Neuroscience

A new review of acupuncture evidence published in Acupuncture in Medicine claims acupuncture may help to improve mild cognitive impairment, the memory loss that may precede the development of dementia - at least if medicine is also used.


Back in the good old days, most deaths were due to infectious diseases. Today, thanks to modern technology,life expectancy has increased and the pattern of deaths has changed. 

According to the CDC, today’s top ten leading causes of death only include two due toinfection. Both are infections of the lungs  - one is a mixture of infections (#3) and the other is influenza plus pneumonia (#8).

In humans and other mammals, the cerebral cortex is responsible for sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. Understanding the organization of the neuronal networks in the cortex should provide insights into the computations that they carry out.

A study shows that the global architecture of the cortical networks in primates (with large brains) and rodents (with small brains) is organized by common principles. Despite the overall network invariances, primate brains have much weaker long-distance connections, which could explain why large brains are more susceptible to certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer disease. 


For many years, scientists have believed that there is a connection between severe antisocial behavior and abnormal brain development. But there has been very little research testing this idea.

Why does delaying bedtime create chronic sleepiness?

We may be creeping a little closer to knowing, thanks to a paper on fruit flies in Cell
Fruit flies have sleep remarkably similar to people and researchers say they found a group of brain cells in charge of so-called sleep drive that becomes more active the longer flies are kept awake. The same mechanism, they say, also plays a role in putting the flies to sleep and keeping them that way.


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.