Neuroscience

Neurological and psychiatric conditions both involve the brain, but are treated very differently. Put simply, neurologists are trained to deal with the “brain” and psychiatrists to deal with the “mind”. Neurologists and psychiatrists formally parted company in the late 19th century.

Ever since the days of Sigmund Freud – who was originally a neurologist but is also the father of psychoanalysis – the way we think about brain disorders has been coloured by this artificial divide.

Some people have an extreme fear of spiders or other objects while others have breathing difficulties and accelerated heart beat in small rooms or large gatherings of people. Some anxiety attacks occur for no apparent cause. Some patients suffer from the detrimental impacts on their everyday lives, they have problems at work and withdraw from social contacts.

A new fMRI study used neural activity in 80 people to accurately predict the virality of 80 New York Times health articles.

Well, it's the New York Times, a top five newspaper in the U.S. so the results are going to be skewed by that, as were the articles selected; the public loves weak observational claims about health and the demographic that reads the New York Times is most inclined to believe claims about miracle vegetables, scary chemicals and diet fads. 
Though scant progress has been made in treating or understanding Alzheimer's disease in the last 100 years, one thing is known; there are declines in glucose levels in the hippocampus early on. What has remained unclear is whether that is a cause or consequence. 
A new analysis finds that youths who hold off on trying marijuana until age 17 do better on cognitive tests and drop out of school at a lower rate than those who start by age 14. Obviously negative health behavior in alcohol and cigarettes are linked in the same ways, but those two have not gotten the health halo that marijuana has gotten, thanks to politicians who have turned a blind eye to health concerns in the interest of generating more revenue.

In the first installment of this two-part post, I mentioned that from my perspective I had understood Kaepernick had a right to protest as an American, but all of that sentiment had changed through a series of interlocking events. Here is what I mean by the interlocking events. There is curious coming together of a few topics from current events that is taking place now.

In America we have the right to protest, so when Kaepernick started his protest by refusing to honor the flag and the national anthem during NFL pre-game ceremonies a lot of people thought it was wrong, and a lot of people thought it was right. That’s America for you. And no matter what anybody thought, nobody disagreed about the fact that it was his right to protest like that – it is part of what it means to be American. It’s about free speech and our inalienable rights as American citizens.

We know that there is sound on planets and moons in the solar system – places where there’s a medium through which sound waves can be transmitted, such as an atmosphere or an ocean. But what about empty space? You may have been told definitively that space is silent, maybe by your teacher or through the marketing of the movie Alien – “In space no one can hear you scream”. The common explanation for this is that space is a vacuum and so there’s no medium for sound to travel through.

But that isn’t exactly right. Space is never completely empty – there are a few particles and sound waves floating around. In fact, sound waves in the space around the Earth are very important to our continued technological existence. They also they sound pretty weird!

Taking music lessons increases brain fiber connections in children, according to a recent small study. The researchers studied 23 healthy children between the ages of five and six years old. All of the children were right handed and had no history of sensory, perception or neurological disorders.

None of the children had been trained in any artistic discipline in the past.

The study participants underwent pre- and post-musical-training evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique, which identifies microstructural changes in the brain's white matter.

Hearing voices that other people can’t is a meaningful experience. Like dreams, they can usually be understood in terms of one’s life experiences. Within mental health services, however, the prevailing medical model means some practitioners pay attention only to their presence, not their meaning.