Brain

Nutritionists have long endorsed fish as part of a heart-healthy diet, and now some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in the oil of certain fish may also benefit the brain by lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In order to test whether an omega-3 fatty acid can impact the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, will evaluate one in a clinical trial, the gold standard for medical research.

The majority of advertising exposure occurs when the audience’s attention is focused elsewhere, such as while flipping through a magazine or browsing a web site. However, a new study reveals that even this incidental exposure to advertising may have a positive effect on consumer attitudes. Forthcoming in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, the study revises existing theories of exposure advertising, specifically repeated views of web-based banner ads.

Researchers have created the first computational model to track engine performance from one combustion cycle to the next for a new type of engine that could dramatically reduce oil consumption and the emission of global-warming pollutants.

Researchers have known for decades that certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as mad cow disease or its human equivalent, Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease, result from a kind of infectious protein called a prion. Remarkably, in recent years researchers also have discovered non-pathogenic prions that play beneficial roles in biology, and prions even may act as essential elements in learning and memory.

For years, scientists have studied the molecular basis of memory storage, trying to find the molecules that store memory, just as DNA stores genetic memory.

Brandeis University researchers report for the first time that memory storage can be induced and then biochemically erased in slices of rat hippocampus by manipulating a so-called "memory molecule," a protein kinase known as CaMKII.

A new study showed that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans and that it originated less than five million years ago.

The human and chimpanzee genomes vary by just 1.2 percent, yet there is a considerable difference in the mental and linguistic capabilities between the two species.

The likelihood of developing bipolar disorder depends in part on the combined, small effects of variations in many different genes in the brain, none of which is powerful enough to cause the disease by itself, a new study shows.

Although women consume less alcohol than men, they are more susceptible to some of the negative medical consequences of alcohol use, such as cirrhosis of the liver, cardiac disease, and cognitive impairments. Animal studies have also shown that males and females differ on behavioral as well as electrophysiological measures of alcohol's effects. A study found that female rats are not only less sensitive to the sedating effects of alcohol, but that cycling hormonal levels can mediate alcohol's effects.

Despite research efforts to find modern factors that would explain the different life expectancies of men and women, the gap is actually ancient and universal, according to University of Michigan researchers.

"Women live longer in almost every country, and the sex difference in lifespan has been recognized since at least the mid-18th century," said Daniel J. Kruger, a research scientist in the U-M School of Public Health and the Institute for Social Research. "It isn't a recent trend; it originates from our deep evolutionary history."

Everyday experience and psychology research both indicate that paying close attention to one thing can keep you from noticing something else.

However, a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that attention does not have a fixed capacity - and that it can be improved by directed mental training, such as meditation.