Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Automated tasks are still processed while you sleep

sleep

Despite an incredible body of work dedicated to researching what goes inside the brain while we sleep, consensus among neuroscientists suggests we’re just beginning to scratch the surface. For instance, we’ve yet to answer a fundamental question: why do we need sleep? We all agree that we needed it  – going without sleep for long periods of time can bring…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News

Nature walks linked to significantly lower depression and stress

depression walk nature

Science confirms what many already believed: taking walks in nature lowers your stress and depression rates. You’ve probably heard it several times in your life: take a deep breath, go take a walk and calm down. But according to a new study, that’s not just small talk; walks, especially nature walks can do wonders for your mental health. Even people…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

What goes on in an altruist’s head: good deeds may be rooted in the brain

Scientists analyzed the brains of kidney donors to see what makes them more altruistic than other people. Photo: kidneybuzz.com

Costly altruism, the kind that you see expressed by people who willingly agree or seek to donate their kidneys, is a puzzling phenomenon for many scientists. Most of these people would tell you that they do it out of love, sympathy or a higher purpose. Neuroscientists, however, are more interested in finding whether there are any neural mechanisms associated with…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Vegetative state man responds to Hitchcock clip

Alfred Hitchcock movie

Neuroscientists at University of Western Ontario in London, Canada  found that a man who was thought to be living in a vegetative state for almost twenty years showed response when an Alfred Hitchhock movie was played in the background. The findings suggest that doctors might want to explore more methods to determine whether or not a possibly vegetative state patient is…

Genetics, Mind & Brain, News

Schizophrenia is not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

800px-Cloth_embroidered_by_a_schizophrenia_sufferer

A new study concluded that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease, but rather a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms, and likely, its own treatment. The study could be the first step in finally understanding the condition and how it can be dealt with. Currently, schizophrenia is thought of as a complex mental disorder, often associated…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Frequent pot smokers may light up to cope with negative emotions

Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images file photo , National Post

People who frequently smoke marijuana may use the drug to cope with negative emotions. This sort of association makes people more inclined to abuse marijuana and makes it harder to quit, according to a new study published in the  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Lighting up to fight bad vibes, but is it worth it? Dr. Lydia Shrier, of the…

Mind & Brain, News

Chinese woman completely lacks a cerebellum

A hole at the back (top) where the cerebellum should be (Top image: Feng Yu et al.; Bottom image: Zephyr/Science Photo Library )

A Chinese woman has shocked doctors when it was revealed that she reached 24 years without having a cerebellum. It is not the first time a person was living fine without having a cerebellum, but she entered an extremely select group, which only features 9 other people. The woman checked in at the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Brain-to-brain communication demonstrated for the very first time

Image: CARLES GRAU ET AL., PLOS ONE, 2014

A group of neuroscientists have achieved what some might believe strictly belongs to the realm of science fiction – they’ve successfully transmitted a message relayed by the brain of a person to another directly; no voice, no video, no sound, no text. The information was fed directly to the brain. If that wasn’t enough, the message was transmitted over thousands…

Mind & Brain, News

Neurons in the human skin found to perform advanced calculations

148087_andrew-prunzynski-labb-webb

A group of researchers has shown that neurons in the human skin perform advanced calculations. It was previously believed that only neurons in the brain can do that. The first order neurons conduct impulses from the skin (touch) and take the information to the spine and the brain; one of their most fundamental characteristics is that they branch dramatically in…