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  • News in Brief

    Marijuana may change the decision-making part of teen brains

    SAN DIEGO — Marijuana use during teenage years may change the brain in key decision-making areas, a study in rats suggests.

    “Adolescence is a dangerous time to be insulting the brain, particularly with drugs of abuse,” study coauthor Eliza Jacobs-Brichford said November 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Jacobs-Brichford and colleagues gave adolescent male and...

    11/07/2018 - 16:05 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    A lack of sleep can induce anxiety

    SAN DIEGO — A sleepless night can leave the brain spinning with anxiety the next day.

    In healthy adults, overnight sleep deprivation triggered anxiety the next morning, along with altered brain activity patterns, scientists reported November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    People with anxiety disorders often have trouble sleeping. The new results uncover...

    11/06/2018 - 11:51 Neuroscience
  • News

    Loneliness is bad for brains

    SAN DIEGO — Mice yanked out of their community and held in solitary isolation show signs of brain damage.

    After a month of being alone, the mice had smaller nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Other brain changes followed, scientists reported at a news briefing November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    It’s not known whether similar damage happens in...

    11/06/2018 - 06:00 Neuroscience
  • Editor's Note

    Screen time to heal, and perhaps to harm

    In any given year, nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults, more than 40 million people, have to contend with a mental illness. Getting treatment is often a struggle; fewer than half of those affected get any sort of care, which can be especially hard to find in rural and underserved communities.

    Virtual reality may seem like the least likely technology to address the lack of mental health...

    11/04/2018 - 06:15 Science & Society, Technology, Neuroscience
  • News

    Stimulating the spinal cord helps 3 more paralyzed people walk

    Paralysis is becoming less permanent — at least for some.

    There’s now more evidence that stimulating the spinal cord can restore voluntary movement in paralyzed patients who haven’t recovered after other treatments. After five months of training coupled with targeted stimulation of nerve cells in the spinal cord, three people who had a severe spinal cord injury regained the ability to...

    10/31/2018 - 14:48 Neuroscience
  • News

    Young people’s memories improved when they stopped using marijuana

    Taking a monthlong break from pot helps clear away young people’s memory fog, a small study suggests. The results show that not only does marijuana impair teenagers’ and young adults’ abilities to take in information, but that this memory muddling may be reversible.

    Scientists have struggled to find clear answers about how marijuana affects the developing brain, in part because it’s...

    10/30/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Messing with fruit flies’ gut bacteria turns them into speed walkers

    Researchers have found a new link between gut and brain.

    By signaling to nerve cells in the brain, certain microbes in the gut slow a fruit fly’s walking pace, scientists report. Fruit flies missing those microbes — and that signal — turn into hyperactive speed walkers.

    With the normal suite of gut microbes, Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies on foot cover an average of about 2.4...

    10/24/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    To unravel autism’s mysteries, one neuroscientist looks at the developing brain

    WASHINGTON — As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder increases, so too has research on the complex and poorly understood disorder. With powerful genetic tools, advanced brain-imaging methods and large groups of children to study, the field is poised to make big contributions in understanding — and potentially treating — autism.

    Neuroscientist Kevin Pelphrey, who...

    10/16/2018 - 12:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    People who have a good sense of smell are also good navigators

    We may truly be led by our noses. A sense of smell and a sense of navigation are linked in our brains, scientists propose.

    Neuroscientist Louisa Dahmani and colleagues asked 57 young people to navigate through a virtual town on a computer screen before being tested on how well they could get from one spot to another. The same young people’s smelling abilities were also scrutinized. After...

    10/16/2018 - 10:59 Neuroscience
  • News

    How your brain is like a film editor

    The brain’s hippocampi may be the film editors of our lives, slicing our continuous experiences into discrete cuts that can be stored away as memories. That’s the idea raised by a new study that analyzed brain scan data from people watching films such as Forrest Gump.

    “Research like this helps us identify ‘What is an event, from the point of view of the brain?’ ” says memory psychologist...

    10/08/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience