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Artists' Brains Are Different

Researchers find structural differences in art students

(Newser) - The mind of an artist, it seems, is no figure of speech: The brains of skilled visual artists are actually physically different from others, a study based on brain scans suggests. "The people who are better at drawing really seem to have more developed structures in regions of the... More »

One Monkey Controls Another, Avatar-Style

Brain, spine implants link animals' movements

(Newser) - In the movie Avatar, a paralyzed soldier uses a computer to control a body remotely. In a new study, scientists have moved a little closer to making that story a reality, LiveScience reports. US researchers installed electrodes into a "master" monkey's brain and an "avatar" monkey's... More »

Scientists Discover 'New' Area of Brain

Region helps us ponder what could have been

(Newser) - Is the grass always greener on the other side of the fence? If you find yourself plagued by the question, thank the lateral frontal pole behind each of your eyebrows, says Oxford researcher Matthew Rushworth. The lateral frontal pole is a newly identified part of your brain which, scientists believe,... More »

Coffee May Improve Long-Term Memory

Plus: brain-training exercises offer new hope

(Newser) - Coffee may offer a boost to our long-term memory, according to a new study in Nature Neuroscience . The findings are based on test subjects' ability to remember patterns in pictures after taking a caffeine pill. Researchers showed 44 volunteers who hadn't had coffee for at least a day a... More »

New Pill Could Give Adults Perfect Pitch

And make adult brains more receptive to knowledge in general

(Newser) - Annoyed that your shower singing hasn't quite wowed the neighbors? One day you may be able to improve your pitch—and even acquire perfect pitch—with little more than a trip to the drugstore, NPR reports. That's because researchers are studying a "mood-stabilizing" drug that enables an... More »

All-Nighters May Cause Brain Damage

Maybe get that studying done early

(Newser) - Another reason not to leave homework to the last minute: Pulling an all-nighter may cause brain damage, a study suggests. Researchers in Sweden studied 15 healthy men who were allowed one night of eight-hour sleep and one night of none at all, the National Monitor reports.The subjects provided blood... More »

Brain Wipes Out Toxins While We Sleep

Functions 'like a dishwasher': researcher

(Newser) - Feeling a bit muddled after a sleepless night? It may be because your brain didn't get a chance to flush out built-up toxins, NPR reports. While we're asleep, the brain acts, in a researcher's words, "like a dishwasher"—at least in animals studied, including mice... More »

Archaeologists Find 4K-Year-Old Brain

It was likely preserved by earthquake, fire

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered one of the oldest human brains ever found, New Scientist reports. The 4,000-year-old organ was found in Seyitömer Höyük, a Bronze Age settlement, and researchers think its owner was likely killed when an earthquake buried him under rubble. A fire probably... More »

How Einstein's Brain Was Different

Researchers say one vital section was especially well developed

(Newser) - We might be able to credit the theory of relativity to Albert Einstein's corpus callosum. That, as Red Orbit explains, is the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the brain's left and right hemispheres. And it turns out that Einstein had a beauty. Researchers analyzing images of his... More »

Ballet Alters Dancers' Brains

Could help people who suffer chronic dizziness

(Newser) - Ballet dancers aren't like the rest of us. And it's not just their tiny waistlines and ability to stand on the tips of their toes—the dancing alters their brains. A new study has found years of ballet training changes dancers' brain structure, so they can spin around... More »

'Brain Dead' Might Not Mean Brain Dead After All

Study detects activity even after a flat EEG line

(Newser) - An intriguing new study out of Montreal might redefine our concept of being "brain dead." Researchers for the first time think that the brain remains active even in patients whose EEG lines have gone flat, reports the Los Angeles Times . The study sprang from an unusual case in... More »

Right- or Left-Brained? There's No Such Thing

Study finds we have no preference for one side over the other

(Newser) - If you've long lauded your powerful right brain for providing you with your artistic prowess, some University of Utah researchers have bad news for you: The whole right-brain/left-brain thing isn't true. The neuroscientists analyzed 1,011 brain scans to come to their conclusion about whether people are indeed... More »

Scientists Build Tiny Human Brains in Lab

Scientists turned skin cells into stem cells to grow brains

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have grown miniature human brains in a lab—pea-sized models that could hold the key to understanding developmental disorders like autism. Newsy reports: More »

Migraines May Change Brain Structure

But scientists aren't sure whether this is a big cause for concern

(Newser) - Those with the misfortune to suffer regular migraines should know that those headaches aren't just knocking them off their feet—they seem to be causing physical changes to the brain, reports AFP . Researchers say that migraine sufferers, especially those who experience symptoms such as sensitivity to light and dizziness... More »

Cocaine May 'Teach' Addiction to Brain—Fast

Scientists see changes to mouse brains after 2 hours

(Newser) - Just one dose of cocaine may physically change the brain as the body begins "learning addiction," scientists say. They investigated the effect of the drug on mice, and noted that within two hours of being injected with the drug, brain changes were visible, the BBC reports. After two... More »

New Tool Measures Consciousness for First Time

It could help treat unresponsive patients with brain injuries

(Newser) - How to determine whether an unresponsive patient is conscious? Introducing the PCI, a technique that involves measuring the brain's response to a magnetic pulse, reports LiveScience . “You’re kind of banging on the brain and listening to the echo,” explains a UK neuroscientist to ScienceNow . The new... More »

Clue to Near-Death Experiences Uncovered

Scientists find rats' brains go into overdrive after cardiac arrest

(Newser) - A fascinating (and somewhat macabre) new study may explain the so-called "near-death experiences" described by many people. Scientists studied the brains of nine rats as they were being euthanized and found that just after the rats' hearts stopped, their brains became more active than normal, NPR reports. This sort... More »

Supercomputer Simulates Human Brain for One Second

...or 1% of the human brain, anyway

(Newser) - Artificial intelligence can do some amazing things, but can it really replicate actual human brain activity? A group of Japanese researchers say the answer is yes, albeit pretty ponderously. In an experiment run on one of the world's fastest supercomputers, the researchers managed to completely simulate the actions of... More »

To Help Ward Off Dementia, Grab a Good Book

Study adds weight to the theory of keeping your brain active

(Newser) - It's not the most startling of conclusions, but a major new study lends weight to the theory that a lifetime of reading and other brain-boosting activities helps ward off dementia late in life, reports the BBC . The study in the journal Neurology tracked about 300 people from their mid-50s... More »

Nuclear Bombs Prove Our Brains Keep Growing

Research uses fallout from tests to show we get new brain cells as adults

(Newser) - Congratulations, your adult brain isn't meekly withering into a useless mass after all—it is instead generating new neurons all the while. Scientists have long debated whether the brain keeps growing into adulthood, and new research in Cell seems to have settled the mystery. What's more, the Swedish... More »

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