Different brain areas are activated when we choose to suppress an emotion, compared to when we are instructed to inhibit an emotion, according to a new study.
Researchers say signs of psychopathy could be detected as early as childhood. The conclusion was drawn from a study where psychologists scanned the brains of children with conduct problems. When the children were shown images of someone in pain, regions of the brain associated with empathy remained inactive.
Using MRI, neuroscientists have found significant differences in brain anatomy when comparing men and women with dyslexia to their non-dyslexic control groups, suggesting that the disorder may have a different brain-based manifestation based on sex.
Research into the comparative size of the frontal lobes in humans and other species has determined that they are not – as previously thought – disproportionately enlarged relative to other areas of the brain, according to the most accurate and conclusive study of this area of the brain. It concludes that the size of our frontal lobes cannot solely account for humans’ superior cognitive abilities.
When the brain’s primary “learning center” is damaged, complex new neural circuits arise to compensate for the lost function, say researchers who have pinpointed the regions of the brain involved in creating those alternate pathways — often far from the damaged site.
Your brain often works on autopilot when it comes to grammar. That theory has been around for years, but University of Oregon neuroscientists have captured elusive hard evidence that people indeed detect and process grammatical errors with no awareness of doing so.
Image Credit: © Tryfonov / Fotolia
Getting a grip—literally— by clenching your right fist before remembering information and your left when you want to remember it can boost your recall, according to the latest study. This strange trick may work because clenching your hands activates the side of the brain that handles the function— in right-handed people, for instance, the left side of the brain is primarily responsible for encoding information and the right for recalling memory. (If you are left-handed, the opposite applies).
Mathematicians from Queen Mary, University of London will bring researchers one-step closer to understanding how the structure of the brain relates to its function in two recently published studies.
Greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeD) is associated with a lower likelihood of incident cognitive impairment (ICI), especially among those without diabetes, according to a study published in the April 30 issue of Neurology.
The widespread belief that dopamine regulates pleasure could go down in history with the latest research results on the role of this neurotransmitter. Researchers have proved that it regulates motivation, causing individuals to initiate and persevere to obtain something either positive or negative.
Supposedly ‘primitive’ reflexes may involve more sophisticated brain function than previously thought, according to researchers at Imperial College London.
The production of a certain kind of brain cell that had been considered an impediment to healing may actually be needed to staunch bleeding and promote repair after a stroke or head trauma, researchers at Duke Medicine report.
For any addiction, external cues and stress can trigger cravings that are hard to resist, and the latest research points to an area of the brain that might be responsible for sabotaging recovery.
A new tablet-based test is able to detect whether or not someone has sustained a concussion by analyzing their voice.
An international team of neuroscientists has described for the first time in exhaustive detail the underlying neurobiology of an amnesiac who suffered from profound memory loss after damage to key portions of his brain.
A fitness device created by Glasgow academics and designers helps stroke patients during their long road to recovery.
For anyone who has been affected by depression it is no secret how devastating the disease can be for them and their families. But if the results from a small study published by a group at Germany’s Bonn University Hospital hold up, there could be a radical transformation in the treatment of depression.
An excess of the brain neurotransmitter glutamate may cause a transition to psychosis in people who are at risk for schizophrenia, reports a study from investigators at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) published in the current issue of Neuron.
New research finds that prisoners who are psychopaths lack the basic neurophysiological “hardwiring” that enables them to care for others.
The area of the brain that’s activated when people look at numerals such as “7″ and “60″ has been pinpointed by researchers. This spot is only about one-fifth of an inch across and consists of 1 million to 2 million nerve cells in the inferior temporal gyrus, the researchers said. The inferior temporal gyrus is known to be involved in the processing of visual information.
And finally this week, habitual liars’ brains differ from those of honest people, a study says. A University of Southern California team studied 49 people and found those known to be pathological liars had up to 26% more white matter than others
The researchers monitored brain activity while playing volunteers new music
Listening to new music is rewarding for the brain, a study suggests. Using MRI scans, a Canadian team of scientists found that areas in the reward centre of the brain became active when people heard a song for the first time. The more the listener enjoyed what they were hearing, the stronger the connections were in the region of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. The study is published in the journal Science.
Meanwhile, an imaging study by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists reveals that the brains of different people listening to the same piece of music actually respond in the same way - which may in part explain why music plays such a big role in our social existence.
Researchers have identified an important therapeutic target for alleviating the symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
In a study published in the online version of Neurobiology of Disease, the team both confirmed the importance of this new target as well as a series of compounds that can be used to attenuate the dysregulation of one of the important cellular processes that lead to neuronal dysfunction and ultimately to brain cell death.
Neuroscientists have developed a method of analyzing brain activity to detect autism in children. Their findings appear in the online journal PLOS ONE.
Slow oscillations in brain activity, which occur during so-called slow-wave sleep, are critical for retaining memories. Researchers reporting online in the Cell Press journal Neuron have found that playing sounds synchronized to the rhythm of the slow brain oscillations of people who are sleeping enhances these oscillations and boosts their memory. This demonstrates an easy and noninvasive way to influence human brain activity to improve sleep and enhance memory.
I was recently interviewed for an Irish Times article on how learning to fail gracefully, and putting failure in perspective, is a vital trait for any successful entrepreneur. Below is an abridged version of the article, which can be read in full here.
“Failure is part of learning,” explains Billy O’Connor, professor of physiology at University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School and author of neuropsychological blog Inside-the-brain.com.Society holds up the idea of success as being the goal in everything. This leads certain people into a mindset where they think that success should be all or nothing when, actually, the real way to engage with work is to concentrate on the effort and let the reward take care of itself. People are too consumed by rewards. Therefore they are distracted from the task at hand. You have to immunise yourself from feeling swamped by failure and in order to do this you must train.
O’Connor is an advocate of bestselling positive psychology book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin EP Seligman.
In it Seligman argues that while optimism is essential in life, most people are more prone to pessimism. So you have to learn to be more optimistic. It doesn’t necessarily come naturally. “Naivety is a different thing and the two should not be confused,” stresses O’Connor.
“According to Seligman’s hypothesis there are four things you must do in order to protect yourself from being swamped by failure. Firstly, you must perceive what’s actually happening.”
In other words, you must try to perceive reality accurately and all the external factors affecting your life and choices. “Secondly, you must have a compelling goal, something that drives you forward,” he says. “Thirdly you must try to think positively at all times and lastly, never give up.”
While these goals may sound obvious and not particularly insightful, learned optimism and thinking positively involves overcoming some very natural inclinations.
“Defeat cannot be seen as permanent or in any way a reflection on you as a person,” says O’Connor. “Most problems we have are temporary and external. But too often failure is taken personally. So you must develop these skills and learn to be optimistic.”
Many of us wish for it to be true that the most successful in business are major risk takers who sit on the 50th floor in their office smoking cigars and admiring their collection of cowboy hats. It’s rarely the case. “The most successful people in this world are the ones running on plan B,” says O’Connor. Good entrepreneurs are very careful. Sure they take gambles, but only of the calculated kind.
Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) are developing SimSensei, a Kinect-driven avatar system capable of tracking and analyzing telltale signs of psychological distress. The avatar psychologist uses facial recognition technology and a depth-sensing camera to read a person’s facial movements, body movements, posture, linguistic patterns and acoustics to screen for depression.
A new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique may provide neurosurgeons with a non-invasive tool to help in mapping critical areas of the brain before surgery, reports a study in the April issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
For the first time, scientists have been able to predict how much pain people are feeling by looking at images of their brains, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.The findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, may lead to the development of reliable methods doctors can use to objectively quantify a patient’s pain
New research has shown that the way our minds react to and process emotions such as fear can vary according to what is happening in other parts of our bodies.
UCLA researchers have used a brain-imaging tool and stroke risk assessment to identify signs of cognitive decline early on in individuals who don’t yet show symptoms of dementia.
People with mental illnesses are more than seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly compared to people without a mental illness, according to researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who studied U.S. data.
Yesterday I shared a video from Moritz Helmstaedter a neuroscientist who has pioneered crowd sourcing for connectomics, engaging more than a hundred students to work together to analyze the immense amounts of data. In today’s video recorded at #TEDxNijmegen, Amy Robinson, a research affiliate in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences explains that it takes a neuroscientist around 50 hours to map one cell, one neuron. And there are more than 80 billion neurons in one human brain. To complete the map of our brain MIT are looking for help to accelerate this process by contributing to the EyeWire project. Watch the video which demonstrates how you can play the game.
The brain is a very complicated thing. You can however help us to fasten up the process of understanding as a non-scientist by joining EyeWire.” EyeWire is a game to map neural networks. Anyone can play, and you don’t need a scientific background ~ Amy Robinson
Moritz Helmstaedter is a neuroscientist dedicated to mapping connectomes – the complex networks of nerve cells in the brain. Moritz has pioneered crowd sourcing for connectomics, engaging more than a hundred students to work together to analyze the immense amounts of data. In the future he hopes to motivate thousands of curious minds to collaborate online on the task of reconstructing the powerful and fascinating neuronal networks of the brain.