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Your search has returned 526 articles:
  • News

    Obscure brain region linked to feeding frenzy in mice

    Nerve cells in a poorly understood part of the brain have the power to prompt voracious eating in already well-fed mice.

    Two to three seconds after blue light activated cells in the zona incerta, a patch of neurons just underneath the thalamus and above the hypothalamus, mice dropped everything and began shoveling food into their mouths. This dramatic response, described May 26 in...

    05/25/2017 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Internal compass guides fruit fly navigation

    Scientists have shown why fruit flies don’t get lost. Their brains contain cells that act like a compass, marking the direction of flight.

    It may seem like a small matter, but all animals — even Siri-dependent humans — have some kind of internal navigation system. It’s so vital to survival that it is probably linked to many brain functions, including thought, memory and mood.

    “...

    05/04/2017 - 14:11 Neuroscience, Animals
  • News

    A baby’s pain registers in the brain

    An electrode on top of a newborn’s scalp, near the soft spot, can measure when the baby feels pain. The method, described online May 3 in Science Translational Medicine, isn’t foolproof, but it brings scientists closer to being able to tell when infants are in distress.

    Pain assessment in babies is both difficult and extremely important for the same reason: Babies don’t talk. That makes...

    05/03/2017 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Nerve cell miswiring linked to depression

    Researchers have pinpointed a gene that keeps important brain cells in mice from crossing their wires, providing a possible link between brain wiring and mood disorders like depression.  

    Without the gene, called Pcdhαc2, mice acted more depressed, researchers report April 28 in Science.

    Nerve cells, or neurons, that produce the chemical messenger molecule serotonin extend long...

    04/28/2017 - 13:30 Neuroscience, Mental Health
  • News

    Brain gains seen in elderly mice injected with human umbilical cord plasma

    Plasma taken from human umbilical cords can rejuvenate old mice’s brains and improve their memories, a new study suggests. The results, published online April 19 in Nature, may ultimately help scientists develop ways to stave off aging.

    Earlier studies have turned up youthful effects of young mice’s blood on old mice (SN: 12/27/14, p. 21). Human plasma, the new results suggest, confers...

    04/19/2017 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Scientists seek early signs of autism

    Soon after systems biologist Juergen Hahn published a paper describing a way to predict whether a child has autism from a blood sample, the notes from parents began arriving. “I have a bunch of parents writing me now who want to test their kids,” says Hahn, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “I can’t do that.”

    That’s because despite their promise, his group’s results,...

    04/10/2017 - 07:00 Human Development, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Food odors are more enticing to sleep-deprived brains

    SAN FRANCISCO — The nose knows when you’re tired.

    Sleep deprivation seems to increase the brain’s sensitivity to food smells, researchers reported March 27 at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco. That might make snacks more enticing — helping explain why people who burn the candle at both ends tend to eat more and gain weight.

    Adults operating on...

    04/02/2017 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    More brain differences seen between girls, boys with ADHD

    SAN FRANCISCO — Girls and boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder don’t just behave differently. Parts of their brains look different, too. Now, researchers can add the cerebellum to that mismatch.

    For boys, symptoms of the disorder tend to include poor impulse control and disruptive behavior. Girls are more likely to have difficulty staying focused on one task. Studies show...

    03/31/2017 - 12:35 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Sarcasm looks the same in the brain whether it's words or emoji

    SAN FRANCISCO — Millennials, rejoice: A winking-face emoji is worth a slew of ironic words. The brain interprets irony or sarcasm conveyed by an emoji in the same way as it does verbal banter, researchers reported March 26 in San Francisco at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    Researchers measured brain electrical activity of college students reading sentences ending in...

    03/28/2017 - 18:36 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Math-anxious brains tackle simple problems differently

    SAN FRANCISCO — When faced with simple math problems, people who get jittery about the subject may rely more heavily on certain brain circuitry than math-savvy people do. The different mental approach could help explain why people with math anxiety struggle on more complicated problems, researchers reported March 25 at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    While in fMRI...

    03/27/2017 - 17:33 Neuroscience