brain activation

Me: we might find the required activity annoying or unpleasant but it is vastly less unpleasant than the ramifications of failing to perform said activity
my brain: we’re not gonna do it
me: literally you are not understanding, failure to do this very small although annoying task will ruin us and - 
my brain, slamming pots and pans together: WE ARE NOT GONNA DO IT

Hearing with your eyes – A Western style of speech perception

Which parts of a person’s face do you look at when you listen them speak? Lip movements affect the perception of voice information from the ears when listening to someone speak, but native Japanese speakers are mostly unaffected by that part of the face. Recent research from Japan has revealed a clear difference in the brain network activation between two groups of people, native English speakers and native Japanese speakers, during face-to-face vocal communication.

It is known that visual speech information, such as lip movement, affects the perception of voice information from the ears when speaking to someone face-to-face. For example, lip movement can help a person to hear better under noisy conditions. On the contrary, dubbed movie content, where the lip movement conflicts with a speaker’s voice, gives a listener the illusion of hearing another sound. This illusion is called the “McGurk effect.”

According to an analysis of previous behavioral studies, native Japanese speakers are not influenced by visual lip movements as much as native English speakers. To examine this phenomenon further, researchers from Kumamoto University measured and analyzed gaze patterns, brain waves, and reaction times for speech identification between two groups of 20 native Japanese speakers and 20 native English speakers.

The difference was clear. When natural speech is paired with lip movement, native English speakers focus their gaze on a speaker’s lips before the emergence of any sound. The gaze of native Japanese speakers, however, is not as fixed. Furthermore, native English speakers were able to understand speech faster by combining the audio and visual cues, whereas native Japanese speakers showed delayed speech understanding when lip motion was in view.

“Native English speakers attempt to narrow down candidates for incoming sounds by using information from the lips which start moving a few hundreds of milliseconds before vocalizations begin. Native Japanese speakers, on the other hand, place their emphasis only on hearing, and visual information seems to require extra processing,” explained Kumamoto University’s Professor Kaoru Sekiyama, who lead the research.

Kumamoto University researchers then teamed up with researchers from Sapporo Medical University and Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) to measure and analyze brain activation patterns using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Their goal was to elucidate differences in brain activity between the two languages.

The functional connectivity in the brain between the area that deals with hearing and the area that deals with visual motion information, the primary auditory and middle temporal areas respectively, was stronger in native English speakers than in native Japanese speakers. This result strongly suggests that auditory and visual information are associated with each other at an early stage of information processing in an English speaker’s brain, whereas the association is made at a later stage in a Japanese speaker’s brain. The functional connectivity between auditory and visual information, and the manner in which the two types of information are processed together was shown to be clearly different between the two different language speakers.

“It has been said that video materials produce better results when studying a foreign language. However, it has also been reported that video materials do not have a very positive effect for native Japanese speakers,” said Professor Sekiyama. “It may be that there are unique ways in which Japanese people process audio information, which are related to what we have shown in our recent research, that are behind this phenomenon.”

These findings were published in the journal “Scientific Reports” on August 11th and October 13th, 2016.

anonymous asked:

Have you published any of your completed written works, or posted them online? If so, would it be okay to ask for tags or links? You have a delightfully enjoyable style of prose and humor.

Oh, no, I’m not a writer! My story ideas are mostly just fodder for my daydreams and a way to occupy my brain while doing tedious activities. It’d be nice to write something, someday, but I don’t have actual plans.

Manipulating brain activity to boost confidence

Self-confidence is an essential quality to succeed in the world, such as in business environments, politics or many other aspects of our everyday life. Furthermore, confidence is an important aspect in mental illnesses such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease, where the condition is often further complicated by patients thinking negatively of their own capacities. Recent advances in neuroscience have highlighted the plasticity of the brain, indicating it is malleable even later in life.

The international team developed a state-of-the-art method to read and then amplify a high confidence state using a new technique called ‘Decoded Neurofeedback’. This technique used brain scanning to monitor and detect the occurrence of specific complex patterns of activity corresponding to high confidence states, while participants performed a simple perceptual task. In the training sessions, whenever the pattern of high confidence was detected, participants received a small monetary reward. This experiment allowed researchers to directly boost one’s own confidence unconsciously, i.e. participants were unaware that such manipulation took place. Importantly, the effect could be reversed, as confidence could also be decreased.

Dr. Mitsuo Kawato, Director of the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories at ATR, Kyoto, and one of the authors on the study, has pioneered this state-of-the-art technology. He explained the process:

“How is confidence represented in the brain? Although this is a very complex question, we used approaches drawn from artificial intelligence (AI) to find specific patterns in the brain that could reliably tell us when a participant was in a high or low confidence state. The core challenge was then to use this information in real-time, to make the occurrence of a confident state more likely to happen in the future”.

Dr. Aurelio Cortese, of the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Kyoto, led the research:

“Surprisingly, by continuously pairing the occurrence of the highly confident state with a reward - a small amount of money - in real-time, we were able to do just that: when participants had to rate their confidence in the perceptual task at the end of the training, their were consistently more confident”.

Dr. Hakwan Lau, Associate Professor in the UCLA Psychology Department, was the senior author on the study and an expert in confidence and metacognition:

“Crucially, in this study confidence was measured quantitatively via rigorous psychophysics, making sure the effects were not just a change of mood or simple reporting strategy. Such changes in confidence took place even though the participants performed the relevant task at the same performance level”.

The sample size was relatively small (17 people), but is in line with basic science investigations of similar kinds. The team is currently working on the development of potential new clinical treatment for patients with various psychiatric conditions.

Thanks for the tag, @mewiyev​ and @slutty-narwhals​! <3

Goal: Tag nine people you want to get to know better!

Relationship status: N/A for the foreseeable future, I’d like to be a bit happier with myself before I expect anybody else to put up with me. >>

Favourite colour: Purple! Blue and pink are also good, I just like that end of the spectrum in general.

Lipstick or Chapstick: Neither, though I should really get some chapstick my lips are super dry right now. :’D

Last song I listened to: Friday I’m in Love, covered by Janet Devlin. Been repeating it all day for that sunny mood. <3

Last movie I watched: Moonlight, had to get on that post-awards hype train. (It was really good!)

Top three TV shows:
1. Voltron: Legendary Defender
2. Black Mirror
3. Hunter x Hunter (I have not watched an episode of this for a year but I guess it’s the only other thing I have quasi-ongoing and to be fair it’s really good I’m just unbelievably lazy about consuming media)

Top 3 Characters:
1. Yagami Taichi from Digimon Adventure (the OG fave, now and forever)
2. Nico Robin from One Piece (10/10 would die for her)
3. Apollo Justice from Ace Attorney (my brave little toaster)

Top 3 Ships:
1. Gajeel x Levy from Fairy Tail (the only reason I still care about this manga tbh)
2. Keith x Lance from Voltron (too good too pure)
3. Phoenix x Edgeworth from Ace Attorney (saddled with unnecessary feelings)

Gonna taaag @borntofindtheonepiece @capricioussparadox @clankclunk @math-turbation @mnlychee @rei-the-rat @seirui @sootbird @tweekay!

Motojirou Kajii’s Character Song | An Inquiry Into Irreversible Phenomena, With Specific Regard to Changes of State | 状態変化実験における不可逆的事象の考察について

i did it so you dont have to. he’s so…im so…it’s all just…

please appreciate kajii he’s a man of science doing his best. or something like that.

romaji + notes under the cut, please enjoy!


A process in pursuit of the eternal thesis that envelops mankind
I’ve shrunken it to a testable scale, and, everything according to hypothesis, this bursting organic matter
Changes states in a lively allegro!

Thoroughly…Such an irreversible,
Thoroughly…Common thing,
However…Is still an everlasting question: the phenomenon known as “death”!

The screams of cells combine into
A complex melody ringing through the air
Filling the streets—my laboratory—with my refreshing lemon bombs
What does it taste like? Tell me, won’t you? Bang!

Respiratory function: lost. Brain stem activity: terminated. Circulatory system: ceased.
Pupils: dilated. Uncontrollable necrosis. All data exactly as predicted!

Playing a once-in-a-lifetime rhythm
And it’s all being directed by me
In short…this weight is, most assuredly——the cause of my uncontainable joy
How sublime!

Some things cannot be explained scientifically
Therefore, in the spirit of inquiry, I must investigate
Filling my emotions with unbridled ecstasy
Tell me more and more, won’t you? Oh!

“Come now, it’s time for another superbly fun experiment!”

Thoroughly…In a dramatic way,
Thoroughly…With an appropriate air of mystery,
My interest…once piqued, cannot be contained: the phenomenon known as “death”!

The screams of cells combine into
A complex melody ringing through the air
Filling the streets—my laboratory—with my refreshing lemon bombs
What does it taste like? Tell me, won’t you? Bang!

Keep reading
Study Claims that psychedelic drugs push people into a 'higher state of consciousness'
Increased brain activity was recorded in scans of people who had taken magic mushrooms and ketamine, psilocybin and LSD by neuroscientists from the University of Sussex.

Increased brain activity was recorded in scans of people who had taken magic mushrooms and ketamine, psilocybin and LSD by neuroscientists from the University of Sussex.

(excerpt - click the link for the complete article)

  • <p> <b>me:</b> *meets new person*<p/><b>also me:</b> ok be nice and don't scare them away, just be cool<p/><b>brain:</b> overshare! overshare! overshare!<p/><b>me:</b> *overshares*<p/><b>me:</b> well done, you fucked up again, now they hate you<p/></p>

i have spent thirteen straight hours today reading, commenting on, talking about, and workshopping other people’s writing. it was a lot, and i am very very tired, but also, I love my job????? as a thinker/human I would say that I am super super interested in conceptual stuff, like i always want to think about the Big Picture or look for patterns or find ways of saying things that will help disparate ideas cohere. but i am also very practical, in that i want to know things so that i can do things with that knowledge, or help other people do things with it. and teaching or working with people on their writing is so exciting because you get to be both super conceptual and super practical at the same time, like you are helping someone think about big ideas but you are also teaching them how to do the more practical work of communicating those ideas. you are helping them figure out how to make their ideas move in the world. and that is a very exciting thing to be part of!!!
The brain interprets sarcasm in emoji the same way as in words, study shows
*The native English-speaking college-aged student brain (It’s still a super neat study on the growing utility of emoji as supralinguistic feature, which could be helpful for nonverbal, neurodivergent, or D/deaf communication, but always take note of which brains are tested in a claim regarding The Brain™).

The brain interprets irony or sarcasm conveyed by an emoji in the same way that sarcasm is conveyed verbally, according to a new report from researchers at the linguistics department of the University of Illinois

Researchers measured brain activity of native English-speaking college students reading sentences using various emoji at the end. They read sentences with positive, negative or ironic emoji at the end.

An example used in the study was “You are such a jerk” followed by smiling, frowning and winking emoji.

The students then had to answer questions about how they interpreted the sentences.

Some read them literally. But those who said emoji influenced their interpretation showed different brain activity — similar to that in previous studies around sarcasm.

“It’s as if the brain reads the sentence one way, sees the emoji and then updates its interpretation to fit the new information,” said Benjamin Weissman, one of the linguists. “There are lots of complex linguistic functions they can serve.”

So there you have it. Emoji aren’t necessarily just fun additions to text. They inform meaning and interpretation.

sonicsfan1998  asked:

Why do people talk to themselves? I always thought it was because it was to give them the confidence/encouragement that nobody else gives them.

Well no. That’s not really the reason. In fact, it is shown that the most intelligent people talk out loud to themselves, and they do it for several reasons.

The first reason they do it is for reinforcement. To externalize a thought helps to give it weight. That’s one reason you see people argue with themselves or go on a tangent. They are reinforcing their thoughts.

Another reason is to improve memory. by saying something out loud, it activates your brain to actively remember what you are saying to yourself. That’s a lot like why you take notes too-to remember later.

People do talk to themselves for encouragement, but not because no one else is giving that. They talk to themselves to filter out distractions and focus better on their goal. Saying out loud “You are going to win this race…you are going to win this race! Yeah!” Is a way you can motivate and focus yourself.