Brain

How gamers get good

How gamers get good

Data from online video games has been used to study what kinds of practice and habits help people acquire skill. Basically, what does it take to get good? 10,000 hours? Nope, not even close. But there are reasons why some people are great in The Division and you die in the Dark Zone within seconds after meeting another player. Basically, they learned shortcuts and before they ever met you, they warmed up.

Teens with autism go to the ER 400 percent more, but why?

Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use 400 percent more emergency-department services than peers without autism, which puts more strain on an over-burdened health care system. It may be that they need better access to primary care.

Genetic risk factors for anxiety disorders

Genetic risk factors for anxiety disorders

Some people have an extreme fear of spiders or other objects while others have breathing difficulties and accelerated heart beat in small rooms or large gatherings of people. Some anxiety attacks occur for no apparent cause. Some patients suffer from the detrimental impacts on their everyday lives, they have problems at work and withdraw from social contacts.

Can brain imaging predict soccer success?

A new study believes that football clubs which focus too much on physical attributes risk overlooking future stars. Does this mean that with the correct cognitive behavior you could outrun Usain Bolt? No, there are still physical realities to sports, no matter what a press release wants to claim, but intangibles like "eccentricity" and other psychological characteristics matter now, just as they always have.

Postpartum depression and anxiety distinct from other mood disorders, at least in brain scans

Postpartum depression is considered much like any other form of depression: New mothers withdraw from family and friends, lose their appetites, and feel sad and irritable much of the time.

A new paper contends there is uniqueness of mood and emotional disorders that arise during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth. It uses fMRI, which has not been shown to be valid for diagnosis, but may provide some insight into what's happening.

Who gets most distracted by cell phones? People who don't use the Internet much

Who gets most distracted by cell phones? People who don't use the Internet much

The mere presence of a cell phone or smartphone can adversely affect our cognitive performance, particularly among infrequent internet users, according to a new experiment using undergraduate college students in Japan.

Where did they find infrequent mobile device users among young people in Japan? That's relative.

The Machiavelli in your chicken

According to a new paper in Animal Cognition, chickens, who are typically thought of as possessing a low level of intelligence compared with other animals, actually demonstrate self-control and self-assessment —capacities which may indicate self-awareness, and are behaviorally sophisticated, discriminating amongst individuals, and exhibiting Machiavellian-like social interactions.

How do you define maturity when the brain never stops changing?

"Act your age" says one group, while "you are only as young as you feel" assures another. Those are two conflicting messages about aging and maturity. How can anyone know when maturity is "just right"?

Deep brain stimulation doesn't improve memory - it hurts it

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of areas in the brain known to be involved in making memories does not improve memory performance, according to a new study

Deep brain stimulation is an invasive technique that involves the implantation of electrodes deep into the brain and then running current through them to electrically stimulate nearby neurons. 

Smoking during pregnancy may make your child abuse drugs and alcohol

Smoking during pregnancy may make your child abuse drugs and alcohol

Smoking during pregnancy is a well-known risk factor for many health problems in children, including low birth weight, heart defects and asthma. In our latest study, we show that smoking in pregnancy also increases the risk for children’s later tobacco smoking, as well as alcohol and cannabis use. This effect may be partly explained by so-called epigenetic changes at birth, in genes important for brain function and development.