Weekly Neuroscience Update

Prefrontal-cortex-by-NIMH

Abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex and related brain areas are observed in adolescents who have attempted suicide, according to a report at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Phoenix Arizona. The study suggests that deficits in frontal systems may be associated with risk for suicide attempts in youths with mood disorders.

A new study of twins suggests that insomnia in childhood and adolescence is partially explained by genetic factors.

Smartphones are changing us, at least according to researchers at the Institute of Neuroinformatics of the University of Zurich. It seems that as we moved from phones with buttons – Blackberrys and even feature phones – the parts of our brain associated with the thumbs are changing thanks to increased screen typing activity.

A new study has found that people who have sleep apnea or spend less time in deep sleep may be more likely to have changes in the brain associated with dementia.

The tics seen in Tourette syndrome may be caused by the loss of specific neurons in the brain, a Yale University study has demonstrated.

A study, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, confirmed longstanding speculations regarding how painful memories are internally processed in the brain.

Employing a measure rarely used in sleep apnea studies, researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing have uncovered evidence of what may be damaging the brain in people with the sleep disorder — weaker brain blood flow.

Human language draws on a complex set of cognitive skills; some of which are also found in songbirds.

Scientists have identified a time-dependent interplay between two brain regions that contributes to the recovery of motor function after focal brain damage, such as a stroke.

Finally this week, according to a new study some of the ways in which music affects us are the same worldwide, regardless of cultural diversities.

Weekly Neuroscience Update

The study by Kep Kee Loh and Dr Ryota Kanai found that grey-matter density in the highlighted region of the brain (anterior cingulate cortex) was negatively associated with the amount of media multitasking activity. Credit Kep Kee Loh & Ryota Kanai.

The study by Kep Kee Loh and Dr Ryota Kanai found that grey-matter density in the highlighted region of the brain (anterior cingulate cortex) was negatively associated with the amount of media multitasking activity. Credit Kep Kee Loh & Ryota Kanai.

Simultaneously using mobile phones, laptops and other media devices could be changing the structure of our brains, according to new University of Sussex research.

Breathing meditation is a powerful ally for military veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to research recently published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.

Areas of the brain that respond to reward and pleasure are linked to the ability of a drug known as butorphanol to relieve itch, according to new research.

An international research team has identified gene mutations causing severe, difficult-to-treat forms of childhood epilepsy.

A chemical in the brain plays a vital role in controlling the involuntary movements and vocal tics associated with Tourette Syndrome (TS), a new study has shown.

Finally this week, the traditional understanding in neuroscience is that tactile sensations from the skin are only assembled to form a complete experience in the cerebral cortex, the most advanced part of the brain. However, this is challenged by new research findings from Lund University in Sweden that suggest both that other levels in the brain play a greater role than previously thought, and that a larger proportion of the brain’s different structures are involved in the perception of touch.

 

 

Weekly Round-Up

Can meditation change brain signature?

This week..how the brain corrects perceptual errors, how meditation and hypnosis change the brain’s signature, a new method for delivering complex drugs directly to the brain, the brain development of children, and how regular exercise helps overweight children do better at school. 

New research provides the first evidence that sensory recalibration – the brain’s automatic correcting of errors in our sensory or perceptual systems – can occur instantly.

In Meditation, Hypnosis Change the Brain signature the Vancouver Sun reports that mindfulness training is ‘a valuable, drug-free tool in the struggle to foster attention skills, with positive spinoffs for controlling our emotions.’

Oxford University scientists have developed a new method for delivering complex drugs directly to the brain, a necessary step for treating diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Motor Neuron Disease and Muscular Dystrophy.

A new study has found that a mother’s iron deficiency early in pregnancy may have a profound and long-lasting effect on the brain development of the child, even if the lack of iron is not enough to cause severe anemia.

Children with Tourette syndrome could benefit from behavioural therapy to reduce their symptoms, according to a new brain imaging study.

Regular exercise improves the ability of overweight, previously inactive children to think, plan and even do mathematics, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report.

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