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Says new study in Biological Psychiatry Philadelphia, PA, March 26, 2013 Like it or not and despite the surrounding debate of its merits, 3-D is the technology du jour for movie-making in Hollywood. It now turns out that even our brains use 3 dimensions to communicate emotions.
Depression strikes a huge number of Americans at one time or another of their lives -- and studies show that genes are involved in susceptibility to this awful “Black Dog,” as Winston Churchill used to term his struggle with the mood disorder. But what are the genes involved? A study in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry implicates one.
May 6, 2011 — Computer networks that can't forget fast enough can show symptoms of a kind of virtual schizophrenia, giving researchers further clues to the inner workings of schizophrenic brains, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Yale University have found. The researchers used a virtual computer model, or "neural network," to simulate the excessive release of dopamine in the brain. They found that the network recalled memories in a distinctly schizophrenic-like fashion. Their results were published in April in Biological Psychiatry. "The hypothesis is that dopamine encodes the importance-the salience-of experience," says Uli Grasemann, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin. "When there's too much dopamine, it leads to exaggerated salience, and the brain ends up learning from things that it shouldn't be learning from."
If you think you can function on minimal sleep, here's a wake-up call: Parts of your brain may doze off even if you're totally awake, according to a new study in rats. Scientists observed the electrical activity of brains in rats forced to stay up longer than usual. Problem-solving brain regions fell into a kind of "local sleep"—a condition likely in sleep-deprived humans too, the study authors say.
Feb 25, Medicine & Health/Medical research New research reveals a sophisticated brain mechanism that is critical for filtering out irrelevant signals during demanding cognitive tasks. The study, published by Cell Press in the February 26 issue of the journal Neuron , also provides some insight into how disruption of key inhibitory pathways may contribute to schizophrenia. "The ability to keep track of information and one's actions from moment to moment is necessary to accomplish even the simple tasks of everyday life," explains senior study author, Dr. Helen Barbas from Boston University and School of Medicine.
Like his body, a man's skull and its features are generally larger than a woman's. An analysis of Spanish skulls spanning approximately 300 years showed, however, that the difference between the sexes' cranial features shrank over time. This conclusion is based on examinations of more than 200 crania — the part of the skull that holds the brain — contained in two collections, one amassed during the 19th century by a doctor, and one from an excavated cemetery dating back to the 16th through 17th centuries. While both sexes' crania got bigger, women's grew more, decreasing the gender gap, the researchers found. There are multiple factors that could explain this change, according to lead researcher Ann Ross, an anthropologist at North Carolina State University.
As we get older, our brains get smaller, or at least that's what many scientists believe. But a new study contradicts this assumption, concluding that when older brains are "healthy" there is little brain deterioration, and that only when people experience cognitive decline do their brains show significant signs of shrinking. The results suggest that many previous studies may have overestimated how much our brains shrink as we age , possibly because they failed to exclude people who were starting to develop brain diseases, such as dementia , that would lead to brain decay, or atrophy. "The main issue is that maybe healthy people do not have as much atrophy as we always thought they had," said Saartje Burgmans, the lead author of the study and a PhD candidate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Burgmans and her colleagues wondered what would happen if they were able to screen out all of the people with so-called "preclinical" cognitive diseases.
Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind <p>Much of what we don't understand about being human is simply in our heads. The brain is a befuddling organ, as are the very questions of life and death, consciousness, sleep, and much more. Here's a heads-up on what's known and what's not understood about your noggin.
Music Through the Mind Eduardo Miranda Paralysis patients could play music with their minds , using a new brain-control interface that senses brain impulses and translates them into musical notes. Users must teach themselves how to associate brain signals with specific tasks, causing neuronal activity that the brain scanners can pick up.
Auditory and visual information in the brain can conspire to trick us into seeing things that are not there, according to new research that suggests our senses are more intimately linked than previously suspected. Researchers found that subjects shown a single flash of light sandwiched between two tones in quick succession reported seeing an illusory second light flash. The finding, detailed in the April 12 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience , suggests the brain takes only a matter of milliseconds to combine auditory and visual information , much faster than scientists thought possible. A direct link “Usually, it’s thought that the way different senses talk to each other is they go to a way-station higher up where both senses combine, and then that higher order center sends back information to one sense or the other,” said study team member Jyoti Mishra, a graduate student in the lab of Steven Hillyard at the University of California, San Diego.
Humans can see into the future, says a cognitive scientist. It's nothing like the alleged predictive powers of Nostradamus, but we do get a glimpse of events one-tenth of a second before they occur. And the mechanism behind that can also explain why we are tricked by optical illusions. Researcher Mark Changizi of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York says it starts with a neural lag that most everyone experiences while awake. When light hits your retina, about one-tenth of a second goes by before the brain translates the signal into a visual perception of the world. Scientists already knew about the lag, yet they have debated over exactly how we compensate, with one school of thought proposing our motor system somehow modifies our movements to offset the delay.
Your brain sees and does more than you know, according to a new study that points to the mysterious workings of the unconscious mind. To come to this heady conclusion, scientists had to zap the brains of healthy volunteers (and rather brave ones, we might add) and temporarily shut down the part of the brain that processes visual information. For a fraction of a second, a pulse of energy called transcranial magnetic stimulation shut down each person's visual cortex. That's the part of the brain known to process what we see.
Looking for an explanation for recurring nightmares of leaving the house without your trousers on or losing your teeth? New research suggests you can blame the Earth's magnetic field, rather than a repressed childhood. Darren Lipnicki, a psychologist formerly at the Center for Space Medicine in Berlin, Germany, found a correlation between the bizarreness of his dreams, recorded over eight years, and extremes in local geomagnetic activity. Other studies have tied low geomagnetic activity to increases in the production of the melatonin, a potent hormone that helps set the body's circadian clock. So, based on anecdotal evidence that melatonin supplements used as a sleeping aid can cause off-kilter dreams, Lipnicki wondered whether local magnetic fields could induce the same effects.
Brain Development Methods, Whole Brain Integration, Music and the Brain, Frequencies upon Brain, Subliminals and the Brain, Brain Nutrients, Brain DevelopmentBrain waves are the different frequencies a brain can have. In short, the brain has a lower overall frequency when you are asleep, and a higher overall frequency when you are awake. It has been found that the brain frequency called Alpha is very effective for creative thought and learning. The Alpha state is between the fully alert state and the sleep state. In the Alpha state you are relaxed and inward, more intuitive and creative. The highly alert state of the brain is called Beta.
A 2,500-year-old human skull uncovered in England was less of a surprise than what was in it: the brain. The discovery of the yellowish, crinkly, shrunken brain prompted questions about how such a fragile organ could have survived so long and how frequently this strange type of preservation occurs. Except for the brain, all of the skull's soft tissue was gone when the skull was pulled from a muddy Iron Age pit where the University of York was planning to expand its Heslington East campus. [ Britain's Oldest Brain Found ]