Brain

Why psychology lost its soul - science replaced it

Why psychology lost its soul - science replaced it

Many people today believe they possess a soul. While conceptions of the soul differ, many would describe it as an “invisible force that appears to animate us”.

Opioids affect ‘cuteness’ of babies

Opioids affect ‘cuteness’ of babies

A new pilot study has found that opioid dependence – which includes dependence on drugs such as heroin – affects how ‘cute’ we perceive images of children to be. As cuteness can trigger caregiving motivation, this result indicates that the opioid system may have significant effects on our ability to care for others. The implications of this may need to be considered in any consideration of medical or recreational opioid use.

Multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis shows need for improved education of clinicians

A number of common conditions are mistaken for multiple sclerosis (MS), a disabling central nervous system disease, say researchers at four academic medical centers across the U.S. in a study published online today in the journal Neurology.

Laterality: Finding out about the human mind through stone

Laterality is the preference of human beings for one side of our bodies; being left-handed or right-handed, for example, or having a preference for using one eye or ear or the other. In the view of the geologist and primatologist Eder Domínguez-Ballesteros, "lateralised behaviour in humans may in some way have been reflected in their technological products, in particular, in the things they made. Besides, flint knapping -inherent in our genus since the first stages in its evolution- is an excellent source of information for studying lateralization in humans".

Study links risk factors to variations in postpartum depression

A study shows that depression following childbirth can begin at different times and follow multiple distinct trajectories, emphasizing the need for clinicians to monitor for signs of postpartum depression and be aware of risk factors that may predispose a new mother to depression. The study is published in Journal of Women's Health.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Raises Glutamate Levels in Humans

The notion that low levels of electrical stimulation applied to the scalp, barely enough to create a mild tingling sensation, could activate the brain is a relatively new and somewhat controversial idea. The technique, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been reported to modify mood, emotion, and cognition, yet researchers lack any evidence for how - or even if - it directly modulates brain activity. Still, some researchers see its potential for a new strategy to treat psychiatric disorders.

Alzheimer's: Poison in the brain might supersede the amyloid hypothesis

The following factors facilitate the formation of putatively toxic structures in the neuronal nuclei of Alzheimer’s patients.

Spherical structures in the nucleus of nerve cells, so-called nuclear spheres, are suspected to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. A team headed by Dr Thorsten Müller from the research group Cell Signaling in Neurodegeneration has for the very first time demonstrated the presence of the presumably toxic protein aggregates in the human brain. The researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum have published their article in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

Link between touch of individuals with autism and their social difficulties

The sense of touch may play a more crucial role in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than previously assumed. The main findings of the doctoral research of Eliane Deschrijver, which are now published, show that individuals with ASD may have difficulties to determine which tactile sensations belong to the action of someone else.

ASD: social problems and sensory sensitivities

Many individuals with ASD are over- or undersensitive to sensory information. Some feel overwhelmed by busy environments such as supermarkets, others are less sensitive to pain, or dislike being touched.

Study suggests how 'super aging' older adults retain youthful memory abilities

Some loss of memory is often considered an inevitable part of aging, but new research reveals how some people appear to escape that fate. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators examines a remarkable group of older adults whose memory performance is equivalent to that of younger individuals and finds that certain key areas of their brains resemble those of young people.

Families caring for an aging America -- new report

WASHINGTON - The demand for family caregivers for adults who are 65 or older is increasing significantly, and family caregivers need more recognition, information, and support to fulfill their responsibilities and maintain their own health, financial security, and well-being, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Although caregivers' individual circumstances vary, family caregiving can negatively affect caregivers' mental and physical health as well cause economic harm, including loss of income and career opportunities.