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These 10 must-have digital subscriptions are on sale today

These 10 stellar subscription services can make your life better and your bank account happier.

  • Check out 10 digital subscription offers available right now.
  • These offers include language training, cloud storage, VPN protection and more.
  • The deals all come with discounts up to 98% off.

If you got a nice holiday check from a relative or even a tidy little Christmas bonus from your employer, think twice before you decide what to do with your windfall. Do you spend it on a spur of the moment impulse-buy gadget—or do you pick up something that can keep giving back throughout 2020?

Here are 10 great subscription services that can enrich your world for the next 12 months and, in most cases, beyond.

Matt's Flights Premium Subscriptions - $25 (Originally $49.99)

With Matt's Flights, you get alerted to all the most incredible travel deals the minute they're available. Matt's Flights keeps their finger on the travel pulse 24/7/365, digging up cheap air travel for weekend getaways at a fraction of their regular cost, along with personalized travel planning, custom search features and weekly special deals you won't find anywhere else.

Seobility All-In-One SEO Software & Tools: Lifetime Subscription - $29 (Originally $1,890)

Seobility packs in all the tools you need to jump to the top of search engine rankings, all in one easy-to-use interface. Optimize your website, know SEO like the back of your hand, and run powerful auditing reports to gauge your success. Everybody wants to be the no. 1 result in a Google search—and Seobility can show you how to get there.

Sticky Password Premium: Lifetime Subscription - $19.99 (Originally $199.99)

Sticky Password creates and manages strong, unique passwords for use across all your accounts on all your devices—and you'll never have to remember any of them. This service automatically saves and enters your security-conscious, encrypted passwords everywhere you go online without trying to keep dozens of different login details in your head.

uTalk Language Education: Lifetime Subscription - $19.99 (Originally $84.99)

Want to learn a new language in 2020? Pick two of uTalk's 140 different languages, then follow their lessons, as you speak with native speakers and learn real, practical vocabulary in their localized app to get conversant in a new language. Games and other training methods fuel your learning with lessons available through your preferred device any time.

Storeshock WordPress Themes & Elements: Lifetime Subscription - $59 (Originally $499)

Storeshock hands you all the tools to get a beautiful, dynamic website up and running in minutes. From more than 1,000 WordPress themes, plugins and templates, this simple drag-and-drop page building system creates winning results without getting bogged down in code, even if you've never had any programming experience.

Rosetta Stone: Lifetime Subscriptions - $189 (Originally $299)

Rosetta Stone uses intuitive, immersive training techniques to have you reading, writing and speaking in a foreign language quickly. Using interactive lessons, speech recognition technology and their advanced speech engine, you'll understand quickly why Rosetta Stone has been a go-to source for language training for nearly three decades.

Scopio Authentic Stock Photography: Lifetime Subscription - $29 (Originally $1,740)

Create eye-catching presentations (and avoid copyright infringement headaches) with this royalty-free photo collection, gathering thousands of images from talented photographers around the world. With this enormous archive, you'll always have just the right photo for use in ad campaigns, social media posts, websites, digital marketing and more.

12min Micro Book Library: Lifetime Premium Subscription - $29 (Originally $346.50)

Got 12 minutes? Then, you're all set to dive into this finely-curated micro book library, distilling hundreds of best sellers to their core essence. Choose a micro book in written or audio form and quickly understand the key takeaways from the work in a concentrated 12-minute burst. You can even download it for offline review anytime.

Degoo Premium: Lifetime 1TB Backup Plan - $49.99 (Originally $900)

Degoo offers 1TB of ultra-secure, 256-bit AES encrypted cloud storage space to manage and backup files automatically. Enjoy high-speed data transfers and have protected backups of all your devices in a storage option larger than similar Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive subscriptions combined.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited: Lifetime Subscription - $39 (Originally $499.99)

More than 10 million customers surf the web anonymously, protect their sensitive data and avoid geographic content restrictions with the protection of KeepSolid's network of 400-plus VPN servers around the world. With unlimited traffic and connection speeds available, your online experience never gets compromised by trackers, hackers, cybercrooks or snoops.

Prices are subject to change.

When you buy something through a link in this article or from our shop, Big Think earns a small commission. Thank you for supporting our team's work.

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Our ‘little brain’ turns out to be pretty big

The multifaceted cerebellum is large — it's just tightly folded.

Image source: Sereno, et al
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  • A powerful MRI combined with modeling software results in a totally new view of the human cerebellum.
  • The so-called 'little brain' is nearly 80% the size of the cerebral cortex when it's unfolded.
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Just under our brain's cortex and close to our brain stem sits the cerebellum, also known as the "little brain." It's an organ many animals have, and we're still learning what it does in humans. It's long been thought to be involved in sensory input and motor control, but recent studies suggests it also plays a role in a lot of other things, including emotion, thought, and pain. After all, about half of the brain's neurons reside there. But it's so small. Except it's not, according to a new study from San Diego State University (SDSU) published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

A neural crêpe

A new imaging study led by psychology professor and cognitive neuroscientist Martin Sereno of the SDSU MRI Imaging Center reveals that the cerebellum is actually an intricately folded organ that has a surface area equal in size to 78 percent of the cerebral cortex. Sereno, a pioneer in MRI brain imaging, collaborated with other experts from the U.K., Canada, and the Netherlands.

So what does it look like? Unfolded, the cerebellum is reminiscent of a crêpe, according to Sereno, about four inches wide and three feet long.

The team didn't physically unfold a cerebellum in their research. Instead, they worked with brain scans from a 9.4 Tesla MRI machine, and virtually unfolded and mapped the organ. Custom software was developed for the project, based on the open-source FreeSurfer app developed by Sereno and others. Their model allowed the scientists to unpack the virtual cerebellum down to each individual fold, or "folia."

Study's cross-sections of a folded cerebellum

Image source: Sereno, et al.

A complicated map

Sereno tells SDSU NewsCenter that "Until now we only had crude models of what it looked like. We now have a complete map or surface representation of the cerebellum, much like cities, counties, and states."

That map is a bit surprising, too, in that regions associated with different functions are scattered across the organ in peculiar ways, unlike the cortex where it's all pretty orderly. "You get a little chunk of the lip, next to a chunk of the shoulder or face, like jumbled puzzle pieces," says Sereno. This may have to do with the fact that when the cerebellum is folded, its elements line up differently than they do when the organ is unfolded.

It seems the folded structure of the cerebellum is a configuration that facilitates access to information coming from places all over the body. Sereno says, "Now that we have the first high resolution base map of the human cerebellum, there are many possibilities for researchers to start filling in what is certain to be a complex quilt of inputs, from many different parts of the cerebral cortex in more detail than ever before."

This makes sense if the cerebellum is involved in highly complex, advanced cognitive functions, such as handling language or performing abstract reasoning as scientists suspect. "When you think of the cognition required to write a scientific paper or explain a concept," says Sereno, "you have to pull in information from many different sources. And that's just how the cerebellum is set up."

Bigger and bigger

The study also suggests that the large size of their virtual human cerebellum is likely to be related to the sheer number of tasks with which the organ is involved in the complex human brain. The macaque cerebellum that the team analyzed, for example, amounts to just 30 percent the size of the animal's cortex.

"The fact that [the cerebellum] has such a large surface area speaks to the evolution of distinctively human behaviors and cognition," says Sereno. "It has expanded so much that the folding patterns are very complex."

As the study says, "Rather than coordinating sensory signals to execute expert physical movements, parts of the cerebellum may have been extended in humans to help coordinate fictive 'conceptual movements,' such as rapidly mentally rearranging a movement plan — or, in the fullness of time, perhaps even a mathematical equation."

Sereno concludes, "The 'little brain' is quite the jack of all trades. Mapping the cerebellum will be an interesting new frontier for the next decade."

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