Every day the human brain is presented with tasks ranging from the trivial to the complex. How much mental effort and attention are devoted to each task is usually determined in a split second and without conscious awareness. Now a study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers finds that a structure deep within the brain, believed to play an important role in regulating conscious control of goal-directed behavior, helps to optimize behavioral responses by predicting how difficult upcoming tasks will be.
New pictures from the University of Iowa show what it looks like when a person runs out of patience and loses self-control. A study by University of Iowa neuroscientist and neuro-marketing expert William Hedgcock confirms previous studies that show self-control is a finite commodity that is depleted by use. Once the pool has dried up, we’re less likely to keep our cool the next time we are faced with a situation that requires self-control.
Scientists have shown that the brains of people with depression respond differently to feelings of guilt – even after their symptoms have subsided. University of Manchester researchers found that the brain scans of people with a history of depression differed in the regions associated with guilt and knowledge of socially acceptable behaviour from individuals who never get depressed.
New research shows that sleep loss markedly exaggerates the degree to which we anticipate impending emotional events, particularly among highly anxious people, who are especially vulnerable. Two common features of anxiety disorders are sleep loss and an amplification of emotional response. Results from the new study suggest that these features may not be independent of one another but may interact instead.
Scientists studying the Chinese mindfulness meditation known as integrative body-mind training (IBMT) say they have confirmed and expanded their findings on changes in structural efficiency of white matter in the brain that can be related to positive behavioral changes in subjects practicing the technique regularly for a month.
Everyone knows that people vary substantially in how hard they are willing to work, but the origin of these individual differences in the brain remains a mystery. Now the veil has been pushed back by a new brain imaging study that has found an individual’s willingness to work hard to earn money is strongly influenced by the chemistry in three specific areas of the brain.
The brain appears to be wired more like the checkerboard streets of New York City than the curvy lanes of Columbia, Md., suggests a new brain imaging study. The most detailed images, to date, reveal a pervasive 3D grid structure with no diagonals, say scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health. Included in this report is a very cool video that shows the brain’s connections in three dimensional (3-D) viewing.
Adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses appear to show greater decreases in gray matter volume and increases in cerebrospinal fluid in the frontal lobe compared to healthy adolescents without a diagnosis of psychosis, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The research was carried out by Celso Arango, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain, and colleagues.