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What we think we know — but might not — pushes...

Curiosity concept. Credit: © xixinxing / Adobe Stock Spoiler alert if you haven't watched the "Game of Thrones" season finale. If you think you know the farm animal most closely related to T-Rex, or the American president who inspired the creation of blue jelly beans -- but aren't entirely sure -- you're more likely to…

Flexibility of working memory from random connections

Neurons illustration. Credit: © rolffimages / Adobe Stock A new article in Neuron from Princeton University neuroscientists Flora Bouchacourt and Tim Buschman presents a new model of working memory. Working memory is your ability to hold things 'in mind.' It acts as a workspace in which information can be held, manipulated, and then used to…

Teachers predict pupil success just as well as exam scores

Students writing an exam. Credit: © arrowsmith / Adobe Stock New research from King's College London finds that teacher assessments are equally as reliable as standardised exams at predicting educational success. The researchers say their findings, published today in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, question whether the benefits of standardised exams outweigh the…

Kids store 1.5 megabytes of information to master their native language

From infancy to young adulthood, learners absorb approximately 12.5 million bits of information about language. Credit: © makistock / Adobe Stock Learning one's native language may seem effortless. One minute, we're babbling babies. The next we're in school reciting Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech or Robert Frost's poem "Fire and Ice."…

Want to learn a new skill? Take some short breaks

In a study of healthy volunteers, NIH researchers found that taking short breaks, early and often, may help our brains learn new skills. Credit: Courtesy of Cohen lab, NIH/NINDS In a study of healthy volunteers, National Institutes of Health researchers found that our brains may solidify the memories of new skills we just practiced a…

Associating colors with vowels? Almost all of us do!

Vowel-color associations in two non-synesthete subjects (left) and in two synesthetes (right). Synesthetes more precisely chose the same color for a particular sound. However, all four participants created groups of sounds that lay close to a particular Dutch vowel, such as "ee" [i:] (upper left), and they all chose lighter colors for "ee" than for…

Experiences of nature boost children’s learning

Nature-based instruction leads to more engaged, attentive, self-motivated, disciplined children in a cause-and-effect manner, according to a critical review of current literature. Credit: University of Illinois Spending time in nature boosts children's academic achievement and healthy development, concludes a new analysis examining hundreds of studies. Ming Kuo, associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources…

Singing for science: How the arts can help students who struggle...

In the arts-integrated chemistry class, students learned about states of matter by working in groups to physically demonstrate solid, liquid and gas particles. Credit: Mariale Hardiman/Johns Hopkins University Incorporating the arts -- rapping, dancing, drawing -- into science lessons can help low-achieving students retain more knowledge and possibly help students of all ability levels be…

Want to squelch fake news? Let the readers take charge

A new study co-authored by an MIT professor shows that crowdsourced judgments about the quality of news sources may effectively marginalize false news stories and other kinds of online misinformation. Credit: Christine Daniloff Would you like to rid the internet of false political news stories and misinformation? Then consider using -- yes -- crowdsourcing. That's…

In VR boys learn best when the teacher is a drone...

Even when students are taught via simulations and VR-glasses the teacher is an important figure: Girls learn best, when the virtual teacher is a young female role model, shows research from Virtual Learning Lab at the University of Copenhagen. Credit: University of Copenhagen Few years from now, students in schools all over the world will…

Rocking motion improves sleep and memory, studies in mice and people...

Asleep in a hammock. Credit: © Monkey Business / Fotolia Anyone who has ever put a small child to bed or drifted off in a gently swaying hammock will know that a rocking motion makes getting to sleep seem easier. Now, two new studies reported in Current Biology on January 24, one conducted in young…

‘Statistics anxiety’ is real, and new research suggests targeted ways to...

The high anxiety network formed by pair-wise correlations of the 51 items in the STARS based on the responses from students with high anxiety scores. Thicker lines indicate that the correlation coefficient was closer to +1.0 and thinner lines indicate correlation coefficients closer to +.3. All the lines are green, indicating that all the correlations…

Puerto Rico’s ‘fear lab’ mentors neuroscience rigor amid diversity

Trainees Héctor Bravo-Rivera, Shantée Ayala-Rosario, and Albit Cabán-Murillo, of Puerto Rico's 'fear lab,' presented a poster on decision-making under conditions of threat at last year's Society for Neuroscience meeting. Credit: NIMH A lineage of young neuroscientists from diverse backgrounds trace their scientific roots to a "fear lab" in Puerto Rico that the National Institutes of…

Word order predicts a native speakers’ working memory

The research team traveled the world to run memory tests in eight different human cultures speaking different languages. Credit: MPI f. Evolutionary Anthropology Memory plays a crucial role in our lives, and several studies have already investigated how we store and retrieve information under different conditions. Typically, stimuli presented at the beginning and at the…

Learning new vocabulary during deep sleep

Left panel: In the sleep laboratory, the electrical activity of the brain is recorded using electroencephalography (EEG). Right panel: During deep sleep, slow oscillatory high-amplitude waves emerge in the EEG. These waves are generated by the brain cells' rhythmic alternation between highly active phases (red: "up-states") and passive phases (blue: "down-states"). Credit: Simon Ruch/Marc Züst,…

Hearing and deaf infants process information differently

A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that deaf infants took longer to process new visual objects, suggesting that developmental differences begin very early in life and extend beyond language and hearing. Credit: Courtesy of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Differences in cognitive development between hearing…

The limonene myth (video)

Limonene, a compound found in citrus fruits, has two enantiomers: mirror-image molecules that cannot be superimposed, like a left and right hand. There is...

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