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Water-based imaging maps brain neurons before surgery Some neurosurgeons are using a new approach to visualize the brain's delicate anatomy prior to surgery. The novel technique allows neurosurgeons to see the brain's nerve connections thus preserving and protecting critical functions such as vision, speech and memory. No needles, dyes or chemicals are needed to create the radiology scan. The main imaging ingredient? Water.
Improve learning by taming instructional complexity From using concrete or abstract materials to giving immediate or delayed feedback, there are rampant debates over the best teaching strategies to use. But, in reality, improving education is not as simple as choosing one technique over another. Carnegie Mellon University and Temple University researchers scoured the educational research landscape and found that because improved learning depends on many different factors, there are actually more than 205 trillion instructional options available.
Daily online testing boosts college performance, reduces achievement gaps A study finds daily online quizzes help students of all socioeconomic backgrounds improve grades.
What Happened to Your Psyche the Day JFK Was Shot? "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" was not just a pop culture question. To answer it located a person along both a political and personal timeline, validating the truth that we are as emotionally and psychologically impacted by large, historical events as we are by the parental abandonments and failures of more
Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language In a new study, researchers uncovered the brain mechanisms that underlie discourse comprehension, or the ability to understand written or spoken language through the construction of rich mental models.
First Class 1 evidence for cognitive rehabilitation in MS Researchers published the results of the MEMREHAB Trial, providing the first Class I evidence for the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis.
Have You Fallen Prey to the "Spotlight Effect"? Being embarrassed is part of the human condition, but do we really need to hide at home on a bad hair day? Perhaps not. In a series of clever studies, psychologists show that we overestimate how much our actions and appearance are noticed by others, a bias termed the "spotlight effect."read more
How are fear-related behaviors, anxiety disorders controlled? A team of researchers has just shown that interneurons located in the forebrain at the level of the prefrontal cortex are heavily involved in the control of fear responses.
Genetic defect keeps verbal cues from hitting the mark: Gene found in human speech problems affects singing, not learning in songbirds A genetic defect that profoundly affects speech in humans also disrupts the ability of songbirds to sing effective courtship tunes. This defect in a gene called FoxP2 renders the brain circuitry insensitive to feel-good chemicals that serve as a reward for speaking the correct syllable or hitting the right note, a recent study shows.
Study pinpoints cell type, brain region affected by gene mutations in autism A team has identified the disruption of a single type of cell -- in a particular brain region and at a particular time in brain development -- as a significant factor in the emergence of autism.
Newborn babies have built-in body awareness ability The ability to differentiate your own body from others is a fundamental skill, critical for humans' ability to interact with their environments and the people in them. Now, researchers provide some of the first evidence that newborn babies enter the world with the essential mechanisms for this kind of body awareness already in place.
Who learns from the carrot, and who from the stick? To flexibly deal with our ever-changing world, it is thought that we need to learn from both the negative and positive consequences of our behavior. In other words, from punishment and reward. Scientists have now demonstrated that serotonin and dopamine related genes influence how we base our choices on past punishments or rewards. This influence depends on which gene variant you inherited from your parents.
The company you keep shapes what you learn, study in locusts suggests A team of scientists has shown how the environment shapes learning and memory by training locusts like Pavlov's dog to associate different smells with reward or punishment.
First map of autism-risk genes by function Scientists mapped groups of autism-risk genes by function, and identified how mutations in these genes disrupt fetal brain development. Their findings prioritize targets for future research and shed light on autism's molecular origins.
The 29 Senses of Normal Given the many usages of the word "normal," does "normal" really have any meaning? And if it doesn't, what can "abnormal" mean? Can you base a profession, the mental health profession, on words without meaning?read more
Time flies - when you are looking at an unattractive face The common expression 'time flies when you're having fun"˜ suggests that people's perception of duration is moderated by the impact of their emotions and the activities they are performing; in other words, emotions such as fear or sadness affect people's perception of time. Now, a study among female students suggests that visual stimuli, such as attractive or unattractive faces, can make time fly or drag.
Attractants prevent nerve cell migration A vision is to implant nerve precursor cells in patients with Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. However, the implanted nerve cells frequently do not migrate as hoped. Scientists have now discovered an important cause of this: Attractants secreted by the precursor cells prevent the maturing nerve cells from migrating into the brain.
Stress, isolation take toll on those under 50 with HIV; older people fare better Researchers were surprised to learn that people younger than 50 years old with HIV feel more isolated and stressed than older people with the disease. They expected their study to reveal just the opposite.
What is The Most Common Phobia You've Never Heard Of? It's the fear of holes.→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
Teacher-child interactions support kids' development in different areas Research hasn't always been clear about which aspects of interactions are most important to how children do academically and socially. A new study of 1,400 preschoolers and 325 early childhood teachers from across the country that used a novel approach to analyzing data in this area has identified which types of teacher-child interactions support children's learning and development in which areas.