neuroscience

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Scientists Map 97 New Areas of the Human Brain

'A huge leap in neuroscience'

(Newser) - It's not quite the leap from an 18th-century atlas to Google Maps, but it's close. The Verge reports scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have created a new map of the human brain that includes 97 areas never before identified. They published their findings Wednesday in Nature... More »

Why You Toss and Turn the First Night in a Strange Place

Blame the left side of your brain: researchers

(Newser) - If you find it hard to doze off on your first night in unfamiliar surroundings, you're not alone—and it may be because you're like a dolphin. In a study published in Current Biology , Brown University scientists found this type of sleep disturbance (referred to as the "... More »

Scientists Can Now Control Mouse Minds With Magnets

And that could have huge implications for humans

(Newser) - Scientists at the University of Virginia were able to control the brains of living mice using magnetic fields, essentially harnessing the power of mind control, according to a study published this week in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers created a synthetic gene—dubbed Magneto, obviously—that is sensitive to magnetic fields and... More »

Woman Develops 'Temporary Kleptomania' After Surgery

Brazilian went in for a tummy tuck and boob job, came out with a desire to steal

(Newser) - A woman who went under the knife for a little nip-and-tuck in 2013 ended up with a case of pocket-and-run as well. Per Live Science , the 40-year-old Brazilian had cosmetic surgery on her stomach, arms, and breasts, but just a few days after the procedure, she started having "recurring... More »

Researchers Explain Why We Sigh

It's actually a vital life process to keep our lungs functioning: study

(Newser) - People may think they sigh just for the heck of it, but UCLA and Stanford researchers have pinpointed two specific clusters of neurons in the brain stem that appear to turn normal breaths into sighs—and that process may happen for a vital reason, a press release notes. Using mice... More »

Scientists: We May Be Able to Alter Human Intelligence

There are 2 gene networks perhaps controlled by master 'switches': researchers

(Newser) - Researchers from London's Imperial College think they've found two networks of genes, possibly controlled by a master system, that control cognitive functions—a find that may allow them to modify human intelligence down the line, the Guardian reports. In a study published in Nature Neuroscience , scientists say these... More »

Why Putin Walks That Weird Walk

It may be because of his KGB weapons training: scientists

(Newser) - The peculiar walk of one Vladimir Putin (left arm swinging naturally, right arm stiff at his side) has been the subject of speculation, with guesses ranging from childhood illness to an in-utero stroke, Live Science reports. But a group of Dutch neuroscientists—or "movement disorder enthusiasts," as they... More »

The Mice Have Spoken: Taste Is an Illusion

Scientists turn sense of taste on and off by manipulating brain cells: study

(Newser) - That bitter tincture a bunch of mice in a Columbia University lab recently gagged on could have been sweet nectar, or even just plain water. Why they took issue with the taste: For a study published in the journal Nature , scientists fiddled with their brain cells to make them think... More »

Brain Scan 'Fingerprints' Can Show How Smart We Are

Scientists say 'connectivity profiles' may predict how well we do on cognitive tasks

(Newser) - Each person's brain activity, or "connectivity profile," may be as unique as a set of fingerprints, YaleNews reports—and could prove useful in IDing individuals, assessing intelligence, and predicting future success on certain tasks. In a study published Monday in Nature Neuroscience , scientists reviewed fMRI scans for... More »

Modern Malady May Be Behind Rise in Dementia

Researchers in new study think pollution and pesticides play a role

(Newser) - Could pollution be to blame for why dementia is killing more people and being diagnosed earlier than ever? That's the theory being floated by researchers involved in a study of patients in 21 countries from 1989 to 2010. The Smithsonian reports that while dementia is typically associated with people... More »

One Man Lost Most of His Brain and Didn't Even Notice

Doctors astounded as married father of two goes about life with very little brain matter

(Newser) - As it turns out maybe the Scarecrow didn't need that brain after all. Real Clear Science revisits a bizarre case from 2007 in which a relatively normal 44-year-old man—married, two kids, job—turned out to have been going about his life without most of his brain. In fact,... More »

Brain Pathway Science Forgot Is Rediscovered

Vertical occipital fasciculus is involved in visual perception, attention, etc.

(Newser) - In 2012, a team of researchers out of the University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences thought they'd stumbled upon a new pathway in the brain associated with reading that had somehow been glossed over by their predecessors. "We couldn't find it in any... More »

Scientists Create 'Alzheimer's in a Dish'

Breakthrough will make drug testing much easier

(Newser) - A huge breakthrough in Alzheimer's research—and one that doesn't involve tests on mice: Scientists have successfully created "Alzheimer's in a dish" using human brain cells in research that will make it much cheaper and easier to test new anti-Alzheimer's drugs, reports the New York ... More »

Messages Sent From Brain to Brain Over 5K Miles

First-of-its kind experiment relays 'hola' and 'ciao' from India to France

(Newser) - A team of neuroscientists tapped into brain-wave-reading gear, binary code, and the Internet to transmit thoughts from a subject in India to three human "receivers" in France—about 5,000 miles away, reports Popular Science . The four participants, ages 28-50, were hooked up to equipment that looked like it... More »

We Only Use 10% of Brain? That's a Myth

Scientists say we actually use the whole brain

(Newser) - Reading this, you're probably using, what ... 10% of your brain? Funny how that notion took hold—that we use a tenth of our brain at any given time—because there's no actual evidence for it, the Conversation reports. The idea may date back to psychologist William James, who... More »

Secret to Bruce Lee Punch? His Brain

His famous one-inch jab is all about synchronization

(Newser) - Bruce Lee could famously pack a wallop from a short distance—as in one inch. But how on earth did he punch with such power in so short a span? Popular Mechanics breaks things down and discovers that while the physical components of the punch are indeed impressive, the real... More »

Military Working on Brain Chip to Fight Mental Illness

DARPA: 'We think that we have to go well beyond what is currently available'

(Newser) - The US military's research division is turning its considerable might against one of the military's most persistent foes: mental illness . The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today announced a $26 million effort to develop a brain implant that could treat things like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. "At... More »

Fruit Flies Pause to Think About Decisions

Tiny flies share decision-making gene with humans

(Newser) - The fruit fly's tiny speck of a brain has astonished researchers once again. The flies, given the choice of flying into different chambers with varying levels of a scent they associated with danger, lingered longer over the decision as the differences became smaller, showing signs of the same decision-making... More »

New Alzheimer's Treatment: Hot Cocoa?

Study indicates that it can improve patients with impaired neurological coupling

(Newser) - Here's some medicine that will go down easy: A new study suggests that drinking hot cocoa can help seniors sharpen their memories, at least if their brains already suffer some impairment. Researchers had a group of 60 seniors drink two cups of hot cocoa a day, with half getting... 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 »

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