Brain

Experience hearing a person's voice allows us to more easily hear what they are saying. Now research by UC Riverside psychology Professor Lawrence D. Rosenblum and graduate students Rachel M. Miller and Kauyumari Sanchez has shown that experience seeing a person's face also makes it easier to hear them.

Rosenblum’s paper, “Lip-Read Me Now, Hear Me Better Later: Crossmodal Transfer of Talker Familiarity Effects,” will appear in the May issue of the journal Psychological Science.

While the government spends billions of dollars on educational and prevention programs to persuade teens not to do things like smoke, drink or do drugs, a Temple University psychologist suggests that competing systems within the brain make adolescents more susceptible to engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, and that educational interventions alone are unlikely to be effective.

In a study that could help reveal how illusions are produced in the brain's visual cortex, researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have found new evidence of rapid integration of auditory and visual sensations in the brain. Their findings, which provide new insight into neural mechanisms by which visual perception can be altered by concurrent auditory events, will be published online in the April 12 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Studies of human tumor cells implanted in mice have shown that the abnormal activation of four genes drives the spread of breast cancer to the lungs. The new studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers reveal that the aberrant genes work together to promote the growth of primary breast tumors. Cooperation among the four genes also enables cancerous cells to escape into the bloodstream and penetrate through blood vessels into lung tissues.

Two of the world's worst natural disasters in recent years stemmed from different causes on opposite sides of the globe, but actually had much in common, according to researchers who are part of a large National Science Foundation-funded research initiative that has been studying both the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 and the Hurricane Katrina of 2005.As a storm surge recedes, the sudden decrease in downward pressure on the saturated soil causes the sand to liquefy and to flow out like a heavy slurry.

The two most prevalent forms of genetic mental retardation, Fragile X and Down syndromes, may share a common cause, according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine. The problem, a crippled communication network in the brain, may also be associated with autism.

Scientists have known for more than a decade that individuals with a certain gene are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Now a new study helps explain why this is so.

The research, led by scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), has uncovered a molecular mechanism that links the susceptibility gene to the process of Alzheimer's disease onset. The findings appear in the April 11 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience and may lead to new pathways for development of Alzheimer's therapeutics.

A study of how the brain of a premature infant responds to injury has found vulnerabilities similar to those in the mature brain but also identified at least one significant difference, according to neuroscientists and neonatologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

For the first time, scientists from the University of Washington School of Medicine, Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Cambridge have determined how a plant hormone -- auxin -- interacts with its hormone receptor, called TIR1. Their report, on the cover of this week's issue of Nature, also may have important implications for the treatment of human disease, because TIR1 is similar to human enzymes that are known to be involved in cancer.

Flexible electronic membranes may overcome a longstanding dilemma faced by brain researchers: How to replicate injuries in the lab without destroying the electrodes that monitor how brain cells respond to physical trauma.