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Mind & Brain In the News ...

Maternal depression and atopic dermatitis in children linked
Posted on Tuesday January 21, 2020

A recent study suggests that maternal depression in the postpartum period, and even beyond, is associated with the development of atopic dermatitis throughout childhood and adolescence.

Blue light triggers memory and emphatic fear in mice via a non-invasive approach
Posted on Tuesday January 21, 2020

Researchers have engineered an improved biological tool that controls calcium (Ca2+) levels in the brain via blue light. This monster-OptoSTIM1 causes a change in mice's fear learning behavior without the need of optic fiber implants in the brain.

Art speaks for itself and makes hearts beat faster
Posted on Tuesday January 21, 2020

Information about an artwork has no effect on the aesthetic experience of museum visitors. The characteristics of the artwork itself have a much stronger impact on observers.

Wisdom of the crowd? Building better forecasts from suboptimal predictors
Posted on Monday January 20, 2020

Scientists have shown how to combine the forecasts of a collection of suboptimal 'delay embedding' predictors for time series data. This work may help improve the forecasting of floods, stock market gyrations, spatio-temporal brain dynamics, and ecological resource fluctuations.

Acid reflux drugs may have negative side effects for breast cancer survivors
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

Acid reflux drugs that are sometimes recommended to ease stomach problems during cancer treatment may have an unintended side effect: impairment of breast cancer survivors' memory and concentration.

Real risks associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

A new study has definitively shown that regular exposure to THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, during pregnancy has significant impact on placental and fetal development.

The way you dance is unique, and computers can tell it's you
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

Nearly everyone responds to music with movement, whether through subtle toe-tapping or an all-out boogie. A recent discovery shows that our dance style is almost always the same, regardless of the type of music, and a computer can identify the dancer with astounding accuracy.

Rich rewards: Scientists reveal ADHD medication's effect on the brain
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

Researchers have identified how certain areas of the human brain respond to methylphenidate -- a stimulant drug which is used to treat symptoms of ADHD. The work may help researchers understand the precise mechanism of the drug and ultimately develop more targeted medicines for the condition.

Rethinking interactions with mental health patients
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

New research overturns the belief that people with severe mental illness are incapable of effective communication with their psychiatrist, and are able to work together with them to achieve better outcomes for themselves.

Focus on opioids and cannabis in chronic pain media coverage
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

New Zealand media reports on chronic pain are focusing on treatments involving opioids and cannabis at the expense of best practice non-drug treatments, researchers have found.

Internet use reduces study skills in university students
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

Research has shown that students who use digital technology excessively are less motivated to engage with their studies, and are more anxious about tests. This effect was made worse by the increased feelings of loneliness that use of digital technology produced.

America's most widely consumed oil causes genetic changes in the brain
Posted on Friday January 17, 2020

New research shows soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes, but could also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, and depression.

Mix of stress and air pollution may lead to cognitive difficulties in children
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Children with elevated exposure to early life stress in the home and elevated prenatal exposure to air pollution exhibited heightened symptoms of attention and thought problems, according to researchers. Early life stress is common in youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who also often live in areas with greater exposure to air pollution.

Improved brain chip for precision medicine
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

A biomedical research team is reporting an improvement on a microfluidic brain cancer chip. The new chip allows quick assessment of the effectiveness of cancer drugs on brain tumors.

Study unravels new insights into a Parkinson's disease protein
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

The new study explores alpha-synuclein's basic properties, with a focus on a section of the protein known as the non-amyloidal component (NAC). The research was done on fruit fly larvae that were genetically engineered to produce both normal and mutated forms of human alpha-synuclein.

How decisions unfold in a zebrafish brain
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Researchers were able to track the activity of each neuron in the entire brain of zebrafish larvae and reconstruct the unfolding of neuronal events as the animals repeatedly made 'left or right' choices in a behavioral experiment. The resulting frame-by-frame view of a decision in the making was so detailed that, 10 seconds before the fish responded, the researchers could predict what their next move will be and when they would execute it.

Making sense of the self
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Interoception is the awareness of our physiological states. But precisely how the brain calculates and reacts to this information remains unclear. Neuroscientists now demonstrate how the insular cortex orchestrates the process. The work represents the first steps toward understanding the neural basis of interoception, which could allow researchers to address key questions in eating disorders, obesity, drug addiction, and a host of other diseases.

Sleep linked to language skills in neurodevelopmental disorders
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

New research has discovered that Down's syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Williams syndrome are all linked to sleep disruption in very young children, and that sleep plays a crucial role in the development of these children's language skills.

Progress in unraveling the mystery of the genomics of Parkinson's disease
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

The International Parkinson Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC) has now been in existence for ten years. The consortium now reviews the progress made over the past decade in the genomics of Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders including Lewy body diseases, progressive supranuclear palsy, and multiple system atrophy and looks ahead at its future direction and research priorities.

Small change for climate change: Time to increase research funding to save the world
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

A new study shows that there is a huge disproportion in the level of funding for social science research into the greatest challenge in combating global warming -- how to get individuals and societies to overcome ingrained human habits to make the changes necessary to mitigate climate change.

Study uses eye movement test to confirm brain aging effects
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Researchers have used a newly developed eye movement test to improve the understanding of how parts of the brain work.

Creating learning resources for blind students
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Mathematics and science Braille textbooks are expensive and require an enormous effort to produce -- until now. A team of researchers has developed a method for easily creating textbooks in Braille, with an initial focus on math textbooks. The new process is made possible by a new authoring system which serves as a 'universal translator' for textbook formats. Based on this new method, the production of Braille textbooks will become easy, inexpensive, and widespread.

Women's blood vessels age faster than men's
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Many medical experts have long believed that women simply 'catch up' to men in terms of their cardiovascular risk, but new research shows for the first time that women's blood vessels age at a faster rate than men's. The findings could help to explain why women tend to develop different types of cardiovascular disease and with different timing than men.

Sticky situation inside blood vessels can worsen stroke damage
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

A stroke appears to create a sticky situation inside the blood vessels of the brain that can worsen damage days, even months later, scientists report.

Blue light can help heal mild traumatic brain injury
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Daily exposure to blue wavelength light each morning helps to re-entrain the circadian rhythm so that people get better, more regular sleep which was translated into improvements in cognitive function, reduced daytime sleepiness and actual brain repair.

With these neurons, extinguishing fear is its own reward
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

The same neurons responsible for encoding reward also form new memories to suppress fearful ones, according to new research.

MS drug costs nearly triple over 7 years, even with introduction of generic
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

The cost of prescriptions for multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs nearly tripled over seven years, and the introduction of a generic version of one of the most common drugs had little overall effect on prices, according to a new study.

Researchers discover novel potential target for drug addiction treatment
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

New research discovers a novel potential target for treating drug addiction through 'the hidden stars of the brain.'

Glimpses of fatherhood found in non-pair-bonding chimps
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Although they have no way of identifying their biological fathers, male chimpanzees form intimate bonds with them, a finding that questions the idea of fatherhood in some of humanity's closest relatives, according to a study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.

Chemicals between us: Surprising effects of oxytocin on cocaine addiction
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Researchers have discovered gender-based differences in response to therapeutic oxytocin treatment in cocaine-addicted individuals with a history of childhood trauma. Oxytocin has been shown previously to function as a potential therapeutic in cases of addiction by reducing cravings. This study found that only men with past trauma had a reduction in cravings after oxytocin. Surprisingly, women with past trauma had a greater response to visual drug cues following oxytocin.

Scientists breach brain barriers to attack tumors
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

The brain is equipped with barriers designed to keep out dangerous pathogens. Researchers have now found a novel way to circumvent the brain's natural defenses when they're counterproductive.

Beauty sleep could be real, say body clock biologists
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

Biologists have explained for the first time why having a good night's sleep really could prepare us for the rigors of the day ahead.

How coworkers impact the value of your skills
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

New research uncovers the importance of teams and coworkers in shaping productivity, earning potential, and stays of employment. The research analyzed data from Sweden. It found that to earn high wages and returns on education, workers must find coworkers who complement their own skills rather than duplicate them.

Reconnecting with nature key for sustainability
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

People who live in more built up areas and spend less free-time in nature are also less likely to take actions that benefit the environment, such as recycling, buying eco-friendly products, and environmental volunteering.

Good connections key to startup success
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

The future potential of early stage startups can be assessed by their existing professional relationships, research suggests.

Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger long-term post-traumatic stress
Posted on Wednesday January 15, 2020

One in six women experience long-term post-traumatic stress following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

In mice, alcohol dependence results in brain-wide remodeling of functional architecture
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Using novel imaging technologies, researchers produce first whole-brain atlas at single-cell resolution, revealing how alcohol addiction and abstinence remodel neural physiology and function in mice.

Who's liable? The AV or the human driver?
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Researchers have developed a joint fault-based liability rule that can be used to regulate both self-driving car manufacturers and human drivers. They propose a game-theoretic model that describes the strategic interactions among the law maker, the self-driving car manufacturer, the self-driving car, and human drivers, and examine how, as the market penetration of AVs increases, the liability rule should evolve.

Brain model offers new insights into damage caused by stroke and other injuries
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

A researcher has developed a computer model of the human brain that more realistically simulates actual patterns of brain impairment than existing methods. The novel advancement creates a digital simulation environment that could help stroke victims and patients with other brain injuries by serving as a testing ground for hypotheses about specific neurological damage.

Hyperactive immune system gene causes schizophrenia-like changes in mice
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Excessive activity of an immune system gene previously linked to schizophrenia reproduces neural and behavioral aspects of the disease in mice, according to a new study. The finding provides mechanistic support for the importance of the gene in the development of schizophrenia, and may offer a new avenue for therapy development.

Exosomes promote remarkable recovery in stroke
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Scientists present brain-imaging data for a new stroke treatment that supported full recovery in swine, modeled with the same pattern of neurodegeneration as seen in humans with severe stroke.

Siblings of children with intellectual disabilities score high on empathy and closeness
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

A new study finds that relationships between children and their siblings with intellectual disabilities are more positive than those between typically developing siblings.

Impaired driving -- even once the high wears off
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Researchers have discovered that recreational marijuana use affects driving ability even when users are not intoxicated. Cannabis users had more accidents, drove at higher speeds, and drove through more red lights than non-users.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure and dementia
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Scientists have discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

'Marshmallow test' redux: Children show better self-control when they depend on each other
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

The researchers say their experiments are the first to show that children are more willing to delay gratification for cooperative reasons than for individual goals.

Flame retardants and pesticides overtake heavy metals as biggest contributors to IQ loss
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

Adverse outcomes from childhood exposures to lead and mercury are on the decline in the United States, likely due to decades of restrictions on the use of heavy metals, a new study finds.

Reducing the risk of blood clots in artificial heart valves
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

People with mechanical heart valves need blood thinners on a daily basis, because they have a higher risk of blood clots and stroke. Researchers now identified the root cause of blood turbulence leading to clotting. Design optimization could greatly reduce the risk of clotting and enable these patients to live without life-long medication.

School indoor air quality cannot be reliably assessed based on pupils' symptoms
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

The association between indoor air quality of the school building and the pupils' symptoms was so weak that it is not possible to reliably assess the quality of the indoor air based on the amount of reported symptoms.

'Swiss cheese' bones could be cause of unexplained low back pain
Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2020

In experiments with genetically engineered and old mice, researchers say they have added to evidence that the vast majority of low back pain in people may be rooted in an overgrowth of pain-sensing nerves into spinal cartilaginous tissue.

Potential new treatment for preventing post traumatic stress disorder
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Scientists have discovered the first biomarker unique to PTSD patients and they have created a peptide shown in a preclinical trial to treat and even prevent PTSD.

Life's clockwork: Scientist shows how molecular engines keep us ticking
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

In the The Demon in the Machine, physicist Paul Davies argues that what's missing in the definition of life is how biological processes create 'information,' and such information storage is the stuff of life, like person's ability to solve complex problems. Over the past 75 years, scientists have chipped away at this problem without identifying precise details of how any of our enzyme machines really work. And now, new details emerge.

Long-term memory performance depends upon gating system
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Why do we remember some experiences for our entire lives but quickly forget others? The brain is constantly deciding which events are important enough for long-term storage. A new study sheds light on one element of that process.

Biological clock is key to reducing heart damage from radiation therapy
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

A new study suggests that the biological clock is involved in heart toxicity from radiation therapy and could be harnessed as part of a preventive strategy. Findings show that after receiving radiation to the heart, mice with disrupted biological clocks had significantly worse heart function than controls. They also demonstrated that Bmal1 -- a protein that drives 24-hour rhythms in the expression of many genes -- plays an important role in protecting the heart from radiation-related damage.

Environmental light triggers production of memory proteins in fruit flies
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Maintaining long-term memories requires environmental light, according to research in fruit flies.

College students use more marijuana in states where it's legal, but they binge drink less
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Marijuana use among college students has been trending upward for years, but in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, use has jumped even higher. A study shows that in states where marijuana was legalized by 2018, both occasional and frequent use among college students has continued to rise beyond the first year of legalization, suggesting an ongoing trend rather than a brief period of experimentation.

'Value instantiation' key to luxury brands' and social responsibility
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Although luxury brands and social responsibility seem fundamentally inconsistent with each other, the two entities can coexist in the mind of the consumer, provided the brand can find someone -- typically, a celebrity -- who successfully embodies the two conflicting value sets, says new research.

Risk of lead exposure linked to decreased brain volume in adolescents
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

In a study using brain scans from nearly 10 thousand adolescents across the country, investigators show that risk of lead exposure is associated with altered brain anatomy and cognitive deficits in children from low income families.

When pregnant moms are stressed out, babies' brains suffer
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Knowing that your unborn fetus has congenital heart disease causes such pronounced maternal stress, anxiety and depression that these women's fetuses end up with impaired development in key brain regions before they are born, according to new research.

Study sheds light on link between cannabis, anxiety and stress
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

A molecule produced by the brain that activates the same receptors as marijuana is protective against stress by reducing anxiety-causing connections between two brain regions, researchers report.

'Ageotypes' provide window into how individuals age
Posted on Monday January 13, 2020

Scientists have identified specific biological pathways along which individuals age over time.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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