October 25, 2020

This One Little Game Will Make You Smarter—But Why?

Brain training is big business, with a multitude of online apps and a huge variety of exercises. It’s also a battleground of hotly contested claims. Studies appear denouncing all brain training as worthless, and these are countered by claims for every conceivable benefit from IQ increase to preventing Alzheimer’s. In the middle of all this […]

September 18, 2020

Use It or Eat It

The sea squirt is much beloved by neuroscientists. It has a brain, but with only 177 neurons—somewhat less than our estimated 100 billion. So it’s possible to make a complete map of its cognitive apparatus. But here’s what’s interesting. The sea squirt starts out looking rather like a tadpole, and it swims around searching for […]