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Why Sleep Deprivation Eases Depression. Sleep deprivation is a quick and efficient way to treat depression.

Why Sleep Deprivation Eases Depression

It works 60 to 70 percent of the time—far better than existing drugs—but the mood boost usually lasts only until the patient falls asleep. As an ongoing treatment, sleep deprivation is impractical, but researchers have been studying the phenomenon in an effort to uncover the cellular mechanisms behind depression and remission. Now a team at Tufts University has pinpointed glia as the key players. The researchers previously found that astrocytes, a star-shaped type of glial cell, regulate the brain chemicals involved in sleepiness. Virtues of Cognitive Workout: New Research Reveals Neurological Underpinnings of Intelligence. How much does environment influence intelligence?

Virtues of Cognitive Workout: New Research Reveals Neurological Underpinnings of Intelligence

Several years ago University of Virginia Professor Eric Turkheimer demonstrated that growing up in an impoverished and chaotic household suppresses I.Q. – without nurture, innate advantages vanish. What about genes? They matter too. After decades of research most psychologists agree that somewhere between 50% and 80% of intelligence is genetic. After all, numerous studies demonstrate that identical twins raised apart have remarkably similar I.Q.’s. A 2008 paper out of the University of Michigan turned all of this on its head.

This brings me to a brand new paper recently published in the journal Neuroscience by DRDC Toronto researcher and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto-Scarborough, Oshin Vartanian. To answer these questions Vartanian and his team gathered 34 participants and assigned each of them to either an experimental or control group. Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ. Emotional smarts and general intelligence may be more closely linked than previously thought, new research suggests.

Emotional Smarts Tied to General IQ

In a group of Vietnam veterans, IQ test results and emotional intelligence, or the ability to perceive, understand and deal with emotion in oneself or in others, were linked. And in brain scans, the same regions of the brain seemed to perform both emotional and cognitive tasks, the study found. The findings were published in the journal Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience. "Intelligence, to a large extent, does depend on basic cognitive abilities, like attention and perception and memory and language," said study coauthor Aron Barbey, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, in a statement.

Reminiscence bump explanations: Why we remember young adulthood better than any other age. YanLev/iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

Reminiscence bump explanations: Why we remember young adulthood better than any other age

Twentysomethings are having a moment. They’re inspiring self-help guides (see Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How To Make the Most of Them Now), hit television shows, Tumblrs-turned-handbooks, and lyrical New Yorker think pieces. What is it about twentysomethings? Robin Henig asked in the New York Times Magazine not too long ago. In part, she was talking about the current crop of young adults. New Finding Calls Into Question Assumptions About Sexuality. —Paul Stokes, MD, PhD Almost weekly, research reveals the tremendous neuroplasticity of the human brain . Eye-Opener: Why Do Pupils Dilate in Response to Emotional States? Scientists use pupil size measurements to study a wide range of psychological processes.Image: Joss Fong What do an orgasm, a multiplication problem and a photo of a dead body have in common?

Eye-Opener: Why Do Pupils Dilate in Response to Emotional States?

The Damaging Impact of Abuse on Brain Development. Some 30,000 neuroscientists have converged on the New Orleans convention center, a stone's throw from the French Quarter and overlooking the Mississippi river as it flows into the Gulf.

The Damaging Impact of Abuse on Brain Development

Just as the river always flows downstream, science flows forward toward new understanding and nowhere is it more evident than here. I'm at the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference, which starts today and ends Wednesday. Common Parasite Linked to Personality Changes. Feeling sociable or reckless?

Common Parasite Linked to Personality Changes

You might have toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the microscopic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which the CDC estimates has infected about 22.5 percent of Americans older than 12 years old. Researchers tested participants for T. gondii infection and had them complete a personality questionnaire. They found that both men and women infected with T. gondii were more extroverted and less conscientious than the infection-free participants.

These changes are thought to result from the parasite's influence on brain chemicals, the scientists write in the May/June issue of the European Journal of Personality. This is Scary: Scientists find a way to erase frightening memories. How to Learn in Your Sleep. Switch Your Brain Into Sleep Mode: On Demand. Myths About Sleep Myth One—Missing sleep is okay. Myth Two—Your financial, work or relationship problems keep you from sleeping. Myth Three—You can't influence your brain . Reality About Sleep. Memory in the Brain [Interactive] Although most people think of memory as a vault for storing information, it is more like a seamstress who stitches together logical threads into scenes that make sense.

Memory in the Brain [Interactive]

In this view, a good memory is therefore not one that holds lots of data but that can deftly separate what is useful from what could distract or upset you. Getting rid of what is not necessary—forgetting—is thus an important part of memory and of thought. It is also critical to emotional wellbeing. Revisiting bad memories is hardly a formula for happiness, after all. (For more on memory and forgetting, see Scientific American Mind’s special report on memory in January/February 2012.) To learn more about memory and the power of forgetting, see the January 2012 Scientific American Mind. Brain's Drain: Neuroscientists Discover Cranial Cleansing System. The brain can be a messy place.

Brain's Drain: Neuroscientists Discover Cranial Cleansing System

Thankfully, it has good plumbing: Scientists have just discovered a cleansing river inside the brain, a fluid stream that might be enlisted to flush away the buildup of proteins associated with Alzheimer's, Huntington's and other neurodegenerative disorders. The researchers, based at the University of Rochester (U.R.), University of Oslo and Stony Brook University, describe this new system in the journal Science Translational Medicine today.

The study adds to the evidence that the star-shaped cells called astrocytes play a leading role in keeping the nervous system in good working order. In most of the body, a network of vessels carry lymph, a fluid that removes excess plasma, dead blood cells, debris and other waste. Is Your Mind Separate From Your Body? Premise #1: “The mind is in the body.” I teach a lot of courses and workshops on mind-body science, and Premise #1 is how I start all of them. It's a basic assumption of modern psychology, especially for those who study the brain . I define mind as the experience a person has of him or herself—thoughts, emotions, memories , desires, beliefs, sensations, even consciousness itself. And I believe that science can best locate these experiences in the body. Not just in the brain, where we first look for the biological basis of the mind, but distributed throughout the body.

First map of the human brain reveals a simple, grid-like structure between neurons. In an astonishing new study, scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have imaged human and monkey brains and found… well, the image above says it all.

First map of the human brain reveals a simple, grid-like structure between neurons

What Multitasking Does To Our Brains. I can definitely understand how focusing on one task at a time allows you to be more productive. However, I also believe that you can benefit from taking a break after ~an hour of working on something, and then doing something else. Easter Island drug improves learning and memory in mice of all ages. PsycNET - Display Record. Bad Memories Can Be Erased in Potential Breakthrough for Treating Depression and PTSD. People can be trained to forget specific details associated with bad memories, according to breakthrough findings that may usher the way for the development of new depression and post-traumatic stress disorder therapies. New study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, reveals that individuals can be taught to forget personal feelings associated with an emotional memory without erasing the memory of the actual event.

Researchers found that individuals were still able to accurately recall the cause of the event even after they've been trained to forget the consequences and personal meaning associated with the memory. "The ability to remember and interpret emotional events from our personal past forms the basic foundation of who we are as individuals," lead researcher Dr. Your Optimism Bias: One of the Best and Worst Tricks Your Brain Plays on You. Regular Exercise Leads to a Healthier, Smarter Brain. The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever. How to Train Your Brain and Boost Your Memory Like a USA Memory Champion.

Hack Your Brain to Use Cravings To Your Advantage. The myth of the eight-hour sleep. Prune bad brain wiring with magnetic pulses - health - 18 February 2012. ZAPPING the brain with a weak magnetic pulse can wipe out unwanted neural connections in mice at least. The discovery could be turned into a treatment for conditions associated with abnormal neural circuitry, such as schizophrenia.

In transcranial magnetic stimulation a magnetic coil induces electric currents in the brain that can strengthen or suppress neural connections. This technique has been shown to improve symptoms in people with brain disorders such as autism and depression. The Brain: Our Strange, Important, Subconscious Light Detectors. Study Before Bed for Significantly Better Retention. Mapping Human Consciousness. MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons.

Update 12/2/15: We’ve now followed up on this story: The more we learn about memory, the weirder it gets. The original continues below. MIT researchers have shown, for the first time ever, that memories are stored in specific brain cells. By triggering a small cluster of neurons, the researchers were able to force the subject to recall a specific memory. By removing these neurons, the subject would lose that memory. Train Your Brain for Monk-Like Focus.