Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

The debate on whether brain training apps really do work is not a new one. There are hundreds of expert opinion fighting on both ends, but what really does the consumers think about it? Do the apps fulfill the claims they offer?

An article by David Hambrick published on Scientific American, informs us of the following statistics- that one of the most popular brain training apps called Lumosity, “boasts 50 million subscribers”. What is so compelling about a brain training app that attracts so many of us? Is it a “solution” for attention problems like Cogmed claims, or an opportunity…

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Neuroplasticity has long been associated to help recover from damage and injury to the brain, but its use does not end there. The same neuroplasticity is what makes you better at your activities, and is an important life-long property of your brain. And like other organs and limbs require upkeep to be able to perform it’s best.

Physical activity and and nutritional intake plays an integral role in increasing brain plasticity (desirable!) and builds resilience to stress. Physical activity has been implicated to be helpful in improving learning,memory and general improvement in cognition. Physical activity is especially important to an…

The pixelated games of yore have been replaced with high definition games, games so detailed you can see the veins of leaves aesthetically carved into the gamelplay. These games have become a cornerstone in the normal development of children in today’s culture, and the game developers are not the type to let this opportunity to pass up. They are using all the tricks in the book to get the generation hooked. And one ace up their sleeve is cashing on emotions. In this post-information age, emotional outcomes achieved by gamification is a normal and accepted form of entertainment.

It is…

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Every now and then we come upon the news of so-and-so company acquiring or merging with another company. This not only brings in more revenue but also heralds large scale expansions that are beneficial to the purchaser company. And no doubt a relief to the purchased company to be put to more efficient use.

While this might seem like a tough job best left to the C-Suite (CEO,CFO,COO..), our human bodies are no less enterprising. Our Brains, the top floor professionals donned up in serious grey suits, too on occasions decide to go on for some significant acquisitions.

This Acquisitions…

Figure 1. A still from ‘L’Arrivée du Train’, you can watch this pioneering clip here.

In the very beginnings of of the 20th century, in 1903, the legendary Lumière Brothers released the world’s first 3D movie- “L’Arrivée du Train”, which translates to ‘Arrival of a Train’. It might be more accurate to call it a clip than a movie, but it was sufficient to convince the audience that ‘they were being run over by the train’. But soon feature-length movies that we are now accustomed to followed, with titles such as ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Bwana Devil’.

Nowadays, every other movie released is available to be viewed in 3-D. Viewing in 3-D makes the…

Figure 1. Made by @Jagarikin taken from @Jagarikin twitter handle

Do you see this image as moving? So does almost everyone. This is a visual illusion. In fact, if you take a minute and look closer, you can see that the boxes remain static. What about these classic illusions?

Image from Rebecca et al. (2020)

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change its connections influenced by internal and external forces exerted on it. A defining feature of our brain is that it sometimes opens itself up for a makeover above the usual maintenance, called ‘sensitive periods’ and its most potent period is during development, when we are children.

Studies state that various modalities of our brains undergo these periods at different age periods, and sometimes more than once in lifetime. New research postulate the existence of intrinsic timing mechanisms that ‘orchestrate’ critical period plasticity.

But as much important as critical periods are for the development…

What memory really helps us during an exam..

Image by tjevans from Pixabay

Your memories basically fall into two main categories: Semantic and Episodic.

Semantic memories refer to the facts and general information about the world or the person itself. For example that the capital of India is New Delhi, or that I live in so and so city. Semantic memory deals with what we “know”.

The other type of memory refers to episodic memory. This consists of events specific to your life, tagged with temporal or spatial context meaning ‘where’ and ‘when’ the memory occurred. An example would be treasured events at your birthday…

Figure 1. The Topographic Maps Image (A) Visual Cortex, (B) Auditory Cortex, (C) Motor and Somatosensory Cortex

A brain can seem like quite the maze with squiggly lines apparently leading to nowhere. But our brains are smarter than you think. They have highly sophisticated maps. These maps in our brain are called topographic maps, representing sensory information on our primary cortical areas for somatosensory, motor, visual, and auditory systems. In any neuroscience textbook, you would find these maps have clearly delineated regions as observable in Figure 1., given above, but this is far from the truth.

The maps in our brain are functionally quite unlike the political maps crafted with precise boundaries, topographic maps cannot be confined…

Image by Th G from Pixabay

Haven’t we all played guessing games during our childhood when we had to come up with all the items of a said category and never gave it a second thought clubbing tomato with onions and potatoes? But while onions and potatoes are vegetables, our blushing tomatoes are part of #TeamFruits. This is because, as the Merriam-Webster dictionary explains, fruits contain seeds that help the plant in its reproduction. On the other hand, potatoes and onions ARE the plants or edible parts of it, making them vegetables.

But why do we generalize a tomato as a vegetable? The answer lies in…

Anjana CP

I love communicating science, especially Cognitive Science. Tune in for bits of Cognitive Science simplified using everyday examples.

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