Why Do We Finish Other People's Sentences?
Mike Geiger, graduate student in horticulture/University of Wisconsin-Madison
Photos that capture the inner workings of a rat brain, an oyster toadfish and crystalline “flowers” of cobalt pyrite were among the winners of the University of Wisconsin-Madison'sCool Science Image contest
, announced today. Above,
, also known as borage and starflower, can be grown as an annual herb. Gardeners will often grow Borage because its bright flowers attract bees, who can help with pollinating the rest of the garden.PHOTOS: Carnivore Plant Tops BioScapes Contest
Matthew S. Faber, Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry/University of Wisconsin-Madison
This image -- captured with a scanning electron microscope-- shows cobalt pyrite, a metallically conducting material. False color was added to highlight the natural beauty of these flower-like structures.VIDEO: How Can Something Be A Plant And An Animal?
Amy V. Uhrin, Graduate Student, Department of Zoology/University of Wisconsin-Madison
The sound-producing muscles of the oyster toadfish,
, are the fastest known twitching vertebrate muscles at 200 times per second and are used by males to produce a foghorn-like sound to attract females.PHOTOS: Stunning Underwater World Captured
Ricardo Kriebel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Botany/University of Wisconsin-Madison
The picture depicts a flower of
, a shrubby member of the family
and known only from cloud forests of Costa Rica.PHOTOS: 2013 Top 20 Earth Images Contest
Justin Jeffery, Instrumentation Specialist, UW Carbone Cancer Center; Ben Cox, Graduate Student, Medical Physics; Greg Gion, Anaplastologist, Medical Art Prosthetics/University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Brian Jenkins, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry/University of Wisconsin-Madison
This image shows a piece of rat brain cortex cultured in a petri dish.PHOTOS: Rate The Subway Rat
Angie Derr, Intern, Newcomb Imaging Center, Department of Botany/University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moss capsules are where spore production takes place. The teeth-like structures in the center (the peristome) control the release of the spores.PHOTOS: Life in a Drop of Water
Audrey Forticaux, Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry/University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Thomas Ellingham and Max R. Salick/University of Wisconsin-Madison
This image shows cellulose nano-fibers marked with a fluorescent stain. When dried, the fibers produce fascinating geometric, crystallized patterns. This image resembles a surreal, microscopic city skyline.PHOTOS: It's a Small, Small World
If you complete your partner's sentences, or answer your BFF's questions before she asks them, you're not alone. In fact, new research shows that our brains are almost constantly predicting what other people are going to say.
And, when someone successfully anticipates someone else's words, their brains seem to be in sync, the researchers note in their study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.
When you think you know what someone is going to say, your brain may signal the auditory cortex to expect certain sound patterns. What's more surprising, though, is that the speaker's brain is going through a similar function: If the speaker knows what she is saying is predictable, her brain activity lines up with the listener's.
The conclusions are based on brain responses from people who viewed images, some of which were easy to describe in only one way — such as a penguin hugging a star — and some of which could be described in multiple ways — a guitar stirring a bicycle tire in a pot of boiling water.
“In addition to facilitating rapid and accurate processing of the world around us, the predictive power of our brains might play an important role in human communication," said Suzanne Dikker, study author and a post-doctoral researcher in New York University's Department of Psychology and Utrecht University.
“During conversation, we adapt our speech rate and word choices to each other — for example, when explaining science to a child as opposed to a fellow scientist — and these processes are governed by our brains, which correspondingly align to each other."