Hyperthymesticsm Means Never Forgetting

At UC-Irvine, scientists are studying a man with a hyperthymestic memory, planning to use an advanced MRI array to analyze whether or not he shows any signs of structural brain differences compared with the norm.

In hyperthymesticsm, individuals have a more efficient database, remembering most details about daily activities years later, associating each with a name and a date.

Interestingly, they do not show superior behavior on information processing and immediate memory tasks, just exceptional recall. Nor are such individuals savants, with deficiencies in one area but exceptional skills in others areas, such as numeric computation.

Findings might improve our understanding of the mechanism of knowledge accumulation and retention and locate it more precisely in the brain.

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Flying is Probably Not in our DNA

But don't tell that to Yves Rossy, a Swiss inventor who strapped on a pair of wings coupled with a jetpack of his invention and soared above the Alps.

During the flight, Rossy reached a speed of 186 MPH and executed loops, figure-eights, and barrel rolls.

This brings up an important point. The point is that we evolve (and so do all organisms) through stress. Stress reveals weaknesses in body systems, change is driven by the need to adapt and in the very short-term, by the development of work-arounds and quick fixes in one system which ultimately influence other systems and then finally, DNA is amended, like a Bill entering the House, getting support, getting vetoed by the president, being sent back for legislative review, and then finally passing.

A skeptical view would be that flight is impossible. Once man flew too close to the sun and suffered molten waxen wings and an interminable spiral back to earth, why try again? "Everyone knows that xyz is impossible," the conventional wisdom says, and even if it is possible, and you prove it with something akin to executing the tough yo-yo trick 'walking the dog', then there are a legion of reasons why they'll tell you it should not be done now. Many officials take this posture, not necessarily intentionally - they want to believe, but because of the downside of risk. This stance is not even unique to industries, you could say it is axiomatic behavior for all incumbents...you just have to keep chiseling away

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Two Tesla Tests

Not one, but two Tesla tests...

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and Nikola Tesla...

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7:48 PST update

There's a new test coming up, as well as a really interesting attention-requiring game. We'll keep you posted. Hint: the test has something to do with electricity.

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What's the Best Site for Brain Training? Brain.com - Yahoo Answers

We recently saw this post about Brain.com on Yahoo! Answers, the social Q&A service:


Thanks. Feedback from the web tops press releases, in our book.

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Plant Molecules May Contain Alzheimer's Key

Researchers at the University of South Florida and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have found that two molecules - luteolin and diosmin - found in some plants may have a beneficial effect in brain tissue linked with Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers, led by Terrence Town, Ph.D., a research scientist with the departments of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, indicated that luteolin and diosmin reduced levels of amloid-beta, which forms the sticky deposits that build up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

In the study, molecules called flavonoids, which are found in certain fruits and vegetables, were administered to a mouse model genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer's disease.

When the researchers used two of these molecules, luteolin and diosmin, they could successfully reduce the levels of a protein called amyloid-beta, which forms the sticky deposits that build up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's.

They said that these molecules work by targeting a protein called presenilin-1, which has long been linked to Alzheimer's as a genetic cause of this devastating and untreatable illness.

The findings of the study may have future implications in developing a new approach to therapy for patients suffering from this neurodegenerative illness, which is the most common cause of dementia and is estimated to affect more than five million people in the United States.

"These flavonoids are widely available in natural foods and it appears that they may be used in purified form as therapeutic agents. The compounds have few if any side effects and are naturally occurring in citrus fruits. They also can be found as dietary supplements in health food stores," said Town.

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Amazing World War II images

Some amazing WWII pictures, mostly not widely seen, on the Eastern front. Just over a week ago was May day, then a week later, the holiday celebrating the end of WWII in Russia, or the "Great Patriotic War"...

Here's more

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Do Diet Drugs Affect Brain Development?

Julie Steenhuysen of Reuters reports that a drug from a new class of weight-loss treatments disrupted wiring needed for brain development in young mice, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday, raising concerns about using such medications in children.

According to the piece, scientists at MIT studied the effects of a chemical that suppresses appetite by blocking cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the same brain mechanisms that make people hungry when they smoke marijuana. Evidence seems to indicate that brain development is stymied by the presence of the compound.

Read more of the article

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Brain Health Tips, Reloaded

The Brain health page - here - has been reloaded with new tips.

The tip about surfing at Santa Cruz and the Great White, is due to Dr. Ashford.

What, you ask, does this to have to with cognitive fitness? You'll have to click through to find out.

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Spam, Parboiled to Perfect Tenderness - Bon Apetit

Wash it down with some Hawaiian punch (fruit juicy)

Oh please, no more of these...green eggs and spam

ham, eggs, sausage, and spam,

spam, spam, spam, spam....(drumroll)

Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 07:21:22 +0800 (HKT)
Address Book Add Mobile Alert

(Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Banking Division).
Fubon Bank Limited Hong Kong. 38 Des Voeux Road Central,
Hong Kong.
Email: -kai_chin101@yahoo.com.hk

Good Day,

It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because
you do not know me but I have a lucrative business proposal of mutual
interest to share with you.

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr.Kai.Chin. Senior Vice
President, Head of Corporate Banking Division {Fubon Bank Ltd Hong Kong.}.
I have an obscured Business suggestion for you.

In October, 2002, my late client Ghazi Musa Hassan, Iraqi Crude oil
merchant made a numbered fixed deposit of Fifteen Million, Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars (US$15,500,000.00) only in my branch. Upon
maturity several notice was sent to him, even during the war (U.S and
Iraqi war), Five years ago (2003). Again after the war another
notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found
out that Ghazi Musa Hassan, and his family had been killed during the war
in a bomb blast that hit his home at Mukaradeeb where his personal oil
well was:

After further investigation it was also discovered that Ghazi Musa Hassan
did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper
work of his bank deposit and he also confided in me the last time he was
in my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So,
Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying
in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me
most is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration six {6}
years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government
if nobody applies to claim the funds. Against this backdrop, my suggestion
to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin
to Ghazi Musa Hassan so that you will be able to receive his funds.


I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall
come out successful. I have an attorney that will prepare the necessary
document that will back you up as the next of kin to Ghazi Musa Hassan,
all that is required from you is to provide me with your Full Names and
Address so that the attorney can commence his job. After you have been
made the next of kin, the attorney will also fill in for claims on your
behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your
favour for the movement of the funds to an account that will be provided.
We are going to adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all
the necessary documents in your favour.

There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth
undertaking. There is no risk involved at all in this matter, I have
evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is for you refusing to
work with me and alerting my bank. I am the only one who knows of this
situation, good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you
into the centre of relevance in my life. Please endeavour to observe
utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds
have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall share in the
ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you but this can be subjected to further
negotiations. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to
what the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is
nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter
of gold. Please observe this instruction religiously.

Should you be interested please send me your,

1, Full Names,
2, Private Phone Number,
3, Current Residential Address,

And I will prefer you reach me on my private email address below: and
finally after that I shall furnish you with more information's about this
operation. Your earliest response to this letter through my private email
address: (kai_chin101@yahoo.com.hk) will be appreciated.

Kind Regards,

MR. Kai Chin.

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Cognitive Reserve Link

Here is more on the cognitive reserve theory...now in Time Magazine. What is not mentioned, however, is IQ's association with longevity and also reaction time, which seem to form a triangle of interrelatedness.

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep...Revisited

According to this epistle from the Lifeboat Foundation, SF-based Emotiv systems product will (d)evolve into a tivoish dream-recording device by the year 2050. Also, you can share coglabs blog by clicking the permalink and posting to your favorite social network, linkshare-site, automatically.

philip k. dick site
electric sheep agents talk while you sleep
Cognitive Labs Mental Typewriter and Game controller (2006)

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Why Ibuprofen May Help Cognitive Function

Cognitive function may be improved, or decline averted, in early stages of Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests. Speculation is this is due to the anti-coagulant properties of the drug.

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Twins Study: Ammunition for Cognitive Reserve Theory

PhysOrg has a piece on another longitudinal study on cognitive reserve, the enhanced mental faculties that accrue to people with "knowledge" based professions such as research, science, and technology - using a wide variety of cognitive processes and stretch their capabilities.

Duke researchers compared intelligence test scores given to Army recruits in WWII with performance on cognitive tests later in life, through the prism of the individual's choice of career.

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The Really Old Tree Species

photo by ichiro s.

What's the Oldest tree?

Not the oldest single specimen, but the oldest continuous descendant?

Dating back to the Permian (270 million years ago) and becoming diverse in the Jurassic (Park) period, Gingko Biloba is sometimes called the living fossil.

The reason for its success?

-Ecological Conservatism, preferring light soils near rivers (a condition satisfied somewhere in the world for the past 300 million years)

-Resistant to insects

-Slow maturing and longevity, the average tree has a 1,000 year lifespan

-A simple reproductive strategy

Fresh leaves, the inner seed, and dried leaves are often combined to create a blend with antioxidant properties.

It's a gymnosperm (pines, redwoods, ferns, spruce) and the only one that is deciduous. It probably was eaten in great quantities by large, grazing dinosaurs


N.Y. Botanical Garden Gets into the DNA Game

A "Barcode of Life" will transliterate the DNA of trees, according to Deepthi Hajela of the AP who writes...

The New York Botanical Garden may be best known for its orchid shows and colorful blossoms, but its researchers are about to lead a global effort to capture DNA from thousands of tree species from around the world.

The Bronx garden is hosting a meeting this week where participants from various countries will lay the groundwork for how the two-year undertaking to catalog some of the Earth's vast biodiversity will proceed.

The project is known as TreeBOL, or tree barcode of life. As in a similar project under way focusing on the world's fish species, participants would gather genetic material from trees around the world.

A section of the DNA would be used as a barcode, similar to way a product at the grocery store is scanned to bring up its price. But with plants and animals, the scanners look at the specific order of the four basic building blocks of DNA to identify the species.

The resulting database will help identify many of the world's existing plant species, where they are located and whether they are endangered. The results are crucial for conservation and protecting the environment as population and development increases, said Damon Little, assistant curator of bioinformatics at the Botanical Garden and coordinator of the project. (more)


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

by Sgt. Alfred Joyce Kilmer, poet, U.S. 165th Infantry
(deceased 1918, Battle of the Marne)

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Senet: World's Oldest Game tests Your Brain

Brain training is definitely in the news, with a front (B-1) business page story in the NY Times talking about how expensive the programs are. Except for here, where our objective is to make world class science accessible and if possible, fun.

For now, enjoy the game of senet -it's 5000 years old. (Featured here on the tomb of Nefertari, one of the Queens of Ramses II, who had more than 100 children.) The reason it was in the tomb painting was due to the belief that success at the game was a skill needed in order to get through the judgment at the hands of Anubis, where the heart was weighed for its "living in accordance with ma'at."

Somehow being speedy at the game helped you to speed through the weighstation going to the afterlife, in Egyptian mythology, and thus, it was featured on the tomb

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