Brain

Don't feel bad if you want to be part of the "in" crowd. It may be hardwired in our brain cells.

Diabetes researchers, investigating how the body supplies itself with insulin, discovered to their surprise that adult stem cells, which they expected to play a crucial role in the process, were nowhere to be found. Many researchers had proposed that adult stem cells develop into insulin-producing cells, called beta cells, in the pancreas.

New evidence on sex differences in people’s brains and behaviors emerges with the publication of results from the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) Sex ID Internet Survey. Survey questions and tests focused on participants’ sex-linked cognitive abilities, personality traits, interests, sexual attitudes and behavior, as well as physical traits. The Archives of Sexual Behavior¹ has devoted a special section in its April 2007 issue to research papers based on the BBC data.

Does the time of year in which a child is conceived influence future academic achievement? Yes, according to research by neonatologist Paul Winchester, M.D., Indiana University School of Medicine professor of clinical pediatrics.

Most Americans are familiar with the popular city rankings of the fattest cities, the fittest cities, the most livable cities and the most expensive cities. Now, in the first-of-its-kind survey, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) has identified the cities that take sun protection seriously and those that fail to make the grade despite repeated health warnings.

Exposure to trauma may create enough changes in the brain to sensitize people to overreact to an innocuous facial gesture years later, even in people who don’t have a stress-related disorder, says new research. It appears that proximity to high-intensity traumas can have long lasting effects on the brain and behavior of healthy people without causing a current clinical disorder. But these subtle changes could increase susceptibility to mental health problems later on.

According to a new brain study, even people who seemed resilient but were close to the World Trade Center when the twin towers toppled on Sept. 11, 2001, have brains that are more reactive to emotional stimuli than those who were more than 200 miles away.

That is the finding of a new Cornell study that excluded people who did not have such mental disorders as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression. One of the first studies to look at the effects of trauma on the brains of healthy people, it is published in the May issue of the journal Emotion.

Some high blood pressure medicines may help protect older adults from declines in memory and other cognitive function, according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, reported today at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Seattle.

The drugs that researchers believe are protective are part of a class known as ACE inhibitors – specifically those types that reach the brain and may help reduce the inflammation that might contribute to Alzheimer's disease.

When we have a conversation with someone, we not only hear what they say, we see what they say. Eyes can smolder or twinkle. Gazes can be direct or shifty. “Reading” these facial expressions gives context and meaning to the words we hear.

In a report to be presented May 5 at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Seattle, researchers from UCLA will show that children with autism can’t do this. They hear and they see, of course, but the areas of the brain that normally respond to such visual cues simply do not respond.

In the mid-1990s, scientists at the University of Parma, in Italy, made a discovery so novel that it shifted the way psychologists discuss the brain.