Neuroscience

Our brains work on inductance, that is why electricity can take us to a very weird place. But safe levels of electrical stimulation can enhance your capacity to think more creatively, according to a new paper in Cerebral Cortex.


A study finds that the brains of young adult marijuana users react differently to social exclusion than do those of non-users.  Activation of the insula, a region of the brain that is usually active during social rejection, was reduced in young marijuana users when they were being excluded from participation in virtual game of catch. 


Left and right brained makes a difference, even for those good at math. Large numbers are processed in the left side of the brain while small numbers are processed in the right side of the brain, according to a new paper. 

The brain is divided into two halves - the left side controls the right half of the body, and vice versa. Generally, one side of the brain is more dominant than the other. For example, people who are right-handed tend to have more activity in the left side of their brains.
Do you know what a lucid dream is ? It is the experience of being aware of your asleep state during a dream. Lucid dreaming occurs during the REM phase of sleep, and it is usually created when, while dreaming, one suddenly realizes his or her dreaming state. The dream may then continue, but the individual has some degree of control over what happens. Laws of physics continue to not apply, of course, and one has the power of "writing the script", to some extent. In a sense, one's desires are the driver of the script.

Infants aged between 5 and 7 months hold the representation of color categories in their brain, even before the acquisition of language, according to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Sapir-Wharf hypothesis claims that languages define our perceptions. This belief is widely accepted in various fields of study including psychology, linguistics and anthropology. Color perception is also considered to be subject to this theory, since colors are called by their names in daily communications. 


Doctors recommend several days of rest after a person suffers a concussion, but that is often good advice for many things. It works, but why? New data from animal models explains why.  

Georgetown University Medical Center neuroscientists say rest allows the brain to reset neural networks and repair any short-term injury. The new study in mice also shows that repeated mild concussions with only a day to recover between injuries leads to mounting damage and brain inflammation that remains evident a year after injury.


The human brain works by dividing labor. Although our thinking organ excels in displaying amazing flexibility and plasticity, typically different areas of the brain take over different tasks. While words and language are mainly being processed in the left hemisphere, the right hemisphere is responsible for numerical reasoning.

According to previous findings, this division of labor originates from the fact that the first steps in the processing of letters and numbers are also located individually in the different hemispheres. But this is not the case, at least not when it comes to the visual processing of numbers. 


Dr. Sébastien Jacquemont, a geneticist at the University of Montreal, has correlated genetics to intelligence. "We have just discovered, for example, that a missing copy of a region in chromosome 16 results in a 25-point intelligence quotient (IQ) drop in carriers. Addition of a copy in the same genomic region results in an approximate 16-point drop. Strangely enough, even if carriers show much differentiated sets of symptoms - and sometimes no symptoms at all - the specific effect of these two mutations seems to remain the same."


The brains of children who are obese function differently from those of children of healthy weight, and exhibit an "imbalance" between food-seeking and food-avoiding behaviors, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have found.

Diet and exercise may not be enough to restore normal weight or prevent overweight children from becoming obese, they conclude. It may be necessary to change their brain function.

In a paper published Thursday, Jan. 21, in the journal Heliyon, the researchers suggest that mindfulness, a practice used as a therapeutic technique to focus awareness, should be studied as a way to encourage healthy eating and weight loss in children.


Human sounds may convey emotions clearer and faster than words, according to a new paper.

It takes just one-tenth of a second for our brains to begin to recognize emotions conveyed by vocalizations, according to the researchers\. It doesn't matter whether the non-verbal sounds are growls of anger, the laughter of happiness or cries of sadness. More importantly, the researchers have also discovered that we pay more attention when an emotion - such as happiness, sadness or anger - is expressed through vocalizations than we do when the same emotion is expressed in speech.