brain chemistry

12 Stories

Being Tired May Make You Snack Like a Pot Smoker

When sleep-deprived, brain may release more of chemical that keeps you snacking

(Newser) - If you've wondered why you nosh like crazy after a night of tossing and turning, scientists think they've figured it out: Your brain may compensate for the lack of sleep by releasing chemicals similar to those that pot smokers breathe in, resulting in the tired person's version... More »

Scientists Show How We Remember Dreams

But they're still not sure about the 'why' part

(Newser) - From the scariest nightmares to the most bizarre fantasies, some dreams are remembered forever, and a team of Italian scientists knows how. Researchers at L'Aquila and Bologna universities have determined that it's all about the theta waves. If those slow electrical oscillations are present in the cerebral cortex... More »

The Strange Odyssey of Einstein's Stolen Brain

And the breakthrough it led to

(Newser) - When Thomas Harvey performed Albert Einstein's autopsy, he removed his brain, which was standard procedure. But what he did next wasn't standard at all: He put the brain in a jar of formaldehyde and made off with it. NPR relates the strange tale in a segment this morning. Harvey said... More »

Shot to Brain Could Calm Fears

At least it does in goldfish in Japanese study

(Newser) - A study on goldfish has yielded hope for a temporary fix for humans paralyzed by fear, Japanese scientists say. They injected anesthetic directly into the fishes’ brains—which are similar to many mammals’—and thus switched off its fear center. The news could mean temporary calm for those afraid... More »

Reading Beefs Up Kids' Brains

Builds info-carrying networks in white matter

(Newser) - Time children spend reading doesn't just improve their reading skills, it changes the structure of their brains. A new study found that poor readers have weak information-carrying highways in their brains' "white matter," and that through intensive reading practice, kids with previously "low quality" white matter can... More »

Researchers Discover Why Pot Makes You Forget

Scientists identify pathway for cognitive impairment under the effects of cannabis

(Newser) - Scientists have found the area in the mouse brain that marijuana acts upon to cause forgetfulness, AFP reports. Researchers in Barcelona used two groups of mice, each engineered to be missing one of the two concentrations of receptor neurons for cannabis (CB1) in the hippocampus, an area of the brain... More »

Brain Scientists Find 'Memory Molecule'

Blocking it could erase memories; enhancing may stave off dementia

(Newser) - Imagine having the power to wipe out a particularly troubling memory, or to enhance neuron systems in order to stave off the effects of dementia. Such techniques, once only considered by science fiction writers and philosophers, could now be within our grasp, based on studies in animals. The New York ... More »

Anorexia Breakthrough Gives Hope for an Rx

Brain chemistry holds key to disease, say researchers

(Newser) - New research revealing brain differences in anorexics offers hope that drugs could one day soon effectively battle the disease, according to scientists. Some 70% of anorexics show signs of problems with neurotransmitters, which help brain cells communicate. The differences are believed to occur in the womb. The findings could "... More »

Soy Goo May Fight Alzheimer's

Enzyme in fermented beans attacks brain plaques

(Newser) - The good news: There may be a natural way to treat Alzheimer's disease. The bad news: It's kind of gross. A recent study found that natto, the stinky and slimy soybean product featured in some Japanese dishes, contains an enzyme that can shred the type of brain plaque that causes... More »

Ultrasound May Help Counter Brain Disease

Low frequency ultrasound shown to release neurotransmitters

(Newser) - Bombarding the brain with sound waves may not seem like the most logical way to repair damage, but a new study shows that ultrasound may have therapeutic uses, reports the Economist. While ultrasound technology has long been used to take images of human interiors, such as fetuses in the womb,... More »

Brain Scans Prove Love Can Last

Brain scans show some couples really do keep things fresh

(Newser) - It looks like conventional wisdom was wrong, and the old songs were right: You really can bring back that loving feeling. Or at least some people can, the Times of London reports. About one in 10 couples in 20-year relationships still showed the same brain responses to pictures of their... More »

Stress Pushes Animals to Binge, Too

House pets feel human worries; lab animals turn to high-fat treats

(Newser) - Animals get stressed out just like humans, and they even cope anthropomorphically, binging on sweet, fatty foods, LiveScience reports. What’s more, animals can read our misgivings and take on that stress themselves. “The more intelligent an animal is, the more psychological stress it can undergo,” one veterinarian... More »

12 Stories