception. "I'm a worker ant from the nest under the leaf pile. If you can understand my message well then you're a friend. If you cannot, you're not an Argentinian ant and woe to you."

In fact, the ant's message is invisible and incomprehensible to other insects in a backyard, to say nothing of amphibians, birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, plants and people, or undersea life, for example. It's difficult for one kind of consciousness to know or conjecture anything meaningful about another, and therein lies the problem.

Complexity = Privileged Position?

"We're No. 1." In Astronomy, people settled early on a geocentric view of the universe which encompassed the land from horizon to horizon. With the awakening, heliocentrism came into vogue. Now, we know the sun is just a star among 100 billion stars in our galaxy. However, the rest of science and virtually all human endeavor is based on a variant of the original geocentrism in the way that a baby focuses only on objects in its immediate vicinity.


Looking at DNA, simple white rice has far more genes than humans - almost 40,000, while humans have under 25,000.

Therefore, on an ordinal scale, rice is more intelligent or advanced due to its more complex architecture, right? If our fundamental assumption derived intrinsic merit from genetic complexity, rice would be loftier in the pyramid of living things than people.

There's Bugs in Your Code

Before Champollion, Europeans could not read hieroglyphs. It appeared to be a jumble of unknown objects along with images derived from nature-junk, if you will, or even more accurately: absurd. In fact, this 'primitive' language and the activities necessary to decode it obscures that it was entirely forgotten. In human genetic code, a similar terra incognita appears, that we call 'junk' DNA.

However, the pufferfish, well known to divers and snorkelers, lacks 'junk DNA' altogether and has a clean genetic blueprint. Human code, on the other hand, is filled with ellipses, parenthetical marks, lacunae, and the diacritical red marks of life's editor. In fact, the majority of human genes fall into this category.


That's what geneticists are trying to find out.

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Indiana Jones Photos: Released Milliseconds Ago

On Yahoo, production stills of Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) were just placed...seconds ago. Here's the link

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Ozymandias, the Puck, and Mobile

Look on these works, ye mighty, and despair...

So blogs Michigan prof. Juan Cole, ZDNet applies this to the mobile market in its open source blog. It's probably time to download and start playing around with Android. Skate to where the puck is going, not where it was before, so they say.

The picture in the link is Ramses II, toppled over in Thebes, the inspiration for Shelley's poem. To get there, take the slow moving, listing ferry crowded with fellaheen from Luxor across the Nile to Thebes. Once there, take a walk, or get a donkey if you're lazy

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The Bent Solar System

An image released by the Voyager Project on December 10, 2007. NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has found that our solar system is not round but is 'dented' by the local interstellar magnetic field of deep space, space experts said on Monday


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Control a game with your hands and brain

control a game with your hands alone?

It may be possible according to this Israeli start-up.

Or use your brain

I recently was talked through a demo of this concept in a multiplayer online format (MMO) by a co. in Southern California.

Think about that.

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A Genetic Root to Compulsive Behavior?

Learning from Mistakes may be inhibited in people with a missing D2 dopamine receptor. Dopamine levels govern sense of well-being.

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brain.com gets botox

We've removed our old referring image and replaced it with this nifty look at earth and a new pitch: improve your OS.

I think it would make a timely TV commercial, so to any television commercial producers - we're all ears. Even if you're just cranking out stuff for youtube or the other thousand and one Flash video aggregators.

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Bug Fix

Exercise no. 7 in the series of JAXA activities had a bug that kept the Flash file from loading. This was related to the size of the image, which prevented the swf from rendering correctly. This is now fixed.

Here it is....

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Selene probe exercises, 3.1 million

now at 3.1 million visitors....we added the new suite of exercises based on the kaguya probe that is taking HD pictures of the moon and earth. Maybe something will show up on Discovery HD.


now at 3.1 million visitors....we added the new suite of exercises based on the kaguya probe that is taking HD pictures of the moon and eart


Three Million

Cognitive Labs traffic reaches 3 million visitors, and the 18th straight month of increases. We've passed 1 million visits this quarter. Thanks.

Compared with some of the large casual game networks, we're around 5-10% of their traffic-but just focused on the brain-including scientific games-the DNA of a revolution in how you train your mind.

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