Genetics, Mind & Brain, News

Schizophrenia is not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

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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

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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…

Animals, Mind & Brain

Chimps outplay humans in strategy game

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For most people, it would seem clear that humans are the smartest creatures on the face of the Earth, but is this really the case? We are the ones who control the world, we create art, we understand our bodies and how the universe works – but are we innately more intelligent? A group of psychologists believe the answer to…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, Science

What happens to the brain after you mix pot and alcohol

Image: quickmeme.com

Both the effects of marijuana and alcohol have on the human brain have been widely studied, but the same thing can’t be said about the combination of the two, which is rather odd considering a lot of people enjoy a drink or two while packing a bowl. Scott Lukas, a professor at Harvard Medical School, investigated what happens in the brain while cross-faded in 2011 and came to some surprising conclusions. …

Mind & Brain, News

Researchers change the emotional association of memories

The image portrays he injection sites and the expression of the viral constructs in the amygdala and hippocampus; Photo Credits: Redondo et al

A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been working on a research consisting of the manipulation of neural circuits in the brain of mice in order to alter their emotional associations with specific memories. The research, published in the journal Nature on August 28th, was led by Howard Hughes and Sumusu Tonegawa and it revealed…

Biology, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

The key to patience lies within serotonin

(A) The picture on the left shows serotonin neurons in red. The middle picture shows neurons expressing light sensitive proteins in green. The picture on the right is an overlay of the previous two pictures, showing in orange light sensitive proteins selectively expressed in serotonin neurons. (B) Blue light illumination, 500 microsecond pulse, shown in blue line, induced spontaneous action potentials in the serotonin neuron for approximately 10 seconds. The yellow light illumination, 500 microsecond pulse, shown in yellow line, stopped spontaneous action potentials.

Either when someone’s late for a date or you need to queue in line, our patience becomes tested. Some people handle the waiting better than others, leading us to the idea that patience is a virtue that differs from person to person. But what is it exactly that helps us remain patient, and why do some people remain unfazed even…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News

Breastfeeding improves mothers’ mental health

Image via ThinkProgress.

A new study of over 10,000 women has shown that women who breastfeed after giving birth have significantly lower chances of post-natal depression than their counterparts who didn’t. There are still many things we don’t yet understand about breastfeeding, as this study highlights – mothers who planned to breastfeed and were actually able to do it were around 50% less likely…