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Dopamine. Dopamine (contracted from 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is a hormone (also known as Prolactin Inhibiting Hormone/Factor - PIH or PIF) and neurotransmitter of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families that plays a number of important roles in the human brain and body.


Its name derives from its chemical structure: it is an amine that is formed by removing a carboxyl group from a molecule of L-DOPA. In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine systems are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of several other important hormones. A variety of important drugs work by altering the way the body makes or uses dopamine. Amygdala: threat asessment and learning.

Human brain in the coronal orientation.

Amygdala: threat asessment and learning

Amygdalae are shown in dark red. Structure[edit] Oxytocin: the "love hormone". Oxytocin (/ˌɒksɨˈtoʊsɪn/; Oxt) is a mammalian neurohypophysial hormone.

Oxytocin: the "love hormone"

Produced by the hypothalamus and stored and secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, oxytocin acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain. High-fat diet prompts immune cells to start eating connections between neurons. When a high-fat diet causes us to become obese, it also appears to prompt normally bustling immune cells in our brain to become sedentary and start consuming the connections between our neurons, scientists say.

High-fat diet prompts immune cells to start eating connections between neurons

The good news is going back on a low-fat diet for just two months, at least in mice, reverses this trend of shrinking cognitive ability as weight begins to normalize, said Dr. The structural neural substrate of subjective happiness : Scientific Reports. Short winter days trigger aggression hormones differently based on sex: Territorial hamsters reveal biological mechanism behind the difference in male versus female aggression.

Indiana University researchers have discovered a hormonal mechanism in hamsters that connects short winter days with increased aggression in females, and that it differs from the mechanism that controls this same response in males.

Short winter days trigger aggression hormones differently based on sex: Territorial hamsters reveal biological mechanism behind the difference in male versus female aggression

The work, which advances basic knowledge on the connection between certain sex hormones and aggression, could go on to advance research on the treatment of inappropriate aggression in humans. The study appears online Nov. 18 in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy B. The research is a collaboration between the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology and Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "This study reveals a ripe area for research," said Nikki Rendon, a Ph.D. student in biology and lead author on the study. Other IU authors were Gregory Demas, professor of biology, and Dale Sengelaub, professor of psychological and brain sciences. Babies have logical reasoning before age one: Deductive problem solving was previously thought to be beyond the reach of infants.

Human infants are capable of deductive problem solving as early as 10 months of age, a new study by psychologists at Emory University and Bucknell finds.

Babies have logical reasoning before age one: Deductive problem solving was previously thought to be beyond the reach of infants

The journal Developmental Science is publishing the research, showing that babies can make transitive inferences about a social hierarchy of dominance. "We found that within the first year of life, children can engage in this type of logical reasoning, which was previously thought to be beyond their reach until the age of about four or five years," says Stella Lourenco, the Emory University psychologist who led the study. The researchers designed a non-verbal experiment using puppet characters. Bright prospects: Repairing neurons with light. The nervous system is built to last a lifetime, but diverse diseases or environmental insults can overpower the capacity of neurons to maintain function or to repair after trauma.

Bright prospects: Repairing neurons with light

A team led by Dr. Hernán López-Schier, head of the Research Unit Sensory Biology and Organogenesis at Helmholtz Zentrum München, now succeeded in promoting the repair of an injured neural circuit in zebrafish. Key for the researchers' success was the messenger molecule cAMP, which is produced by an enzyme called adenylyl cyclase. For their experiment, the scientist used a special form of this enzyme which is inducible by blue light. Therefore, the scientists are able to specifically modulate the production of cAMP in cells expressing this enzyme by the use of blue light. Quantum Approaches to Consciousness.


Quantum Approaches to Consciousness

Introduction The problem of how mind and matter are related to each other has many facets, and it can be approached from many different starting points. Of course, the historically leading disciplines in this respect are philosophy and psychology, which were later joined by behavioral science, cognitive science and neuroscience. In addition, the physics of complex systems and quantum physics have played stimulating roles in the discussion from their beginnings. As regards the issue of complexity, this is quite evident: the brain is one of the most complex systems we know. The original motivation in the early 20th century for relating quantum theory to consciousness was essentially philosophical. Cell Signaling via Calcium Oscillations.

Large-Scale Calcium Waves Traveling through Astrocytic Networks In Vivo. Nahoko Kuga1, Takuya Sasaki1, Yuji Takahara1, Norio Matsuki1, and Yuji Ikegaya1,2.

Large-Scale Calcium Waves Traveling through Astrocytic Networks In Vivo

Brain Cells that Communicate without Electricity: Calcium Waves in Glia. Glia are brain cells that cannot generate electrical impulses.

Brain Cells that Communicate without Electricity: Calcium Waves in Glia

As a consequence glia were thought to have no function in information processing or transmission. In fact glia were communicating with themselves and with neurons all along, but without using electricity. For a century neuroscientists were deaf to glial communication as they passionately studied neurons, because they were using the wrong tools for the job. Probing the brain with electrodes, the way neuroscientists do to understand neuronal communication, is useless to intercept glial communications. Astrocyte calcium waves: what they are and what they do. BBC Four - Colour: The Spectrum of Science, Beyond the Rainbow, Look at the photo in the clip. Can our brains construct a full colour image from a black and white picture?

It’s Music to Our Eyes: Emotional Reactions to Music Reflected in Pupil Size. When people are listening to music, their emotional reactions to the music are reflected in changes in their pupil size. Taste perception is influenced by extreme noise conditions. Eating is a fundamentally multisensory experience: we don't just eat our food, we also see it, smell it, and hear ourselves chewing it. However, perception of non-food components of the dining experience can also influence flavor perception. For instance, desserts are rated as sweeter if they are presented on a white vs. black plate, and exposure to loud noise reduces affective food ratings. The latter result is particularly relevant to the bad reputation of airline food. Air cabins are unusual environments where food is routinely consumed under extreme noise conditions. In recent work published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Yan and Dando (2015) examined the influence of the extreme noise conditions encountered during flight on the five basic tastes.

The Creative Gifts of ADHD - Beautiful Minds - Scientific American Blog Network. "Just because a diagnosis [of ADHD] can be made does not take away from the great traits we love about Calvin and his imaginary tiger friend, Hobbes. In fact, we actually love Calvin BECAUSE of his ADHD traits. Calvin’s imagination, creativity, energy, lack of attention, and view of the world are the gifts that Mr. Watterson gave to this character. " -- The Dragonfly Forest In his 2004 book "Creativity is Forever", Gary Davis reviewed the creativity literature from 1961 to 2003 and identified 22 reoccurring personality traits of creative people. This included 16 "positive" traits (e.g., independent, risk-taking, high energy, curiosity, humor, artistic, emotional) and 6 "negative" traits (e.g., impulsive, hyperactive, argumentative).

How Changing Our Perception Can Create A Better World. How Changing Our Perception Can Create A Better World. Drinking Alcohol Doesn't Actually Kill Brain Cells. How to Harness Your Brain's Dopamine Supply and Increase Motivation. How Dogs Read Our Moods: Emotion Detector Found In Fido's Brain : Shots - Health News. Scientists Proclaim Animal and Human Consciousness the Same. A remarkable thing happened at The First Annual Francis Crick Memorial Conference held at the University of Cambridge, July 7 in U.K. A group of prominent neuroscientists signed a proclamation declaring human and animal consciousness alike.

Called The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness, it states: We declare the following: The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Where is The Mind?: Science gets puzzled and almost admits a non-local mentalscape. Henry Markram: Supercomputing the brain's secrets. The Neuroscience of the Gut. New study demonstrates key brain region in contextual memories. Stop Thinking Positively. Researchers discover how inhibitory neurons behave during critical periods of learning.

Partnerships in the brain: Mathematical model describes the collaboration of individual neurons. How do neurons in the brain communicate with each other? One common theory suggests that individual cells do not exchange signals among each other, but rather that exchange takes place between groups of cells. Researchers from Japan, the United States and Germany have now developed a mathematical model that can be used to test this assumption. Their results have been published in the current issue of the journal "PLoS Computational Biology. " You're not irrational, you're just quantum probabilistic: Researchers explain human decision-making with physics theory. Controlling brain cells with sound waves. Salk scientists have developed a new way to selectively activate brain, heart, muscle and other cells using ultrasonic waves. Brain Rules by John Medina - Book Review, Summary and Notes. Aging brains allow negative memories to fade. New insight into 'aha' memories.

Researchers find 'lost' memories using light. Medical Xpess - electrical impulses. The Secret Life of the Brain : 3-D Brain Anatomy. Optical Illusions. Why Do Our Voices Sound Different to Us Than to Other People? Scientists find link between clear memories, brain connectivity. Electricity and Human Consciousness.

Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal. Electricity and Human Consciousness. Strange Bacteria Dine on Electricity and Link Up to Form Biowires. Brainwaves. Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes.