Found: The Particular Brain Fold That Helps People Distinguish Between Imagination and Reality
By REBECCA BOYLE - POPSCI
Added: Thu, 06 Oct 2011 18:41:45 UTC
Did you actually open the refrigerator a few minutes ago, or were you just thinking about it and imagined that you did? If you can remember correctly, you might have an extra fold in your brain.
A fold in the front brain called the paracingulate sulcus, or PCS, can apparently help people more accurately remember whether something was imagined or really happened, or which person actually said something. It's one of the final structural folds to develop before birth, and its size varies greatly in the general population, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge. People with the fold were significantly better at memory tasks than people without the fold, the researchers say.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, involved 53 healthy adult volunteers with no reported history of cognitive difficulties, according to a Cambridge news release. And everyone thought they had a good memory before the tests.
Participants were chosen based on MRI scans that showed a clear presence or absence of the PCS fold. Then they were presented with word pairs and half-pairs — like “Laurel and Hardy” or “Laurel and ?” In the second test, they were asked to imagine the other word, and then either they or the study leader actually said the word aloud.
Then they had a memory test, where they tried to remember whether they had actually seen the second word or just imagined it, and which person said the word out loud, Cambridge says. People with a PCS remembered correctly a lot more often.
Dave Mosher - National Geographic Comments
The sun is the roundest natural object ever precisely measured, astronomers say.
Geraint Jones - The Guardian Comments
Scientists who encoded the book say it could soon be cheaper to store information in DNA than in conventional digital devices
Ed Yong - Nature News Comments
Under the supervision of guards and graduate students, a small group of prisoners is breeding the beautiful orange-and-white insects in a greenhouse outside the prison. They have even carried out research to show what plants the butterfly prefers to lay its eggs on.
- - Scientific American Comments
Teachers, scientists and policymakers have drafted ambitious new education standards. All 50 states should adopt them
John Roach - NBC News Comments
An artificial “brain” built by a 17-year-old whiz kid from Florida is able to accurately assess tissue samples for signs of breast cancer, providing more confidence to a minimally invasive procedure.
MORE BY REBECCA BOYLE
Rebecca Boyle - Popular Science Comments
Last year's finding that "alien" Californian bacteria thrive on arsenic instead of phosphorus contradicted in new papers
Rebecca Boyle - PopSci 10 Comments
The Map of Life platform lets you search by species, using either its Latin name or common name, and find out where it is located on the planet. The project sheds light on how little we know about some species. Map of Life Project
Rebecca Boyle - PopSci 8 Comments
Pigeons have a reliable internal GPS