Scientists Locate Where the Imagination Works in the Brain
Imagining a bumblebee with a bull's head is a seemingly effortless task, but actually requires the brain to construct an entirely new and unreal image.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers at Dartmouth University have taken a step toward understanding what sets human intelligence apart, and have located that difference in the neural networks of the brain. In an experiment, individuals were asked to imagine specific shapes and then to mentally combine them into new more complex figures. Imagining a bumblebee with a bull's head, for example, is a seemingly effortless task, but actually requires the brain to construct an entirely new image. "Researchers measured the participants' brain activity with functional MRI and found a cortical and subcortical network over a large part of the brain was responsible for their imagery manipulations."
What's the Big Idea?
Researchers call the neural network that activates when the imagination is at work the "mental workspace," which closely resembles the network thought to be responsible for human consciousness and our flexible cognitive abilities. Lead author of the study, Alex Schlegel, said: "Our findings move us closer to understanding how the organization of our brains sets us apart from other species and provides such a rich internal playground for us to think freely and creatively. Understanding these differences will give us insight into where human creativity comes from and possibly allow us to recreate those same creative processes in machines."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.