A fold in the brain is all that separates reality from imagination

Among your memory’s biggest challenges is remembering what actually happened, versus what you imagined – that’s especially hard with some people I know. That ability, according to a new study, is linked to the presence of a small fold; even more interesting, some people have and some people don’t have this fold – a finding that could help researchers better

For optimist people, the brain just rejects negative thoughts

Our brain is a wonderful thing – the pinnacle of evolution on our planet – and there is still so much we don’t understand about it! For example, a team of researchers recently concluded that for some people, the brain tends to maintain a positive outlook on life, even through hard times and problems, and it does this by rejecting

The unified theory of brain learning

The brain learns basically by shifting between different strengths of its synapses, as a response to different stimuli – that much is clear. However, recently, a team of UCLA scientists have shattered the common belief about the mechanism of learning, showing that the brain learns rhythmically, and that there is an optimal ‘rhythm’, or frequency, for changing synapse strength. Any

Brain imaging reveals the movies inside our mind

Mixing in a typical fMRI brain scanner with advanced computer modeling simulations, scientists at the University of California have managed to achieve the the unthinkable Рrender the visual expressions triggered inside the brain and play them like a movie. This is the forefront technology which will one day allow us to tap inside the mind of coma patients or be

Cyborg-rats with artificial cerebellums – first step ahead the age of borg

Remarkably enough, scientists from Tel Aviv University in Israel, have manged to implant an artificial cerebellum in a rat’s brain, which successfully restored lost brain function. This research could provide the foundations for implementing cyborg-like functions in the human brain sometime in the distant future. Such an advancement, could possibly one day offer the prospect of a normal life to

Brain stimulation through electric shocks can improve learning

Licking 9 volt batteries or tasering yourself with a fork stuck in a power plugs is apparently evidence enough to consider a person both a cretin and a genius. A new study presented by scientists at University of Oxford have shown that electrically stimulating the brain can significantly speed up the process of learning. The researchers studied how the structure

Anxiety treatment with a computer just as good as therapy, study says

All you clinically diagnosed anxious readers might want to boot your therapist and settle for a cheaper, more comfortable alternative in the form a computer software which offers therapy through a series of highly effective tests, apparently just as effective as “the couch”. Called Cognitive bias modification (CBM), the therapy developed by researchers at Brown University uses a software which

Tiny neuromicroscope can see inside a moving animal’s brain

A team of neuroscientists from Stanford University have managed to create a remarkably tiny device capable of monitoring brain activity in a rodent or other small animals. The device can be manufactured extremely cost-effective and might prove to be an invaluable tool for researchers of the new decade. Mice have always been the lab subjects of choice, and besides running

Birth control pills affect memory, study finds

Women who use birth control pills or other contraceptives experience memory changes, according to a study conducted by UC Irvine researchers. They tend to remember emotional events more vividly, at the cost of losing their attention for details. “What’s most exciting about this study is that it shows the use of hormonal contraception alters memory,” UCI graduate researcher Shawn Nielsen

Science brings mind reading tech a step closer

Researchers from Princeton University recently published a study in which they show how they’ve been able to use functional magnetic resonance imaging and a computer program that condensed 3,500 Wikipedia articles to associate words to particular brain activity patterns. Basically, they were able to read thoughts. To reach this remarkable correlation, researchers first did some fMRI scans while participants were

Memory deficits of the elderly may be reversed

A team of researchers from Yale University have shown at a cellular basis why we tend to be more forgetful as we age, and claim that the condition may be reversed. There’s no secret to the fact that an elderly person has a much weaker memory than the one he did at 20 years of age, but the whole process

Meditation stronger than morphine and drugs

Meditation can have pain reliefing effects much greater than even morphine, one of the strongest drugs, according to a recent study. We are only beginning to understand the deep effects that meditation has on our bodies, and researchers are baffled, to say the least. It calms and relieves pain with unbelievable efficiency, reducing the pain by more than half, and

Amazing device allows the blind to see with their ears

More like props from a James Bond movie than something that might have come from a scientific lab, a new device developed by neuroscientists combines a pair of special glasses, a webcam and a smartphone might allow the blind to see again by converting visual signals into auditory ones, which get transmitted through a headset. The amazing device, called “vOICe”,

An unhealthy lifestyle leads to brain shrinkage later on, study says

The latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” has been put to the test by researchers who wanted to study what kind of repercussions an unhealthy lifestyle has on the mind. What they found was a dramatic increase in brain damage and dementia cases among subjects who have experienced¬†high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity in middle age. The study,

Amazing Brain Art

Brain-Art competition is an annual celebration of the beauty and creativity of artistic renderings emerging from the neuroimaging community. Last month concluded the first edition in which various artists from around the world submitted some incredible work for the competition’s galleries – 3D-rendering gallery, connectome gallery, abstract gallery and humorous gallery. Below are a few pieces I found really enjoyable

Even the best liars can’t suppress all their facial expresions

Mark Frank has been studying the faces of people lying when the stakes are high for over two decades, being one of the leading authorities in this matter; now, he has some good news for the good guys. According to his latest research, entitled “Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations” people lying can suppress most of their betraying facial expressions,

CalTech soup displays brainlike behaviour

Researchers from the CalTech University have managed to create the first artificial neural network from DNA, a circuit built out of interactinig molecules that can recall memories based on an incomplete pattern, in pretty much the same way a brain works. “Although brainlike behaviors within artificial biochemical systems have been hypothesized for decades,” says Lulu Qian, a Caltech senior postdoctoral

Neural signature of mental time travel

Pretty much everyone has experienced some sort of memory triggering, but there hasn’t been any satisfactory explanation for this common phenomenon. But now, researchers from University of Pennsylvania have provided the first neurobiological proof that memories which are formed in the same context can become linked, the foundation of the theory of episodic memory. This study was headed by professor

Over half of Alzheimer’s cases could be avoided

According to a study conducted by Deborah Barnes, PhD, a mental health researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, more than half of all Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes or light treatment. Analyzing thousands of cases worldwide, she concluded that the biggest impacting factors on Alzheimer that can be modified are, in descending order, low education,

Pollution linked to memory loss

It’s pretty evident for anyone living in a big, crowded city what pollution looks like and to what degree our health is affected by it. Besides things like your lungs or skin, scientists relate in a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry, how they believe pollution can cause memory loss. To prove their point, they confined a group of lab