Brain Health

Science Daily: How challenges change the way you think

New research shows that challenging situations make it harder to understand where you are and what’s happening around you. Researchers showed participants three clips from feature films — one neutral, two challenging. After watching the challenging scenes, the participants were less able to acquire spatial and sequential context — that is, they became worse at […]

The Economist: A new nerve-cell monitor will help those studying brains

Science is a mixture of the intellectual and the practical. And the practical requires tools. Until the invention of the telescope, astronomy had been stuck in a rut for millennia. Until the invention of the microscope, microbiology did not exist. Neuroscience, too, has advanced recently on the back of some powerful tools, particularly techniques for […]

U.S. News & World Report: Your friends may be key to a healthy aging brain

Getting along well with others may do more than just make life less stressful for seniors. A new study suggests that warm, supportive relationships might give a big memory boost to the aging brain. Researchers found that so-called SuperAgers — people 80 or older with the memory powers of those 50 to 65 — were […]

Medical Xpress: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn’t mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching. That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there […]

ZME Science: Sheep can recognize human faces, new study demonstrates

It’s safe to assume that most sheep on Earth have no idea what former President Barack Obama looks like. But for 8 British sheep, it’s a completely different story. At the University of Cambridge in England, researchers have been training them to recognize faces — using Obama as one of the faces, along with actors […]

NPR: Sleepless night leaves some brain cells as sluggish as you feel

When people don’t get enough sleep, certain brain cells literally slow down. A study that recorded directly from neurons in the brains of 12 people found that sleep deprivation causes the bursts of electrical activity that brain cells use to communicate to become slower and weaker, a team reports online Monday in Nature Medicine. (November […]

Scientific American: Language patterns reveal body’s hidden response to stress

Subtleties in the language people use may reveal physiological stress. Psychologists found that tracking certain words used by volunteers in randomly collected audio clips reflected stress-related changes in their gene expression. The speech patterns predicted those physiological changes more accurately than speakers’ own ratings of their stress levels. (November 6, 2017) Read the full article […]

Reuters: Brain training games may help older adults with hearing loss

Hearing-impaired adults who play computer games designed to improve audio skills may have an easier time understanding conversations in a noisy room, a small experiment suggests. Researchers asked 24 elderly adults who used hearing aids to spend 3.5 hours a week for eight weeks playing computer games. (November 2, 2017) Read the full article here

Medical Xpress: How do adult brain circuits regulate new neuron production?

Before we are born, the developing brain creates an incredible number of neurons, which migrate to specific parts of the brain to ready us for life. Contrary to popular belief, genesis of new neurons does not stop at birth or even in childhood. In a few select areas of the brain, it can continue throughout […]