Our ability to pay attention to certain things while ignoring distractions determines how good we are at a given task, whether it is driving a car or doing brain surgery. A research team at McGill University has for the first time convincingly identified a network of neurons in a particular area of the brain, the lateral prefrontal cortex, that interact with one another to promptly filter visual information while at the same time ignoring distractions. It’s a discovery with potentially far reaching implications for people who suffer from diseases such as autism, ADHD and schizophrenia.
During the 20th century, urban transportation planning in North America was mainly concerned with easing traffic congestion, improving safety and saving time for motorists. These days, most cities’ transportation plans evoke a more complex blend of environmental, economic, and social-equity goals – all aimed at promoting “sustainability.” Yet, many fail to include meaningful measurements of social-equity objectives, such as helping disadvantaged neighborhoods access essential services, according to researchers at McGill University.
When dams are built they have an impact not only on the flow of water in the river, but also on the people who live downstream and on the surrounding ecosystems. By placing data from close to 6,500 existing large dams on a highly precise map of the world’s rivers, an international team led by McGill University researchers has created a new method to estimate the global impacts of dams on river flow and fragmentation.