We all know that men like to impress the fairer members of our species, and this permeates into almost everything we do: we want to drive the shiniest car on the block, crack the funniest jokes 24/7 and write for ZMEScience so we can impress the ladies at parties. In essence, no matter how unlikely it is to actually impress, if a man has a choice between doing something and doing that something over the top so he can show off to women, you can bet your right arm he’s gonna do the latter.
A paper published recently in Nature Communications details how a team lead by Dr. Ben Wilson and Professor Chris Petkov used a brain imaging technique to identify the neuronal evolutionary origins of language. Their findings help us understand how we learn to speak, and could allow new treatments for those who lose this ability from aphasia after a stroke or dementia.
Scientists at the Georgia State University, Georgia Regents University and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center found that the brain uses sweet foods to form the memory of a meal. The paper shows how the neurons in the dorsal hippocampus — a part of the brain that is critical for episodic memory — are activated by consuming sweets.
Women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) show elevated levels of testosterone and testosterone derivatives in their systems, as well as an increased risk of anxiety and depression. As the offspring of these women (both sons and daughters) show similar symptoms, it’s been believed that PCOS can be transmitted through genetic code. However, a new idea comes to question this — specifically, the fact that the fetuses of mothers with PCOS are gestating in high levels of testosterone is what causes these symptoms.
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed implantable devices that can activate — and in theory, block too — pain signals traveling from the body through the spinal cord before they reach the brain.
A new study from the University of California looks at the link between the bonding hormone oxytocin and the effect of marijuana in social contexts that improve interpersonal bonding. Their findings offer insight into how the hormone could make social interactions more fulfilling and satisfying by enhancing our natural cannabinoid receptors.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, scientists from the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania scanned the brains of 50 smokers while they viewed anti-smoking ads. They recorded their neural activity spikes as they watched the sample of 40 images one at a time, looking for increase activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, the area that handles decision making processes.
Money. It makes the brain go nuts!
A preliminary study from Switzerland, published this month in the Annals of Neurology, proved the effectiveness of a new method of non-invasive brain surgery: using a newly-developed operating device that relies on ultrasound, in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), allowed neurosurgeons to precisely remove small pieces of brain tissue in nine patients suffering from chronic pain without removing skin or skull bone. Researchers now plan to test it on patients with other disorders, such as Parkinson’s. Neal Kassell, neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia, not directly involved in the study.
What exactly makes you thirsty? Dehydration, obviously, but how does your brain know that your body needs water? And how does that grey, squishy lump resting in your cool and comfortable cranium, know when your body needs to heat up or cool off? Scientists at the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute (RI-MUHC) and Duke University have asked themselves just that, and being scientists, went ahead to find out.