BrainsCAN supports research and researchers with internally and externally funded projects. It aims to promote curiosity-driven research and high-impact projects in the area of cognitive neuroscience.
These Research Summaries describe research projects that received support from BrainsCAN, the findings that resulted in each case and what might happen next.
Visit the BrainsCAN website for additional information.
BrainsCAN, Western University; Björn Herrmann; Burkhard Maess; and Ingrid S. Johnsrude
Aging and hearing loss leads to increased neural responses to sounds in the auditory cortex compared to younger people. Enhanced neural activity to sound may be a physiological mechanism underlying the difficulty that older adults have with ignoring irrelevant sound information.
BrainsCAN, Western University; Emma Holmes; Ysabel Domingo; and Ingrid Johnsrude
This research has demonstrated that it’s easier to understand someone who is familiar to us (compared to someone unfamiliar) even if we can’t recognize them from their voice. As listeners, we focus on certain parts of speech sounds for specific purposes. For example, there may be some situations in which you can understand words spoken by your mother very well, better than you could understand a stranger in the same situation, even if you can’t tell that it’s your mother speaking.
BrainsCAN, Western University; Cassandra J. Lowe; Amy C. Reichelt; and Peter A. Hall
The level of activity within an individual’s prefrontal cortex seems to be critical to dietary self-control and the likelihood of overconsumption and obesity. Lower activity can make individuals more vulnerable to the appeal of calorie-rich foods. Sustained overconsumption and obesity can cause changes in the prefrontal cortex that further discourage dietary self-regulation, creating a reciprocal relationship that reinforces the poor dietary choices and encourages overconsumption.
BrainsCAN, Western University; Kathryn Y. Manning; Amy Schranz; Robert Bartha; Gregory A. Dekaban; Christy Barreira; Arthur Brown; Lisa Fischer; Kevin Asem; Timothy J. Doherty; Douglas D. Fraser; Jeff Holmes; and Ravi S. Menon
Changes continue to occur in a concussed brain even after standard clinical tests have returned to normal. Damage in the very long fibre tracks in the brain of concussed players can be detected up to three months after the concussion and after the individuals have been approved for return to athletics. It is also possible to detect ‘hyper-connectivity’ in the brain, suggesting the brain is still trying to compensate for the concussion.
BrainsCAN, Western University; Nicola J. Popp; Atsushi Yokoi; Paul Gribble; and Jörn Diedrichsen
Learning new motor skills can involve adopting motor habits that could help or hinder overall performance outcomes. Which habit(s) a participant adopt(s) can be induced early on through instruction. These motor habits can be rigid and persistent during motor skill training and practice but it is also possible to influence or change motor habits through training.