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Latest Earl K. Miller Stories

2010-06-09 21:41:53

Certain 'multitasking' neurons are best at making correct IDs in multiple categories Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory found that single brain cells, if confronted with a difficult task, can identify objects as dissimilar as sports cars and dogs. Researchers have never been sure exactly how specialized cells in the brain can be. Do different neurons each contribute to unique thoughts or can some neurons be cognitive "generalists" and participate in multiple...

2009-08-12 12:19:06

You're meeting a friend in a crowded cafeteria. Do your eyes scan the room like a roving spotlight, moving from face to face, or do you take in the whole scene, hoping that your friend's face will pop out at you? And what, for that matter, determines how fast you can scan the room?Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory say you are more likely to scan the room, jumping from face to face as you search for your friend. In addition, the timing of these jumps appears to be...

2009-07-31 00:42:58

Some say there is something to learn from every failure, but people learn more from successes than failures, U.S. researchers suggest. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory said brain cells may only learn from experience when animals do something right and not when animals fail. Earl K. Miller and colleagues Mark Histed and Anitha Pasupathy created a unique snapshot of the learning process that shows how single cells change their...

2009-07-29 14:25:00

 If you've ever felt doomed to repeat your mistakes, researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory may have explained why: Brain cells may only learn from experience when we do something right and not when we fail.In the July 30 issue of the journal Neuron, Earl K. Miller, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience, and MIT colleagues Mark Histed and Anitha Pasupathy have created for the first time a unique snapshot of the learning process that shows how single cells change...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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