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Cortical Hardware and Software

On Developing Intelligence, Chris Chatham shares a new study which demonstrates that performing new tasks actually reverses the accustomed workflow between different parts of the brain. Chris writes “Cole et al demonstrate that the causal influence is from [the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex] to [the anterior prefrontal cortex] during the encoding and performance of a novel task. Practiced tasks, by contrast, were associated with a complete reversal of these effects, with APFC primarily influencing DLPFC activation during preparation and performance.” These results invite a re-evaluation of staid models of brain function. On Pharyngula, PZ Myers considers how our perception of the world is colored by the neuronal patterns forged by language. Members of the Himba tribe in Africa “use ‘zoozu,’ for instance, for dark colors, which includes reds, greens, blues, and purples, ‘vapa’ for white and some yellows, ‘borou’ for specific shades of green and blue.” PZ says, “The cool thing about it all is that when they give adults a color discrimination test, there are differences in how readily we process and recognize different colors that corresponds well to our language categories.”

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