Others

Saturday, 29 July 2017 13:19

Learning about language from birdsong

Songbirds are a rare species which learn to speak (or sing) like we do, making them the perfect specimens to learn about the origins of language in the brain. Many animals make sounds - lions roar and frogs croak. But most don't learn to make sounds the way we learn how to speak languages. As babies, we listen to people around us speaking and learn how to imitate those sounds. Humans, dolphins, whales, and some…
Saturday, 29 July 2017 13:09

Depression alters brain structure

A new scientific report published by the University of Edinburgh shows reduced white matter integrity among people with major depressive disorders. Scans done as part of the study revealed that white matter (a mass of tracts that enable brain cells to electrically communicate with one another) is altered among people in the throes of deep depression. Being a critical component of the brain’s wiring any disruption in the white matter damages emotion processing and thinking…
Saturday, 29 July 2017 12:35

When we talk, our brains synchronise

It is known that when we converse with people our brains synchronise with theirs. A new study looks at how this happens. Apparently, brainwave rhythms among all those involved in a conversation ‘adjust’ or fall into an alignment in line with the ‘physical properties of sounds produced when talking’. More specifically, brainwave rhythms between two people begin to match each other as they get into a conversation according to the study led by the Basque…
Saturday, 22 July 2017 15:28

What causes food cravings?

One reason why most diet plans fail is because of our craving for food often high in sugar and fats. At times the craving is so overpowering that it can break the resolve of even the most resolute dieter. It seems uncontrollable. In short, food craving is a fat stumbling block on the path of a fitness programme, one that often seems incurable. Luckily, there are some simple steps to take to handle these cravings.…
Saturday, 22 July 2017 15:13

Revealed: The secret behind an Alpha Male

What turns a male into an Alpha Male? According to new research involving mice this is caused by a neural circuit. When stimulated the neurons in this circuit dramatically increased the chances of a mouse winning aggressive encounters with other mice according to the study. Across the animal kingdom social hierarchies are formed based on physical showdowns between creatures through a phenomenon called the "winner effect, " whereby with each victory over a peer the…
Why does a normal looking human turn into a Jack the Ripper? According to dictionary a psychopath is a person with a horrible mental disorder that leads to violent, often murderous behaviour. But thus far it has been near impossible to understand what happens in the brain that turns a human into a raging psychopathic murderer? However, new research led by a Harvard professor of psychology Joshua Buckholtz into the wiring (neural circuits) that drives…
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 17:45

The gentler symptoms of dying

Thanks to the interdependence of our organs, dyeing is rarely as painful as it looks. Morbid as it is, this masterpiece on how life passes into death published in the New York Times is a must-read to understand the drama of the ultimate, inescapable reality of life. “The human body’s most compassionate gift is the interdependence of its parts. As organs in the torso fail, the brain likewise shuts down,” says the author in a…
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 11:04

How brains make preference-based decisions?

Why do you choose blue over white or reach for a sweet instead of savoury? Innumerable times through our lives, our brain makes preference-based decisions that governs the choices we make. Now researchers are close to finding out how. A study published in a recent edition of Nature Communications by a team of neuroscientists at the University of Glasgow's Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, offers an insight into the neural mechanisms that undergird the decision-making…
Know why you feel ‘high’ after exercise? It’s because work-outs prompt your brain to release naturally producing opioids! Even a single exercise session can have a positive effect on human mood and cognition, according to new research published in the journal Brain Plasticity. The study was led by Wendy A. Suzuki, Ph.D., a professor of neural science and psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University (NYU) in New York City. It…
Saturday, 08 July 2017 11:09

Doodle your depression away

A new study at the Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA says that artistic pursuit, doodling in particular, gladdens the brain. “When you doodle the reward pathway in your brain get super active,” says Girija Kaimal who led the investigation. “This leads to a feeling of pleasure.” And you do not have to be a Rembrandt to experience such art-induced delight. “The level of your artistic skill is not particularly important,” says the study, “so long…
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