Why Some People Experience Early Onset Neurodegenerative Diseases

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Summary: A new study sheds light on the genetic causes of a range of neurodegenerative disorders, including ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, and determines factors...

Evolving Laboratory Tasks to Resolve Distraction

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CNS 2022 Every day, we are constantly bombarded with sights, sounds, and other stimuli that threaten to distract us from specific tasks. Over the last several decades,...

Why Some People Find It Harder to Be Happy

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Summary: 50% of a person’s happiness is determined by their genetic makeup, researchers discovered. A new study considers the roles both nature and nurture play in...

Researchers Discover Biological Mechanisms Caused by Deficits in High-Risk Autism Gene

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Summary: Rare variants of the autism-associated ANK2 gene alter the architecture and organization of neurons, potentially contributing to autism and neurodevelopmental comorbidities.Source: University of North CarolinaScientists...

Those That Game Together, Stay Together

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Summary: People from cultures that frequently engage in conflicts with other cultures tend to play more cooperative games than competitive ones. However, in cultures where there...

Drug Designed for Alzheimer’s Disease May Hold Promise for Treating Glioblastoma

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Summary: A class of drugs called BACE1 inhibitors, originally designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease, shows potential for the treatment of glioblastoma brain cancer.Source: Cleveland ClinicNew Cleveland...

How Value Decisions Are Coded Into Our Brains

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Summary: Persistency allows value signals to be most efficiently coded across the brain, specifically in the retrosplenial cortex.Source: UCSDIn 2019 University of California San Diego researchers...

Psilocybin Reduces Relapses for Those With Alcohol Use Disorder

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Summary: Psilocybin can restore mGluR2 levels in the prefrontal cortex, and this leads to a reduced risk of relapse for those with alcohol use disorder.Source: CIMHCurrent...

New Link Between a Disrupted Body Clock and Inflammatory Diseases

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Summary: Study identifies a significant way in which a disrupted circadian clock drives inflammation in the body’s immune cells.Source: RCSINew research from RCSI has demonstrated the...

These Personality Traits May Make You More Prone to Problematic Binge-Watching

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Summary: A new study links a propensity to binge-watch TV shows with personality traits. Researchers found those who lack impulse control and emotional clarity are most...

Scent of Newborn Infants Blocks Aggression in Men but Stimulates Aggression in Women

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Summary: Hexadecanal, a molecule excreted by humans, found in abundance on the scalps of babies, sparks behavioral changes in adults who are exposed to it. In...

Novel Brain Stimulation Approach Treats Severe Depression

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Summary: Combining deep-brain stimulation with intracranial EEG, researchers achieved an individualized understanding of specific brain networks that contributed to an individual’s depression symptoms and identified stimulation...

How Grandmothers’ Brains React to the Sight of Their Grandchildren

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Summary: Brain scans of grandmothers taken when viewing photos of their grandchildren revealed greater activation in brain areas associated with emotional empathy, suggesting grandmothers are geared...

Mapping How the 100 Billion Cells in the Brain All Fit Together Is the...

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Summary: By mapping how neurons in the brain are organized and examining how they communicate with one another, researchers are gaining a clearer understanding of how...

Specific Facial Features Can Help Distinguish Children From Adults

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Summary: Researchers describe how specific facial features distinguish a child’s face from an adult’s face. The findings may help new technologies to quickly determine if children...

Vegetarian Diet Quality Influences Mental Health

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Summary: Vegetarians who eat more processed foods are at higher risk of developing depression, a new study finds.Source: Bond UniversityNot all vegan and vegetarian diets are...

Study Captures Humor’s Earliest Emergence in Young Children

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Summary: By two months, 50% of infants begin to appreciate humor, researchers report. 50% of infants being to produce humor at 11 months. Children under one...

Scientists Key In on Brain’s Mechanism for Singing and Learning

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Summary: Specialized brain cells associated with the neural process of learning in songbirds bear a striking resemblance to neurons associated with the development of fine motor...

Associatie KU Leuven start unieke samenwerking rond levenslang leren via ikblijfbij.be – Nieuws &...

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Al wie wil bijblijven, specialiseren, groeien of omscholen kan vanaf nu terecht op één adres: ikblijfbij.be....

Chronic Stress and Depression Boost This Brain Receptor; A New Study Maps Out How...

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Summary: Researchers have determined the near-atomic scale structure of the anxiety-associated GPR158 receptor. The findings enable an avenue to create potential therapeutics to block the receptor...

The Brain Uses Bodily Signals to Regulate Fear

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Summary: Study reveals how the brain relies on feedback from the body to regulate fear response. When a mouse’s body freezes in response to fear, its...

Why Sad Songs Make Us Feel Good

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Summary: Researchers explore the psychological and neurobiological basis of why listening to sad music often makes us feel good and lifts our spirits.Source: The ConversationAdele’s new...

In the Brain’s Cerebellum, a New Target for Suppressing Hunger

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Summary: Constant hunger associated with Prader-Willi syndrome is, in part, the result of disordered signaling in the cerebellum, an area of the brain associated with motor...

Research Reveals Potential New Way to Fight Radicalization in True Believers

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Summary: Researchers report that extreme behaviors exhibited by “true believers” of a religion or belief system are driven by the degree to which their identity fuses...

Exploring Brain Events to Gain a New Perspective on Brain Injuries and Disorders

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Summary: A new brain model explored bursts of human brain activity never before studied. The bursts may serve as potential biomarkers for depression, dementia, schizophrenia, and...

Giving robots social skills – MIT McGovern Institute

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Robots can deliver food on a college campus and hit a hole-in-one on the golf course, but even the most sophisticated robot can’t perform basic social...

‘Orgasmic Meditation’ Alters Brain Function

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Summary: “Orgasmic meditation” produces a distinct pattern of brain activity, researchers report. The practice alters activity in the frontal lobe and temporal lobe, an area of...

Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Impacts the Placenta and May Affect Subsequent Child Development

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Summary: Mothers who use cannabis during pregnancy to relieve stress may be putting their children at risk of developing anxiety and stress later in life. Researchers...

A key brain region responds to faces similarly in infants and adults

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Within the visual cortex of the adult brain, a small region is specialized to respond to faces, while nearby regions show strong preferences for bodies or...

How Metacognition, or Thinking About Thinking, Can Improve the Mental-Health Crisis

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Summary: Researchers report metacognition therapies, or directing personal thoughts and emotions for the benefit of mental wellbeing, can have positive effects on the treatment of anxiety,...

Can’t Find Your Keys? You Need a Chickadee Brain

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Summary: A new study reveals there is a genetic component to spatial memory in Mountain Chickadees.Source: Cornell UniversityFor the first time, researchers have shown that there...

New Target Identified for Rapid Antidepressant Drugs

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Summary: Ketamine’s rapid antidepressant action is due to specific synaptic effects, researchers report.Source: Vanderbilt UniversityVanderbilt researchers found that ketamine’s rapid antidepressant action is due to specific...

COVID-19 Has a Negative Influence on Prosocial Behavior

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Summary: COVID-19 infections in families widened the pro-social gap almost three-fold between people with higher socioeconomic status and those from backgrounds of lower socioeconomic status.Source: Max...

Anxiety Cues Found in the Brain Despite Safe Environment

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Summary: Virtual reality is helping researchers uncover some of the secrets of anxiety. Using VR, study participants were able to distinguish between safe and dangerous environments...

Psychologists Reveal How We Truly See Ourselves by Generating ‘Mental Selfies’

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Summary: Researchers have devised a method to access people’s mental images of themselves and compare this mental image against a realistic image of the person. The...

Exercise Linked to Better Mental Health

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Summary: People who exercise more, specifically when they embark on physical activities outdoors, experience less depression and anxiety than those who didn’t exercise.Source: Kaiser PermanenteKaiser Permanente...

When Mother and Child Interact, Physiology and Behavior Coordinate

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Summary: When a mother and her child are coordinated at the behavioral level during play, they work together and share positive affect. The child’s physiological activity...

Baby Teeth May One Day Help Identify Kids at Risk for Mental Disorders Later...

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Summary: Children’s baby teeth may help identify risks for developing mental health disorders later in life, researchers report. The thickness of growth marks in primary teeth...

New Recessive Neurodevelopmental Disorder Identified

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Summary: Researchers have identified a new, rare neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a homozygous mutation in the PRDM13 gene. Features of the disorder included intellectual disabilities, ataxia...

Study finds a striking difference between neurons of humans and other mammals

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McGovern Institute Investigator Mark Harnett. Photo: Justin KnightNeurons communicate with each other via electrical impulses, which are produced by ion channels that control the flow of...

Anxiety Effectively Treated With Exercise

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Summary: A 12-week program of moderate to strenuous exercise significantly helps relieve anxiety symptoms, a new study reports.Source: University of GothenburgBoth moderate and strenuous exercise alleviate...

Genes and Air Pollution Multiply Healthy People’s Risk of Depression

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Summary: The combination of bad air quality and a genetic predisposition raises the risk of a person developing depression significantly more than each factor in isolation.Source:...

Koenraad Debackere benoemd tot voorzitter Associatie KU Leuven – Nieuws & events

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Ere-rector André Oosterlinck geeft op 1 januari 2022 het voorzitterschap van de Associatie KU Leuven door...

McGovern Institute Director receives highest honor from the Society for Neuroscience

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The Society for Neuroscience will present its highest honor, the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience, to McGovern Institute Director Robert Desimone at its annual meeting...

Exploring Psychosomatic Inflammation: How Perception and Memory Can Influence Illness

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Summary: A new mouse study sheds light on how neurons in the brain can activate to trigger inflammation based upon encoded memories of prior infections. The...

How Thick Is a Soup? Logarithmic Perception and How We Perceive Liquid Thickness

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Summary: We perceive the thickness of liquid food based on logarithmic stimuli, in a similar way to which we perceive visual or auditory information.Source: University of...

Just a Game? Study Shows No Evidence That Violent Video Games Lead To Real-Life...

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Summary: Violent video games may increase agitation in young children, but the agitation does not translate into violence against other people, researchers say.Source: City University LondonMass...

Restoring Normal Sleep Reduces Amyloid-Beta Accumulation in Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Summary: Restoring normal sleep patterns by activating the thalamic reticular nucleus with chemogenetics reduced the accumulation of amyloid-beta plaques in the brains.Source: Baylor College of MedicineMultiple...

The Role of Personality in Sharing of Fake News

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Summary: Study reveals those who score low in the personality trait of conscientiousness are more likely to share misinformation or fake news.Source: Duke UniversityFrom rumored vaccine...

Flame Retardants Cause Brain Changes in Mice Offspring

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Summary: Female mice exposed to PBDEs, a type of flame-retardant found on everyday household items, pass on the chemicals to their developing offspring. In female offspring,...

New Tool Assesses How Well People Read Kids’ Emotions

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Summary: Researchers have developed a new tool, dubbed PerCEIVED Task, which assesses how accurately people can recognize specific emotions in elementary school-aged children.Source: North Carolina State...

Exposure to Estrogen Linked to Less Brain Shrinkage in Midlife Women

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Summary: Longer and higher exposure to estrogen were associated with larger gray matter volume in middle-aged women.Source: Alzheimer’s Research UKA team of US-based researchers has found...

A connectome for cognition – MIT McGovern Institute

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The lateral prefrontal cortex is a particularly well-connected part of the brain. Neurons there communicate with processing centers throughout the rest of the brain, gathering information...

Lithium Imaging Method Could Shine New Light on Bipolar Disorder

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Summary: A new method of imaging that shows lithium in living cells reveals people with bipolar disorder have a higher accumulation of lithium in neurons than...

Bilingualism Comes Naturally to Our Brains

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Summary: Language switching comes naturally for bilingual people as their brains have a mechanism that does not detect a switch in language, allowing for a seamless...

Experimental Depression Treatment Is Nearly 80% Effective in Controlled Study

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Summary: SAINT, a new intensive and individualized form of transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces symptoms of depression within days of treatment. 80% of the people administered SAINT...

Social Isolation Linked to Higher Markers of Inflammation in Older Adults

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Summary: Blood samples taken from older adults who experienced social isolation had higher levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, two biomarkers of inflammation.Source: WileyIn a study...

Boosting Human Mental Function With Brain Stimulation

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Summary: A new method that merged artificial intelligence with electrical brain stimulation improved brain functions related to self-control and mental flexibility.Source: University of MinnesotaIn a pilot...

How Conspiracy Theorists Exploited COVID-19 Science

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Summary: Researchers say those who create and spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are using the provisional nature of science to paint scientists as “malignant actors” and...

Journal Scan – This Month in Other Journals, November 2021

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1. Avila MJ, Hurlbert RJ. Central cord syndrome redefined. Neurosurg Clin N Am 2021;32:353–63. Available from:...

Pandemic Solitude Was Positive Experience for Many

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Summary: Many people report positive psychological benefits, including improved mental well-being, following spending time alone during the COVID-19 pandemic.Source: University of ReadingTime spent alone during the...

Cause of Alzheimer’s Progression in the Brain Identified

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Summary: New findings contradict the existing thought that Alzheimer’s starts from a single point in the brain and causes a chain reaction that leads to cell...

Brain Circuitry for Both Positive and Negative Valence Affected by Trauma

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Summary: The severity of PTSD symptoms was associated with fewer risky choices and increased activation of the amygdala. Decreased activity in the ventral striatum, an area...

A Rhythmic Approach to Music Therapy for Parkinson’s Patients

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Summary: Musical therapy can help to improve fine motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s disease.Source: University of ColoradoThe old poem says that music soothes the savage...

Not Spooked by Halloween Ghost Stories? You May Have Aphantasia

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Summary: Do you experience difficulties conjuring up visual images in your mind while listening to spooky stories? You may have aphantasia, researchers report.Source: The ConversationHalloween movies...

Long-COVID Symptoms May Be Caused by Fatigue, Not Regional Brain Dysfunction

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Summary: A new study reports long-term cognitive problems that occur following COVID-19 infection may be a result of fatigue rather than pathological alterations in the brain.Source:...

Better Grades and Improved Well-Being Linked to Sleep Quantity and Consistency

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Summary: Students who consistently sleep the optimal eight hours per night perform better on tests and report higher personal satisfaction than their peers who have more...

Dopamine’s Many Roles, Explained – Neuroscience News

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Summary: Study reveals dopamine neurons that play a role in learning and memory also drive motivation.Source: Rockefeller UniversityAmong the neurotransmitters in the brain, dopamine has gained...

Menstrual Cycle Impacts PTSD Symptoms

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Summary: The menstrual cycle may affect how PTSD symptoms are expressed and the severity of symptoms. Researchers found PTSD symptoms were elevated during the first days...

Burning and Tingling in Your Feet? You May Have Small Fiber Neuropathy

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Summary: Do you experience frequent episodes of burning or tingling in your feet? You may be suffering from small fiber neuropathy, researchers report.Source: AANThe number of...

Brain Connectivity Is Lower in Adults With PTSD or a History of Sexual Abuse

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Summary: People who experienced sexual abuse or suffer from PTSD have reduced connectivity in the ventral and dorsal attention network (VAN-DAN network) compared to those with...

To Better Understand Speech, Focus On Who Is Talking

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Summary: Matching the location of a face to the speech sounds a person is producing significantly increases our ability to understand them, especially in noisy environments.Source:...

Artificial intelligence sheds light on how the brain processes language

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In the past few years, artificial intelligence models of language have become very good at certain tasks. Most notably, they excel at predicting the next word...

First Ever Body Maps of Hallucinations Created

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Summary: Researchers have created the first body map of sensations experienced during hallucinations in people not experiencing psychosis.Source: University of LeicesterLeicester psychologists have, for the first...

Call and Response Circuit Tells Neurons When to Grow Synapses

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Summary: A new study reveals the mechanisms by which neurons and astrocytes work together to form synapses.Source: Salk InstituteBrain cells called astrocytes play a key role...

Men and Women Ride the Same Emotional Roller Coaster

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Summary: Contrary to popular myths on stereotypes, women are not more emotional than men, researchers report. A new study reveals men’s emotions fluctuate just as much...

Majority of 15 to 19 Year Olds Wanted COVID Vaccination for Altruistic Reasons

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Summary: Many teens cite a desire to get a COVID vaccine in order to do their part and protect the health of those more vulnerable in...

How Did the Superstition That Broken Mirrors Cause Bad Luck Start and Why Does...

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Summary: Researchers explore the history and cultural impact of superstitions, shedding new light on why people continue to believe the unbelievable.Source: The ConversationEvery human culture has superstitions....

Spending Time in Nature Promotes Early Childhood Development

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Summary: Children who live in areas with easy access to greenspaces and natural vegetation showed better overall development than their peers who lived closer to fewer...

Gut-Brain Axis Response to Inflammation May Underlie Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Related Mental Symptoms

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Summary: The vascular barrier in the choroid plexus locks down access to the brain in response to gut inflammation that causes IBD. The dysregulated activity of...

Two-Handed Movements Require More Neural Effort as People Grow Older

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Summary: Age-related declines in bilateral movement coordination are linked to differences in alpha and beta neural activity, a new study reports.Source: HSE UniversityA team of researchers...

Bat Study Reveals Secrets of the Social Brain

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Summary: Wireless neural recordings of freely interacting bats provides new insight into how the brain processes group communication.Source: UC BerkeleyWhether chatting with friends at a dinner...

People’s Eyes Reveal That Clichés Are Underrated

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Summary: Eye-tracking reveals the brain pays more attention to conventional metaphors than it does to similar alternatives.Source: PrincetonAs busy people, we juggle many tasks, keep many...

Five with MIT ties elected to the National Academy of Medicine for 2021

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The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has announced the election of 100 new members for 2021, including two MIT faculty members and three additional Institute affiliates. Faculty...

Mapping Neurons in the Brain Involved With Social Interactions With Others in Groups

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Summary: The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in mapping out personal actions and outcomes as well as responding to the actions of others.Source: Mass...

Glial Cells Crucial to Maintaining Healthy Gut Immunity

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Summary: Glial cells coordinate immune responses in the gut following infection. Researchers report glial cells could be targets for therapeutics to treat inflammatory bowel disorders.Source: Francis...

Health of Older People Is Tied to Motivation

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Summary: Motivated older people have better outcomes when it comes to general health, researchers say.Source: Gerontological Society of America“Motivation is the royal road to understanding healthy...

Drug Helps Sensory Neurons Regrow in the Mouse Central Nervous System

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Summary: Fenofibrate, an FDA-approved drug commonly used to treat high cholesterol, activated support cells around sensory neurons in mouse models of spinal cord injury, helping them...

Data transformed – MIT McGovern Institute

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With the tools of modern neuroscience, data accumulates quickly. Recording devices listen in on the electrical conversations between neurons, picking up the voices of hundreds of...

Turning to Ornithology to Understand the Neural Basis of Expertise

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Hans Op de Beeck remembers as a child being intrigued by another student in his class who excelled in all subject areas but struggled with one...

Brain Circuitry Identified That May Be Responsible for Negative Emotional Aspects of Pain

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Summary: A new rodent study uncovers a neural circuit in the brain that appears to govern pain-induced anhedonia. Altering the activity of this circuit restored motivation...

The Human Immune System Is an Early Riser

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Summary: Activation of the immune system oscillates throughout the day, peaking just before we wake.Source: University of GenevaCircadian clocks, which regulate most of the physiological processes...

Genetic Risk for Clinical Depression Linked to Physical Symptoms

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Summary: Those with a genetic predisposition to clinical depression are more likely to exhibit physical symptoms including migraines, chronic pain, and fatigue, researchers report.Source:: University of...

Discovery of New Role for the Brain’s Immune Cells Could Have Alzheimer’s Implications

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Summary: Study reveals microglia play an important role in the maintenance of blood delivery to the brain. The findings may prove important to the study and...

Real-Life Social Network in Schizophrenia Patients and Individuals With Social Anhedonia

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Summary: Both those with schizophrenia and those with social anhedonia have alterations in the social brain network and a diminished correlation with real-world social network size.Source:...

Why Do We Wake Around 3am and Dwell On Our Fears and Shortcomings?

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Summary: Researchers investigate why many of us wake in the middle of the night and dwell on our fears.Source: The ConversationWhen I wake at 3am or...

Why Do We Remember Stressful Experiences Better?

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Summary: Memories of objects from stressful situations rely on similar neural activity to memories of the stressful events themselves.Source: RUBStressful experiences are usually remembered more easily...

Behavior Resembling Human ADHD Seen in Dogs

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Summary: Hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are more common in male dogs and young puppies, researchers say. The findings correspond to age and gender associated with ADHD...

Personality Traits Linked to Hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Summary: A new study adds additional evidence to the link between personality traits and Alzheimer’s risk. Researchers found brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s are visible early...

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