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Neurologists Are Skeptical of McConnell Diagnosis

Experts say video suggests small seizures are more likely the cause than dehydration

(Newser) - Seven neurologists consulted by the New York Times say the video of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell freezing up while addressing reporters on Wednesday suggests the problem is more serious than the official explanation indicates . Dr. Brian Monahan, the Capitol's attending physician, has issued a statement that mentioned dehydration...

At Musk's 'Show and Tell,' New Demo of Brain Implant Device

Billionaire says human trials of device from his Neuralink company are imminent

(Newser) - Elon Musk held a "show and tell" event Wednesday night, but it had nothing to do with his most recent Twitter troubles . Instead, the billionaire showed off a brain implant device developed by one of this other companies, Neuralink—a device he says will link the human brain to...

Dishes Full of Brain Cells Teach Themselves to Play Pong

'When they are in the game, they believe they are the paddle'

(Newser) - Scientists at Cortical Labs call dishes full of brain cells "cyborg brains"—and they've learned to play the computer game Pong with surprising speed. The mini-brains, some of them grown from human stem cells and others from cells of mouse embryos, got the hang of a simplified...

Odd Virus Symptoms Crop Up: 'There's No Ventilator for the Brain'

Seizures, dizziness, and 'altered mental status' observed in some COVID-19 patients

(Newser) - Chris Cuomo recently described his COVID-19 symptoms, and in addition to the fever, shivering, and body aches typically associated with the coronavirus, the CNN anchor relayed a "freaky" anecdote about hallucinating images of his late father and other people from his past. It's not clear exactly what happened...

Ever Feel Your Soul Has Been 'Sucked Out'? You're Not Alone

10% of people have had 'true' near-death experiences, researchers say

(Newser) - Have you ever seen your whole life flash before your eyes? You may have had an NDE, or near-death experience, and per a new study , you've got company. Research presented at the European Academy of Neurology Congress shows that 10% of 1,034 people from 35 countries had what...

Vegas Gunman Shot Self in Head, but His Brain Is 'Usable'

'Usable' for the purpose of examination by a neuropathologist, that is

(Newser) - Dr. Hannes Vogel will be slicing up Stephen Paddock's brain next week—but he doubts he will find anything that could explain why he massacred 58 people. Vogel, director of neuropathology at Stanford University Medical Center tells the New York Times that he will "leave no stone unturned"...

Man Was in Vegetative State for 15 Years. Then They Tried Something New

Frenchman shows signs of awareness after nerve stimulation

(Newser) - A 35-year-old Frenchman who had been in a vegetative state since he was 20 showed signs of consciousness after a treatment that researchers say upends the idea that there is no chance of a patient recovering after being in a persistent vegetative state for more than a year. Researchers say...

Scientists Have a Theory on Why You Break Eye Contact

Blame an overworked brain, suggests study

(Newser) - Researchers in Japan suggest there's a surprising neurological reason why people avert their gaze occasionally during conversation. Reporting in the journal Cognition , they write that eye contact actually "disrupts resources available to cognitive control processes during verb generation." In other words, when you need to come up...

Cocaine, Meth Can Mess With Your Morals
 Cocaine, Meth Can 
 Mess With Your Morals 

Cocaine, Meth Can Mess With Your Morals

Stimulant use is particularly prevalent in criminal populations, researchers say

(Newser) - Which comes first, the hard drugs or the criminal behavior? Researchers asked essentially that in a study just published in the journal Psychopharmacology in which they investigate whether cocaine and meth use might hamper moral judgment on a neurological level. The short answer is probably, though further research is required....

Scientists Link Brains Over the Internet

They say it's the most successful mind-meld yet

(Newser) - University of Washington scientists say they pulled off the amazing feat of linking two minds over the Internet—and they didn't have to stick electrodes into anybody's brain to do it. Instead, pairs of study participants a mile apart wore caps—one connected to an EEG machine monitoring...

Some People Are Born Without a 'Mind's Eye'

Aphantasia impairs one's ability to visualize

(Newser) - When science journalist Carl Zimmer wrote a 2010 article in Discover magazine about English neurologist Adam Zeman's case study of a man who couldn't visualize people or things, the professor was approached by 21 people who saw themselves in the article and wanted to learn more. Now Zeman...

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 ...

Kidney Donors Have Brains 'Built for Compassion'

'Empathy zone' is bigger than average, study finds

(Newser) - People who donate kidneys to total strangers aren't just bighearted, they're big-brained compared to most people, researchers say. Neurologists scanned the brains of 39 such donors and found that their brains were 9% bigger than non-donors' brains—with significantly greater volume in the part of the brain that...

24-Year-Old Discovers She's Missing Key Part of Brain
24-Year-Old Discovers She's Missing Key Part of Brain
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24-Year-Old Discovers She's Missing Key Part of Brain

Doctors stunned to find patient's cerebellum missing

(Newser) - The cerebellum is a pretty important part of the brain—it plays a key role in walking, among other movements—so doctors in China were more than a little surprised when a 24-year-old patient who lives a relatively normal life turned out not to have one. A CT scan revealed...

New Claim: Einstein's Brain Not So Special

Psychologist says no secret in Einstein's brain

(Newser) - Maybe he just knew how to use it right. A new paper by Pace University psychologist Terence Hines picks apart previous studies that claim to have identified that special something in the makeup of Einstein's brain. Hines reviewed—and chipped away at—several prominent studies that looked at Einstein'...

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...

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...

Casual Pot Use Changes Young Brains
 Casual Pot Use 
 Changes Young Brains 

Casual Pot Use Changes Young Brains

Abnormalities seen in 'parts you don't want to mess with'

(Newser) - Even casual use of marijuana could be messing up young people's brains at a time of life when they need to make major decisions, a new study finds. Researchers say that people aged 18 to 25 who used marijuana at least once a week were found to have abnormalities...

Autism Starts In the Womb
 Autism Starts in the Womb 

Autism Starts in the Womb

Finding offers new hopes for treatment

(Newser) - Autism appears to start with changes in the brain months before birth, according to new research that highlights the need for early identification and treatment of the disorder. Researchers studying the brains of deceased autistic children found abnormal patches in the cortex that suggest something went wrong either during or...

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,...

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