Brain

Joslin scientists discover new step in a molecular pathway responsible for birth defects

Joslin scientists discover new step in a molecular pathway responsible for birth defects

BOSTON - (November 6, 2014) - Mary R. Loeken, Ph.D., Investigator in the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has discovered a molecular pathway responsible for neural tube defects in diabetic pregnancies. Her latest research findings in this pathway were published in the October issue of Diabetes.

For leaders, looking intelligent is less important than looking healthy

For leaders, looking intelligent is less important than looking healthy

People look for candidates with a healthy complexion when choosing a leader, but don't favor the most intelligent-looking candidates except for positions that require negotiation between groups or exploration of new markets. These results are published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The female nose always knows: Do women have more olfactory neurons?

The female nose always knows: Do women have more olfactory neurons?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -Individuals show great diversity in their ability to identify scents and odors. More importantly, males and females greatly differ in their perceptual evaluation of odors, with women outperforming men on many kinds of smell tests.

Sex differences in olfactory detection may play a role in differentiated social behaviors and may be connected to one's perception of smell, which is naturally linked to associated experiences and emotions. Thus, women's olfactory superiority has been suggested to be cognitive or emotional, rather than perceptual.

UW study shows direct brain interface between humans

UW study shows direct brain interface between humans

Sometimes, words just complicate things. What if our brains could communicate directly with each other, bypassing the need for language?

Madagascar: Fossil skull analysis offers clue to mammals' evolution

Madagascar: Fossil skull analysis offers clue to mammals' evolution

AMHERST, Mass. – The surprise discovery of the fossilized skull of a 66- to 70-million-year-old, groundhog-like creature on Madagascar has led to new analyses of the lifestyle of the largest known mammal of its time by a team of specialists including biologist Elizabeth Dumont at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an expert in jaw structure and bite mechanics.

Black, Hispanic kids underrepresented in autism identification

LAWRENCE -- The number of children diagnosed with autism has increased in recent years, but a new study co-authored by a University of Kansas professor shows that while the number of students with autism increased in every state from 2000 to 2007, black and Hispanic children were significantly underrepresented.

Having a Y chromosome doesn't affect women's response to sexual images, brain study shows

Women born with a rare condition that gives them a Y chromosome don't only look like women physically, they also have the same brain responses to visual sexual stimuli, a new study shows.

The journal Hormones and Behavior published the results of the first brain imaging study of women with complete androgen insensitivity, or CAIS, led by psychologists at Emory.

Piglet brain atlas new tool in understanding human infant brain development

URBANA, Ill. – A new online tool developed by researchers at the University of Illinois will further aid studies into postnatal brain growth in human infants based on the similarities seen in the development of the piglet brain, said Rod Johnson, a U of I professor of animal sciences.

Sustainable co-existence with wildfire recognizes ecological benefits, human needs

CHICAGO (November 5, 2014) – When wildfire and people intersect, it is often in the wildland-urban interface, or WUI, a geography where homes, roads and trails intermix with fire-prone vegetation. In an article published Thursday in the journal Nature, U.S. Forest Service scientist Sarah McCaffrey and her colleagues advocate for an approach to wildfire management that reflects ecological science as well as research on the human dimensions of wildfire and fire management.

Betting on brain research

Despite great advances in understanding how the human brain works, psychiatric conditions, neurodegenerative disorders, and brain injuries are on the rise. Progress in the development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches appears to have stalled. In a special issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron, experts look at the challenges associated with "translational neuroscience," or efforts to bring advances in the lab to the patients who need them.