Brain

Dog brains process both what we say and how we say it

Dog brains process both what we say and how we say it

The first study to investigate how dog brains process speech shows that our best friends in the animal kingdom care about both what we say and how we say it. Dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words, a right hemisphere brain region to process intonation, and praising activates dog's reward center only when both words and intonation match, according to a study in Science.

Researchers identify neural factors that predict adolescent alcohol use

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified 34 neural factors that predict adolescent alcohol consumption. The list, based upon complex algorithms analyzing data from neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging studies, was significantly more accurate --approximately 74 percent -- than demographic information alone.

The findings are published in the current issue of American Journal of Psychiatry.

A data-cleaning tool for building better prediction models

A data-cleaning tool for building better prediction models

Big data sets are full of dirty data, and these outliers, typos and missing values can produce distorted models that lead to wrong conclusions and bad decisions, be it in healthcare or finance. With so much at stake, data cleaning should be easier.

Many with migraines unhappy with treatments and struggle to fight stigma

Philadelphia, August 31, 2016 - Migraine in America 2016, a national survey by Health Union of more than 3,900 individuals experiencing migraines, reveals that patients have numerous treatment options, but are often dissatisfied with results. A summary infographic is also available.

Researchers discover machines can learn by simply observing

It is now possible for machines to learn how natural or artificial systems work by simply observing them, without being told what to look for, according to researchers at the University of Sheffield.

This could mean advances in the world of technology with machines able to predict, among other things, human behaviour.

System may help treat rare genetic disorder, reduce severe side effects

PORTLAND, Ore. - Researchers at Oregon State University and other institutions have discovered a type of drug delivery system that may offer new hope for patients with a rare, ultimately fatal genetic disorder - and make what might become a terrible choice a little easier.

No treatment currently exists for this disease, known as Niemann Pick Type C1 disease, or NPC1, that affects about one in every 120,000 children globally, and results in abnormal cholesterol accumulation, progressive neurodegeneration and eventual death.

People with alcohol dependency lack important enzyme

People with alcohol dependency lack important enzyme

A research group under the leadership of Linköping University Professor Markus Heilig has identified an enzyme whose production is turned off in nerve cells of the frontal lobe when alcohol dependence develops. The deficiency in this enzyme leads to continued use of alcohol despite adverse consequences.

The discovery is now published in the number-one ranked psychiatric journal from the Nature Publishing Group, and could mean completely new possibilities for treating alcoholism.

Friendships, vaccines, and impressions: Upcoming studies in SPPS

While many scientists explore what people have in common, several studies publishing online to Social Psychological and Personality Science show us how differences help us understand individuals.

The company you keep: Personality and friendship characteristics Laakasuo, Michael; Rotkirch, Anna; Berg, Venla; Jokela, Markus

Folic acid fortified food linked to decline in congenital heart defects

DALLAS, Aug. 29, 2016 -- Food fortified with folic acid, a B vitamin required in human diets for numerous biological functions, was associated with reduced rates of congenital heart defects, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Research outlines cellular communication processes that make life possible

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers have discovered a mechanism of intercellular communication that helps explain how biological systems and actions - ranging from a beating heart to the ability to hit a home run - function properly most of the time, and in some scenarios quite remarkably.

The findings are an important basic advance in how cell sensory systems function, they shed light on the poorly-understood interaction between cells - and they also suggest that some of the damage done by cancer cells can be seen as a "failure to communicate."