Brain

This robot makes you feel like a 'ghost' is in the room

This robot makes you feel like a 'ghost' is in the room

The researchers explain what happened to those study participants as a result of the sensorimotor conflict this way: "This spatiotemporal conflict was resolved by our participants by generating the illusory experience that the felt touch was not caused by themselves, but by another person behind them who was touching their back."

The findings explain an experience that has influenced mystical thought, fiction, and humanity itself, but it may shed light on schizophrenic hallucinations, too.

Ghost illusion created in the lab

Ghost illusion created in the lab

Ghosts exist only in the mind, and scientists know just where to find them, an EPFL study suggests. Patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric conditions have often reported feeling a strange "presence". Now, EPFL researchers in Switzerland have succeeded in recreating this so-called ghost illusion in the laboratory.

Human stem cell-derived neuron transplants reduce seizures in mice

Human stem cell-derived neuron transplants reduce seizures in mice

Belmont, MA--McLean Hospital and Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have new evidence that stem cell transplantation could be a worthwhile strategy to help epileptics who do not respond to anti-seizure drugs.

Genes contribute to behavior differences between fierce and friendly rats

Bethesda, MD -- After many generations, rats bred for their bad attitude behave differently from those selected for a calm demeanor around humans. Research published November 7 in the journal GENETICS identifies gene regions that contribute to differences between nasty and nice rats in their behavior and the activity of genes in the brain. These results may provide important clues as to which genes make tame animals like dogs behave so differently from their wild ancestors.

Liberals are more emotion-driven than conservatives

Emotions are powerful motivators of human behavior and attitudes. Emotions also play an important role in guiding policy support in conflict and other political contexts. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya have studied the interaction between emotion and political ideology, showing that the motivating power of emotions is not the same for those on different ends of the ideological spectrum. Their research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Design of the study

The Lancet: The legacy of changing attitudes since World War 1

The Lancet is pleased to announce that the following papers will be published as part of a Special Issue on the legacy of World War 1:

  • Series: Changing attitudes during and since World War 1 towards:

    o Infectious Diseases

    o Military psychiatry

    o Surgical and amputation-related pain

  • Article: Questions raised about antibacterial resistance as dysentery-causing bacterium found to be resistant to penicillin 13 years before discovery of antibiotics

  • Comments on Health policy during and since World War 1

Carving memories at their joints

How the brain decides when to modify old memories and when to carve new memories is revealed in a study published this week in PLOS Computational Biology.

MIT researcher Dr Samuel Gershman and his collaborators at Princeton propose a theoretical framework for understanding how the brain (to quote Plato) "carves nature at its joints".

This study has implications for how we understand the fundamental mechanisms of memory, as well as our view of how these mechanisms go awry after brain damage.

Transplant of stem-cell-derived dopamine neurons shows promise for Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is an incurable movement disorder that affects millions of people around the world, but current treatment options can cause severe side effects and lose effectiveness over time. In a study published by Cell Press November 6th in Cell Stem Cell, researchers showed that transplantation of neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can restore motor function in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, paving the way for the use of cell replacement therapy in human clinical trials.

New knowledge about the human brain's plasticity

Images of a nearly invisible mouse