Strong Heart. Strong Brain.

Taking care of your heart may confer benefits for the brain well beyond stroke prevention. Findings from a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggest that individuals across all demographic groups scoring higher on measures of cardiovascular health show better executive function abilities, processing speed, and memory. The study was the subject of a news profile airing on NPR earlier this month. According to the authors, more studies are needed to assess the value of routine assessment and treatment of these health factors and their impact on vascular cognitive impairment.

Source: Journal of the American Heart Association

Further Reading: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/02/476209760/whats-good-for-the-heart-is-good-for-the-brain

Innovations in Neuroscience

New Study, Interactive Site Reveal How Words are Mapped in the Brain

A new “atlas” offers a visual representation of how words, numbers, and visual properties are arranged in the brain. Using a novel Bayesian generative model to map a tile of the human cerebral cortex, scientists from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkley have shown that semantic information is represented in rich patterns that are distributed across various regions of the cortex, each containing many distinct areas that are selective for particular types of information such as people, numbers, visual properties, or places. Following publication of the findings in the journal Nature, the scientists also created an interactive website that allows you to navigate the atlas.

Source: Nature

Further Reading: http://gallantlab.org/