Calculated Surprise Leads to Groundbreaking Discovery in Cognitive Control Research

To better understand how motivational control processes help maximize performance when faced with task challenges, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and provide fascinating insights into the role of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) as a component network of brain regions that support motivated behavior. They have unified conflicting findings by discovering that the single mechanism of surprise best accounts for activity in dACC during a task requiring motivated control.

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Objective Subtle Cognitive Difficulties Predict Amyloid Accumulation and Neurodegeneration

Researchers report that accumulating amyloid protein occurred faster among persons deemed to have “objectively-defined subtle cognitive difficulties” (Obj-SCD) than among persons considered to be “cognitively normal,” offering a potential new early biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.

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New MSU study corrects ‘fake news’ on social media

A Mississippi State University researcher and a recent graduate are publishing their new study on how the dissemination of correct information on social media platforms can shift public perception amid a wave of “fake news.”

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In Some Children with Autism, “Social” and “Visual” Neural Circuits Don’t Quite Connect

Researchers combined eye gaze research with brain scans to discover that in a common subtype of autism, in which ASD toddlers prefer images of geometric shapes over those of children playing, brain areas responsible for vision and attention are not controlled by social brain networks, and so social stimuli are ignored.

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Neuroscientists reveal the basis of confirmation bias

Neuroscientists at Virginia Tech, University College London, and the University of London revealed brain mechanisms that underlie confirmation bias — a phenomenon where people strongly favor information that reinforces existing opinions over contradictory ones.

The study, published this week in Nature Neuroscience, provides insight into a fundamental property of belief formation that has been documented by psychologists and economists, as well as in popular literature, including George Orwell’s “1984.”

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Exploring humanity’s final frontier

The brightest minds in neuroscience came together Nov. 21 for the UCI Brain Launch Event, an interdisciplinary academic initiative set to define and expand the horizons of brain research at UCI and beyond. More than 700 attended the day-long symposium at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering, where Michael Yassa, director of UCI Brain, introduced a host of new technologies that redefine brain research, including a collaboration with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

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