Brain

Soon to become a minority in the US, whites express declining support for diversity

Soon to become a minority in the US, whites express declining support for diversity

White Americans may view diversity and multiculturalism more negatively as the U.S. moves toward becoming a minority-majority nation, UCLA psychologists report.

Washington University review identifies factors associated with childhood brain tumors

Washington University review identifies factors associated with childhood brain tumors

Older parents, birth defects, maternal nutrition and childhood exposure to CT scans and pesticides are increasingly being associated with brain tumors in children, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Researchers identify new pathway linking the brain to high blood pressure

Researchers identify new pathway linking the brain to high blood pressure

Ottawa, ON and Baltimore, MD, October 2, 2014—New research by scientists at the Ottawa Heart Institute and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has uncovered a new pathway by which the brain uses an unusual steroid to control blood pressure. The study, which also suggests new approaches for treating high blood pressure and heart failure, appears today in the journal Public Library of Science (PLOS) One.

Strong working memory puts brakes on problematic drug use

Strong working memory puts brakes on problematic drug use

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oct. 2, 2014 -- Adolescents with strong working memory are better equipped to escape early drug experimentation without progressing into substance abuse issues, says a University of Oregon researcher.

Most important in the picture is executive attention, a component of working memory that involves a person's ability to focus on a task and ignore distractions while processing relevant goal-oriented information, says Atika Khurana, a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services.

University of Maryland School of Medicine identifies new heart disease pathway

National Institutes of Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

New research by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and the Ottawa Heart Institute has uncovered a new pathway by which the brain uses an unusual steroid to control blood pressure. The study, which also suggests new approaches for treating high blood pressure and heart failure, appears today in the journal Public Library of Science (PLOS) One.

Falling asleep: Revealing the point of transition

How can we tell when someone has fallen asleep? To answer this question, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new statistical method and behavioural task to track the dynamic process of falling asleep.

Dr Michael Prerau, Dr Patrick Purdon, and their colleagues used the evolution of brain activity, behaviour, and other physiological signals during the sleep onset process to automatically track the continuous changes in wakefulness experienced as a subject falls asleep.

Study gauges humor by age

Television sitcoms in which characters make jokes at someone else's expense are no laughing matter for older adults, according to a University of Akron researcher.

Jennifer Tehan Stanley, an assistant professor of psychology, studied how young, middle-aged and older adults reacted to so-called "aggressive humor"—the kind that is a staple on shows like The Office.

Unexpectedly speedy expansion of human, ape cerebellum

A new study published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 2 could rewrite the story of ape and human brain evolution. While the neocortex of the brain has been called "the crowning achievement of evolution and the biological substrate of human mental prowess," newly reported evolutionary rate comparisons show that the cerebellum expanded up to six times faster than anticipated throughout the evolution of apes, including humans.

How curiosity changes the brain to enhance learning

The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic. New research publishing online October 2 in the Cell Press journal Neuron provides insights into what happens in our brains when curiosity is piqued. The findings could help scientists find ways to enhance overall learning and memory in both healthy individuals and those with neurological conditions.

To life! Practicing Judaism could protect against suicide

In 1897, Emile Durkheim, the father of sociology, speculated that religion could protect against against suicidal impulses. In the century that followed, numerous studies attempted to either prop up or debunk this theory, focusing primarily on Christianity, which condemns suicide as the worst of sins.