As a final treat for our fans, we've also got a live acoustic version of Jonathan Coulton's in-studio performance of "Re: Your Brains" Again, please be sure to visit him at jonathancoulton.com.Preview "Re: Your Brains" performed by Jonathan Coulton Download "Re: Your Brains" | Subscribe in iTunes | Subscribe in RSS
It's one thing to have a photographic memory. It's quite another to have something called a super-autobiographical memory.
If your brain is wired super-autobiographically, you really are the weird of the weird. As well as the wired of the wired.
These are people who remember almost everything. Dates, times, names. Yes, even former lovers. The sort of people who remember that they were born on a Wednesday, lost their virginity on a Sunday and were arrested for the first time on a Monday.
Nintendo's brain games may not help put your kid on the Nobel Prize track after all, according to one professor who put the titles to the test.
Alain Lieury, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Rennes in Brittany, France, surveyed a group of 10-year-olds and concluded that homework, reading, or playing Scrabble or sudoku produced benefits that matched or beat the supposed memory-enhancing properties of such titles as Big Brain Academy, Brain Training, and Brain Age.
The latter game contains several types of puzzle challenges designed to stimulate and keep the gray matter "young" and sharp.
"The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it's fine," the Times Online quotes Lieury as saying. "But it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test."
Lieury, a memory specialist, split 67 10-year-olds into four groups, according to the Times Online. The first two took part in a seven-week memory course on a Nintendo DS game console, the third did puzzles with pencils and paper, and the fourth went to school as usual.
Before and after the course, the kids were given tasks including logic tests, memorizing words on a map, doing sums, and interpreting symbols. Researchers found that children using the Nintendo DS system didn't show any significant improvement in memory tests. They did do 19 percent better in math, but so did the pencil-and-paper group, while the fourth group did 18 percent better.
"If it doesn't work on children, it won't work on adults," Lieury said.… Read more
This is really cool, and really dumb at the same time: Mattel's new Mindflex game lets you control the height of a floating ball with your mind as you navigate it through hoops, cages, and hurdles on a circular racetrack. The goal is to move the little orb around the customizable course as quickly as you can (you control the speed of rotation with a hand-operated knob). The device keeps score for several people.
Control is by brainwave. A headset measures the level of your concentration, and the more you concentrate, the faster a little fan spins that's … Read more
Editor's note: This is a transcript of a segment of 60 Minutes that aired Sunday. You can also view the video directly using the embedded player.
How often have you wondered what your spouse is really thinking? Or your boss? Or the guy sitting across from you on the bus? We all take as a given that we'll never really know for sure. The content of our thoughts is our own--private, secret, and unknowable by anyone else. Until now, that is.
As correspondent Lesley Stahl reports, neuroscience research into how we think and what we're thinking is … Read more
They say some music just gets into your brain. But not so often into your brain surgery.
Gavin Brooke, an 18-year-old from the United Kingdom, needed surgery to remove a brain tumor. But his doctors needed him to be awake throughout the operation so that they could be sure that they wouldn't damage his brain.
The solution was to hook up the iPod to the operating room's sound system. The first track Gavin chose for this six-hour headbanger's opera was Apologize by Timbaland, featuring One Republic.
This reflected the fact that, in his mind, he wanted to … Read more
Novell just announced that it is canceling its annual BrainShare conference, a place for customers and partners to gather for training and discussion around Novell technology. Citing the desire to cater to attendee cost considerations, Novell's vice president of marketing, John Dragoon, is shuttering a 20-year tradition, at least for 2009:
As many of you know, Novell has held BrainShare for more than 20 years, and it is a tradition we are proud of. I also know that our customers and partners always look forward to this conference.
Despite this, many of you have indicated that because of the … Read more
I'll admit that I'm more into puzzles and brain games than I am into, say, poker. Don't get me wrong. iPhone poker is cool, but the word game Wurdle is the one I can't put down as I nearly miss my bus stop.
In Wurdle ($1.99), you drag your finger in any direction over adjacent letters in a grid to form as many words as you can before time runs out. The grid size, word length, game duration, dictionary, and even tile color are all customizable. Wurdle keeps track of high scores and the longest … Read more