Since they are so tiny, it is difficult to investigate single nanoparticles. However, this is exactly what researchers are aiming for in order to tailor their properties. A novel approach: particle at the stick. Nanoparticles can be used in many ways as catalysts. To be able to tailor them ... more
What the brains of people with excellent general knowledge look like
With diffusion tensor imaging, the researchers can visualise the pathways of nerve fibres.
What is the capital city of Tajikistan? When did Einstein create his famous theory of relativity? And when did Goethe die? Some people seem to have an answer to every general knowledge question. Why?
The brains of people with excellent general knowledge are particularly efficiently wired. This was shown by neuroscientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin using magnetic resonance imaging. “Although we can precisely measure the general knowledge of people and this wealth of knowledge is very important for an individual’s journey through life, we currently know little about the links between general knowledge and the characteristics of the brain,” says Dr. Erhan Genç from the Department of Biopsychology in Bochum.
Brain images and knowledge test
The researchers examined the brains of 324 men and women with a special form of magnetic resonance imaging called diffusion tensor imaging. This makes it possible to reconstruct the pathways of nerve fibres and thus gain an insight into the structural network properties of the brain. By means of mathematical algorithms, the researchers assigned an individual value to the brain of each participant, which reflected the efficiency of his or her structural fibre network.
The participants also completed a general knowledge test called the Bochum Knowledge Test, which was developed in Bochum by Dr. Rüdiger Hossiep. It is comprised of over 300 questions from various fields of knowledge such as art and architecture or biology and chemistry. The team led by Erhan Genç finally investigated whether the efficiency of structural networking is associated with the amount of general knowledge stored.
The result: People with a very efficient fibre network had more general knowledge than those with less efficient structural networking.
Linking pieces of information
“We assume that individual units of knowledge are dispersed throughout the entire brain in the form of pieces of information,” explains Erhan Genç. “Efficient networking of the brain is essential in order to put together the information stored in various areas of the brain and successfully recall knowledge content.”
An example: To answer the question of which constants occur in Einstein’s theory of relativity, you have to connect the meaning of the term “constant” with knowledge of the theory of relativity. “We assume that more efficient networking of the brain contributes to better integration of pieces of information and thus leads to better results in a general knowledge test,” says the Bochum-based researcher.
- magnetic resonance imaging
- MRI Diffusion Tenso…
Thanks to their antibacterial properties, the particles are used in many products. Their effect on the environment is largely unexplored. This is mainly due to the lack of suitable analytical methods. Researchers from the Resolv Cluster of Excellence at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have develope ... more
Photosynthetic complex I is a key element in photosynthetic electron transport, but little has been known about it so far. An international team of researchers has solved the structure and elucidated the function of photosynthetic complex I. This membrane protein complex plays a major role ... more
- 1Eye scan makes diseases visible at an early stage
- 2Biomarkers indicate health in old age
- 3PerkinElmer Announces Leadership Succession Plan
- 4First high-speed hard X-ray microscopic movies at a free-electron laser
- 5Tomoscopy: new imaging method
- 6How do atoms vibrate in graphene nanostructures?
- 7Google Maps for tissues
- 8Retina-on-a-chip provides powerful tool for studying eye disease
- 9David Alsteens Receives 2019 Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for Analytical Science
- 10FLAM-seq: the full picture of messenger RNA and their tails
- Machine learning improves cancer diagnosis
- Innovative method provides unique insights into the structure of cells and tissues
- Eye scan makes diseases visible at an early stage
- Nanoparticles in lithium-sulphur batteries detected with neutron experiment
- 'Resonance' raman spectroscopy with 1-nm resolution