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Your search has returned 81 articles:
  • 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
  • Feature

    Brain-zapping implants that fight depression are inching closer to reality

    Like seismic sensors planted in quiet ground, hundreds of tiny electrodes rested in the outer layer of the 44-year-old woman’s brain. These sensors, each slightly larger than a sesame seed, had been implanted under her skull to listen for the first rumblings of epileptic seizures.

    The electrodes gave researchers unprecedented access to the patient’s brain. With the woman’s permission,...

    02/10/2019 - 06:00 Mental Health, Clinical Trials, Biomedicine
  • News

    Why it’s key to identify preschoolers with anxiety and depression

    The task was designed to scare the kids. One by one, adults guided children, ranging in age from 3 to 7, into a dimly lit room containing a mysterious covered mound. To build anticipation, the adults intoned, “I have something in here to show you,” or “Let’s be quiet so it doesn’t wake up.” The adult then uncovered the mound — revealed to be a terrarium — and pulled out a realistic looking...

    02/03/2019 - 07:00 Human Development, Mental Health, Psychology
  • Science Stats

    Americans are sleeping less than they were 13 years ago

    Nearly one-third of American adults sleep less than six hours each night, a broad new survey shows.

    Among nearly 400,000 respondents to the annual National Health Interview Survey, 32.9 percent reported this short sleep in 2017 — up from 28.6 percent in 2004 when researchers began noticing a slight drop in sleep time. That’s a 15 percent increase representing “more than 9 million people...

    12/21/2018 - 12:00 Health, Mental Health
  • Feature

    Virtual reality therapy has real-life benefits for some mental disorders

    Edwin adjusted his headset and gripped the game controller in both hands. He swallowed hard. The man had good reason to be nervous. He was about to enter a virtual environment tailor-made to get his heart pumping way more than any action-packed video game: a coffee shop full of people.

    Determined to overcome his persistent fear that other people want to hurt him, Edwin had enrolled in a...

    11/01/2018 - 08:24 Technology, Mental Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    Strange brains offer a glimpse into the mind

    To understand the human brain, take note of the rare, the strange and the downright spooky. That’s the premise of two new books, Unthinkable by science writer Helen Thomson and The Disordered Mind by neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel.

    Both books describe people with minds that don’t work the same way as everyone else’s. These are people who are convinced that they are dead, for instance;...

    08/13/2018 - 09:00 Neuroscience, Mental Health
  • News

    Google Glass could help children with autism socialize with others

    Google Glass may have failed as a high-tech fashion trend, but it’s showing promise as a tool to help children with autism better navigate social situations.

    A new smartphone app that pairs with a Google Glass headset uses facial recognition software to give the wearer real-time updates on which emotions people are expressing. In a pilot trial, described online August 2 in npj Digital...

    08/02/2018 - 05:00 Mental Health, Technology
  • Feature

    The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep

    Neuroscientist Barbara Bendlin studies the brain as Alzheimer’s disease develops. When she goes home, she tries to leave her work in the lab. But one recent research project has crossed into her personal life: She now takes sleep much more seriously.

    Bendlin works at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, home to the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, a study of more than 1,500...

    07/15/2018 - 06:00 Biomedicine, Neuroscience, Mental Health
  • News

    Scared of heights? This new VR therapy could help

    Future therapy patients may spend a lot more time exploring virtual environments than sitting on sofas.

    In a clinical trial of a new virtual reality treatment for fear of heights, participants reported being much less afraid after using the program for just two weeks. Unlike other VR therapies, which required that a real-life therapist guide patients through treatment, the new system...

    07/13/2018 - 10:33 Clinical Trials, Mental Health, Technology
  • Reviews & Previews

    The study of human heredity got its start in insane asylums

    Genetics in the MadhouseTheodore M. PorterPrinceton Univ., $35

    England’s King George III descended into mental chaos, or what at the time was called madness, in 1789. Physicians could not say whether he would recover or if a replacement should assume the throne. That political crisis jump-started the study of human heredity.

    Using archival records, science historian Theodore M...

    07/01/2018 - 08:00 Genetics, History of Science, Mental Health, Numbers