Thursday, July 04, 2013

Meet The Neurocomplimenter

The Neurocomplimenter is a new project designed to counter gratuitous anti-neuroscience sentiment. It’s part of my campaign to combat pop neurobashing profiteers.

After seven years of critical neuroblogging, it’s time to highlight the positives:

“That was a fantastic study! Good show!

The project started with two inaugural posts hosted at a different locale:
From now on, these occasional neurocomplimentary pieces will appear on the sister site.

I'd like to briefly highlight the Language Embodiment post, which drew a nice comment from one of the authors:

Motor Cortex and Monkeys are Responsive to Statistical Regularities of Letter Strings

 A cool new study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience questions the notion that the premotor cortex response to action words is due to implicit motor simulation (de Zubicaray et al., 2013). Previously, the conceptual representation and/or simulation of action words in motor regions of the brain has been taken as evidence for embodied theories of language comprehension (Glenberg & Kaschak, 2002). These theories have been based on fMRI and EEG experiments showing that reading or listening to verbs that depict actions of the face, arm or leg activate somatotopically-specific regions of motor cortex (Hauk et al., 2004).

Their novel fMRI study showed that the motor cortex response to action verbs was actually due to ortho-phonologic probabilistic cues to grammatical class (de Zubicaray et al., 2013). In other words, the spelling and pronunciation of word endings influenced activity in motor regions of the brain. This does present a problem for grounded theories of language comprehension...


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At July 05, 2013 8:37 AM, Blogger wiley said...

What looks like brains on fire imagery is gorgeous.

At July 05, 2013 11:45 AM, Anonymous Therapist Los Angeles said...

I'm a fan of non-invasive brain computer interfaces.

At July 07, 2013 11:27 AM, Blogger J. F. Aldridge said...

Does the blogs officiation mean less Lady Gaga inspired pop-stream-of-consiousness, or are the rhapsodies just going to get more realz.

At July 08, 2013 3:10 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Wiley - I agree, it's really striking.

J. F. Aldridge - Yes, I have separated out the new Neurocomplimenter project into its own blog. I chalk it up to an experiment with WordPress... The odd Lady Gaga - Bugs Bunny - etc. fluff and heavy duty media stuff was an easier fit with the Posterous format.

Not sure what I'm going to do at WordPress now. Perhaps say a few words about the Soderbergh film, Side Effects?

At July 08, 2013 2:28 PM, Blogger J. F. Aldridge said...

It probably doesn't matter much what you talk about. The benefit is in the process of riffing along the fringes of your expertise. Not a lot of people will dip outside their comfort zone to be goofy and kiddish. I have a lot of respect for that.

As for Side Effects, I just read the wiki synopsis and I find it completely believable that spontaneous lesbians (of your typically evil, man-hating variety) manipulated stock prices by having a single patient fake side effects in a clinical trial, but what really amazes me is how easy it would be to make a lego replica of Channing Tatum. Three square pieces, one rectangle and one more square. Done.


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