Parakeets know how wide their wings are

Authors trained parakeets to go through a gap and then changed the widths to see the what happened. If the gap was narrower than their wingspan the birds would adjust their position when going though the gap. Minding the gap: in-flight body awareness in birds Introduction When birds fly in cluttered environments, they must tailor…

How a Pencil Can Rescue Comparison Deficits

This is really interesting experiment testing the idea of impaired perception. Patients that had difficulty comparing similar objects – presumed to be an impairment in perception – were given the opportunity to draw lines between the two objects. The simple task of connecting the objects erased their comparison deficits. The authors suggest comparison tasks reflect…

Exercise Improves Memory and Cognition

Yet another reason to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, even short-term exercise results in improvements to fitness, memory and cognition. Free from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/abstract Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging Physical exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is documented as providing a low cost regimen to counter well-documented cognitive…

Maternal Depression Predicts Lower Nutrition and Affects Cognition

Maternal depression and poor prenatal diet has a negative impact on cognitive function. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/early/2013/09/27/bjp.bp.113.129486.abstract Prenatal maternal depression symptoms and nutrition, and child cognitive function Background Little is currently known about how maternal depression symptoms and unhealthy nutrition during pregnancy may developmentally interrelate to negatively affect child cognitive function. Aims To test whether prenatal maternal depression symptoms…

Anticholinergics and Cognitive Impairment

Retrospective study finds that the long-term (just 2 months) use of anticholinergics increases the risk of developing cognitive impairment but it did not increase the risk of developing dementia. Alzheimer’s patients may be particularly at risk since the condition often disrupts sleep patterns which are then treated with anticholinergics. What kind of OTC’s contain anticholinergics? Drugs…