Current Brain News and Events

Current Brain News and Events, Brain News Articles.
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Seasonal variation in daylight influences brain function
A Finnish research group has studied how seasons influence the function of the brain. Researchers at the Turku PET Centre showed that the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience. (2021-02-23)

'Mini brain' organoids grown in lab mature much like infant brains
A new study from UCLA and Stanford University researchers finds that three-dimensional human stem cell-derived 'mini brain' organoids can mature in a manner that is strikingly similar to human brain development. (2021-02-22)

Distorting memories helps the brain remember
In order to remember similar events, the brain exaggerates the difference between them. This results in divergent brain activity patterns but better memory performance, according to new research published in JNeurosci. (2021-02-22)

Deep brain stimulation prevents epileptic seizures in mouse model
Scientists led by neurobiologist Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, head of the research group at the Department of Neurosurgery at Medical Center - University of Freiburg and the BrainLinks-BrainTools research center, have investigated a new therapeutic approach to prevent epileptic seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy. They showed in mice that low-frequency stimulation of specific brain areas could completely stop epileptic activity. (2021-02-19)

How the brain processes sign language
Over 70 million deaf people use sign languages as their preferred communication form. Although they access similar brain structures as spoken languages, it hasn't been identified the brain regions that process both forms of language equally. MPI CBS has now discovered that Broca's area in the left hemisphere, central for spoken languages, is also crucial for sign languages. This is where the grammar and meaning are processed, regardless of whether it is spoken or signed language. (2021-02-19)

Study reveals how a longevity gene protects brain stem cells from stress
A gene linked to unusually long lifespans in humans protects brain stem cells from the harmful effects of stress, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. (2021-02-19)

How the 'noise' in our brain influences our behavior
The brain's neural activity is irregular, changing from one moment to the next. To date, this apparent ''noise'' has been thought to be due to random natural variations or measurement error. However, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have shown that this neural variability may provide a unique window into brain function. (2021-02-17)

Protein linked to Alzheimer's, strokes cleared from brain blood vessels
Amyloid deposits in the brain increase the risk of dementia and strokes. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an antibody that clears amyloid deposits from the brain without raising the risk of brain bleeds. (2021-02-17)

Lower testosterone during puberty increases the brain's sensitivity to it in adulthood
Young men with lower testosterone levels throughout puberty become more sensitive to how the hormone influences the brain's responses to faces in adulthood, according to new research published in JNeurosci. (2021-02-15)

Regular caffeine consumption affects brain structure
Coffee, cola or an energy drink: caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance. Researchers from the University of Basel have now shown in a study that regular caffeine intake can change the gray matter of the brain. However, the effect appears to be temporary. (2021-02-15)

Neandertal genes alter neurodevelopment in modern human brain organoids
Building modern human brain organoids with the Neanderthal variant of a gene has provided a glimpse into the way substitutions in this gene impacted our species' evolution. (2021-02-11)

Where and when is economic decision-making represented in the brain?
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba report two areas of the monkey brain that represent expected value when making economic decisions. Analyses showed that neuronal activity in the VS and the cOFC provided stable representations of expected value, while other regions that are part of the reward network in the brain did not. State-space analysis revealed that the way expected value was represented over time differed in these two areas. (2021-02-10)

Can the brain resist the group opinion?
Scientists at HSE University have learned that disagreeing with the opinion of other people leaves a 'trace' in brain activity, which allows the brain to later adjust its opinion in favour of the majority-held point of view. The article was published in Scientific Reports. (2021-02-08)

Brain changed by caffeine in utero, study finds
New research finds caffeine consumed during pregnancy can change important brain pathways that could lead to behavioral problems later in life. Researchers in the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) analyzed thousands of brain scans of nine and ten-year-olds, and revealed changes in the brain structure in children who were exposed to caffeine in utero. (2021-02-08)

Synchronization of brain hemispheres changes what we hear
Most of the time, our brain receives different input from each of our ears, but we nevertheless perceive speech as unified sounds. This process takes place through synchronization of the areas of the brain involved with the help of gamma waves, neurolinguists at the University of Zurich have now discovered. Their findings may lead to new treatment approaches for tinnitus. (2021-02-08)

Father's early-life exposure to stress associated with child's brain development
The FinnBrain research of the University of Turku has demonstrated for the first time that the stress the father has experienced in his childhood is connected to the development of the white matter tracts in the child's brain. Whether this connection is transmitted through epigenetic inheritance needs further research. (2021-02-04)

'Where did I park my car?' Brain stimulation improves mental time travel
A new Northwestern Medicine study improved memory of complex, realistic events similar to these by applying transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the brain network responsible for memory. The authors then had participants watch videos of realistic activities to measure how memory works during everyday tasks. The findings prove it is possible to measure and manipulate realistic types of memory. (2021-02-04)

Modeling the brain during pain processing
Through new research published in EPJ B, researchers show that inhibitory interneurons, which prevent chemical messages from passing between different regions of the brain, make up 20% of the circuitry in the brain required for pain processing. The discovery represents a significant advance in researchers' understanding of how our bodies and brains respond to pain. (2021-02-02)

New realm of personalized medicine with brain stimulation
Millions of patients suffering from neurological and mental disorders such as depression, addiction, and chronic pain are treatment-resistant. New research paves the way for a promising alternative: personalized deep brain stimulation. Researchers have found a way to predict what effect electrical stimulation will have on an individual's brain activity across multiple brain regions. The work represents a major step forward in achieving new therapies for a whole host of neurological and mental disorders. (2021-02-01)

A study reveals that the brain distributes sensory information highly efficiently
Extracting information from a small fraction of neurons, according to a study published in Nature Communications, involving Rubén Moreno-Bote, a researcher at the Center for Brain and Cognition, together with researchers from the University of Zaragoza and the University of the Basque Country, led by Harvard University (USA). (2021-02-01)

New gene variant linked to stroke
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden believe they have identified a gene variant that can cause cerebral small vessel disease and stroke. The study is published in Neurology Genetics. (2021-01-28)

Unlocking PTSD: New study reveals why trauma-focused psychotherapy treatment works
MEDIA: Trauma-focused psychotherapy is the best-known treatment for PTSD. But how does it work? Dell Med researcher Greg Fonzo says he may have found the answer by exploring how different parts of the brain talk to one another. (2021-01-27)

When simpler is harder
Some languages require less neural activity than others. But these are not necessarily the ones we would imagine. In a study published today in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown that languages that are often considered 'easy' actually require an enormous amount of work from our brains. (2021-01-27)

How does the immune system keep tabs on the brain?
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that immune cells stationed in the meninges, the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord, monitor the brain and initiate an immune response if they detect a problem. (2021-01-27)

Squeeze it like toothpaste: The flexible brain of marsupial mammals
Being stretchy and squeezable may be the key to finding space for the brain in mammals, including humans. An international study, co-led by Flinders University's Vera Weisbecker, has revealed that marsupial mammals like possums, kangaroos, and wombats appear to have a lot of flexibility when it comes to accommodating their brains into their skulls. (2021-01-27)

New study: Malaria tricks the brain's defence system
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa. When the parasite builds up in the blood vessels of the brain, it develops into one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, cerebral malaria. Though it wasn't certain if the parasite was able to penetrate the brain tissue, now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found parasites can do that and have mapped the mechanism they utilise. (2021-01-26)

Stimulating brain pathways shows origins of human language and memory
Scientists have identified that the evolutionary development of human and primate brains may have been similar for communication and memory. (2021-01-25)

Musicians have more connected brains than non-musicians
The brains of musicians have stronger structural and functional connections compared to those of non-musicians, regardless of innate pitch ability, according to new research from JNeurosci. (2021-01-25)

MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep
Scientists at EPFL and the Universities of Geneva, Cape Town and Bochum have joined forces to investigate brain activity during sleep with the help of MRI scans. It turns out our brains are much more active than we thought. (2021-01-22)

A study explores the alteration of the functional dynamics of the human brain associated with ageing
A study published in Cerebral Cortex, led by Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, with Anira Escrichs as first author, in collaboration with several research centres in Lleida and Girona and participation by the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada). (2021-01-22)

Automated imaging reveals where TAU protein originates in the brain in Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have developed an automated method that can track the development of harmful clumps of TAU protein related to Alzheimer's disease in the brain, according to work involving 443 individuals. (2021-01-20)

Balancing brain cell activity
Electrical trigger sites in neurons surprisingly change with experience; they are either becoming smaller with increasing number of experiences and, vice versa, they grow larger when less input arrives in the brain. (2021-01-20)

Eye tests predict Parkinson's-linked cognitive decline 18 months ahead
Simple vision tests can predict which people with Parkinson's disease will develop cognitive impairment and possible dementia 18 months later, according to a new study by UCL researchers. In a related study, the researchers also found that structural and functional connections of brain regions become decoupled throughout the entire brain in people with Parkinson's disease, particularly among people with vision problems. (2021-01-19)

Study finds COVID-19 attack on brain, not lungs, triggers severe disease in mice
Georgia State University biology researchers have found that infecting the nasal passages of mice with the virus that causes COVID-19 led to a rapid, escalating attack on the brain that triggered severe illness, even after the lungs were successfully clearing themselves of the virus. (2021-01-19)

Increased blood flow during sleep tied to critical brain function
Our brains experience significant changes in blood flow and neural activity during sleep, according to Penn State researchers. Such changes may help to clean out metabolic brain waste that builds up during the day. (2021-01-18)

Artificial Intelligence beats us in chess, but not in memory
A new piece of research shows that the brain strategy for storing memories may lead to imperfect memories, but in turn, allows it to store more memories, and with less hassle than AI. The new study, carried out by SISSA scientists in collaboration with Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience & Centre for Neural Computation, Trondheim, Norway, has just been published in Physical Review Letters. (2021-01-15)

Disagreeing takes up a lot of brain real estate
In a new study Yale scientists looked into the brains of individuals engaged in conversation. What they observed varied significantly depending on whether or not the participants were in agreement. (2021-01-13)

Getting romantic at home wearing an EEG cap
Research into the neuronal basis of emotion processing has so far mostly taken place in the laboratory, i.e. in unrealistic conditions. Bochum-based biopsychologists have now studied couples in more natural conditions. Using electroencephalography (EEG), they recorded the brain activity of romantic couples at home while they cuddled, kissed or talked about happy memories together. The results confirmed the theory that positive emotions are mainly processed in the left half of the brain. (2021-01-13)

Turbulent dynamics in the human brain could revolutionize the understanding of its functionality
According to a new study, published on 8 December in Cell Reports, by Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and Morten L. Kringelbach, researcher at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) and the Center for Music in the Brain of the University of Aarhus (Denmark). (2021-01-12)

Faulty metabolism of Parkinson's medication in the brain linked to severe side effects
Until now, the reason why the drug levodopa (L-Dopa), which reduces the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, declines in efficacy after a few years' use has been unknown. A side effect that then often occur is involuntary movements. A Swedish-French collaboration, led from Uppsala University, has now been able to connect the problems with defective metabolism of L-Dopa in the brain. The study is published in Science Advances. (2021-01-07)

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