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Human stem cells predict efficacy of Alzheimer drugs Why do certain Alzheimer medications work in animal models but not in clinical trials in humans? A research team has been able to show that results of established test methods with animal models and cell lines used up until now can hardly be translated to the processes in the human brain. Drug testing should therefore be conducted with human nerve cells, conclude the scientists.
Learning Challenging New Skills Like Photography Improves Memory Three-month-long experiment demonstrates the importance of challenging new activities for older minds.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Defeat Without Dishonor As a child among boyhood friends, Mandela was once thrown from a donkey into a thorn bush. This taught him a lifetime lesson: "to humiliate another person is to make him suffer an unnecessarily cruel fate. Even as a boy, I defeated my opponents without dishonoring them."read more
Was Nelson Mandela the pinnacle of human psychology? | Chris Chambers Chris Chambers: Mandela was regarded by many as the rarest of psychological gemstones: a self-actualised human beingChris Chambers
Teachers' concern at the sexualization of children Research by a team of psychologists has found that of teachers report an increase in the frequency and intensity of sexually inappropriate behaviour by their pupils. Twenty-two teachers were interviewed, drawn from primary, secondary and special schools. The majority of respondents reported an increase in sexualized behavior in children, ranging from sexual language to coercive acts.
Good relationships make women more satisfied with their weight Women who are in a satisfying relationship are more likely to be satisfied with their body weight.
How Daughters Change Fathers Research suggests that the birth of a daughter causes men to adopt more progressive gender ideology and to increase support of women's rights. This post summarizes the evidence that fathering a daughter changes men's attitudes and considers the causes of this effect.read more
Dementia epidemic looms Health experts say that many governments are unprepared for an epidemic of dementia set to more than triple by 2050.
When it comes to peer pressure, teens are not alone It is well known that teenagers take risks -- and when they do, they like to have company. Now, a new study has found that an inclination toward risky behavior in groups also holds true for another teen mammal -- namely, mice.
Researchers create brand associations by mining millions of images from social media The images people share on social media -- photos of favorite products and places, or of themselves at bars, sporting events and weddings -- could be valuable to marketers assessing their customers' "top-of-mind" attitudes toward a brand. Researchers have taken a first step toward this capability in a new study in which they analyzed five million such images.
Probiotic therapy alleviates autism-like behaviors in mice Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed when individuals exhibit characteristic behaviors, decreased social interactions, and impaired communication. Curiously, many with ASD also suffer from gastrointestinal issues, like abdominal cramps and constipation. Guided by this co-occurrence of brain and gut problems, researchers are investigating a bacterium that alleviates GI and behavioral symptoms in autistic-like mice, introducing a potentially transformative probiotic therapy for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Protein clumps as memory Yeast cells are able to form a memory through an aggregate composed of congregating "degenerate" proteins. A similar memory mechanism is also thought to exist in the nerve cells of higher organisms.
Electrical brain stimulation may evoke a person's 'will to persevere' What gives some people the ability to persevere through difficult situations that others may find insurmountable? The answer is no doubt a complicated one that may be beyond our full understanding, but new research provides some intriguing insights. The study pinpoints a region of the brain that, when stimulated, causes an individual to anticipate a challenge and possess a strong motivation to overcome it.
Electric brain stimulation induces feeling of determination – video A patient describes a sensation of perseverance when a particular part of his brain is stimulated
'Determination' can be induced by electrical brain stimulation | Ian Sample Applying an electric current to a particular part of the brain makes people feel a sense of determination, say researchersDoctors in the US have induced feelings of intense determination in two men by stimulating a part of their brains with gentle electric currents.The men were having a routine procedure to locate regions in their brains that caused epileptic seizures when they felt their heart rates rise, a sense of foreboding, and an overwhelming desire to persevere against a looming hardship.The remarkable findings could help researchers develop treatments for depression and other disorders where people are debilitated by a lack of motivation.One patient said the feeling was like driving a car into a raging storm. When his brain was stimulated, he sensed a shaking in his chest and a surge in his pulse. In six trials, he felt the same sensations time and again.Comparing the feelings to a frantic drive towards a storm, the patient said: "You're only halfway there and you have no other way to turn around and go back, you have to keep going forward."When asked by doctors to elaborate on whether the feeling was good or bad, he said: "It was more of a positive thing, like push harder, push harder, push harder to try and get through this."A second patient had similar feelings when his brain was stimulated in the same region, called the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC). He felt worried that something terrible was about to happen, but knew he had to fight and not give up, according to a case study in the journal Neuron.Both men were having an exploratory procedure to find the focal point in their brains that caused them to suffer epileptic fits. In the procedure, doctors sink fine electrodes deep into different parts of the brain and stimulate them with tiny electrical currents until the patient senses the "aura" that precedes a seizure. Often, seizures can be treated by removing tissue from this part of the brain."In the very first patient this was something very unexpected, and we didn't report it," said Josef Parvizi at Stanford University in California. But then I was doing functional mapping on the second patient and he suddenly experienced a very similar thing.""Its extraordinary that two individuals with very different past experiences respond in a similar way to one or two seconds of very low intensity electricity delivered to the same area of their brain. These patients are normal individuals, they have their IQ, they have their jobs. We are not reporting these findings in sick brains," Parvizi said.The men were stimulated with between two and eight milliamps of electrical current, but in tests the doctors administered sham stimulation too. In the sham tests, they told the patients they were about to stimulate the brain, but had switched off the electical supply. In these cases, the men reported no changes to their feelings. The sensation was only induced in a small area of the brain, and vanished when doctors implanted electrodes just five millimetres away.Parvizi said a crucial follow-up experiment will be to test whether stimulation of the brain region really makes people more determined, or simply creates the sensation of perseverance. If future studies replicate the findings, stimulation of the brain region – perhaps without the need for brain-penetrating electrodes – could be used to help people with severe depression.The anterior midcingulate cortex seems to be important in helping us select responses and make decisions in light of the feedback we get. Brent Vogt, a neurobiologist at Boston University, said patients with chronic pain and obsessive-compulsive disorder have already been treated by destroying part of the aMCC. "Why not stimulate it? If this would enhance relieving depression, for example, let's go," he said.NeurosciencePsychologyEpilepsyDepressionMental healthHealthIan Sampletheguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Does neuromarketing live up to the hype? | Pete Etchells Pete Etchells: We increasingly seem to be bombarded with adverts and PR stunts which make grandiose claims about our brains. But the actual science isn't there yet.Pete Etchells
Fearful "˜Memories' Passed Between Generations Through Genetic Code New study on mice suggests parents' fears can be passed on to their grandchildren.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Gentler heart surgery remains without signs of dementia Aortic valve stenosis is the most frequent heart valve defect of older people in Europe. In patients at high and excessive risk, conventional cardiac surgery is often no therapeutic option, leaving only transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) as an option. However, this procedure has major side effects. A long-term study shows that clinicians are able to exclude significant cognitive impairment for the majority of patients undergoing TAVI.
Recurring memory traces boost long-lasting memories While the human brain is in a resting state, patterns of neuronal activity which are associated to specific memories may spontaneously reappear. Scientists performed a memory test on a series of persons while monitoring their brain activity by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The experimental setup comprised several resting states including a nap inside a neuroimaging scanner. The study indicates that resting periods can generally promote memory performance.
Brain shape affects children's learning capacities The anatomy of the brain affects cognitive control, an essential skill for learning and academic success. Scientists in this study showed that an asymmetry of the two brain hemispheres relative to a particular pattern of a cortical region could partly explain the performance of 5-year old children during a task designed to measure cognitive control. According to the research team, and depending on the characteristics of their brains, children may have different pedagogical requirements in terms of learning cognitive control.