Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Voodoo correlaion brain studies?

Thanks to MIND HACKS foe this interesting post.

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Are video games good for brain fitness? It may depend on who you are.

I recently ran across a study that failed to show positive brain fitness benefits of a video-game intervention in college students.  The study reference is below (with link to article)
  • Boot, W. R., Kramer, A. F., Simons, D. J., Fabiani, M. & Gratton, G. (2008) The effects of video game playing on attention, memory, and executive control. Acta Psychologica, 129, 387-398. (click here)
The results were at variance with the majority of video-game brain fitness literature I had been hearing about.  So, I emailed the article to the best source on brain fitness - Sharp Brains.  They asked an expert (Dr. Arthur Kramer) to reconcile this study with some of his own positive game-playing brain fitness research.  You can find the discussion of the differences between the studies findings, and more importantly, the take-away implications by clicking here.

Kudos to Sharp Brains for taking the time to explore and discuss these findings.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top 30 2008 brain fitness articles

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Cerebellum journal

So much to little time.

It is impossible to stay abreast of the wide-ranging and diverse scholarly publications that report on different pieces of the internal brain clock.  A pleasant problem.   As we know, the cerebellum is clearly implicated in various aspects of mental-time keeping, esp. that dealing with motor behavior.  Today I learned that there is a journal devoted just to research on the cerebellum.  As stated at the journal web page:

  • The Cerebellum is devoted to the science of the cerebellum and its role in ataxia and other disorders. This region, with more neurons than all other brain structures, attracts intense interest: in the genetics of cerebellar ataxias, in the roles of the cerebellum in motor control and cognitive function, and amid an ageing population, in diseases associated with cerebellar dysfunction.
  • The Cerebellum is a central source for the latest developments in a growing field. Coverage spans fundamental neurosciences including molecular and cellular biology; behavioural neurosciences and neurochemistry; genetics; fundamental and clinical neurophysiology; neurology and neuropathology; cognition and neuroimaging.
  • The official publication of the Society for Research on the Cerebellum, the journal benefits neuroscientists in molecular and cellular biology; neurophysiologists; researchers in neurotransmission; neurologists; radiologists; paediatricians; neuropsychologists; students of neurology and psychiatry and others.
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Temporal g = g: Back to the future

The first post I ever made to the IQ Brain Clock block was to feature a post I had made at my sister blog (IQs Corner) regarding my excitement over the possibility of a temporal g factor......and that this factor may reflect the presence of the construct of an internal brain clock...and, more importantly, this temporal g paradigm may get closer to measuring the essence of general intelligence (g) than the long-standing king of g-essence hunters...reaction time.  This research was generated by the Rammsayer research group.

Since then I've made numerous posts regarding temporal g.  IMHO the best research regarding the temporal g = g hypothesis has been published by the Rammsayer group.  Click here and here to view the two key research articles I've featured.   Today I discovered one of their earlier studies....a study that led to the two key research articles noted above.  The article, written by Helmbold, Troche and Rammsayer (Temporal Information Processing and Pitch Discrimination as Predictors of General Intelligence) was published in 2006 in the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

Below is the abstract (emphasis added by the IQ Brain Clock Time Doc)
  • Abstract: In the present study, the relationship between performance on temporal and pitch discrimination and psychometric intelligence was investigated in a sample of 164 participants by means of an experimental dissociation paradigm. Performance on both temporal and pitch discrimination was substantially related to psychometric intelligence (r = .43 and r =.39). Regression analysis and structural equation modeling suggested that both psychophysical domains can be considered as valid predictors of psychometric intelligence. Both predictor variables contributed substantial portions of both shared and unique variance to the prediction of individual differences in psychometric intelligence. Thus, the present study yielded further evidence for a functional relationship between psychometric intelligence and temporal as well as pitch discrimination acuity. Eventually, findings are consistent with the notion that temporal discrimination – in addition to general aspects of sensory discrimination shared with pitch discrimination – reflects specific intelligence-related aspects of neural information processing.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Brain fabric art


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IQ Brain Clock blog "tweaks": Research, interventions and scholars

I did a little blog maintenance today.  Under "key research articles" you will now find two different IM (Interactive Metronome) "research packets."  One deals with mental timing research in general, the other is IM-specific.

I've also fixed some dead links in the "Mental Timing Scholars" section.  In the process, I visited each listed scholars web page in search of new publications.  If found some new publications as well as some slightly older publications that I previously had not read.  I've downloaded them and hope to read and post (if relevant) whatever I find.

Finally, given the increasing number of RAS effectiveness studies I've been running across (see yesterday's post), I added the CBRM (Center for Biomedical Research in Music) at Colorado State to the timing-related interventions section.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brain training for hockey


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Brain Clock Research Bytes #3: Timing-based interventions improve gait (Parkinsons), stroke rehab, and golf

I've found a number of new (or recent) studies supporting the importance of the brain clock in a variety of areas. Below are the brief bytes....check out articles for detailed information.

Yet another study (Hausdorff et al., 2007) dealing with Parkinson's (a clinical disordery that appears to involve a dysfunctional internal timing-click here for prior posts), this time the use of the RAS (rapid auditory stimulation) therapy to improve gait functioning.
  • Abstract: Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) walk with a shortened stride length and high stride-to-stride variability, a measure associated with fall risk. Rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) improves stride length but the effects on stride-to-stride variability, a marker of fall risk, are unknown. The effects of RAS on stride time variability, swing time variability and spatial-temporal measures were examined during 100-m walks with the RAS beat set to 100 and 110% of each subject’s usual cadence in 29 patients with idiopathic PD and 26 healthy age-matched controls. Carryover effects were also evaluated. During usual walking, variability was significantly higher (worse) in the patients with PD compared with the controls (P < 0.01). For the patients with PD, RAS at 100% improved gait speed, stride length and swing time (P < 0.02) but did not significantly affect variability. With RAS at 110%, reductions in variability were also observed (P < 0.03) and these effects persisted 2 and 15 min later. In the control subjects, the positive effects of RAS were not observed. For example, RAS increased stride time variability at 100 and 110%. These results demonstrate that RAS enables more automatic movement and reduces stride-to-stride variability in patients with PD. Further, these improvements are not simply a by-product of changes in speed or stride length. After walking with RAS, there also appears to be a carryover effect that supports the possibility of motor plasticity in the networks controlling rhythmicity in PD and the potential for using RAS as an intervention to improve mobility and reduce fall risk.
The original Libkuman et al. (2002) study (well designed IMHO) demonstrating the positive effects of the brain-clock based Groove treament (based on the Interactive Metronome technology) on improved golf performance. [see conflict of interest disclosure post]
  • Abstract: In this experiment, the authors investigated the influence of training in timing on performance accuracy in golf. During pre- and posttesting, 40 participants hit golf balls with 4 different clubs in a golf course simulator. The dependent measure was the distance in feet that the ball ended from the target. Between the pre- and posttest, participants in the experimental condition received 10 hr of timing training with an instrument that was designed to train participants to tap their hands and feet in synchrony with target sounds. The participants in the control condition read literature about how to improve their golf swing. The results indicated that the participants in the experimental condition significantl improved their accuracy relative to the participants in the control condition, who did not show any improvement. We concluded that training in timing leads to improvement in accuracy, and that our results have implications for training in golf as well as other complex motor activities.
And yet another positive RAS stroke study by the Thaut et al. (2007) research group
  • Abstract: Objectives: The effectiveness of 2 different types of gait trainingi n stroke rehabilitation, rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) versus neurodevelopmental therapy (NDT)/Bobath-based training, was compared in 2 groups of hemiparetic stroke patients over a 3-week period of daily training (RAS group, n = 43; NDT/Bobath group =35). Methods.Mean entry date into the study was 21.3 days poststroke for the RAS group and 22.3 days for the control group. Patients entered the study as soon as they were able to complete 5 stride cycles with handheld assistance. Patients were closely equated by age, gender,and lesion site. Motor function in both groups was preassessed by the Barthel Index and the Fugl-Meyer Scales. Results. Pre- to posttest measures showed a significant improvement in the RAS group for velocity (P = .006), stride length (P = .0001), cadence (P = .0001) and symmetry (P = .0049) over the NDT/Bobath group. Effect sizes for RAS over NDT/Bobath training were 13.1 m/min for velocity, 0.18 m for stride length, and 19 steps/min for cadence. Conclusions. The data show that after 3 weeks of gait training, RAS is an effective therapeutic method to enhance gait training in hemiparetic stroke rehabilitation. Gains were significantly higher for RAS compared to NDT/Bobath training.

Excercise improves brain blood flow

Another study demonstrating the benefits of Excercise and brain
health. Thanks to BRAIN BLOGGER for the post.

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Studies demonstrate improvement in executive attention

The top dog DEVELOPING INTELLIGENCE blog has a great post
demonstrating positive effects for training executive controlled

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mental timing scholar - Dr. Hedderik van Rijn

I've added Dr. Hedderik van Rijn to the IQ Brain Clock blogroll of Mental Time Keeping Scholars (see right-side of blog page). I did so after rediscovering his recent paper on "How many clocks do we have"...which is now also available under the Key Research Articles blog section. Human time perception is one of many areas of research interest for this mental time keeping scholar.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Diseased brain art

Check these stunning drawings at the NEUROPHILOSOPER.

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Neutoscience bootcamp

Thanks to MIND HACKS

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Don't drive and cell

From ENL blog

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Alzheimers cognitive reserve protection

Thanks SHARP BRAINS for the info.

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Beautiful mind photos via MIND HACKS

The Beautiful Mind is an online gallery of stunning neuroscience photographs, aiming to demonstrate the beauty within.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top 10 neuroscience articles from New Scientist

Thanks to MIMD HACKS for tip regarding free online access to these

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008


[double click image to enlarge]

> Interesting unusual stories at this blog. Double click image to
> enlarge.

On the road again: 2008 ISIR in GA

I'm on the road again for work-related business. I will be attending and presenting at the 2008 ISIR conference in GA. I don't expect much time to blog...except for possible "push" type FYI posts re: content posted at other blogs. However, two years ago at ISIR there was a wifi connection in the presentation room and I attempted some "live blogging from ISIR." I MIGHT try that promises.

I shall return. The conference program looks awesome.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Should we all use drugs to enhance intelligence

Interesting debate emerging re: cognitive enhancement via drugs

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Work late in life helps brain


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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

2008 top 10 cognitive fitness events

A usual a great post at SHARP BRAINS.

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Losing your marbles? Check the Brain Store

Another entry in the brain fitness movement --- Marbles:  The Brain Store.  Provides activities, resources, and self-assessments.  I've NOT reviewed any of them......this is just an FYI.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

SciAmMind brain injury issue

Thanks to MIND HACKS for the FYI about a special issue of Sci.
America:Mind dealing with new treatments for brain injuries.

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Neurotech investment graph

See prior post for link to report.

Neurotech investment trends

Thnx to the MINDBLOG.

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New TBI prevalence figures

Thanks to the BRAIN INJURY blog for this new info.

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Making old brains younger

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New temporal processing research - language processing in autism

Thanks to Amy Vega for forwarding this to me.

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Check out this research on temporal processing in autistic population.,638245.shtml
CHICAGO, Dec. 1 RSNA-autism-study
CHICAGO, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Abnormalities in auditory and language processing may be evaluated in children with autism spectrum disorder by using magnetoencephalography (MEG), according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Using MEG, we can record the tiny magnetic fields associated with electrical brain activity," said Timothy Roberts, Ph.D., vice chair of research in the Department of Radiology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Recorded brain waves change with every sensation, thought and activity. It's like watching a movie of the brain in real time." Typically used for epilepsy evaluation, MEG can also be used to identify timing abnormalities in the brains of patients with autism. "We found that signatures of autism are revealed in the timing of brain activity," Dr. Roberts said. "We see a fraction of a second delay in autistic patients." Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects approximately one in every 150 American children, mostly boys, according to the Autism Society of America. Autism inhibits the brain functions that govern the development of social and communication skills.For a MEG exam, a helmet that houses magnetic detectors and looks similar to an old-fashioned hair dryer is lowered over the patient's head while the patient remains in a seated position. The helmet analyzes electrical currents from the brain. For the study, 64 patients, age six to 15, with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder were evaluated with MEG. Audio stimulation was introduced to the children in the form of beeps, tones in pairs, vowels or sentences. Sounds were presented at different frequencies and tone pairs in rapid succession, including unusual streams of incongruous tones and vowels. The results were analyzed and compared with the results from a control group of age-matched non-autistic children. The findings showed that in the children with autism there was a fraction of a second delay in the brain's response while processing the rapid succession sounds and the unusual streams, giving researchers an insight into the dysfunction of the auditory processing system in autistic children.

"This delay in processing certain types and streams of sound may underpin the subsequent language processing and communication impairment seen in autistic children," Dr. Roberts said. Dr. Roberts predicts that the signatures of autism found in brain activity will become biomarkers to improve classification of the disorder and aid in treatment and therapy planning. "We hope that in the future these signatures will also be revealed in the infant brain to help diagnose autism and allow earlier intervention," he said.

Co-authors are J. Christopher Edgar, Ph.D., Deborah M. Zarnow, M.D., and
Susan E. Levy, M.D.

Disclosure: This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation.

  • Abnormalities in language processing in children with autism can be identified using magnetoencephalography (MEG).
  • The brain's auditory processing system is delayed a fraction of a second in children with autism.
  • Autism affects one in every 150 American children, mostly boys.
Note: Copies of RSNA 2008 news releases and electronic images will be available online at beginning Monday, Dec. 1.
RSNA is an association of more than 42,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the printed abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949-3233.

For patient-friendly information on imaging technologies and procedures, visit

Media Contacts: RSNA Newsroom 1-312-949-3233 Before 11/29/08 or after 12/4/08: RSNA Media Relations 1-630-590-7762 Maureen Morley Linda Brooks 1-630-590-7754 1-630-590-7738
SOURCE  Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)