Biology, Mind & Brain, News

Is this the first Proof that Meditation alters Cellular Activity?

Meditation

There’s an immense body of evidence that proves that meditation has significant beneficial effects for mental health, but it’s only recently that researchers in Canada discovered a link between mindfulness meditation and altered cellular activity in cancer patients. Biology and meditation: no longer mutually exclusive “We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally,…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Anxiety can damage the brain and foster Alzheimer’s

Studies have shown that anxiety in MCI is associated with abnormal concentrations of plasma amyloid protein levels and T-tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid, which are biomarkers of Alzheimer’s. Photo: Therapy Ideas

Researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute have found that patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who also show anxiety symptoms are at a much greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This was the first study of its kind that isolated anxiety in a longitudinal study covering people diagnosed with MCI, painting a clearer picture of how anxiety interferes with cognitive…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Brain’s response to threat silenced when we are reminded of being loved and cared for

Being reminded that you are loved and cared for, even through pictures, makes you feel less threatened. Image via Imgion.

Something as small as seeing pictures of others being loved and cared for silences our brain’s response to threat, a new study has found. The amygdalae, listed in the Gray’s Anatomy textbook as the nucleus amygdalæ, are a group of nuclei in the brain involved in  the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. The amygdala is also considered to be…

Mind & Brain, News

Long-term shift work Deteriorates the Brain

City-worker-asleep-at-des-011

Long term shift work has a permanent negative effect on the brain damaging cognitive ability and memory, a new study has revealed. The study found clear links between shift work and impairments in memory and thinking (cognition). People who worked in shifts for 10 years or more have, on average, an extra 6.5 years fall in memory as well as thinking skills….

Mind & Brain, News

Always Gamble on an Empty Stomach: Hunger Is Associated with Advantageous Decision Making

Hunger may help us make better decisions. Image via Where is my Doctor

Three experimental studies have shown that hunger improves strategic decision making; scientists argue that hungry people are significantly better at making decisions involving uncertain outcomes. We take decisions involving unknown outcomes every day. In real life, rationality often times means giving up a smaller, immediate reward, for a more consistent reward in the long run. However, many people engage in detrimental…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News

Making Mistakes while Learning facilitates Memory

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Topping conventional thinking, a new study found that making mistakes while learning can benefit memory, but only when the wrong answer is close to the right one. Random guesses can actually harm memory of the subject, the study found. The result held true for both young and old adults alike, with profound implications for clinical memory rehabilitation for the elderly….

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain

Light/Moderate Alcohol Consumption associated with better Memory in Later Life

A glass of wine may do wonders for your health - but more will certainly harm it. Image via The Telegraph.

Alcohol is generally regarded as unhealthy, with a myriad of long-term negative effects and even short term negative effects. But there are still many things we don’t understand about how alcohol interacts with out bodies. For example, a 2011 Texas research found that alcohol consumption helps some areas of our brain remember better, while a 2005 study showed that moderate…

Mind & Brain, News

Brain scans show the cause of the winter blues

winter-blues

Scientists have found the reason why we get the winter blues, or as it is scientifically called, the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Sad winter blues Initially, seasonal affective disorder was considered a unique mood disorder, but its status was changed, as it has a strong seasonal component. Although many researchers initially didn’t even admit the “winter blues” as a medical problem, now this…

Mind & Brain, News

This is your brain… on dogs

Image via Scienceagogo.

We all know the bond between dogs and humans is very powerful and meaningful – but a group of researchers took it to the next level. They wanted to see how this relationship actually mirrors the one between a parent and a child. The researchers, from Massachusetts General Hospital, have detailed their findings in the journal PLOS ONE. “Pets hold a special place in…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Curiosity sparks Brain Mechanisms that Facilitate Learning

Photo: quotevadis.com

Whether we’re assigned a learning task or choose to follow it, those subjects that interest us are always easier to comprehend, assimilate and remember over a long time. In this context, interest is actually another word for curiosity and a new research found that it is an important factor for effective learning. The team at University of California, Davis, found that…