Statins May Provide Protection Against Depression

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Summary: Statins reduced negative emotional bias in people with depression. The findings suggest statins may provide protection against depression.Source: ElsevierStatins have been hailed as a wonder...

Stimulating Brain Circuits Promotes Neuron Growth in Adulthood, Improving Cognition and Mood

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Summary: Researchers used optogenetics techniques to stimulate specific brain areas to increase neurogenesis and the production of neural stem cells to improve memory, cognition, and emotional...

Children With History of Maltreatment Could Undergo an Early Maturation of the Immune System

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Summary: Study links acute stress as a result of childhood maltreatment to accelerated early maturation of the immune system.Source: University of BarcelonaAcute psychosocial stress states stimulate...

Circuit Model May Explain How Deep Brain Stimulation Treats Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

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Summary: A new computer model shows the beneficial effects of deep brain stimulation arise from how it interrupts the cycle promoting runway beta in a circuit...

What Makes Some More Afraid of Change Than Others?

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Summary: Differences in gene expression in key brain areas may account for the reason some are less fearful of change than others.Source: LSUHumans are undoubtedly altering...

Using Virtual Reality for Anger Control

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Summary: Immersive virtual reality that focuses on anger exposure training may have a positive effect as a treatment for anger management.Source: Mary Ann Lieber, IncVirtual reality...

Approaching human cognition from many angles

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In January, as the Charles River was starting to freeze over, Keith Murray and the other members of MIT’s men’s heavyweight crew team took to erging...

Six Lithium Dose Predictors for Patients With Bipolar Disorder

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Summary: Researchers have identified six predictors that may help determine the correct amount of lithium to treat a patient with bipolar disorder.Source: Karolinska InstituteSix predictors could...

Drinker’s Sex Plus Brewing Method May Be Key to Coffee’s Link to Raised Cholesterol

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Summary: The sex of the drinker in addition to the brewing method may explain coffee’s link to increased cholesterol. Drinking 3-5 cups of espresso per day...

Circuit that focuses attention brings in wide array of inputs

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In a new brain-wide circuit tracing study, scientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory focused selective attention on a circuit that governs, fittingly enough,...

How Sleep Helps to Process Emotions

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Summary: Study sheds light on how the brain processes emotions during dream sleep by consolidating positive emotions while dampening the consolidation of negative emotions. The findings...

Links Connecting Stress, Depression and Heart Disease Risk Found

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Summary: Mouse study reveals how depression and chronic stress can have an impact on cholesterol-lowering medications and influence the risk of heart disease.Source: American Heart AssociationResults...

Lindsay Case and Guangyu Robert Yang named 2022 Searle Scholars

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MIT cell biologist Lindsay Case and computational neuroscientist Guangyu Robert Yang have been named 2022 Searle Scholars, an award given annually to 15 outstanding U.S. assistant...

Lessons About Learning

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CNS 2022 Guest post by Teodora Stoica Similar to constructing a pyramid, learning a new skill requires building both dynamically and efficiently upon an already existing foundation. During...

Excessive Sports Training May Have Negative Effects on Mood State

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Summary: Intense sports training may be good for the body, but it might not always be so good for the mind. Researchers found the more intense...

Family Size May Influence Cognitive Functioning in Later Life

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Summary: Having three or more children was associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline later in life.Source: Columbia UniversityA new study at Columbia University Mailman...

A brain circuit in the thalamus helps us hold information in mind

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As people age, their working memory often declines, making it more difficult to perform everyday tasks. One key brain region linked to this type of memory...

The Role Empathy May Play in Music

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Summary: People who are more accurate at reading another person’s emotions are better able to understand what a musician is trying to convey through their compositions....

Eating Sea Squirts May Reverse the Signs of Aging

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Summary: Supplementing a diet with Ascidiacea, or sea squirts, reversed some of the main signs of aging in mouse models.Source: Xi’an jiaotong-Liverpool UniversityIf you have ever...

When Eyes Meet, Neurons Start to Fire

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Summary: A specific set of socially tuned neurons fire across multiple regions across the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala at different times during mutual eye contact....

Complex Human Childbirth and Cognitive Abilities a Result of Walking Upright

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Summary: Bipedalism dramatically reshaped the hominin pelvis into a real birth canal. Researchers report Australopithecus had complex birth patterns compared to Great Apes and were likely...

Effects of Breastfeeding on Maternal Mental Health

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Summary: A new systemic review concludes a positive association between breastfeeding and overall maternal mental health. The study found women who breastfeed have a significantly decreased...

Empathy Training Improves Mother-Child Relationships and Life Satisfaction

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Summary: Mothers and children who participated in empathy skill training had better relationships and improved overall well-being, a new study reports.Source: University of KansasAny parent who...

Connecting Across the Ocean to Present on Tactile Empathy

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CNS 2022 The annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society last month brought together more than 1,000 attendees from all over the world, but three young researchers...

A ‘Factory Reset’ for the Brain Could Cure Anxiety and Drinking Behavior

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Summary: Gene editing could be a potential new treatment for anxiety and alcohol use disorder in adults who indulged in binge drinking as adolescence.Source: University of...

Surfing May Boost Well-Being of Brain Injury Survivors

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Summary: Surfing improves the quality of life and overall mental well-being of patients who suffered a traumatic brain injury.Source: Swansea UniversityGenerations of surfers know there’s nothing...

Abnormal Activity of Brain Circuit Causes Anorexia

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Summary: Hyperactivity in a serotonin-dopamine circuit in the brain appears to be responsible for persistent anorexia in animal models. The DRD1 receptor appears to drive the...

Oligodendrocytes Arise in the Human Brain Earlier in Development

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Summary: Researchers discovered oligodendrocytes, myelin-producing cells within the central nervous system, become established in the brain during early fetal development.Source: Karolinska InstituteA team of researchers at...

Social Isolation Can Cause Depression for Middle-Aged and Older Adults

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Summary: Using artificial intelligence technology, researchers have identified both risk and protective factors for depression in middle-aged to older adults. Social isolation, the study found, was...

Researchers Discover How Hormones Define Brain Sex Differences

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Summary: Estrogen sets up physical differences in the brains of males and females during development, a new study reports.Source: CSHLSex hormones play an important role in...

Researchers Reveal Possible Molecular Blood Signature for Suicide in Major Depression

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Summary: Researchers have identified a blood biomarker that predicts the risk of suicide in patients with major depressive disorder. The biomarker also can help researchers understand...

New Insights on Gene Activity and Addiction

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Summary: Study sheds new light on the role dopamine plays in addiction and gene activity in neurons.Source: North Carolina State UniversityResearchers at North Carolina State University...

McGovern Minutes – MIT McGovern Institute

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Doing brain research is hard. Explaining it in 60 seconds or less is even harder. At the McGovern Institute, scientists from all over the world are studying...

Links Between Paranormal Beliefs and Cognitive Function Described by 40 Years of Research

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Summary: A review of 71 studies over 40 years aligns with the hypothesis that belief in the paranormal is associated with differences and deficits in cognitive...

B12 Deficiency Harms Young Children’s Development, and the Food Relief We Provide Isn’t Good...

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Summary: Study reveals vitamin B12 deficiency doesn’t just lead to anemia in children, it also hinders brain development and motor function.Source: University of CopenhagenVitamin B12 deficiency...

Seven from MIT elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 2022

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Seven MIT faculty members are among more than 250 leaders from academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research elected to the American Academy of Arts...

Acute Sleep Loss May Alter the Way We See Others

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Summary: Sleep deprivation results in a reduced ability to correctly read the emotional facial expressions of others, a new study reports.Source: Uppsala UniversityA new study from...

Children With Vegetarian Diet Have Similar Growth and Nutrition Compared to Children Who Eat...

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Summary: Children who follow a vegetarian diet have similar measures of growth and nutrition as those who eat meat. However, vegetarian children had higher odds of...

High Static Magnetic Field Can Relieve Anxiety

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Summary: Exposure to high static magnetic fields alleviated anxiety and improved both spatial and social memory in mice within two months of exposure.Source: Chinese Academy of...

Infants Preferentially Perceive Faces in the Upper Visual Field

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Summary: The upper visual field bias for faces emerges at around 7 months of age. Babies over 7 months developed a preference for memorizing the upper...

Chromostereopsis – Mind Hacks

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The effect varies for different people. Take a moment and look at this. Some people don’t see anything special: just a blue pupil in a red...

Autism, ADHD and School Absence Are Risk Factors for Self-Harm

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Summary: The risk of self-harm presenting to emergency rooms is three times higher for boys with ASD compared to those not on the autism spectrum. Additionally,...

Thinking About Suicide and Self-Harming Alleviates Stress

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Summary: A new meta-analysis study finds people engage in self-harm and think about suicide as a means of reducing some types of stress. The perceived stress...

Moving Beyond Memory Metrics for Early Identification of Alzheimer’s Risk

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CNS 2022 Press Release April 24, 2022 – SAN FRANCISCO – Say the words “Alzheimer’s disease” and the next word that most readily comes to mind is...

How Ritalin Sharpens Attention – Neuroscience News

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Summary: Study sheds new light on the neurobiological mechanisms that occur, allowing the ADHD drug Ritalin to improve attention and report the drug could have benefits...

Study Looks Into Little Known Purging Disorder

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Summary: While purging may be a characteristic of bulimia nervosa, a new study reports a different kind of eating disorder may also be responsible for purging...

Aging Brain Initiative awards fund five new ideas to study, fight neurodegeneration

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Neurodegenerative diseases are defined by an increasingly widespread and debilitating death of nervous system cells, but they also share other grim characteristics: Their cause is rarely...

CNS 2022: Day 3 Highlights

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The third day of CNS 2022 in San Francisco included 4 exciting symposia on topics ranging from the cognitive neuroscience of volition to insights into human...

Living in Areas With More Greenery May Boost Cognitive Function

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Summary: Living near green spaces improves processing speed, cognitive function, and attention in addition to improving mental health, researchers report.Source: Boston UniversityCognitive function at middle age...

Seven Hours of Sleep Is Optimal in Middle and Old Age

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Summary: The optimal amount of sleep for middle-aged and older adults is seven hours per night. Sleeping too little, or too much, was associated with poor...

CNS 2022: Day 4 Highlights

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We kicked off the last day of CNS 2022 in San Francisco in style with another excellent poster session, followed by a whopping 6 more symposia,...

Sharing Behavior Among Young Children May Be Related to Their Counting Skills

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Summary: A young child’s counting skills are the single biggest predictor of their ability to participate in fair sharing behaviors. Prompting children to count improves their...

Alzheimer’s and Daytime Napping Linked in New Research

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Summary: Study reveals a bi-directional link between daytime napping and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say longer, more frequent napping was associated with worse...

What words can convey – MIT McGovern Institute

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From search engines to voice assistants, computers are getting better at understanding what we mean. That’s thanks to language processing programs that make sense of a...

Speech or Song? Identifying How the Brain Perceives Music

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CNS 2022 Press Release April 26, 2022 – SAN FRANCISCO – Most neuroscientists who study music have something in common: they play a musical instrument, in many...

Gastrointestinal Issues Linked With Anxiety and Social Withdrawal for Kids With Autism

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Summary: Researchers discovered a bi-directional relationship between internalizing symptoms, social withdrawal, and gastrointestinal problems in children and teens on the autism spectrum, reporting the symptoms seem...

New Links Found Between Musical Training and Cognitive Ability

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Summary: Musical training influences visual working memory, researchers discovered. The study found regions of the brain may share a common component that influences both visual and...

CNS 2022: Day 2 Highlights

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The second day of CNS 2022 was action packed with 6 symposia — on topics ranging from the aging brain and Alzheimer’s to challenges for understanding...

Passion Is the Biggest Key to Success

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Summary: For those who are considered the “best of the best” in their professional field, passion for what they do is key to their success.Source: NTNU“For...

Prehistoric People Created Art by Firelight

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Summary: An examination of artistic designs on stones believed to be over 15,000 years old reveals our early ancestors probably created intricate artwork by firelight.Source: University...

CNS 2022: Day 1 Highlights

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The 29th annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS 2022) kicked off in San Francisco with a terrific line-up of symposia, posters, networking events, and...

Know the Difference Between Adult and Teen Depression

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Summary: Depression symptoms in teens often present themselves differently from those in adults with clinical depression.Source: Mayo ClinicClinical depression is a mood disorder than can affect...

Antidepressants Are Not Associated With Improved Quality of Life in the Long Run

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Summary: Overall, people who used antidepressants to manage depression long-term did not have a better quality of physical or mental health than those with depression who...

We Are More Satisfied With Life as We Age, Thanks to Oxytocin

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Summary: A new study links higher levels of oxytocin to greater life satisfaction as we age.Source: FrontiersA new study has linked life satisfaction to the chemistry...

Study Examines COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Uptake in Autism Community

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Summary: Vaccine hesitance waned over time, and the majority of caregivers and dependents with ASD received the COVID-19 vaccine following FDA approval. However, overall vaccine hesitancy...

Differences in Children’s Behavior Predict Midlife Health Behaviors

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Summary: Socioemotional behavior at age eight predicted health behaviors during midlife both directly and indirectly through education.Source: University of JyväskyläA recent study by the Faculty of...

Psychopaths Can Feel Emotions and Can Be Treated

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Summary: Contrary to popular belief, those suffering from psychopathy are able to experience emotions, but they do have a blunted emotional response if their attention is...

The Challenges of Studying Marijuana’s Effects on the Heart and Brain

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Summary: Researchers identify problem areas they face in studying the effects of cannabis on the brain and heart function.Source: American Heart AssociationOver the past decade, marijuana...

Epigenetic Age Predicts Cognitive Function

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Summary: Your epigenetic “age” can predict your risk of developing cognitive impairments and dementia later in life, a new study reports. Epigenetic age takes into account...

Mental Illness Associated With Increased Death From Cardiovascular Disease

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Summary: People with severe mental health conditions have a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and other cardiovascular events than those without mental health disorders....

Research Team Affirms Useful Blood Biomarker for Group of Brain Disorders in New Study

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Summary: Study confirms neurofilament light is a useful blood-based biomarker for frontotemporal dementia, PSP, and primary progressive aphasia.Source: Mayo ClinicA test of protein in the blood...

Recreational Marijuana Access Reduces Demand for Prescription Drugs

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Summary: Legalized marijuana for recreational use reduces the demand for prescription medications, a new study reveals. Researchers found the volume of medical prescriptions for pain, sleep...

Memory Is Formed Through Rewiring of Global Network Among Pre-existing Local Neuronal Ensembles

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Summary: Information about new experiences is retained by being tied to pre-existing activity patterns in the brain. Memory is acquired when the patterns are connected to...

Genetic Link Between Childhood and Adult Anxiety and Depression

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Summary: Genetic factors are responsible for childhood anxiety and depression that persists during adulthood.Source: University of QueenslandHereditary factors are partly responsible for childhood anxiety and depression...

Recalled Experiences Surrounding Death: More Than Hallucinations?

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Summary: Due to advances in resuscitation and critical care, many people are surviving near-death experiences. Survivors’ recalled experiences are not consistent with hallucinations, but instead, follow...

Grey Matter Volume Could Inform Treatment Decisions for Developing Mental Health Disorders

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Summary: Lower gray matter volume in the brain is indicative of a higher risk of developing mental health disorders including depression and psychosis. However, those with...

Lies That ‘Might’ Eventually Come True Seem Less Unethical

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Summary: Study reveals people are more likely to believe lies and spread misinformation if they think the disinformation may become true in the future.Source: APAPeople may...

High Cardiovascular Risk Is Associated With Symptoms of Depression

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Summary: Depression and cardiovascular disease appear to be closely related due to their links to inflammation and oxidative stress. Researchers say lowering the risks of cardiovascular...

The Format of Working Memory

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Summary: Researchers have identified how working memory is formatted, revealing visual memory can be flexible.Source: NYUA team of scientists has discovered how working memory is “formatted”—a...

Maladaptive Daydreaming May Be a Better Diagnosis for Some Than ADHD

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Summary: Study finds a subgroup of patients diagnosed with ADHD who would benefit more from a diagnosis of maladaptive daydreaming.Source: Ben-Gurion University of the NegevMaladaptive daydreaming...

Psilocybin Use Associated With Lower Risk of Opioid Addiction

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Summary: Opioid use disorder is 30% less common in those who used psilocybin compared to those who have never been exposed to the psychedelic. Researchers say...

The Power of Kindness in Improving Brain Health

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Summary: Teaching children to be kind and practicing kindness at home improves a parent’s resilience and a child’s empathy.Source: Center for BrainHealthKindness is powerful and does...

Teens Who Struggle in Relationships Suffer Premature Aging in Adulthood

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Summary: Teens who experience maladaptive relationships show physical and epigenetic signs of premature aging when they reach adulthood.Source: University of VirginiaA new study from the lab...

Unscrambling Our Memories in the Wake of COVID-19

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Summary: The repetitive nature of days we faced during the COVID-19 lockdowns may have made our memories and time perception murky. Researchers report on how COVID-19...

Depressive Disorders Can Lead to Changes in Immune Cells

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Summary: Researchers identified a link between major depressive disorder and mechanical alterations in blood cells.Source: TUDLoss of interest, joylessness, lack of drive and increased fatigability –...

Why the Faces of Women and Men Are Perceived Differently by Liberals and Conservatives

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Summary: A person with a wider face was considered to be more dominant and possess stronger leadership skills than a person with a narrower face. This...

Alzheimer’s Brain Barrier Damage Theory Could Pave Way for New Treatments

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Summary: Lipids entering the brain as a result of damage to the blood-brain barrier may be a determining cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say simple lifestyle...

Important Change in B-Cells in Women With Postpartum Depression

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Summary: Researchers found significant differences in B cells in women with postpartum depression. B cells are important components of the immune system that help produce antibodies...

Researchers Find First Strong Genetic Risk Factor for Bipolar Disorder

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Summary: Rare variants of the AKAP11 gene raise the risk of developing bipolar disorder several-fold, making it the strongest risk factor gene for bipolar identified to...

Study Finds That People Can Recover and Thrive After Mental Illness and Substance-Use Disorders

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Summary: Contrary to previous research, a new study reveals a prior history of mental health disorders or substance abuse does not prevent a person from thriving...

No Increased Risk of Brain Tumors for Mobile Phone Users

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Summary: Study found no increased risk of developing brain tumors regardless of whether a person was a frequent cell phone user or if they had never...

Orgasm Gap Impacts How Much Women Want One

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Summary: When men and women experience more orgasms in their relationship, they expect and want more. The opposite is true for women who experience fewer orgasms....

Specific Genes Involved in Schizophrenia Identified for the First Time

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Summary: A landmark new study identified ten genes with rare protein disrupting mutations that significantly increase the risk of a person developing schizophrenia.Source: UCLLandmark research, involving...

Monkeys Routinely Consume Fruit Containing Alcohol, Shedding Light on Our Own Taste for Booze

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Summary: Study reveals monkeys utilize alcohol from fermented fruits as a source of energy.Source: UC BerkeleyFor 25 years, UC Berkeley biologist Robert Dudley has been intrigued by humans’...

How Left Brain Asymmetry Is Related to Reading Ability

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Summary: Greater left-brain asymmetry can predict both better and average performance on a foundational level of reading ability.Source: PLOSResearchers led by Mark Eckert at the Medical...

Clinical trials bring first CRISPR-based therapies to patients

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Nearly ten years ago, Feng Zhang and other pioneering scientists developed CRISPR, a revolutionary technology that quickly became biologists’ preferred method of editing DNA. Biologists, computer...

Majority of Adolescents With Severe Substance Use Disorder Don’t Grow Out of It

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Summary: The majority of 18 year-olds with substance abuse disorder who were followed as part of a longitudinal study for 32 years still had symptoms of...

Exercise Improves Health Markers in Young Female Survivors of Childhood Trauma

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Summary: A progressive exercise training program may help mitigate some of the psychological and physiological effects of adverse childhood experiences in otherwise healthy young women.Source: Experimental...

Unexpected synergy – MIT McGovern Institute

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This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of BrainScan. *** Recent results from cognitive neuroscientist Nancy Kanwisher’s lab have left her pondering the role of music...

Midbrain Projection to the Basolateral Amygdala Encodes Anxiety-Like Behaviors

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Summary: A ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron circuit that projects to the basolateral amygdala selectively controls anxiety-like behaviors, but not depression-like behaviors.Source: Chinese Academy of ScienceAnxiety...

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