How the bundles of neurons in the brain control behavior remains an ongoing mystery and sexual behavior is among the biggest mysteries of all.
Not only do animals come in different shapes and sizes, but they all exhibit different behaviors as well - each species is born with its own unique set of innate behaviors but how they are controlled by the brain is not well understood. Drosophila melanogaster , the 'fruit fly', is a big help in this sort of research because sex is a behavior the fruit fly does well. Their reproductive prowess has ensured their place throughout the world.
We know people have positive social behavior in part because of emotional reactions to real or imagined social harm - we may not like seeing others slighted or we may not want to be perceived as the kind of person who does that sort of thing.
But some are a lot more sensitive than others and a new study says that the neurotransmitter serotonin can directly alter both moral judgment and behavior through increasing our aversion to personally harming others, rather than just controlling violent impulses or helping you sleep.
Think boys mature faster than girls? Or vice versa? Let's go to the MRI!
Researchers at Oregon Health&Science University and Washington University in St. Louis say they can now accurately predict a young person's age simply by taking an MRI brain scan and analyzing it with a numerical model.
Since man has been able to think about big issues, such as why we are the way we are, it has been known that what happens during the daytime, including emotional stress and physical activity, can affect sleep. When an animal is active and awake, research shows, regulatory substances also build up in the brain that induce sleep.
But what in wakefulness is driving these sleep regulatory substances? Sleep disorders affect between 50 and 70 million Americans, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The Institute also estimates the lost productivity and mishaps of fatigue cost businesses roughly $150 billion, while motor vehicle accidents involving tired drivers cost at least $48 billion a year.
Can playing "Call of Duty 2" improve your brain power? University of Rochester researchers say that, and other action video games, train people to make the right decisions faster. Video games help players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them and that improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and even navigating around town. Bring on "Halo:Reach" then!
People can learn to control the activity of some brain regions when they get feedback signals provided by functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI), according to researchers who used fMRI during training sessions with three groups of healthy participants who were asked to assess visual emotional stimuli (negative or neutral pictures).
They were interested in the signals generated by the insula, a brain region implicated in emotion regulation. While performing the test, the investigators provided the subjects with specific, unspecific, or no feedback about the extent of the activation of the insula.
When nerve cells communicate with each other, they do so through electrical pulses. Most everything in our bodies comes down to induction when you think about it.
Since the early days of neuroscience, the accepted idea was that nerve cells simply sum up tiny action potentials generated by the incoming pulses and emit an action potential themselves when a threshold is reached but Moritz Helias and Markus Diesmann from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (Japan) and Moritz Deger and Stefan Rotter from the Bernstein Center Freiburg (Germany) say they have figured out exactly what happens right before a nerve cell emits a pulse
22 scientists have published a study they say provides clear evidence about the effectiveness of Non-pharmacological Therapies in Alzheimer's disease and are calling on governments to make these useful treatments readily available.
A cure for Alzheimer's is not in sight and available drugs have worthwhile but limited benefits the study says scientifically developed and rigorously tested Non-pharmacological Therapies can significantly improve the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers.
They say he strongest evidence is for individualized intervention packages for family caregivers which can improve the well-being of caregivers and help delay admissions to care homes.
Today, trepanation, or drilling a hole in the head, is commonly used to release the pressure of swelling inside the skull.
Throughout history, it's been used to treat epilepsy, migraines, mood disorders and pretty much any other head condition that seemed to surgeons of the time as if it could be improved by seeing the light of day. But even more interesting than holding someone down and punching a hole through his/her skull is doing it yourself.
A new system published in The Visual Computer
uses sensors and wireless devices to measure three physiological parameters in real time, heart rate, respiration, and the galvanic (electric) skin response, processes that data using software, and is then used to control the behavior of a virtual character who is sitting in a waiting room.
The heart rate was reflected in the movement of the character's feet, respiration in the rising of the chest (exaggerated movements so that it can be noticed) and the galvanic skin response in the more or less reddish color of the face.