Genes, Environment—and Epigenetics

June 19, 2017

Can what happened to your parents before you were born affect how your body and mind work at birth—and even now? Researchers in one area of the field of epigenetics—the study of influences on how genes are expressed—think probably so, but their challenge is to prove causality.

How to Stay Sharp in Later Life

June 12, 2017

To prevent or slow cognitive decline in later life, one should adopt as many healthy lifestyle choices as possible, researcher Ian Deary told an audience at the Royal Society. His talk was organized by the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) and the University of the Third Age (U3A).

A Rose by Any Other Name: How our Sense of Smell Influences Cognition

June 6, 2017

Research into olfaction has lagged behind vision and hearing. New studies suggest how smell predictions and reactions can affect memory and thought processing.

Modeling Rare Neurological Disease

May 31, 2017

A new technique that uses induced pluripotent stem cells from people with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease has told researchers a lot about that disease and offers proof of concept for its use for people with other diseases.

The Brains that Pull the Triggers

May 18, 2017

What leads seemingly ordinary people to lead or join in committing genocidal violence? Researchers at a Paris conference find traces of clues by imaging the brain.

Highlighting Prenatally Damaged Neurons that Remain Vulnerable After Birth

May 16, 2017

Some of the neurons in mice stressed while in embryo show persistent damage. A new technique that pinpoints the harm could help explain individual differences in stress response later in life.

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects the Brain

May 9, 2017

The auto-immune disorder makes it harder to regulate glucose levels in the brain. While the focus has been on keeping their numbers above a certain threshold, staying below an upper limit may be equally important.

Informing Education with Neuroscience

April 23, 2017

Teachers want to take advantage of what we’ve learned about the brain and learning, but don’t always know how to tell what is solid science. Researchers at BNA 2017 Festival of Neuroscience described studies in classrooms themselves that show promise.

Motivational Disorders in Brain Conditions

April 19, 2017

People with a variety of disorders, from neurological to psychiatric, share troubles with motivation, especially apathy and impulsivity. Scientists described how they are connecting the dots between symptoms and brain mechanisms during the BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience.

How Dishonesty Can Snowball

April 18, 2017

Once people start lying, they are often more willing to lie for higher and higher stakes. Some of their willingness is due to external factors, but a new line of research is teasing out internal factors, as well.

Preventing PTSD: A New Use for Ketamine?

April 13, 2017

The drug has shown promise in treating depression and extinguishing fearful memories. Could it also prevent the descent from fearful memory to full-blown disorder?

The Deprived Brain

April 11, 2017

Children who lag cognitively after spending time in orphanages can make up the difference by young adulthood, suggest two longitudinal studies, but some behavior and emotional issues remain—or even increase. This suggests that environmental influences might lead to disorders with or without genetic precursors.

More Clues How the Brain’s ‘Other Cells’ Change As We Age

March 21, 2017

The actions of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes vary from region to region, suggesting that these cells function somewhat differently in each area. But as we age, a new study suggests such regional differences become less marked.

Air Pollution Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia

March 2, 2017

Researchers find effects of exhaust fume particles in people who live close to busy roadways, even children.

How Brain-Machine Interfaces Engage Neural Plasticity

February 15, 2017

The brain adapts as it interacts with prosthetics driven by thought, which in turn may mean prosthetics need to adapt as well.

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