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Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Seeds of the Future
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Clone Wars
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Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
A Diamond Polish for Ancient Tools
Cooking Up Superhard Diamonds
Computers
Play for Science
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Life under Ice
What is groundwater
The Rise of Yellowstone
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The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Little Bits of Trouble
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
Finding the Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
Ancient Cave Behavior
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Fish
Saltwater Fish
Hagfish
Electric Eel
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The Color of Health
Sponges' secret weapon
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Subject and Verb Agreement
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
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Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Math of the World
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Human Body
Cell Phone Tattlers
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Gut Germs to the Rescue
Invertebrates
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Gray Whale
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Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Dreams of Floating in Space
Plants
Getting the dirt on carbon
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Sweet, Sticky Science
Reptiles
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Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
Cousin Earth
Icy Red Planet
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
Technology and Engineering
Weaving with Light
A Satellite of Your Own
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
What is a Verb?
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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Music in the Brain

Music inspires many people, including scientists. For instance, two researchers recently looked at the brains of jazz musicians. They were interested in what happened when musical performers spontaneously invent musical passages. Making up music is known as improvisation. It's quite different from performing the notes written on a page, which is what most non-jazz performers do. Six professional jazz pianists agreed to have their heads scanned by a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Md. The musicians laid inside a large, tube-shaped machine called a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) device. The machine records blood flow. So when someone inside of it does or thinks about something, scientists can see which parts of the brain are working hardest. Inside the fMRI device, the musicians propped a plastic piano keyboard on their laps. In one exercise, they played the notes of a scale in order. Then, they used the same notes to improvise a song. In another exercise, the musicians memorized a jazz composition and then played it while lying in the fMRI device. As they played, they listened to a recording of other instruments playing the accompanying parts. Then, the musicians improvised while listening to the same background music. Results from both exercises showed that the brain behaved in a particular way during improvisation. There was extra activity in a part of the brain that has been linked with the ability to tell a story about yourself. At the same time, there was less activity in the part of the brain that has been linked to planning and controlling behavior. Both parts are located near the front of the brain. "What we think is happening is that when you're telling your own musical story, you're shutting down [brain cell] impulses that might impede the flow of novel ideas," says Charles J. Limb, one of the researchers. He is a trained jazz saxophonist himself. Improvisation is an important skill in creative pursuits. So next, the researchers plan to look for similar activity in the brains of poets, painters, and other artists.—Emily Sohn

Music in the Brain
Music in the Brain








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