Weekly Round-Up


Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind

Would you take a pill to erase bad memories?


New Year is traditionally a time for many people to make a resolution to give up smoking. The smoking cessation medications bupropion and varenicline may both be associated with changes in the way the brain reacts to smoking cues, making it easier for patients to resist cravings, according to two reports posted online that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

If you are a parent of a teen going through puberty you will know all about the hormonal changes they go through.  Now, a Georgia State University scientist has found that those hormones in males may be key to changes in a part of the brain responsible for social behaviors.

It will take some time for those teen brains to develop fully though, as we know now from new research that the brain continues to develop after childhood and puberty, and is not fully developed until people are well into their 30s and 40s. The findings contradict current theories that the brain matures much earlier.

And still on the subject of teenagers, PBS science correspondent, Miles O’Brien looks at what could be happening to teenage brains as they develop in a rapid-fire world of technology and gadgets.

Finally, if you have ever watched the 2004 movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you will have seen the fictional characters played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet use a technique to erase memories of each other when their relationship turns sour. It will have seemed an unreal expectation that we could erase memories so easily, but new research on “erasing” traumatic memories is quickly moving from the realm of science fiction to scientifically backed reality.

Introducing a new feature today – a weekly round-up of the best of the neuroscience news and views and latest research which has caught my attention.