2009 IoN News Archive
- Grant for research into new epilepsy treatments
- Professor Martin Rossor has been recognised by the The Alzheimer's Association
- Drug discovery collaboration on inclusion body myositis
- PDS awards Training Fellowship to Institute of Neurology researcher to understand how the brain controls Parkinson’s symptoms
- Alan Thompson to lead UCL Partners Neurological Disorders theme
- World MS Day - Wednesday 27th May - Global initiative to highlight Multiple Sclerosis
- Queen Square leads on new UK recommendations for bladder management which can dramatically improve quality of life in Multiple Sclerosis
- John Hardy most-cited Alzheimer's disease researcher in the UK
- Prestigious awards for Institute researchers
- Drug study offers hope for Alzheimer’s treatment
- Brain activity predicts our choices
- Professor George du Boulay CBE, FRCR, FRCP
- Brain awareness week: the impact of UCL research
- Parkinson's-linked mutation makes neurons vulnerable to calcium-induced death
- Second round of NIHR Senior Investigators announced
- 'Mind-Reading' Experiment Highlights How Brain Records Memories
- Anti-malaria drug does not appear to help with human prion diseases.
- UCL Partners is one of UK’s first Academic Health Science Centres
- "Opening doors for patients with MS"
- Are we as decisive as we think?
- "Magnets stop the nightmare of tinnitus, researchers say."
- Prestigious award for Professor Hugh Bostock
- Untangling the Brain
- Young UCL Investigator Award in neuroimaging techniques
- Brain disease "resistance gene" could offer insights into CJD
- Neurology: A Queen Square Textbook
- Headache: annual evidence update
- Roads closed for powerful MRI scanner delivery
- Long-term risks lower for surgical treatment of carotid stenosis
- Memorandum of collaboration signed
- Professor John Hardy joins the ranks of science greats
- Drug study offers hope for Alzheimer's treatment
- Prestigious award for Professor David Miller
- Magnets stop the nightmare of tinnitus, researchers say.
- Brain activity predicts our choices
- Jon Driver Award
- Professor Sander named recipient of the American Epilepsy Society 2009 Clinical Science Award
- Study highlights effect of brain waves on human behaviour
- New podcast describes the significance and impact of highly cited paper
- NIH Grant for research into inherited neuropathies
- How the brain knows a dog is a dog: concept acquisition in the human brain
- Prof Elizabeth Fisher elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
- Locating literacy in the brain
- Dopamine enhances expectation of pleasure in humans
- Queen Square scientists question memory theory
- IoN scientist to front Alzheimer’s Research Trust national appeal
- New doors open to the understanding of the origin of brain tumours
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How the brain knows a dog is a dog: concept acquisition in the human brain
24 September 2009
One of the defining characteristics of human intelligence is the ability to use prior knowledge when dealing with new situations through the development of 'concepts'. For example, we know that an animal that barks, has four legs, is furry and has a snout is likely to be a dog.
"Although a poodle and a golden retriever look very different from each other, we can easily appreciate their similar attributes because they can be recognised as instances of a particular concept, in this case a dog," explains Dr Dharshan Kumaran from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London (IoN Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience).
Yet while there is little doubt that humans form and use concepts all the time, very little is known about how conceptual knowledge is created in the brain or how it allows us to make efficient choices.
A new study explores how our brains synthesize concepts that allow us to organize and comprehend the world. The research, published by Cell Press in the September 24th issue of the journal Neuron, uses behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to track how conceptual knowledge emerges in the human brain and guides decision making.
"Our study offers neurobiological insights into the remarkable capacity of humans to develop concepts based on their visual experiences," say Dr Kumaran. "It reveals how so-called 'memory' regions like the hippocampus team up with 'decision modules' in the prefrontal lobe to put this information to use."
reference >> Dharshan Kumaran, Jennifer J. Summerfield, Demis Hassabis, Eleanor A. Maguire. Tracking the Emergence of Conceptual Knowledge during Human Decision Making. Neuron, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.07.030
Adapted from materials provided by the Wellcome Trust, Cell Press & other sources.
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