Brain

What happens in our brain when we unlock a door?

What happens in our brain when we unlock a door?

People who are unable to button up their jacket or who find it difficult to insert a key in lock suffer from a condition known as apraxia. This means that their motor skills have been impaired – as a result of a stroke, for instance. Scientists in Munich have now examined the parts of the brain that are responsible for planning and executing complex actions. They discovered that there is a specific network in the brain for using tools. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Lift weights, improve your memory

Lift weights, improve your memory

Here's another reason why it's a good idea to hit the gym: it can improve memory. A new Georgia Institute of Technology study shows that an intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic memory, also known as long-term memory for previous events, by about 10 percent in healthy young adults.

Improving babies' language skills before they're even old enough to speak

Improving babies' language skills before they're even old enough to speak

In the first months of life, when babies begin to distinguish sounds that make up language from all the other sounds in the world, they can be trained to more effectively recognize which sounds "might" be language, accelerating the development of the brain maps which are critical to language acquisition and processing, according to new Rutgers research.

Intervention helps decrease 'mean girl' behaviors, MU researchers find

Neural activity predicts the timing of spontaneous decisions

Researchers have discovered a new type of brain activity that underlies the timing of voluntary actions, allowing them to forecast when a spontaneous decision will occur more than a second in advance. 'Experiments like this have been used to argue that free will is an illusion, but we think that this interpretation is mistaken,' says Zachary Mainen, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, in Lisbon, Portugal, who led the research, published on Sept. 28, 2014, in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Robot researcher combines nature to nurture 'superhuman' navigation

Computer modelling of the human eye, the brain of a rat and a robot could revolutionise advances in neuroscience and new technology, says a QUT leading robotics researcher.

Dr Michael Milford from QUT's Science and Engineering Faculty says the new study uses new computer algorithms to enable robots to navigate intelligently, unrestricted by high-density buildings or tunnels.

"This is a very Frankenstein type of project," Dr Milford said.

Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent some forms of depression

Philadelphia, PA, October 1, 2014 – Patients with increased inflammation, including those receiving cytokines for medical treatment, have a greatly increased risk of depression. For example, a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection causes depression in approximately 30% of patients.

Keeping your eyes on the prize can help with exercise, NYU study finds

New research suggests the adage that encourages people to keep their "eyes on the prize" may be on target when it comes to exercise. When walking, staying focused on a specific target ahead can make the distance to it appear shorter and help people walk there faster, psychology researchers have found. Their study, which compares this technique to walking while looking around the environment naturally, offers a new strategy to improve the quality of exercise.

Predicting the future course of psychotic illness

Psychiatry researchers from the University of Adelaide have developed a model that could help to predict a patient's likelihood of a good outcome from treatment - from their very first psychotic episode.

The model is based on a range of factors, including clinical symptoms, cognitive abilities, MRI scans of the brain's structure, and biomarkers in the patient's blood.

At dusk and dawn: Scientists pinpoint biological clock's synchronicity

Scientists have uncovered how pacemaker neurons are synchronized at dusk and dawn in order to maintain the proper functioning of their biological clocks. Their findings, which appear in the journal PLOS Biology, enhance our understanding of how sleep-wake cycles are regulated and offer promise for addressing related afflictions.