Tool Use

Tool Use and Language Improve Each Other

A group of researchers from French and Swedish institutions have studied brain activity patterns in people learning a manual task involving using a new tool and learning to analyse sentences with complex syntax. They found that learning the new tool-using task was associated with improvement in language skill, and training in analysing complex sentences improved […]

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Horsshoe Crabs

Horseshoe Crab Brains Haven’t Changed

Horseshoe crab brains haven’t changed, according to a report in Science Alert 28 July 2021, Natural History Museum (NHM) Science News 5 August 2021, and Geology, doi: 10.1130/G49193.1, published online 26 July 2021. An international group of scientists from Australia, UK and USA have studied an “exceptionally preserved” fossil horseshoe crab named Euproops danae, found […]

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Bee Yellow Flowers

Bees Understand Zero

Bees understand zero, according to articles in ScienceDaily and Nature News 7 June 2018 ABC News8 June 2018, and Science, 8 June 2018, doi: 10.1126/science.aar4975. Previous studies of bees have shown they can count up to four. Biologists at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and University of Toulouse in France, have now shown that honeybees understand […]

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“Bird Brain” Revision Needed

“Bird brain” revision needed according to an article in Outside JEB 9 May 2018 doi:10.1242/jeb.170001 and Current Biology doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.036, 5 March 2018. Birds have small brains without a cerebral cortex, the folded multilayered outer region of mammal brains that supposedly makes mammals smarter than other creatures.  Thus, the epithet “bird-brain” is used to insult someone’s […]

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Quote: Asimov on Human Brain

‘In man is a three-pound brain which, as far as we know, is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe.’ Isaac Asimov (Biochemist; was a Professor at Boston University School of Medicine; internationally known author), ‘In the game of energy and thermodynamics you can’t even break even’. Smithsonian Institute Journal, June […]

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Jumping Genes Make Brains Unique

Jumping genes make brains unique, according to reports in ScienceNOW 15 June 2005, Nature Vol 435, p903 and New Scientist 18 June 2005, p21. Jumping genes are pieces of DNA that can spontaneously move from one place in the genome to another. When they insert themselves into a new part of the genome they can […]

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Oldest Brain

Oldest brain found, according to Nature News 10 October 2012, ABC News in Science, and ScienceDaily 11 October 2012 and Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature11495. ‘ Palaeontologists from China, UK and USA have studied the fossil of an arthropod buried in Cambrian rocks in China, dated as 520 million years old. The fossil, named Fuxianhuia protensa, has […]

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Family May Provide Evolution Clue

“Family May Provide Evolution Clue” is the headline of an article on BBC News, 7 Mar 2006, about a family in a remote part of Turkey where four sisters and one brother walk on all fours. One sister can walk on two feet sometimes, and another brother walks on two feet with difficulty. Medical tests […]

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An Idiotic Eye

An Idiotic Eye: Richard Dawkins asserts the vertebrate eye is particularly badly designed. He first condemns the eye for only having clear vision in the fovea (the central region of the total visual field for each eye), and therefore we need to constantly move the eyes and use image processing software in the brain to […]

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