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An illustration of how individual cortical nerve cells controlled thought

Controlling Individual Cortical Nerve Cells By Human Thought

Five years ago, neuroscientist Christof Koch of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), neurosurgeon Itzhak Fried of UCLA, and their colleagues discovered that a single neuron in the human brain can function much like a sophisticated computer and recognize people, landmarks, and objects, suggesting that a consistent and explicit code may help transform complex visual representations into long-term and more abstract memories.

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intense light

Emotion Processing In The Brain Is Influenced By The Color Of Ambient Light

Researchers at the Cyclotron Research Centre (University of Liege), Geneva Center for Neuroscience and Swiss Center for Affective Sciences (University of Geneva), and Surrey Sleep Research Centre (University of Surrey) investigated the immediate effect of light, and of its color composition, on emotion brain processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results of their study show that the colour of light influences the way the brain processes emotional stimuli.

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senior citizen male

70-Year-Olds Are Smarter Than Previous Generations

Today´s 70-year-olds do far better in intelligence tests than their predecessors. It has also become more difficult to detect dementia in its early stages, though forgetfulness is still an early symptom, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, based on the H70 study. New results from the study were published earlier this year in the reputable American journal Neurology.

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Violent TV Or Video Games Desensitizes Teenagers And May Promote Aggressive Behavior

Watching violent films, TV programs, or video games desensitizes teenagers, blunts their emotional responses to aggression and potentially promotes aggressive attitudes and behavior, according to new research published online today in the Oxford Journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (Tuesday 19 October). Although previous research has suggested that people can become more aggressive and desensitized to real-life violence after repeatedly viewing violent media programs, little is known about how the extent of watching such programs and the severity of the aggression displayed affects the brains of adolescents.

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lead researcher discussing research findings

Magic Tricks Reveal Surprising Results About Autism

Magicians rely on misdirection – drawing attention to one place while they’re carrying out their tricky business somewhere else. It seems like people with autism should be less susceptible to such social manipulation. But a new study in the U.K. finds that people with autism spectrum disorder are actually more likely to be taken in by the vanishing ball trick, where a magician pretends to throw a ball in the air but actually hides it in his hand. Included in this report is a video with the lead researcher that explains these findings as well as provides a demonstration of the magic trick. Additionally, the original study can be read from within the video.

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Gregory Ashby and Sebastien Helie

Frontal Lobe Of The Brain Is Key To Automatic Responses To Various Stimuli

Some people may excel at riding a bike, tying a tie, or playing the piano, but those same people may find it difficult to explain or teach those skills to someone else. These motor skills are learned in one part of the brain, whereas classroom instruction and information read in a book are acquired in another area of the brain, explained F. Gregory Ashby, professor and chair of UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Psychology. This second area of learning is the frontal cortex – the area immediately behind the forehead – where executive function is located.

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Andreana P. Haley, Ph.D.

Insulin Sensitivity May Explain Link Between Obesity And Memory Problems

Because of impairments in their insulin sensitivity, obese individuals demonstrate different brain responses than their normal-weight peers while completing a challenging cognitive task, according to new research by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The results provide further evidence that a healthy lifestyle at midlife could lead to a higher quality of life later on, especially as new drugs and treatments allow people to live longer.

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3D illustration of the human brain

Memory For Self-Performed Actions In Individuals With Asperger Syndrome

Memory for action is enhanced if individuals are allowed to perform the corresponding movements compared to when they simply listen to them (enactment effect). Previous studies have shown that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders have difficulties with processes involving the self, such as autobiographical memories and self performed actions. The present study aimed to assess memory for action in Asperger Syndrome (AS). Check the end of this report to download this open access article.

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