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(Image caption: Shown are fMRI scans across all subjects in the study. The yellow and red areas in Section A represent parts of the brain that are activated while subjects are forming “gist memories” of pictures viewed. Section B represents areas of increased activation, shown in yellow and red, as detailed memories are being formed. Credit: Image courtesy of Jagust Lab)

Researchers find neural compensation in people with Alzheimer’s-related protein

The human brain is capable of a neural workaround that compensates for the buildup of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers.

The findings, published today (Sunday, Sept. 14) in the journal Nature Neuroscience, could help explain how some older adults with beta-amyloid deposits in their brain retain normal cognitive function while others develop dementia.

“This study provides evidence that there is plasticity or compensation ability in the aging brain that appears to be beneficial, even in the face of beta-amyloid accumulation,” said study principal investigator Dr. William Jagust, a professor with joint appointments at UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the School of Public Health and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Previous studies have shown a link between increased brain activity and beta-amyloid deposits, but it was unclear whether the activity was tied to better mental performance.

The study included 22 healthy young adults and 49 older adults who had no signs of mental decline. Brain scans showed that 16 of the older subjects had beta-amyloid deposits, while the remaining 55 adults did not.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track the brain activity of subjects in the process of memorizing pictures of various scenes. Afterwards, the researchers tested the subjects’ “gist memory” by asking them to confirm whether a written description of a scene – such as a boy doing a handstand – corresponded to a picture previously viewed. Subjects were then asked to confirm whether specific written details of a scene – such as the color of the boy’s shirt – were true.

“Generally, the groups performed equally well in the tasks, but it turned out that for people with beta-amyloid deposits in the brain, the more detailed and complex their memory, the more brain activity there was,” said Jagust. “It seems that their brain has found a way to compensate for the presence of the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s.”

What remains unclear, said Jagust, is why some people with beta-amyloid deposits are better at using different parts of their brain than others. Previous studies suggest that people who engage in mentally stimulating activities throughout their lives have lower levels of beta-amyloid.

“I think it’s very possible that people who spend a lifetime involved in cognitively stimulating activity have brains that are better able to adapt to potential damage,” said Jagust.


140913 Twitter Update: Jungshin
[English] @MentalShin: last filming of
Temptation. Please give it lots of love
until the end!!! Great job!
[Spanish] @MentalShin: hoy es el último día de filmación de Temptation. Por favor denle mucho amor hasta el final!!! Buen trabajo!

Spanish Trans: CNBLUE.CL / http://
Eng Trans: celinedrops
*Take out with full credits / Tomar sólo con
créditos completos


Cafes of Seoul

Seoul is home to a wide variety of cafes. From dog cafes to camping cafes- Seoul has them all! Here’s a list of (in my opinion) some of Seoul’s coolest cafes.

  • Dog Cafes- Enjoy your drinks and treats surrounded by man’s best friend! Come hang out with cute puppies for a small price.
  • Studying Cafes- Although studying isn’t my favorite past time, these modern studying cafes give ample work space and a quiet atmosphere to maximize the amount of enjoyment you can have studying~
  • Hanbok Cafes- Come dress up in pretty Hanboks! Plus, for a little extra, you can have stylists come and dress your hair and take pictures for you!
  • Camping Cafes- Visitors can enjoy camping without leaving the comforts of the city with Camping Cafes! People can eat in tents and eat food from grills- it’s as if you were actually camping!
  • Charlie Brown Cafes- South Korea has a chain of Charlie Brown Cafes where you can meet your childhood cartoon friends. The cafe has themed food as well~
  • Hello Kitty Cafes- The Hello Kitty Cafe is one of the most well-known cafes in Seoul. Much like the Charlie Brown Cafes, the Hello Kitty Cafe is full of Hello Kitty themed drinks and foods!
  • Cat Cafes- For cat people, you should make sure to take a trek to a Cat Cafe! These cafes are typically more quiet, but you still get to spend lots of time with your favorite feline friends~
  • Board Game Cafes- Come sit down at a Board Game Cafe and order up a game of your choosing! Just like a restaurant, visitors look through a menu to choose a game. Once your game is delivered, customers can enjoy drinks and snacks as you play the day away!


Sometimes, adolescents just can’t resist

Don’t get mad the next time you catch your teenager texting when he promised to be studying.

He simply may not be able to resist.

A University of Iowa study found teenagers are far more sensitive than adults to the immediate effect or reward of their behaviors. The findings may help explain, for example, why the initial rush of texting may be more enticing for adolescents than the long-term payoff of studying.

“The rewards have a strong, perceptional draw and are more enticing to the teenager,” says Jatin Vaidya, a professor of psychiatry at the UI and corresponding author of the study, which appeared online this week in the journal Psychological Science. “Even when a behavior is no longer in a teenager’s best interest to continue, they will because the effect of the reward is still there and lasts much longer in adolescents than in adults.”

For parents, that means limiting distractions so teenagers can make better choices. Take the homework and social media dilemma: At 9 p.m., shut off everything except a computer that has no access to Facebook or Twitter, the researchers advise.

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed access to technology,” Vaidya says. “But they need help in regulating their attention so they can develop those impulse-control skills.”

In their study, “Value-Driven Attentional Capture in Adolescence,” Vaidya and co-authors Shaun Vecera, a professor of psychology, and Zachary Roper, a graduate student in psychology, note researchers generally believe teenagers are impulsive, make bad decisions, and engage in risky behavior because the frontal lobes of their brains are not fully developed.

But the UI researchers wondered whether something more fundamental was going on with adolescents to trigger behaviors independent of higher-level reasoning.

“We wanted to try to understand the brain’s reward system and how it changes from childhood to adulthood,” says Vaidya, who adds the reward trait in the human brain is much more primitive than decision-making. “We’ve been trying to understand the reward process in adolescence and whether there is more to adolescent behavior than an under-developed frontal lobe,” he adds.

For their study, the researchers recruited 40 adolescents, ages 13 and 16, and 40 adults, ages 20 and 35. First, participants were asked to find a red or green ring hidden within an array of rings on a computer screen. Once identified, they reported whether the white line inside the ring was vertical or horizontal. If they were right, they received a reward between 2 and 10 cents, depending on the color. For some participants, the red ring paid the highest reward; for others, it was the green. None was told which color would pay the most.

After 240 trials, the participants were asked whether they noticed anything about the colors. Most made no association between a color and reward, which researchers say proves the ring exercise didn’t involve high-level, decision-making.

In the next stage, participants showed they had developed an intuitive association when they were asked to find a diamond-shaped target. This time, the red and green rings were used as decoys.

At first, the adolescents and adults selected the color ring that garnered them the highest monetary reward, the goal of the first trial. But in short order, the adults adjusted and selected the diamond. The adolescents did not.

Even after 240 trials, the adolescents were still more apt to pick the colored rings.

“Even though you’ve told them, ‘You have a new target,’ the adolescents can’t get rid of the association they learned before,” Vecera says. “It’s as if that association is much more potent for the adolescent than for the adult.

“If you give the adolescent a reward, it will persist longer,” he adds. “The fact that the reward is gone doesn’t matter. They will act as if the reward is still there.”

Researchers say that inability to readily adjust behavior explains why, for example, a teenager may continue to make inappropriate comments in class long after friends stopped laughing.

In the future, researchers hope to delve into the psychological and neurological aspects of their results.

“Are there certain brain regions or circuits that continue to develop from adolescence to adulthood that play role in directing attention away from reward stimuli that are not task relevant?” Vaidya asks. “Also, what sort of life experiences and skill help to improve performance on this task?”





People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.

Watch the powerful Verizon advertisement to really understand what a little girl hears when you tell her she’s pretty.

This is so important. Girls pay attention. Boys, if you are a brother, father, cousin of a girl, pay attention.


Smart Girls, we think you’re pretty brilliant :)


Racism, Nativism, and Immigration Policy


Although the country’s immigration policy has shifted dramatically over the years, two trends have remained constant: (1) nativism has been an integral part of debates over immigration policy, and (2) the consequences of the policy have been more disadvantageous to people defined as non-white than to those considered to be white. What has changed over time is the removal of explicitly discriminatory language from U.S. immigration laws. 

An extract from Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach by Tanya Golash-Boza. 


140908 Twitter Update: Jungshin
[English] @MentalShin: R u having a good thanksgiving? Today I
spent great time with my family in the
morning~~!! please look forward for
Temptation ~! To those who are driving please be careful!
[Spanish] @MentalShin: Están teniendo un buen Día de Acción de Gracias? Hoy pasé muy buenos momentos con mi familia en la mañana~~!! Por favor, esperen con ansias Temptation~! Para los que vayan manejando, háganlo con precaución!

Spanish Trans: / http://
Eng Trans: MizsNatasha
*Take out only with full credits / Tomar sólo con créditos completos

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