Direct measurement of IQ advancing
Tuning inside the brain is the difference between normal and super smart people, researchers have found. They say general cognitive ability may be the result of a 'well-tuned brain network' - and may even be able to develop to tune up the mind of those less intelligent.
They found the brains of those with higher intelligence were extremely similar at rest and while carrying out tasks.
'Specifically, we found that brain network configuration at rest was already closer to a wide variety of task configurations in intelligent individuals,' the Rutgers University team wrote in The Journal of Neuroscience.
'This suggests that the ability to modify network connectivity efficiently when task demands change is a hallmark of high intelligence.
The study suggests greater similarity between brain connectivity at rest and on task may be associated with better mental performance.
It shows that general cognitive ability may be the result of well-tuned brain network updates, said study author Michael Cole of Rutgers University.
'The results also suggest that if we can figure out how to better tune these networks, we can possibly influence cognitive ability generally.'
Different types of cognitive tasks spur activity in various regions of the brain, as indicated by studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
The regions activated depend on the specific task, and scientists believe regions active at the same time work together as a network.
Even when our brains are at rest, collections of regions remain active in 'resting-state networks.'
To test the theory, Schultz and Cole analyzed brain imaging data obtained by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota as part of the Human Connectome Project.
One hundred healthy adults had their brains scanned with fMRI while they rested quietly and while they performed various cognitive tests.
To study brain network reconfiguration, the Rutgers scientists compared participants' resting-state networks to the networks active during language, reasoning, and memory tasks and computed how similar each task-related network was to the resting-state network.
When they compared these similarity ratings to the participants' performance on each task, they found individuals who performed better had more similar resting and task networks.
The researchers also compared the networks active during each of the three cognitive tasks and created a composite generalized task network pattern.
They found that the more similar this generalized task network pattern was to the resting-state network pattern, the better the participant performed on each task, suggesting individuals who performed well had resting-state networks optimized to switch to any of a variety of new tasks.
In other words, high performers appeared to use their brains more efficiently, only needing to make small changes when switching tasks.
However, Cole and study author Douglas Schultz previously found the resting and on-task networks were highly similar.
This led the researchers to propose that the brain has an intrinsic network that reconfigures itself when we switch from resting to performing a task, and they hypothesized the reconfiguration of this intrinsic network relates to how well we perform a given task.
The results of the study suggest that 'people's performance on various cognitive tasks is better the fewer changes they have to their brain connectivity,' said John Dylan Haynes, a neuroscientist at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin who studies cognition and was not involved in the study.
'The efficiency with which a brain engages in a task might be a predictor of intelligence.'
The researchers are planning additional studies to examine how training may improve cognitive abilities by influencing the brain's intrinsic network and its reconfiguration during different tasks. [Fat chance!]
National Security Expert on Why He's Voting for Trump
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton dropped by The Hugh Hewitt Show, where the diplomat said that between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it’s an easy choice: Donald Trump all the way. He also discussed the lack of evidence to suggest that Clinton will be more hawkish on foreign policy than Obama, adding that she’s “comfortable” with the worldview that has given us a disaster in Syria, Libya, and Iran.
Concerning the possible ethics problems the former secretary of state faces from the Clinton Foundation, Bolton said that it just showed how Hillary just ignored every pledge/promise she made upon her confirmation hearing, where she said that no special treatment would be afforded to donors should she be confirmed. Bolton said that exiting and re-entering public life is sort of like a monastery-type mentality. You need to resign or cut connections to every private sector connection you have for the time being. The only acceptable connection to maintain from your former life is your church. Yet, the former ambassador did note that there was a grey area in this regard because regulations didn’t include spouses or children that are also part of the same non-profit, which has been called a slush fund by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation watchdog.
Oh, and of course, Bolton feels like a Clinton presidency would constitute nothing but a third term for Obamaism, albeit a tad more to the left on some issues, like trade. Nevertheless, should Trump win in November, Bolton said he would consider it very seriously since it's a service to the country:
HH: So first question, are you going to vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
JB: (laughing) That, to me, is an easy choice. I am going to vote for Donald Trump. And I think that’s something that a lot of our friends around the country still need to come to grips with. You know, the Republican field for the nomination had 17 candidates, which means there are supporters out there of 16 disappointed candidates. But compared to the prospect of four years of Hillary and Bill back in the White House, or even worse, eight years, really, I hope everybody just thinks about that a little bit more.
American journalism is collapsing before our eyes
Hillary's impossible DNC task: reinvent herself — now
Donald Trump may or may not fix his campaign, and Hillary Clinton may or may not become the first female president. But something else happening before our eyes is almost as important: the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.
The frenzy to bury Trump is not limited to the Clinton campaign and the Obama White House. They are working hand-in-hand with what was considered the cream of the nation’s news organizations.
The shameful display of naked partisanship by the elite media is unlike anything seen in modern America.
The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like The New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.
Indeed, no foreign enemy, no terror group, no native criminal gang, suffers the daily beating that Trump does. The mad mullahs of Iran, who call America the Great Satan and vow to wipe Israel off the map, are treated gently by comparison.
By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards. No future producer, editor, reporter or anchor can be expected to meet a test of fairness when that standard has been trashed in such willful and blatant fashion.
Liberal bias in journalism is often baked into the cake. The traditional ethos of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable leads to demands that government solve every problem. Favoring big government, then, becomes routine among most journalists, especially young ones.
I know because I was one of them. I started at the Times while the Vietnam War and civil-rights movement raged, and was full of certainty about right and wrong.
My editors were, too, though in a different way. Our boss of bosses, the legendary Abe Rosenthal, knew his reporters leaned left, so he leaned right to “keep the paper straight.”
That meant the Times, except for the opinion pages, was scrubbed free of reporters’ political views, an edict that was enforced by giving the opinion and news operations separate editors. The church-and-state structure was one reason the Times was considered the flagship of journalism.
Those days are gone. The Times now is so out of the closet as a Clinton shill that it is giving itself permission to violate any semblance of evenhandedness in its news pages as well as its opinion pages.
A recent article by its media reporter, Jim Rutenberg, whom I know and like, began this way: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”
Whoa, Nellie. The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump that way, and it is noteworthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.” Rutenberg approvingly cites a leftist journalist who calls one candidate “normal” and the other “abnormal.”
Clinton is hardly “normal” to the 68 percent of Americans who find her dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times. Statistically, that makes the Times “abnormal.”
Also, you don’t need to be a detective to hear echoes in that first paragraph of Clinton speeches and ads, including those featured prominently on the Times’ Web site. In effect, the paper has seamlessly adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage.
It’s an impossible task, and Rutenberg fails because he must. Any reporter who agrees with Clinton about Trump has no business covering either candidate.
It’s pure bias, which the Times fancies itself an expert in detecting in others, but is blissfully tolerant of its own. And with the top political editor quoted in the story as approving the one-sided coverage as necessary and deserving, the prejudice is now official policy.
It’s a historic mistake and a complete break with the paper’s own traditions. Instead of dropping its standards, the Times should bend over backwards to enforce them, even while acknowledging that Trump is a rare breed. That’s the whole point of standards — they are designed to guide decisions not just in easy cases, but in all cases, to preserve trust.
The Times, of course, is not alone in becoming unhinged over Trump, but that’s also the point. It used to be unique because of its adherence to fairness.
Now its only standard is a double standard, one that it proudly confesses. Shame would be more appropriate.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
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