Weekly Round-Up

Your brain is more responsive to your friends than to strangers

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have described for the first time how the brain’s memory center repairs itself following severe trauma – a process that may explain why it is harder to bounce back after multiple head injuries.

People with autism use their brains differently from other people, which may explain why some have extraordinary abilities to remember and draw objects in detail, according to new research from the University of Montreal.

Five more genes which increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, according to research published in Nature Genetics. This takes the number of identified genes linked to Alzheimer’s to 10 – the new genes affect three bodily processes and could become targets for treatment. If the effects of all 10 could be eliminated the risk of developing the disease would be cut by 60%, although new treatments could be 15 years away.

The sudden understanding or grasp of a concept is often described as an “Aha” moment and now researchers from New York University are using a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner to study how these moments of insight are captured and stored in our brain.

Mark Changizi is asking the question how do we have reading areas for a brain that didn’t evolve to read?

In order to develop new medications for alcoholism, researchers need to understand how alcohol acts on the brain’s reward system. A previously unknown mechanism has been shown to block the rewarding effects of alcohol on the brain, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Researchers from the University of Valencia (UV)  investigating the brain structures involved with empathy have concluded that the brain circuits responsible are in part the same as those involved with violence.

And finally…your brain is more responsive to your friends than to strangers, even if those strangers have more in common with you, says a new study. Researchers looked at the brain areas associated with social information. The results of the study show that social connections override similar interests.


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