Friday, May 30, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Senior moments: It sucks getting old

Article on "senior moments" from APA. Click on link below.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

More on working memory

Check put excellent post on working memory over st the Sharp Brains blog.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brain scan neurohype

Thanks to Mind Hacks for the tip regarding very good article in Wired Magazine regarding the over-hype of brain scans for individuals.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guide to your body- how to age well

Nice article in NY TIMES regarding a guide to your body and how to age well.

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Impulsivity and time distortion

More over at the DI blog regarding mental time perception-- this time research about time distortion and impulsivity.

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Mental timing (IQ Brain Clock) IM research packet

The Interactive Metronome neurotechnology company, with some assistance from yours truly (see conflict of interest disclosure), has put together a "Timing Research" packet that summarizes some (but not all) of the major mental timing (IQ Brain Clock) research studies published to date, some dealing with the IM-specific intervention research, others dealing with related background research articles.

Click here to view/download ( is 5+ MB and may download slow if you are on dial-up or are using wifi). It will also be added to the key research articles section of the IQ Brain Clock blog.

Brain health fitness industry summary

Excellent summary of the state-of-the-art of the brain fitness industry at Sharp Brains.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Misc: Gallery of drug ads

From the "Of Two Minds" blog

steve_icon_medium.jpgThis gallery is sweet! The Online gallery of modern and vintage psychiatric drug advertising has a large selection of some pretty scary old drug advertisements and packaging.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Can we train Gf (fluid IQ)?

Check out the following from one of my favorite blogs- Sharp Brains:

  • "A recent scientific study is being welcomed as a landmark that shows how fluid intelligence can be improved through training. I interviewed one of the researchers recently (Can Intelligence Be Trained? Martin Buschkuehl shows how), and contributor Dr. Pascale Michelon adds her own take with the great article that follows. Enjoy!"

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TBI webcast info

Thanks to Brain Injury Blog for tip regarding webcast dealing with the silent epidemic of TBI.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mind Hacks neurotch post

Intro to Mind Hacks post on neurotech article:

  • "High end business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio has a feature article on the latest developments in the 120 billion dollar neurotech industry that aims to develop drugs and devices to cure diseases and optimise our brains."
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Neoroeconomics conference blogging

FYI on someone blogging from neuroeconomics and innovation conference.

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Brain Blogging carnival 33

Hope their works. This is a mobile post from my iPhone. Downside is messy URL, but it may be the price for more timely on the go posts.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DI blogs again on mental timing research

Yet another mental timing (IQ Brain Clock) post from the ever great Developing Intelligence blog. DI appears to be focusing its attention on the temporal processing research of late. The more the merrier.

IAP web page updated--yipppeeeeee

Within the past two weeks I've updated (finally) my IAP (Institute for Applied Psychometrics) web page. It now allows for the dynamic linking of the more static information of the IAP web page with the hot/dynamic information in my two blogs and EWOKS. Check it out. Book mark. Visit it frequently.

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Interactive Metronome and Autism: OT case study

In response to yesterday's post about the genetics-autism-brain clock link I received an email from an OT that uses the Interactive Metronome treatment. She has reported case studies of IM benefits for a child with autism. You can check out her comments about the clinical effectiveness of the brain-clock based IM intervention (my description) at her blog: OT, Self-Regulation and Autism. I'll be adding her blog to the IQ Brain Clock blogroll.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Genetics study links brain clock and autism

This press release was sent to me by a friend of the Brain Clock blog. It is a press release from Corporate Communications and Marketing Athrolys College Road Bangor. The hyperlinks and additional reference information (including link to original research article and other Autism-related timing article) at the end of this post have been added by the Time Doc blogmaster.

Whenever I can find the time, I'll be adding autism to the "Group differences and clinical disorders" branch of the IQ Brain Clock EWOK. The complete list of possible clinical disorders research has suggested may involve aspects of mental timing (although not reflected at the current EWOK) are listed in my 2007 brain clock keynote address PPT show. This working list includes Parkinson's, Huntington's, Schizophrenia, ADHD, reading development and disorders (dyslexia), certain speech and language development related disorders, motor timing disorders, Aspergers, and now Autism.

I'm also soon be adding Dr. Wimpory to the Mental Timing Scholars blogroll of the IQ Brain Clock blog.

Publication date: 7/03/2007

Research by scientists in Wales reported in Molecular Psychiatry (advance online issue 30th Jan 07) has identified that Autistic Disorder is associated with two genes involved in timing and biological clocks: per1 and npas2. Cross species research shows that these two clock genes regulate timing mechanisms that control such things as sleep cycle, memory and communicative timing, a less familiar concept. The work, identifying a link between autism and these clock genes, was led by Dr. Dawn Wimpory, Lecturer-Practitioner/Consultant Clinical Psychologist for Autism, practising with the NWWales NHS Trust and Bangor University. She collaborated with Bangor University colleagues in both the School of Psychology and the North West Cancer Research Fund Institute (NWCRFI), together with Professor Michael J Owen’s team from Cardiff University’s Department of Psychological Medicine.

Dr. Wimpory’s clinical work and observations of the lack of social/communicative timing in Autistic Disorder was complemented by colleague Brad Nicholas of The NWCRFI suggesting that clock genes may be involved. This idea waited many years to be tested but new information from the human genome project, developments in the field of biological clocks and the construction of
autism gene banks has recently allowed the experiment to be carried out.

Autistic Disorder is characterised by three areas of abnormality: impairment in communication (verbal and non-verbal) and reciprocal social interactions together with a markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests, all in evidence before three years of age. (Autistic Spectrum Disorders or ASDs include milder and more varied related difficulties.) Dr. Wimpory works on the hypothesis that a deficiency in social timing contributes greatly to the difficulties faced by people with Autistic Disorder.

“Timing is quintessential to normal infant development. In Autistic Disorder, malfunction of adaptive timing may lead to a cascade of other developmental problems. In the first few months an unaffected infant can take part in social exchanges, sharing eye contact and babbling in what we’d recognise as ‘natural’ communication patterns. This facility for preverbal communication appears lacking or diminished in Autistic Disorder,” explains Dr. Wimpory.

It is through such preverbal communication that an unaffected infant anticipates and predicts others’ behaviour, progressing to increasingly sophisticated social participation, for example, in teasing exchanges. Mutually enjoyable preverbal teasing games (e.g. ‘peep-bo!’) are timing-dependent. They appear as an early stage in the development of empathy and social pretence. Empathy and pretending are among the life-long difficulties for individuals with Autistic Disorder. These may be developmentally linked to early difficulties in synchronising with the inbuilt rhythms of communication including eye-contact.

The study analyzed genetic markers in 11 clock related genes from 110 individuals with Autistic Disorder and each of their parents (avoiding the more varied ASD subjects and those with additional substantial learning/intellectual impairments often included in autism genetic studies). The results showed that markers in two of the genes, npas2 and per1, had significant association with Autistic Disorder. These two genes had already been identified as regulating complex emotional memory, communicative timing and sleep patterns in the mouse and the fruit fly; organisms that are used by scientists to study the role of clock genes. Problems in sleep, memory and timing are all characteristic of Autistic Disorder; each may play an important role in its development.

“Autism is a disorder of complex inheritance where several interacting genes may be involved. This is the first autism study to identify interacting genes, it is also the first to identify genes that regulate behaviour recognised as affected in autism: timing and memory. It adds further evidence for the role of the biological clock in autism”.

The research was funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund with additional support from Autism Cymru; the researchers now intend to replicate their study with a larger sample.

Time Doc blogmaster comments: I pulled the following two mental timing publications from Dr. Wimpory's web page:
  • Nicholas B, Rudrasingham V, Nash, S., Kirov G, Owen MJ, Wimpory, D. (2007). Association of Per1 and Npas2 with Autistic Disorder:Support for the Clock Genes/Social Timing Hypothesis Molecular Psychiatry,12,(6) 581-592 (click here to view)
  • Wimpory, D., Nicholas, B., Nash, S. (2002). Social Timing, Clock Genes and Autism: A New Hypothesis Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 46,(4) 352-358. (click here to view; note that date is listed incorrectly as 2005 on Dr. Wimpory's web page)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tic toc brain clock. More on timing and intelligence.

Got it! Tick toc the brain clock. I found a copy of the recent journal article linking rhythmic accuracy and intelligence (that I commented on last week).

If you are a regular reader of the IQ Brain Clock, you can probably guess that this Journal of Neuroscience article by Ullen et al. (2008; abstract below) has me excited! The literature reviewed and results hit on many constructs, hypothesis, ideas, etc. that I've presented at this humble blog re: the potential importance of mental/interval time-keeping (the IQ Brain Clock; temporal processing/g) and general intelligence.

A few sample comments from the authors (and the blogmaster) are featured below:

  • Recent studies suggest that temporal discrimination and judgment tasks may correlate higher with g (general intelligence) than classic reaction time (RT) tasks, tasks that have, for decades, been considered the best available measures of the biological correlates of brain efficiency (see new, destined to be classic, book on the RT paradigm in intelligence research by A. Jensen--Clocking the Mind). "Neural factors influencing accuracy of timing may thus be fundamental to intelligence."
  • Study limitation. I believe the use of a single measure for general intelligence (The Ravens Progressive Matrices), although a common practice, warrants some degree of caution. Some psychometric researchers equate performance on the RPM, which is a well established measure of fluid reasoning/intelligence (Gf), with g. I've read enough research that suggest that the Gf=g argument is not 100% established. So, IMHO, the current study may suggest a link between rhythmic abilities (and temporal processing) and Gf...not necessarily g. I'd like to see a similar study with a g measure comprised of a wide range of Gf-Gc (CHC) abilities, like that used in Rammsayer's temporal g research (which the current study reinforces).
  • It is amazing that a simply isochronous tapping task (subjects listen to 20 auditory metronome clicks and then must continue the same beat, without the metronome, for 45 more beats) correlates with Gf. The authors concluded that "we demonstrate that intelligence is related to millisecond accuracy in isochronous tapping, a simple timing task that does not involve response selection or information processing of the type typically required in the elementary cognitive tasks (Deary, 2001) and in which interval-to-interval variability is primarily controlled by automatic processes."
  • Consistent with prior posts and my IQ Brain Clock powerpoint presentations, it is exciting to find that these researchers confirm the importance of the prefrontal lobes. The authors conclude that "tapping variability and intelligence share neural substrates in the prefrontal white substance."
Up to recently I've never been a student or believer in the idea of a general intelligence (g) domain general cognitive mechanism that may underlie most cognitive/intellectual behavior. The convergence of the mental/interval timing, temporal processing, temporal g, etc. research I've tried to illuminate in this blog is making me more of a believer every day.

Tic toc

  • General intelligence is correlated with the mean and variability of reaction time in elementary cognitive tasks, as well as with performance on temporal judgment and discrimination tasks. This suggests a link between the temporal accuracy of neural activity and intelligence. However, it has remained unclear whether this link reflects top-down mechanisms such as attentional control and cognitive strategies or basic neural properties that influence both abilities. Here, we investigated whether millisecond variability in a simple, automatic timing task, isochronous tapping, correlates with intellectual performance and, using voxel-based morphometry, whether these two tasks share neuroanatomical substrates. Stability of tapping and intelligence were correlated and related to regional volume in overlapping right prefrontal white matter regions. These results suggest a bottom-up explanation of the link between temporal stability and intellectual performance, in which more extensive prefrontal connectivity underlies individual differences in both variables.
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Music, the brain and language: Book review

Musical abilities have been linked to the IQ brain clock (click here for prior posts). Although I've not read the book, there is a published review of a new book on Music, the Brain and Language. I've posted information at my sister blog - IQ's Corner.

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Cerebullum control of mental activities: New model

[double click on image to enlarge]

Thanks to Neurodudes for the post regarding a new/revised theory of how the cerebellum, which we know is intimately involved in timing of motor movements, may be involved in the control of cognition. I love the nice model figure (see above). I'm particularly pleased to see the role of executive functions, working memory, and central attention....neuro-cognitive mechanisms I've blogged about repeatedly as being significantly involved in the IQ Brain Clock, temporal processing (temporal g), and mental time-keeping.

According to Neurodudess, "the great Masao Ito, originator of one of the classic theories of cerebellar function, has published a new theory in the recent issue of Nature Neuroscience regarding how the cerebellum may be involved in control of cognition."

Check out the complete post at Neurodudes. If you feel up to reading the original article, click here.