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  • News

    People can sense Earth’s magnetic field, brain waves suggest

    A new analysis of people’s brain waves when surrounded by different magnetic fields suggests that people have a “sixth sense” for magnetism.

    Birds, fish and some other creatures can sense Earth’s magnetic field and use it for navigation (SN: 6/14/14, p. 10). Scientists have long wondered whether humans, too, boast this kind of magnetoreception. Now, by exposing people to an Earth-...

    03/18/2019 - 13:05 Neuroscience, Biophysics
  • News

    Flickers and buzzes sweep mouse brains of Alzheimer’s plaques

    Fast clicking sounds can boost brainpower in mice with signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Like flickering lights, these external sounds spur a type of brain wave that seemed to sweep disease-related plaques from mice’s brains, researchers report in the March 14 Cell.It’s too early to say whether the same sorts of flickers and clicks could help people with Alzheimer’s. If so, the treatment would...

    03/14/2019 - 11:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    FDA has approved the first ketamine-based antidepressant

    Doctors have a new weapon in the fight against particularly pernicious depression: a drug based on the powerful anesthetic ketamine.

    The drug — called Spravato and developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — was approved on March 5 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for severely depressed people who haven’t responded to two courses of other treatments. The first...

    03/06/2019 - 16:02 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    Ripples race in the brain as memories are recalled

    Fast waves of activity ripple in the brain a half second before a person calls up a memory. The finding, published in the March 1 Science, hint that these brain waves might be a key part of a person’s ability to remember.

    The results come from a study of 14 people with epilepsy who had electrodes placed on their brains as part of their treatment. Those electrodes also allowed scientists...

    03/05/2019 - 07:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    How singing mice belt out duets

    In the understory of Central American cloud forests, musical mice trill songs to one another. Now a study of the charismatic creatures reveals how their brains orchestrate these rapid-fire duets.

    The results, published in the March 1 Science, show that the brains of singing mice split up the musical work. One brain system directs the patterns of notes that make up songs, while another...

    02/28/2019 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Watching hours of TV is tied to verbal memory decline in older people

    People often fret about television time for children. A new study examines the habit at the other end of life.

    The more television older people watched, the worse they recalled a list of words, researchers report online February 28 in Scientific Reports. But the study describes only a correlation; it can’t say that lots of TV time actually causes the memory slips.

    Researchers...

    02/28/2019 - 09:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • Feature

    With its burning grip, shingles can do lasting damage

    At age 37, Hope Hartman developed a painful, burning rash in her right ear, in the part “you would clean with a Q-tip,” the Denver resident says. The pain got so bad she went to a local emergency room, where the staff was flummoxed. Hartman was admitted to the hospital, where she started to lose sensation on the right side of her face.

    During that 2013 health crisis, Hartman’s husband,...

    02/26/2019 - 09:00 Health, Clinical Trials, Neuroscience, Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Brain cells combine place and taste to make food maps

    Sometimes a really good meal can make an evening unforgettable. A new study of rats, published online February 18 in the Journal of Neuroscience, may help explain why. A select group of nerve cells in rats’ brains holds information about both flavors and places, becoming active when the right taste hits the tongue when the rat is in a certain location. These double-duty cells could help...

    02/18/2019 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • Editor's Note

    Brain discoveries open doors to new treatments

    For centuries, scientists have strived to figure out the workings of the human brain, but that blob of matter tucked inside a bony shell long resisted efforts to divine its secrets.

    Techniques invented in the early 1900s, including angiography and electroencephalography, made it possible to examine some characteristics of the brain without invading the skull. But it wasn’t until the...

    02/10/2019 - 07:00 Neuroscience, Mental Health, Biomedicine
  • News

    Brain scans decode an elusive signature of consciousness

    A conscious brain hums with elaborate, interwoven signals, a study finds.

    Scientists uncovered that new signature of consciousness by analyzing brain activity of healthy people and of people who were not aware of their surroundings. The result, published online February 6 in Science Advances, makes headway on a tough problem: how to accurately measure awareness in patients who can’t...

    02/08/2019 - 12:23 Neuroscience