Developing Intelligence

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With our introduction to paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) out of the way, we now turn to a 2010 PNAS paper by Neubert, Mars, Buch, Olivier & Rushworth in which conditioning TMS is applied to the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) as well as the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) between 3 and 18ms prior…

Yesterday’s introduction to paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation elicited an insightful comment from reader “Kix”: As you mention, TMS can be used in order to disrupt or to read out some areas of the brain. I don’t see why these functions should be mutually exclusive. For instance, delivering single pulse TMS over the primary motor cortex…

There’s a ton of super-interesting transcranial magnetic stimulation work coming out these days (e.g., here, here, here, here, here, and here) and much of it pertains to a very particular “paired-pulse” form of TMS (ppTMS). Before diving into the new work, I wanted a basic crash course on what we know (and what we don’t)…

There are a few fascinating papers to come out recently that I won’t have time to cover in detail, but which people may find interesting. References and abstracts after the jump:

Two seemingly contradictory trends characterize brain development during childhood and adolescence: Diffuse to focal: a shift from relatively diffuse recruitment of neural regions to more focal and specific patterns of activity, whether in terms of the number of regions recruited, or the magnitude or spatial extent of that recruitment Local to distributed: a shift in…

“What we’re seeking is not just one algorithm or one cool new trick – we’re seeking a platform technology. In other words, we’re not seeking the entirety of a collection of point solutions, what we’re seeking is a platform technology on which we can build a wide variety of solutions.” Dharmendra Modha, manager of cognitive…

Decisions can be hard: the conflict you face in any decision can be increased if option A is not that much better than option B, or if option A is newly worse than option B. And then there are are just bad decisions, maybe hard only in retrospect. As illustrated by a 2009 J Neurosci…

Recent work has leveraged increasingly sophisticated computational models of neural processing as a way of predicting the BOLD response on a trial-by-trial basis. The core idea behind much of this work is that reinforcement learning is a good model for the way the brain learns about its environment; the specific idea is that expectations are…

Swarming Quadrocopters? Nanomagnetic remote control of animal behavior. Blogs are data-mined for personality research. Vote for method of the year! (My vote is for induced pluripotency) If you think that the less competent you are, the more competent you think you are, then you are incompetent.Confusion on the Dunning-Kruger effect. Time on task effects in…

How can we enhance perception, learning, memory, and cognitive control? Any answer to this question will require a better understanding of the way they are best enhanced: through cognitive change in early development. But we can’t stop there. We also want to know more about the neural substrates that enable and reflect these cognitive transformations…