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Imaging the brain at multiple size scales Researchers have developed a new technique for imaging brain tissue at multiple scales, allowing them to image molecules within cells or take a wider view of the long-range connections between neurons. The technique, magnified analysis of proteome, should help scientists chart the connectivity and functions of neurons in the human brain.
Can a brain scan early in a period of stress predict eventual memory loss? New research shows that even a brief period of stress -- as few as three days -- can cause the hippocampus to start shrinking. This shrinking of the hippocampus -- a change in the brain's structure -- actually precedes the onset of a change in behavior, namely, the loss of memory.
Study compares cognitive outcomes for treatments of brain lesions Among patients with one to three brain metastases, the use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone, compared with SRS combined with whole brain radiotherapy, resulted in less cognitive deterioration at three months, according to a study.
What Would You Do if Your Email Got Hacked? All too often we hear of a public figure whose email was hacked. What they thought was private becomes grist for the media mill. How would you feel if someone targeted you?
Is There One “Best” Type of Temperament? Or Tendency? People often ask me questions like, “What’s the best Tendency?” “Which Tendency tends to be the most successful?” “Which Tendency has the happiest people?”
How to Set Adult Boundaries with Narcissistic Parents When adults realize they were the product of a narcissistic parent, it can shock them into a state of grief. Instantly, they go from idealizing the narcissist to grieving their lost childhood and the God-like image of their parent. Suddenly, the parent is transformed from … ...
How to Deal with Difficult Parents As kids, we put our parents on a pedestal. When we were growing up, they could heal every wound, solve every problem and fix anything that was broken. As adults, we realize they don’t actually know everything and also have shortcomings. Sometimes, the tables turn … ...
The Beginner Teacher’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness in Clinical... Mindfulness-based interventions have become extremely popular in large part because of the growing body of evidence of their success in alleviating suffering across a range of human problems and populations. Formal mindfulness practice is no longer limited to Buddhist monasteries and retreat centers; it’s now … ...
From vision to hand action: Neuroscientists decipher how our brain controls grasping movements Our hands are highly developed grasping organs that are in continuous use. Long before we stir our first cup of coffee in the morning, our hands have executed a multitude of grasps. Directing a pen between our thumb and index finger over a piece of paper with absolute precision appears as easy as catching a ball or operating a doorknob. Now neuroscientists have studied how the brain controls the different grasping movements. In their research with rhesus macaques, it was found that the three brain areas that are responsible for planning and executing hand movements, perform different tasks within their neural network.
ADHD Vs. OCD Introduction This article will focus on the distinguishing factors between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. According to additude magazine, “Some ADHD diagnoses are more difficult to make … ...
#205 Too Much Information (!) in the Information Age     What are we to do with the massive amounts of information that we receive daily from social media, much of it having to do with horrible shootings and … ...
Today I Love My Meadow Lawn Today I love my meadow lawn and how it got away from me while I worked on other parts of this place. I love cutting grass, which is why I … ...
Approaching Life Without Anger Nothing will cause you to have an emotion until you have learned which things are threatening and which are harmless. You learn to fear things from your experiences. As a … ...
Are You Hardwired For Hope? “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”-Helen Keller Are people hardwired for optimism or pessimism? Some studies indicate certain people seem to … ...
7 Ideas for Date Night When You Have to... Maybe your babysitter cancels. Maybe you’re trying to save money. Maybe you’re not ready to leave your baby. Maybe you don’t trust anyone else to watch your child. Maybe you’re too exhausted to leave the house. Maybe there’s some other reason. Either way, the end … ...
Best of Our Blogs: July 26, 2016 With social media and reality television, there’s been an explosion of exposure. To be worthy, we all search for external validation with likes or retweets. Over-sharing is the norm, and being ordinary equates with being unimportant. I worry about younger generations. Youth who don’t spend … ...
Why Can’t We Remember Our Early Childhood? Most of us don’t have any memories from the first three to four years of our lives. In fact, we tend to remember very little of life before the age of seven. And when we do try to think back to our earliest memories, it is often unclear whether they are the real thing or just recollections based on photos or stories told to us by others. The phenomenon, known as “childhood amnesia,” has been puzzling psychologists for more than a century—and we still don’t fully understand it. But research is starting to suggest an answer: Autobiographical memory might begin with the stories we tell each other. The journey into language At first glance, it may seem that the reason we don’t remember being babies is because infants and toddlers don’t have a fully developed memory. But babies as young as six months can form both short-term memories that last for minutes, and long-term memories that last weeks, if not months. In one study, six-month-olds who learned how to press a lever to operate a toy train remembered how to perform this action for two to three weeks after they had last seen the toy. Preschoolers, on the other hand, can remember events that go years back. It’s debatable whether long-term memories at this early age are truly autobiographical, though—that is, personally relevant events that occurred in a specific time and place. Of course, memory capabilities at these ages are not adult-like—they continue to mature until adolescence. In fact, developmental changes in basic memory processes have been put forward as an explanation for childhood amnesia, and it’s one of the best theories we’ve got so far. These basic processes involve several brain regions and include forming, maintaining, and then later retrieving the memory. For example, the hippocampus, thought to be responsible for forming memories, continues developing until at least the age of seven. We know that the typical boundary for the offset of childhood amnesia—three and a half years—shifts with age. Children and teenagers have earlier memories than adults do. This suggests that the problem may be less with forming memories than with maintaining them. However, this does not seem to be the whole story. Language also plays a role. From the ages of one to six, children progress from the one-word stage of speaking to becoming fluent in their native language(s), so there are major changes in their verbal ability that overlap with the childhood amnesia period. This includes using the past tense, memory-related words such as “remember” and “forget,” and personal pronouns, a favorite being “mine.” It is true to some extent that a child’s ability to verbalize about an event at the time that it happened predicts how well they remember it months or years later. One lab group conducted this work by interviewing toddlers brought to accident and emergency departments for common childhood injuries. Toddlers over 26 months, who could talk about the event at the time, recalled it up to five years later—whereas those under 26 months, who could not talk about it, recalled little or nothing. This suggests that preverbal memories are lost if they are not translated into language. How stories make memories However, most research on the role of language focuses on a particular form of expression called narrative, and its social function. When parents reminisce with very young children about past events, they implicitly teach them narrative skills—what kinds of events are important to remember and how to structure talking about them in a way that others can understand. Unlike simply recounting information for factual purposes, reminiscing revolves around the social function of sharing experiences with others. In this way, family stories maintain the memory’s accessibility over time, and also increase the coherence of the narrative, including the chronology of events, their theme, and their degree of emotion. More coherent stories are remembered better. Maori adults have the earliest childhood memories (age 2.5) of any society studied so far, thanks to Maori parents’ highly elaborative style of telling family stories. Reminiscing has different social functions in different cultures, which contribute to cultural variations in the quantity, quality, and timing of early autobiographical memories. Adults in cultures that value autonomy (North America, Western Europe) tend to report earlier and more childhood memories than adults in cultures that value relatedness (Asia, Africa). This is predicted by cultural differences in parental reminiscing style. In cultures that promote more autonomous self-concepts, parental reminiscing focuses more on children’s individual experiences, preferences, and feelings, and less on their relationships with others, social routines, and behavioral standards. For example, an American child might remember getting a gold star in preschool whereas a Chinese child might remember the class learning a particular song at preschool. While there are still things we don’t understand about childhood amnesia, researchers are making progress. For example, there are more prospective longitudinal studies that follow individuals from childhood into the future. This helps give accurate accounts of events, which is better than retrospectively asking teens or adults to remember past events which are not documented. Also, as neuroscience progresses, there will undoubtedly be more studies relating brain development to memory development. This should help us develop other measures of memory besides verbal reports. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that, even if we can’t explicitly remember specific events from when we were very young, their accumulation nevertheless leaves lasting traces that influence our behavior. The first few years of life are paradoxically forgettable and yet powerful in shaping the adults that we become. This essay was revised from one originally published in The Conversation.
Four Attractive Stereotypes You Shouldn't Try to Conform To If you act dumb to appeal to men, or you flash your cash to pull women, then don't be surprised if you attract the wrong types.
Why are we Attracted to our Friends? Three new scientific papers reveal why we are prone to fall for our friends, and explain why so many of us try to remain friends with an ex.
The Often Overlooked Vulnerability of Singles in the Workplace... Most stereotypes of single people are negative. But there is one way single people are consistently viewed differently than married people that seems mostly positive: Single people – especially if … ...