BOLD Blog in Brief

The relationship between neuroscience, psychology research and technology is complex and reciprocal. This month, BOLD authors explore how technology expands scientific research and how research informs the ways we develop and use technology.

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In the Emotional Brain Study, Susanne Schweizer and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore are employing citizen science to study the development of emotion regulation over the lifespan of humans. The study engages people from around the world through a free downloadable app that uses games to measure memory, attention, and other cognitive functions necessary for emotion regulation. In this way, technology benefits research, allowing a much larger and more diverse sample than is possible in a lab setting. Read more here

On the other hand, scientists are drawing upon research in developmental psychology to inform the development of artificial intelligence. What psychologists, such as Catherine Hartley, know about children’s intrinsic motivations to learn are critical components for fostering learning in artificial agents. Other features of human cognitive learning — reactivation of experiences during sleep, flexible use of learning strategies, and the ability to monitor and infer the intentions of others — may also improve machine learning. Read more here

Daphne Bavelier, this year’s recipient of the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize, runs the cognitive neuroscience lab at the University of Geneva. Her research into the effects of playing action video games has shown improvements in certain cognitive abilities among regular players. However, Bavelier advocates for a granular look at the effect of screen time on children and youth, and for more education on what a healthy tech diet looks like. Read the interview with Bavelier here


Photo: Andy Kelly, Unsplash

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