Weekly Neuroscience Update

Newly formed emotional memories can be erased from the human brain. This is shown by researchers from Uppsala University in a new study now being published by the academic journal Science. The findings may represent a breakthrough in research on memory and fear.

A growing body of research shows that children who suffer severe neglect and social isolation have cognitive and social impairments as adults. A study from Boston Children’s Hospital shows, for the first time, how these functional impairments arise: Social isolation during early life prevents the cells that make up the brain’s white matter from maturing and producing the right amount of myelin, the fatty “insulation” on nerve fibers that helps them transmit long-distance messages within the brain.

People with psychopathic tendencies have an impaired sense of smell, which points to inefficient processing in the front part of the brain [orbitofrontal cortex]. These findings by Mehmet Mahmut and Richard Stevenson, from Macquarie University in Australia, are published online in Springer’s journal Chemosensory Perception.

According to new research of MRI scans of children’s appetite and pleasure centers in their brains, the logos of such fast-food giants as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Burger King causes those areas to “light up”.

New signs of future Alzheimer’s disease have been identified by researchers at Lund University and Skane University in Sweden. Dr. Peder Buchhave and his team explain that disease-modifying treatments are more beneficial if started early, so it is essential identify Alzheimer’s disease patients as quickly as possible.

A new study from MIT neuroscientists sheds light on a neural circuit that makes us likelier to remember what we’re seeing when our brains are in a more attentive state.

Weekly Round Up

Are teenage brains wired to predict the next big music hit?

The brain is constantly changing as it perceives the outside world, processing and learning about everything it encounters. In a new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, scientists find a surprising connection between two types of perception: If you’re looking at a group of objects and getting a general sense of them, it’s difficult for your brain to learn relationships between the objects.

Recent research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.suggests that the activity in teen brains may have some Nostradamus-like qualities when it comes to predicting the hits or misses of popular music.

Fear burns memories into our brain, and new research by University of California, Berkeley neuroscientists explains how in findings that have implications for the treatment of PTSD.

Ands speaking of memory…have you forgotten where you put your keys recently? Your brain might be in a better state to recall where you put them at some times than at others, according to new research from UC Davis.