Weekly Neuroscience Update


Brain regions in which the scientists could successfully decode the participants’ perceived self-location from patterns of neural activity. Credit: Malin Björnsdotter/Arvid Guterstam. Henrik Ehrsson , Arvid Guterstam , Malin Björnsdotter.

In a new study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, neuroscientists created an out-of-body illusion in participants placed inside a brain scanner. They then used the illusion to perceptually ‘teleport’ the participants to different locations in a room and show that the perceived location of the bodily self can be decoded from activity patterns in specific brain regions.

The brains of people with type 1 diabetes show signs of accelerated ageing that correlate with slower information processing, according to new research.

Researchers studying postpartum depression have found that the hormone oxytocin increased activation in a reward-sensitive area of the brain when women viewed images of crying infants, but not when they viewed images of smiling ones. The researchers say oxytocin might spark the motivation to help an upset baby.

New findings reveal how long term cosmic ray exposure causes lasting cognitive impairment in astronauts.

People with depression or bipolar disorder often feel their thinking ability has gotten “fuzzy”, or less sharp than before their symptoms began. Now, researchers have shown in a very large study that effect is indeed real – and rooted in brain activity differences that show up on advanced brain scans.

Researchers have shown for the first time that a common neurotransmitter acts via a single type of neuron to enable the brain to process information more effectively. 

Finally this week, your genes may influence how sensitive you are to emotional information, according to research recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The study found that carriers of a certain genetic variation perceived positive and negative images more vividly, and had heightened activity in certain brain regions.


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