Weekly Neuroscience Update

brain

Researchers have pinpointed an area of the brain that serves as an arbitrator between our two decision-making systems, one devoted to habitual behaviors and the other devoted to actions we take only after careful consideration.

Scientists who discovered a gene that links the thickness of the brain’s gray matter to intelligence say their finding might help improve understanding of brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

People who appreciate the beauty of mathematics activate the same part of their brain when they look at aesthetically pleasing formula as others do when appreciating art or music, suggesting that there is a neurobiological basis to beauty.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are looking at ways video game technology can be used to improve or heal the brain.

For the first time, scientists have identified a gene linking the thickness of the grey matter in the brain to intelligence. The study is published today in Molecular Psychiatry and may help scientists understand biological mechanisms behind some forms of intellectual impairment.

People with dyslexia have greater difficulty than others in shifting attention between the senses – from seeing something to hearing something – according to an Oxford University study. The researchers suggest that action video games, where attention is constantly shifting focus, may be able to boost literacy skills – though they have yet to test this. The findings are reported in the journal Current Biology.

A new study published in Social Neuroscience says that the brain has begun processing a typed emoticon with the same signals that previously only accompanied processing a real, emoting human face.

A specific type of neuron in the amygdala performs differently in individuals with autism spectrum disorder than in those without the disorder, according to a new study by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Finally, this Valentine’s weekend, new research reveals that  a region deep inside the brain controls how quickly people make decisions about love.

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