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)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Overflowing brain- limits of working memory

Thanks to SHARP BRAINS for the tip on new interesting book that
appears to focus on the importance of controlled attention on working
memory during learning

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Neuroscience core concepts

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> Looks like very informative educational material at the site.

The minds clock - Special journal issue (2004)

I just discovered that the on-line journal Acta Neurobiologiae had a special issue devoted to IQ Brain Clock topics.....temporal processing, mental time-keeping, interval timing, etc. Below is a list of the articles and direct links to the free download articles or abstracts.

So much to little time.

Volume 64 Number 3

PÖPPEL E. Lost in time: a historical frame, elementary processing units and the 3-second window Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

WEARDEN J.H. Decision processes in models of timing Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

ZAKAY D. and BLOCK R.A. Prospective and retrospective duration judgments: an executive-control perspective Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

RUBIA K. and SMITH A. The neural correlates of cognitive time management: a review Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

WITTMANN M. and FINK M. Time and language – critical remarks on diagnosis and training methods of temporal-order judgment Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

SZELAG E., KANABUS M., KOLODZIEJCZYK I., KOWALSKA J. and SZUCHNIK J. Individual differences in temporal information processing in humans Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

POUTHAS V. and PERBAL S. Time perception depends on accurate clock mechanisms as well as unimpaired attention and memory processes Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

BERWANGER D., WITTMANN M., VON STEINBÜCHEL N. and VON SUCHODOLETZ W. Measurement of temporal-order judgment in children Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

KANABUS M., SZELAG E., KOLODZIEJCZYK I. and SZUCHNIK J. Reproduction of auditory and visual standards in monochannel cochlear implant users Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

BAO Y., ZHOU J. and FU L. Aging and the time course of inhibition of return in a static environment Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

MIYAKE Y., ONISHI Y. and PÖPPEL E. Two types of anticipation in synchronization tapping Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

POGGEL D.A. and STRASBURGER H. Visual perception in space and time – mapping the visual field of temporal resolution Article (PDF) / Abstract (PDF)

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More on exercise and Alzheimers

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mobile blogging, iPhone blogging, iBlogging: What, Why, How

Mobile blogging. iBlogging. iPhone blogging. What am I doing?

[note - double click on images if you want to enlarge]

Readers of my two professional blogs (IQs Corner; the IQ Brain Clock) may have noticed a significant change (enhancement in my mind) over the past few months. I've been using my relatively new 2G iPhone (what I believe is really the first real personal computer) to conduct mobile blogging...or what I sometimes call iBlogging or iPhone blogging.

Why am I doing this?

Simple. I currently subscribe (via RSS feeds) to 70+ other blogs. I use the RSS feed service Bloglines to monitor the posts from these blogs. What this means is that I receive real time notification that new posts have been made to any of the 70+ monitored blogs. A little colored asterisk shows on top of the Bloglines icon in my Windows computer tray (bottom right corner). It tells me that at least one new story has arrived. Typically it means there are dozens of new posts across the various blogs I monitor. I monitor all these other blogs in an attempt to stay abreast of emerging developments in my major areas of professional interest..and to pass links to these posts along to my readers.

Before I initiated mobile blogging, I checked my Bloglines information once a day. I tried to cull posts that I thought were of interest to the readers of my two professional blogs. After a while this became to daunting a task....I frequently would be faced with 200-300 posts...and I would scroll through the various titles and synopses looking for something useful. Many times the sheer volume resulted in me simply deleting them all..and promising to do a more thorough read the next day. It simply became to hard to stay on top of this volumn of information. And....if I was traveling......fugghet about it!!!!!!!!!

Then I purchased an iPhone and learned that I could monitor my Bloglines RSS feeds any time I had down time (waiting in line; during morning coffee; sitting on the BR throne; etc.) via the iPhone (either via the Edge network or any wifi signal). I learned that if I checked it regularly I was only faced with a fraction of the posted stories to review...and I could quickly do so directly on the iPhone screen...without having to boot up a computer. I could quickly cull the wheat from the chaffee. More importantly, I could instantly send information about a potentially interesting blog post to any of my blogs from the iPhone (in combination with a service provided by Blogger for cell-phone based blog posts). My readers could get up-to-date notification of previously ignored interesting posts...simply because I was making efficient use of all the various down time minutes in a typical day.

As a result, I realized that iBlogging could be a great supplement to my regular posts. I even started a personal Mobile IQ blog that I run almost exclusively from my iPhone.

The price for now being able to flag interesting posts from other blogs and share them routinely (and quickly) is that these posts are very brief and often look instead of embedding a hypertext URL link in a word or phrase, the available technology only allows me to email the complete URL to my its full and, often extended glory. I can type a brief message to accompany the "quickie" post via the keyboard on my iPhone...but it is not easy. So my pass-along ("look what I found...maybe you will find it interesting") posts are short, sweet, and often don't look that professional or neat. The only other option was to simply stop these FYI I could no longer keep up. So....I hope my readers recognize that they are getting more information (monitoring the pulse of the mind blogsphere) in a more timely manner....but at the expense of visual asthetics.

How is it done?

The screen shots in this message will help me demonstrate how easy this is. actually is very quick and easy. I can spot an interesting story/post during one of my Bloglines peeks...and in less than a minute flag it and email the URL (with a possible few comments) to be posted at one of my blogs. It is really quite amazing. Let me show you how.

This first screen image is of the first screen of my iPhone. MoBloglines is the icon I click on to see what new posts may have arrived since I last checked.

When I click on the Bloglines icon I see something like the screen below. It shows me that of the 73 different blogs I monitor.....there have been 16 different posts since I last checked (and cleared the system). The screen tells me that Mind Hacks (a great blog) has one new post. So I tap "Mind Hacks" with my finger.

I then see something like the following image. I can see the title of the blog post ("The perils of not....") and can read the first few sentences or paragraphs of the post.....which is enough to decide if I want to go to the complete story or simply check it off and move on to checking the next blog post alert. For this example post....I decided to click on the "the perils of not..." title...which instantly takes me to the Mind Hacks blog site where I can view the original post...all on my iPhone screen.

This is the Mind Hacks blog....and the particular story post. I read the post in greater depth....and sometimes follow links to other web pages or blogs. But, at this point I typically decide whether the readers of my blogs might be interested in this story. If not...I move on and leave it. If I think it may be interesting to my readers, I then initiate a relatively quick "copy and paste" routine (available on the web) that puts the URL to the Mind Hacks page you see in the image in an email message (on my iPhone-----I've still not had to boot up any computer..yippeeee) that I instantly send to a special email address (from Blogger) that immediately posts it to the appropriate blog...along with any text I may have added. Instant FYI dissemination.

I won't bore most readers withe the copy/paste steps involved. Interested folks can view the screens below to see the steps I need to complete...all that go very quickly. They are possible due to a neat little web-app called iCOPY.

Those not interested in the details should skip the next three images. Do not past not collect $ 200.00.

Here is the final product. This is my iPhone email all ready to go. In this example I'm ready to send the post to "Blog Posts IQ" which is the email contact name for the Blogger email address I use to email posts to IQs Corner. As you see.....all it is is a URL....that readers can click on and then go to the Mind Hacks blog post of interest. I often typically type a few comments before the hyperlink...but not always. Frequently I try to convey what the URL is about in the "subject" of the email. Click here if you want to see the actual result.

Thats it!!!!!!!!! It is very quick and efficient. Other variations include me not sending an actual URL, but instead capturing a screen shot image of the post (click here to see an example) and emailing that directly to my blogs...skipping the iCOPY steps.

Technology is wonderful. I hope this post explains why some of my posts to my blogs may not look as polished as they should....and won't compare to those I write off-line or via dedicated blogger software. The goal is to monitor the blogsphere for my readers and provide FYI posts as quickly and often as the expense of glitz.

Trying to stay ahead of and benefit from the technology curve.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Einstein was correct

I think Einstein could of told us so.

(dbl click image to enlarge)

See prior post

IQ Brain Clock articles to check out

Just found this abstract (and one other during iPhone Goggle
searching) while drinking Saturday morning coffee. Emailing image to
blog as an FYI to others and reminder to me to see if I can find the
article. Next image post will be of the other article.

(dlb click image to enlarge)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How many internal brain clocks do we have?

Thanks to BPS for mentioning a research study ("How many clocks do we have") I apparently missed in my routine literature searches. The reference for the article, as well as the key figure, is presented above (double click on image to enlarge).

The research study was designed to investigate how humans can track multiple or different time intervals simultaneously. Three different type of hypothetical models were posited (see figure above). One is the classic pacemaker-accumulator model (which has spawned considerable research) with a single pacemaker and accumulator, the second is a model with a single pacemaker but multiple accumulators, the third is s multiple timing system (multiple sets of pacemakers and accumulators). You can read the detailed results, but the bottom line is that the authors concluded that their study favored the classic pacemaker-accumulator model (starred in figure above)

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Techpsych blog - staying current technology for learning

Check out the Techpsych blog, a sister blog to one I've been reading daily for a good year - Interactive Multimedia Technology.  As written at the site, Techpsych:
  • "is for psychologists, teachers, related professionals, parents, technologists, and others interested in using technology more effectively for learning and communication. This is a place to share resources, links, what works, "how-tos", and lessons learned along the way. Enter a term or phrase in the search box to find what interests you!"
If you want to stay current on emerging technologies, esp. those related to learning and education, these are two "must" blogs.  I'm going to add Techpsych to my blogroll.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brain clock rules: #1 in Google

I ran a Google search tonight using the phrase "brain clock", which
I've been trying to link/brand with this blog and I was pleased to
see that this blog was #1 on the Google page. Thanks to all my readers
for making this possible.

The "Time Doc"

iBlog feature: Developing Intelligence

This is an amazing blog. Very well written but tends to be technical--great source for serious readers of intelligence research. A must read for the serious scholar (double click on image to enlarge)

IQs Corner tops in Google search

I did a Google search for "IQs Corner" and bingo---my blog came up first and was all over the first page of results. Thanks to all my readers for making this happen (dbl click image to enlarge)

Vintage brain maps


New feature: iBlog feature


I'm going to use the screen capture feature of my iPhone to send
graphic pictures of some of the favorite intelligence and neuroscience
blogs that I monitor daily via RSS feeds.

The first is MIND HACKS.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mental time keeping scholar - Dr. Richard Ivry

Another researcher has been added to the mental time keeping scholar blog roll. Below is information taken directly from Dr. Richard Ivry's web page.

Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Member, Executive Committee Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

My research explores the neural basis of sensorimotor control and learning. Our experiments involve neurologically healthy and impaired individuals, use behavioral and neuroimaging methods to characterize the functional role of different parts of the motor pathways. For example, we have hypothesized that a primary role for the cerebellum is to regulate the temporal aspects of movement. Moreover, the cerebellum also appears to be involved in perceptual tasks that require precise timing. We are currently exploring how the brain may represent temporal information at a mechanistic level. We hypothesize that the cerebellum may be conceptualized as a network of interval-based timing elements, with these elements tuned to specific intervals that are task-specific.

This decade has seen a great deal of interest in higher-level functions of the cerebellum, inspired by various results in the neuroimaging literature as well as intriguing findings that this structure is abnormal in autistic individuals. Functional hypotheses include the idea that this structure is essential for attention shifting, internal speech, and/or preparation of response alternatives. We are testing these hypotheses in our patient population.

Another primary area of research involves the study of motor learning. We have conducted behavioral and neuroimaging studies comparing explicit and implicit motor sequence learning. This work suggests separable psychological and neural systems associated with these two forms of motor learning. Our current work is designed to clarify differences between the systems in terms of how they represent learned association.

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Understanding the IQ brain clock: Excellent overview article

[double click on image to enlarge]

Damn I love the journal Trends in Cognitive Science. It routinely publishes concise articles that circumscribe the state of the knowledge in important areas of human cognition/intelligence. I just finished reading yet another outstanding article ("Dedicated and intrinsic models of time perception") by Ivry and Schlerf (2008) (click to review)

Throughout the past year I've posted material regarding different neural models that have been advanced to explain the IQ brain clock (temporal processing). I've never felt I've done a good job in pulling all of this together. These authors do an exceptional job in describing the four primary hypothesized models that have been advanced to explain the neural mechanisms underlying the human brain clock. More importantly they do so which the aid of great visual-graphics (see the one above). I liked the article so much that I've added it to the "key research articles" section of this blog and have also added Dr. Ivry to the "mental timing scholars" link section.
  • Abstract: Two general frameworks have been articulated to describe how the passage of time is perceived. One emphasizes that the judgment of the duration of a stimulus depends on the operation of dedicated neural mechanisms specialized for representing the temporal relationships between events. Alternatively, the representation of duration could be ubiquitous, arising from the intrinsic dynamics of nondedicated neural mechanisms. In such models, duration might be encoded directly through the amount of activation of sensory processes or as spatial patterns of activity in a network of neurons. Although intrinsic models are neurally plausible, we highlight several issues that must be addressed before we dispense with models of duration perception that are based on dedicated processes.
A few tidbits extracted (directly) from the article, some that reinforce information posted at the IQ Brain Clock over the past few years---and some that is new. italics added by blogmaster:
  • we focus on a fundamental question that has defined much of the recent discussion: is our perception of the passage of time the consequence of dedicated, clock-like neural mechanisms? Or is duration coded in an accessible manner as an intrinsic and ubiquitous property of neural activity?
  • The facile manner with which we compare time across different modalities suggests some sort of internal clock.
  • Dedicated models of time perception are, at their core, modular. As vision scientists speak of dedicated mechanisms for color or motion perception, modular models of time perception entail some sort of specialized mechanism that represents the temporal relationship between events. The pacemaker-counter model is one example of a modular system .
  • Intrinsic models offer a radically different perspective on the perception of time. These models assume that there is no specialized brain system for representing temporal information, asserting that time is inherent in neural dynamics.
  • the cerebellar timing hypothesis is based on the assumption that the cerebellum has a unique representational capability and is accessed whenever a particular task requires precise timing.
  • Similar arguments have been developed for other neural regions that might serve as dedicated timing systems [25]. These include the basal ganglia [26,27], supplementary motor area [28,29] and prefrontal cortex, especially in the right hemisphere [30,31]. For the most part, converging evidence has been offered in support of all of these candidate regions.
  • considerable debate continues on the question of whether temporal-processing deficits are uniquely associated with damage to a particular neural structure.
  • Other dedicated models avoid localization issues by postulating that the representation of time results from activity across a network of regions
  • The role of nontemporal factors on perceived duration Performance on time-perception tasks entails several component processes, many of which are not specific to time. These include attention, working memory and long-term or reference memor

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Happy Halloween

Reynolds Unwrapped by Dan Reynolds

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Timing and the cerebellum

From the CognAc Lab.

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Multitasking may not be good for you

Interesting post from PSYCH CENTRAL on the price paid in poor learning
when we multitasking.

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Global brain fitness consortium

As usual another great post from SHARP BRAINS.

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Cognitive and Action Lab & Richard Ivry: Mental timing scholar

Only time for a quick note. I just discovered a great new research lab that conducts research related to topics covered by the IQ Brain Clock. It is the Cognitive and Action Lab run by Dr. Richard Ivry. I'm in the middle of reading a great overview article by Dr. Ivry....and will be making a post in the next few days. I've already added Dr. Ivry to the "mental timing scholars" list at this blog. I'll make a separate mental timing scholars post regarding Dr. Ivry soon.

More later. Some exciting and great work.

Levels of human timing systems

[double click on image to enlarge]

The human timing machine has been described as possessing at least 10 different timing systems that vary according to the length of time perception processed (click here for prior post). Of the 10 different systems, the focus of this blog has been on the fastest (lowest in the timing hierarchy) timing systems...mental timing at the level of milliseconds to seconds.

I just found another table in an article that puts this in perspective (see above). The neural rhythm, in this table, is the focus of this blog. As you can see, this is just one level of the complex timing systems that govern human behavior. Click here if you want to see the source article.

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The brain clock and IQ: Another supporting article

I've blogged extensively on the intriguing relation between the hypothesized internal brain clock and intelligence. I've found the research supporting the notion of a temporal g (temporal general intelligence mechanism) particularly intriguing.

There is a new article "in press" in the journal Intelligence that adds support to the hypothesis that temporal processing may be more related to general intelligence than the "holy grail" research that attempts to explain g via reaction time (RT). The focus of the article is an attempt to identify the underlying mechanisms that explain the relation between general intelligence and temporal processing (in this case, the authors used a isochronous serial interval production task as the measure of temporal processing). The article is rather technical, so I'll cut to the bottom line take-away messages.

The authors argue that their findings support a bottom-up (BU) explanation of temporal processing, in contrast to the alternative top-down (TD) explanation. The supported BU explanation suggests that the aspect of temporal processing related to general intelligence is grounded in certain basic neural properties that influence temporal variability in neural activity. The alternative TD hypothesis suggests that some form of higher-order component of the neural system (e.g., the construct of attention) is responsible for the link. The authors suggest that the support for the BU hypothesis, and not the TD hypothesis, supports a biological underpinning for intelligence and, more importantly, the hypothesis that temporal accuracy of neural activity has a causal effect on the neural processes that are involved in cognition (intelligence).

Also of interest was the authors suggestion that this basic underlying mechanism (of the brain clock?) is the result of a network of brain regions (sensorimotor cortx, supplementary and pre-supplementary motor areas, later premotor areas of the frontal lobe, auditory regions in the superious temporal gyrus, the basal ganglia and cerebellum). The efficient networked interaction of many of these brain regions have been implicated in other research discussed at this blog.

Of course, the small sample (n=36) and the reliance on a single psychometric measure (Raven's matrix test) of fluid intelligence (Gf) to define intelligence are significant limitations that argue for caution and the need for replication in larger samples and a broader array of indicators of the construct of intelligence. Click here for a prior discussion of my concerns for the reliance on the Raven's Gf test.

Madison, G., Forsman, L., Blom, O., Karabanov, A & Ullén, F. (2009) Correlations between intelligence and components of serial timing variability. Intelligence,37, 68–75 (click to view)

  • Abstract: Psychometric intelligence correlates with reaction time in elementary cognitive tasks, as well as with performance in time discrimination and judgment tasks. It has remained unclear, however, to what extent these correlations are due to top–down mechanisms, such as attention, and bottom–up mechanisms, i.e. basic neural properties that in?uence both temporal accuracy and cognitive processes. Here, we assessed correlations between intelligence (Raven SPM Plus) and performance in isochronous serial interval production, a simple, automatic timing task where participants ?rst make movements in synchrony with an isochronous sequence of sounds and then continue with self-paced production to produce a sequence of intervals with the same inter-onset interval (IOI). The target IOI varied across trials. A number of different measures of timing variability were considered, all negatively correlated with intelligence. Across all stimulus IOIs, local interval-to-interval variability correlated more strongly with intelligence than drift, i.e. gradual changes in response IOI. The strongest correlations with intelligence were found for IOIs between 400 and 900 ms, rather than above 1 s, which is typically considered a lower limit for cognitive timing. Furthermore, poor trials, i.e. trials arguably most affected by lapses in attention, did not predict intelligence better than the most accurate trials. We discuss these results in relation to the human timing literature, and argue that they support a bottom–up model of the relation between temporal variability of neural activity and intelligence.

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