Brain

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.

This is your brain on God

Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music, according to a psychology paper based on interpretations of brain scans.

Osteopaths defend Kratom as opioid alternative

Over a year ago, trade reps for the kratom supplement business began calling everyone in media hoping to get scientific and political coverage for protesting a DEA ban they suspected was coming. Sure enough, it did, but much of the work that went into progress at that time is now bearing fruit for the kratom sales industry.

Women are better at recognizing faces than men - except this toy

In most psychology papers, either women are better than men at identifying faces or there is no gender difference.

Music training creates new brain connections in children

Music training creates new brain connections in children

Taking music lessons increases brain fiber connections in children, according to a recent small study. The researchers studied 23 healthy children between the ages of five and six years old. All of the children were right handed and had no history of sensory, perception or neurological disorders. None of the children had been trained in any artistic discipline in the past.

Do Pokémon Go and augmented reality games offer real health benefits?

The combination of augmented reality technology, geocaching, and other novel techniques to create innovative active video games (AVGs) has potential personal and public health implications, as discussed in the Editorial "Pokémon Go, Go, Go, Gone?" published in Games for Health.