Science Roundup April 23, 2013

Today’s mini-news: The latest advances in brain science and a few lectures of note.

  • Your brain is not totally useless: Researchers using functional magnetic resonance images of the brain have discovered that when you are engaged in a task—say searching for a child in a crowd—you use multiple areas of your brain. If you’re looking for a kid, you’re not just using that portion of your visual cortex that recognizes the child, your brain brings in more resources: the rest of your visual cortex and your prefrontal cortex, which is generally associated with your higher thoughts and conceptual thinking. This means that when you’re focusing on a task, you really are focusing on it.
  • Aspiring techies take note: the I School is hosting a talk called “Thought Leaders in Data Science and Analytics: Big Data Analytics.” But let’s face it, the real reason you’re going is to network with speakers from Google, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, and more. That, and the featured speaker is from venture capital firm Accel Partners. It’s on April 24, 2–4 p.m. in South Hall, room 202.
  • Renewable fuels and chemicals: How can you not want to go to a talk called “Algae Under Pressure and in Hot Water” that also notes that “refreshments will be served”? Take note: the talk is April 24, 4–6 p.m. in Tan Hall, room 180. The refreshments are on the same day, but at 3:30 in Gilman Hall, room 101. No word on whether they’re algae based.

—Brendan Buhler  

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