Archivio per 1 maggio 2015

01
Mag
15

Music Enrichment Programs Improve the Neural Encoding of Speech in At-Risk Children

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond
Abstract

Musicians are often reported to have enhanced neurophysiological functions, especially in the auditory system. Musical training is thought to improve nervous system function by focusing attention on meaningful acoustic cues, and these improvements in auditory processing cascade to language and cognitive skills. Correlational studies have reported musician enhancements in a variety of populations across the life span. In light of these reports, educators are considering the potential for co-curricular music programs to provide auditory-cognitive enrichment to children during critical developmental years. To date, however, no studies have evaluated biological changes following participation in existing, successful music education programs. We used a randomized control design to investigate whether community music participation induces a tangible change in auditory processing. The community music training was a longstanding and successful program that provides free music instruction to children from underserved backgrounds who stand at high risk for learning and social problems. Children who completed 2 years of music training had a stronger neurophysiological distinction of stop consonants, a neural mechanism linked to reading and language skills. One year of training was insufficient to elicit changes in nervous system function; beyond 1 year, however, greater amounts of instrumental music training were associated with larger gains in neural processing. We therefore provide the first direct evidence that community music programs enhance the neural processing of speech in at-risk children, suggesting that active and repeated engagement with sound changes neural function.

 
See on jneurosci.org

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01
Mag
15

Neural Computations Mediating One-Shot Learning in the Human Brain

See on Scoop.itPapers

There are at least two distinct learning strategies for identifying the relationship between a cause and its consequence: (1) incremental learning, in which we gradually acquire knowledge through trial and error, and (2) one-shot learning, in which we rapidly learn from only a single pairing of a potential cause and a consequence. Little is known about how the brain switches between these two forms of learning. In this study, we provide evidence that the amount of uncertainty about the relationship between cause and consequence mediates the transition between incremental and one-shot learning. Specifically, the more uncertainty there is about the causal relationship, the higher the learning rate that is assigned to that stimulus. By imaging the brain while participants were performing the learning task, we also found that uncertainty about the causal association is encoded in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and that the degree of coupling between this region and the hippocampus increases during one-shot learning. We speculate that this prefrontal region may act as a “switch,” turning on and off one-shot learning as required.

Lee SW, O’Doherty JP, Shimojo S (2015) Neural Computations Mediating One-Shot Learning in the Human Brain. PLoS Biol 13(4): e1002137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002137 ;

See on journals.plos.org

01
Mag
15

Five Curious Facts about Music and Brain Damage

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

What happens if a musician experiences some sort of brain damage? Music is the ultimate “brain” activity, as it involves the motor, visual, auditory, audiovisual, somatosensory, parietal and frontal areas in both hemispheres and the cerebellum. By being such a “complete” brain activity, music has a lot of beneficial effects on the brain. Amid the countless examples of the virtues of music, let’s mention a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, which determined that kids who took music lessons for two years did not just witness an improvement in their abilities to play their instrument, but they also processed language more easily: in fact, learning music improves the brain’s ability to process pitch, timing and timbre, which actually helps pick up language too.

See on cmuse.org

01
Mag
15

What Is Intrinsic Motivation?

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

When you’re intrinsically motivated to accomplish something, you have an internal desire to achieve it; you’ll initiate the activity for its own sake, because it’s interesting and satisfying in itself. Intrinsic motivation stands in direct contrast to extrinsicmotivation, which happens when some external force (like a boss), influences, motivates or requires you to do something. Because of the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, we can, generally speaking, separate activities into two different buckets: tasks that we want to do and tasks that we have to do. Have you ever wondered why it’s so much easier to get something done when we want to do it? (Or conversely, why it’s so difficult to accomplish something even though we know we “have to?”) It all boils down to motivation — and more specifically, the dichotomy between intrinsic motivators and extrinsic motivators. Let’s take a deeper look and explore the role intrinsic motivators can play in business performance.As we established above, it seems much easier to get things done when we’re intrinsically motivated to do them, and research supports that hunch. Over the years, studies have shown that intrinsic motivators are much more powerful than extrinsic motivators.

See on bunchball.com




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