Weekly Round Up




Laughter with friends releases endorphins, the brain's "feel-good" chemicals

Laughing with friends releases feel-good brain chemicals, which also relieve pain, new research indicates.

The Wellcome Trust has published a report providing reflections on the field of human functional brain imaging (fMRI).

UCLA life scientists have identified for the first time a particular gene’s link to optimism, self-esteem and “mastery,” the belief that one has control over one’s own life — three critical psychological resources for coping well with stress and depression.

Managing other people at work triggers structural changes in the brain, protecting its memory and learning centre well into old age, according to research from the University of New South Wales.

How the brain controls impulsive behavior may be significantly different from psychologists have thought for the last 40 years. That is the unexpected conclusion of a study by an international team of neuroscientists published in the Aug. 31 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

And finally this week, research conducted by Boston College neuroscientist Sean MacEvoy and colleague Russell Epstein of the University of Pennsylvania finds evidence of a new way of considering how the brain processes and recognizes a person’s surroundings, according to a paper published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience.