Weekly Neuroscience Update

New research suggests that the brain of a bilingual person who knows two alphabets is different from that of a bilingual person who only knows one alphabet. The differences occur in a region called the visual word form area (VWFA).

A new study reports chronic infections of the upper gastrointestinal tract could be linked to Parkinson’s disease. Researchers say alpha synuclein, a Parkinson’s linked protein, is released during upper GI infections, inducing an immune response. Findings suggest frequent chronic infections could overwhelm the body’s ability to remove the protein, leading to the onset of Parkinson’s.

New research has found significant changes in fathers’ brains between the prenatal and the postpartum period. The main changes occurred in cortical areas associated with visual processing, attention, and empathy toward their baby.

A novel deep learning method that uses graph convolutional neural networks (gCNNs) can predict cognitive function based on the brain’s size and structure. The algorithm may provide insights into the relationship between brain morphology and different cognitive functions, as well as declines in cognitive function.

A study led by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute links psychological trauma in childhood with an increased risk of developing some kind of mental disorder years later.

Music can induce a range of emotions and help us to better understand different cultures. But what is it that makes us tune in to some songs more than others? Researchers say when we listen to a song, our brains predict what happens next, and that prediction dictates whether we like that song or not.

Finally this week, a new study published by University of Oxford researchers in JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting, shows that although many school-age adolescents are spending considerable time gaming, it is not having a negative impact on their well-being.

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