Health News

Uncovering the evolution of the brain: Scientists compare the development of brain cells between humans and nonhuman primates in a novel way

What makes us human, and where does this mysterious property of “humanness” come from? Humans are genetically similar to chimpanzees and bonobos, yet there exist obvious behavioral and cognitive differences. Now, researchers from the Salk Institute, in collaboration with researchers from the anthropology department at UC San Diego, have developed a strategy to more easily […]

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How does the brain learn by talking to itself?

Human beings, like other animals, possess an enormous learning capacity that allows for the apprehension of new sensory information to master new skills or to adapt to an ever-changing environment. However, many of the mechanisms that enable us to learn remain poorly understood. One of the greatest challenges of systems neuroscience is to explain how […]

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Rerouting nerves during amputation reduces phantom limb pain before it starts: Researchers find life-altering benefits to surgery developed for advanced prosthetics

Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine are pioneering the use of primary targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) to prevent or reduce debilitating phantom limb and stump pain in amputees. Losing a limb due to trauma, cancer, or poor circulation can result in phantom limb and stump pain in upwards […]

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MRI technique shows unique signatures of concussion in rugby players

Using MRI to study the brains of young female athletes has helped researchers develop an objective way to monitor a concussion injury. By using a technique that combines both structural and functional MRI information, Western University researchers were able to identify three unique signatures — one that shows acute brain changes after an athlete has […]

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Personality and mood affect brain response to personal choice

Personality traits and mental health affect how people value personal control in decision making, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Our brain’s reward and motivation systems show higher activity when we feel personal control in a situation and when we receive rewards that we’ve earned, rather than been given […]

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Abnormal vision in childhood can affect brain functions

A research team has discovered that abnormal vision in childhood can affect the development of higher-level brain areas responsible for things such as attention. The researchers from the University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, and the University of Auckland uncovered differences in how the brain processes visual information in patients with various types of […]

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Artificial intelligence helps reveal how people process abstract thought: Study of deep neural networks suggests knowledge comes via sensory experience

As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, much of the public attention has focused on how successfully these technologies can compete against humans at chess and other strategy games. A philosopher from the University of Houston has taken a different approach, deconstructing the complex neural networks used in machine learning to shed light on how humans […]

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Making the right connections

Researchers at VIB and KU Leuven have uncovered a new molecular interaction that governs the formation of specific functional connections between two types of neurons. It gives an important clue as to how unique interactions give shape to precisely organized neuronal networks in the brain. Pyramidal neurons are named after their cell body, which is […]