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Violent Games Can Emotionally Desensitize Players To Aggressive Behavior

After excessively violent events, shoot ‘em up games regularly come under scrutiny. In Norway, several first-person shooter games actually disappeared from the market for a while after the killings. Does intense fighting on a flat screen display also result in aggressive behavior in real life? Researchers from the University of Bonn found brain activity patterns in heavy gamers that differed from those of non-gamers.

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Body Weight And Sleep-Disordered Breathing Negatively Impact Cognition In Children

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found important new relationships between obesity, sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and cognitive processing among elementary school children. Included in this report is a link to download the a copy of the full-text, original study while available. The findings were published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Exercise May Improve Brain Fatigue

Researchers have long known that regular exercise increases the number of organelles called mitochondria in muscle cells. Since mitochondria are responsible for generating energy, this numerical boost is thought to underlie many of the positive physical effects of exercise, such as increased strength or endurance. Exercise also has a number of positive mental effects, such as relieving depression and improving memory. However, the mechanism behind these mental effects has been unclear. In a new study in mice, researchers at the University of South Carolina have discovered that regular exercise also increases mitochondrial numbers in brain cells, a potential cause for exercise’s beneficial mental effects.

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Growth Rate Of Premature Babies’ Brain May Predict Ability Certain Cognitive Abilities Later In Childhood.

New research suggests the growth rate of the brain’s cerebral cortex in babies born prematurely may predict how well they are able to think, speak, plan and pay attention later in childhood. The research is published in the October 12, 2011, online issue ofNeurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the brain covering the cerebrum, and is responsible for cognitive functions, such as language, memory, attention and thought.

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Reward And Penalty Processing Is Widespread In The Human Brain

Our behavior is often guided by the desire to obtain positive outcomes and avoid negative consequences, and neuroscientists have put a great deal of effort into looking for reward and punishment “centers” in the brain. Now, new research published by Cell Press in the October 6 issue of the journal Neuron reveals that neural signals related to reinforcement and punishment are far more broadly distributed throughout the entire human brain than was previously thought.

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Multiple Surgeries And Anesthesia Exposure Before Age 2 Linked To Learning Disabilities

Every year millions of babies and toddlers receive general anesthesia for procedures ranging from hernia repair to ear surgery. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester have found a link among children undergoing multiple surgeries requiring general anesthesia before age 2 and learning disabilities later in childhood.

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