Research by Yale scientists shows that males and females have essentially unisex brains — at least in flies — according to a recent report in Cell designed to identify factors that are responsible for sex differences in behavior.
The researchers showed that a courting “song and dance” routine that only male flies naturally perform — one wing is lifted and wiggled to make a humming “song” — can also be triggered in female flies by artificially stimulating particular brain cells that are present in both sexes. It isn’t what you’ve got — it’s how you use it, the authors say.
“It appears there is a largely bisexual or ‘unisex brain.’ Anatomically, the differences are subtle and a few critical switches make the difference between male and female behavior,” said senior author Gero Miesenboeck, formerly of Yale University and now at the University of Oxford.
A quirky psychological phenomenon known as grapheme-color synaesthesia describes individuals who experience vivid colors whenever they see, hear, or think of ordinary letters and digits. A hallmark of synaesthesia is that individuals seem to be idiosyncratic in their experiences. That is, most synesthaetes will consistently see the same colors accompanied with specific graphemes, but few of these experiences appear to be shared with other synesthetes.
Is fairness simply a ruse we adopt only when we see an advantage in it for ourselves? Many psychologists have moved away from this utilitarian view, dismissing it as too simplistic, but recent advances in both cognitive science and neuroscience now allow psychologists to approach this question in some different ways, and they are getting some intriguing results.
UCLA psychologist Golnaz Tabibnia, and colleagues Ajay Satpute and Matthew Lieberman, used a psychological test called the “ultimatum game" to explore fairness and self-interest in the laboratory. In this particular version of the test, Person A has a pot of money, say $23, which they can divide in any way they want with Person B. All Person B can do is look at the offer and accept or reject it; there is no negotiation. If Person B rejects the offer, neither of them gets any money.
Married men do less of it than live-in boyfriends
but they do twice as much as they did 20 years ago
and now it's linked to mental health. What is this magical creation?
Not just housework, but really any 20 minutes of physical activity, including the housework we all have to do anyway, is enough to boost mental health, reveals a large study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
‘Mother cells’ which produce the neurons affected by Parkinson’s disease have been identified by scientists, according to new research published in the journal Glia.
The new discovery could pave the way for future treatments for the disease, including the possibility of growing new neurons, and the cells which support them, in the lab. Scientists hope these could then be transplanted into patients to counteract the damage caused by Parkinson’s.
The new study focuses on dopaminergic neurons – brain cells which produce and use the chemical dopamine to communicate with surrounding neurons. The researchers found that these important neurons are created when a particular type of cell in the embryonic brain divides during the early stages of brain development in the womb.
Reshaping of the DNA scaffolding that supports and controls the expression of genes in the brain may play a major role in the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, particularly anxiety, that make it so difficult for alcoholics to stop using alcohol.
DNA can undergo changes in function without any changes in inheritance or coded sequence. These "epigenetic" changes are minor chemical modifications of chromatin -- dense bundles of DNA and proteins called histones.
"This is the first time anyone has looked for epigenetic changes related to chromatin remodeling in the brain during alcohol addiction," said Dr. Subhash C. Pandey, professor and director of neuroscience alcoholism research at the UIC College of Medicine and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, the lead author of the study.
Here's a myth many men are happy has been debunked - contrary to popular thinking about the need for hours of sexual activity, a survey of U.S. and Canadian sex therapists says satisfactory sexual intercourse for couples lasts from 3 to 13 minutes.
Penn State Erie researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani conducted a survey of 50 full members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, which include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage/family therapists and nurses who have collectively seen thousands of patients over several decades.
Thirty-four, or 68 percent, of the group responded and rated a range of time amounts for sexual intercourse, from penetration of the vagina by the penis until ejaculation, that they considered adequate, desirable, too short and too long.
Boxing at the amateur level is less harmful to the brain than previously assumed, says a new study. Obviously the brain is a sensitive instrument so few statements on repeated blows to the head can be truly conclusive and whether or not a professional boxer like Muhammad Ali contracted Parkinson’s disease at age 40 due to injuries sustained in the ring may always remain unclear.
In the Heidelberg Boxing Study(1), high-resolution MRI data were used to search for tiny changes in the brains of amateur boxers and a comparison group of non-boxers. These changes are most likely precursors for later severe brain damage such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
In three of the 42 boxers, microhemorrhages were found, while in the comparison group of 37 non-boxers there were no such changes; however the difference was not statistically significant.
Can physical symptoms in depression be a consequence of low energy production rates? A report in the March issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics introduces a new hypothesis regarding the mechanisms of physical symptoms in depression: it states that energy production rates toward the lower end of the spectrum may predispose the individuals to develop depression and its physical symptoms.
The Authors hypothesized that decreased ATP production rates in mitochondria underlie depressive disorder with very high levels of somatization. They assessed muscle mitochondria in depressed patients as well as somatic symptomatology with 3 self reported scales (Somatic Anxiety, Muscular and Psychasthenia) from the Karolinska Scales of Personality.
At the end of the study, on each of the 3 Karolinska Scales of Personality, virtually every patient with very high levels of somatic symptomatology demonstrated muscle ATP production rates below the control range in the scales.
The vision system used to process color is separate from that used to detect motion, according to a new study by researchers at New York University’s Center for Developmental Genetics and in the Department of Genetics and Neurobiology at Germany’s University of Würzburg.
The findings run counter to previous scholarship that suggested motion detection and color contrast may work in tandem.
Whether motion vision uses color contrast is a controversial issue that has been investigated in several species--from insects to humans. In human vision, it had been widely believed that color and motion were processed by parallel pathways. More recently, however, the complete segregation of motion detection and color vision came into question.