Matching a Name with an Image: in your Neurons

A specific area in our brains is responsible for processing information about human and animal faces, both how we recognize them and how we interpret facial expressions. Now, Tel Aviv University research is exploring what makes this highly specialized part of the brain unique, a first step to finding practical applications for that information.

In her "Face Lab" at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Galit Yovel of TAU's Department of Psychology is trying to understand the mechanisms at work in the face area of the brain called the "fusiform gyrus" of the brain. She is combining cognitive psychology with techniques like brain imaging and electrophysiology to study how the brain processes information about faces. Her most recent research on the brain's face-processing mechanisms was published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Human Brain Mapping. MORE

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Dementia Onset Appears to Be Delayed through Education: More Support

People who stay in education for longer appear to be better able to compensate for the effects of dementia on the brain, a study suggests.

A UK and Finnish team found those with more education were as likely to show the signs of dementia in their brains at death as those with less.

But they were less likely to have displayed symptoms during their lifetime, the study in Brain said.

Experts said scientists now had to find out why the effect occurred.
Related stories

* Dementia: Facts and figures
* Longer schooling 'cuts dementia'

Over the past decade, studies on dementia have consistently shown that the more time you spend in education, the lower the risk of dementia.

But studies have been unable to show whether or not education - which is linked to higher socio-economic status and healthier lifestyles - protects the brain against dementia.

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Diet, Exercise in Alzheimers Key in Animal Study

A new study involving canines has found that changes in diet and exercise can impact the speed of Alzheimer's onset...

The findings show the importance of taking multiple approaches to arrest the disease in humans, the authors say. Their results also provide evidence supporting recent research that suggests plaque deposits in the brain are not the cause of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease usually strikes people over the age of 60 and causes memory loss, shrinking brain tissue and eventually death. People with the disease get plaques in their brains made up of a small protein called amyloid-beta, which clumps together and disrupts brain signals.

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The Advantage of Early MRI: Cognitive Impairment

Scientists now believe that there may be advantages to identifying early conditions of cognitive impairment using remote solutions. These remote solutions include MRI that may be brought to bear on subjects to analyze internal conditions of the brain, including the possibility of identifying early precursors of Alzheimer's Disease. This conclusion was advanced by Case Western Reserve University Scientists at the annual Alzheimers Conference in Hawaii.

Some individuals may not be ready for this level of analysis and getting appropriate consent is always important.



Benefits of exercise: Hawaii Alzheimer's Conference 2010

Exercise followed by a relaxing mug of tea might be a good tonic for the brain in old age, research suggests from this week's Alzheimer's Conference in Hawaii.

In two separate studies, US scientists found that physical activity and regular consumption of tea or coffee both protect against mental decline.

One team led by Dr Zaldy Tan, from Harvard Medical School, Boston, followed the progress of 1,200 elderly men and women with an average age of 76.

Health checks after an average of 10 years showed that those who engaged in moderate to heavy levels of exercise had a 40% lower risk of developing dementia than the least physically active.

read all of the article

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Ansel Adams and Cognitive Fitness

The wilderness photographer Ansel Adams' work can train your brain via memtrax, a series of algorithms for mental fitness developed by Dr. Ashford and myself.

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Mental training

A humorous game now on Cognitive Labs...

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The Vertical Limit: Mountaineering and Brain Damage

A significant percentage of high altitude mountaineers including a number of Everest attemptees, when tested under MRI, showed evidence of brain damage due to hypoxia or lack of oxygen. Therefore, it makes sense to acclimate to higher altitudes and above all, to minimize your exposure to high elevations above 14,000 feet.

Does this mean that you should avoid mountaineering? It is best to exercise caution - minimizing the level of exposure. Read more at the Well Blog from the NY Times. The benefits of this kind of exercise in terms of cardiovascular fitness may reduce overall health risk, so this is another factor to keep in mind. Try the Everest test.

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Chase the Rainbow

This is a game by Ryan Atkinson and is here as well as on this page.

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Physically Active Women Have Lowered Risk of Dementia

A new study examining cognitive impairment in women has found that at all ages, physically fit participants enjoyed a lower risk of dementia

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