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December 19, 2014
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Tag: Brain


How a New Pill Could Help You Learn Like a Child Does

Ever long to absorb information with the facility that children display while learning? A new “smart pill” may help adults do just that.

Posted on Nov 15, 2014 READ MORE



Yawning: Puzzler of the Ages

Hippocrates took a crack at it, postulating that this mysterious activity was designed to flush harmful air from the body. Cut to the 19th century, when that notion lost traction.

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 READ MORE



Is Watching Porn Making Your Brain Shrink?

Bad news for “men who watch large amounts of sexually explicit material”: The habit has been linked to less cerebral gray matter. 

Posted on May 31, 2014 READ MORE



Porn Addiction (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

How Porn May Be Changing Your Brain

Internet pornography can turn into a destructive spiral of addiction that becomes all consuming. The dopamine released and the fantasy created have the power to rewire our brains forever.

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 READ MORE



National Institute of Health

And Now for Your Gender-Biased Brain Science Update

This just in: Men’s and women’s brains are different. Like, structurally different.

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 READ MORE



sean dreilinger (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Verdict Is In: We Simply Can’t Tickle Ourselves

It is widely known in the scientific world that tickling oneself is an impossibility. But what if you were fooled into believing that it wasn’t you doing the tickling?

Posted on Nov 23, 2013 READ MORE



Politics Turn Your Brain to Mush

New studies show that when people have been misinformed, offering the correct facts makes them only more obstinate; social media causes a lot of misinformation when it comes to reporting; and why did ESPN pull the plug on an investigation into head trauma? These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 READ MORE



The New York Times’ Fear of AIPAC

A paragraph disappeared from the newspaper that cited the attack on Syria is really about showing the pro-Israel lobby group the U.S. is serious about Iran; economic scarcity melds the mind; meanwhile, the hypocrisy of the “red line” in Syria is highlighted by the fact that the Pentagon acknowledged using white phosphorus in Iraq a few years ago. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 READ MORE



DeathByBokeh (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Poverty Damages the Mind

There is a strong connection between scarce resources and cognition: The more a person struggles financially, the less he or she can channel brain processes to completing other tasks. When you can’t make ends meet, the weight of worry occupies a large portion of the mind.

Posted on Aug 31, 2013 READ MORE



Image via Shutterstock

The Ancient Brain, Modern Times and the Atomic Bomb

August is a great month for celebrating human stupidity. On Aug. 6, 1945, we all but disappeared Hiroshima with a single atomic bomb, and then did it again, three days later, at Nagasaki. And now we barely seem to care.

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Sergey Ponomarev

Naomi Wolf on Kate Middleton Topless, Pussy Riot, and the Sexualized Female Body

According to the author of “Vagina: A New Biography,” we are undergoing an “unprecedented struggle” among women, their bodies and sexuality. Citing recent examples including the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, the frenzy over “virginity tests” in Egypt and recent efforts in the U.S. to legislate the female body, Wolf argues that female sexuality is being targeted around the world.

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 READ MORE



joethedork (CC BY 2.0)

The Brain-Vagina Connection

In the course of writing her new book, “Vagina: A New Biography,” author and activist Naomi Wolf discovered research in neuroscience that strongly suggests that “the vagina is not just a sex organ at all, but a powerful mediator of female confidence, creativity and the sense of the connections between things.”

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Nasko

Doctors Get a Clue About How Shock Therapy Works

It’s long been a subject of controversy, as well as a few dramatic movie scenes, but electroconvulsive therapy, aka shock therapy, also appears to work when other treatments don’t in some persistent cases of depression. Now the medical community has a little more insight into how it helps patients.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 READ MORE



Culture or Neurons?

What accounts for our species’ self-consciousness and awareness of our mortality, for our impulses to create art, to cling to our memories of childhood, to believe in a deity? Two new books suggest distinct approaches to such elemental questions.

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Paul Sakuma

Facebook May Morph Your Brain

Here we have the latest news in the blossoming social networking subdiscipline of neurology, about which we are not entirely kidding, as a team of researchers from University College London has found a possible link between the size of their subjects’ flocks of Facebook friends and the size of certain parts of their brains. (more)

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 READ MORE


The Eternal Frontier

Share
Posted on Jul 24, 2011 READ MORE



Violent Video Game Ban Blown to Smithereens

The Supreme Court overturned California’s ban on violent video games; social networking sites may be effectively enhancing our social lives; and a case of public urination in Oregon forces a city to flush its reservoir. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jun 28, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Museo del Prado

On Art and Lying

It’s been noted before, by the likes of Marlon Brando and others, that art might be a socially sanctioned form of lying—or confabulating, as neuroscientists might call it. Could this be true?

Posted on Jun 7, 2011 READ MORE


cell phone graffiti
Flickr / Gastev

Cellphones Might Cause Cancer, Maybe

If you’re feeling confused about this issue, you’re not alone: Conflicting reports have been released, but now a group of experts from the World Health Organization is claiming that cellphones, under certain heavy-use circumstances, may cause cancer in humans. (more)

Posted on May 31, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Andrew Mason (CC-BY)

Conservative Brains Have More Fear, Less Courage

Scientists at University College London went poking around the noggins of a couple of MPs and 90 students and were surprised to discover that the brains of right-wing subjects were more prone to fear and anxiety and less so to courage and optimism when compared with their counterparts on the left.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 READ MORE



nytimes.com

Beauty and the Brain

How’s this for a mental image? In an effort to make our synapses sexier to the general public, one enterprising neuroscience aficionado and Ph.D.-to-be cooked up a book of pretty pictures of the human brain as rendered from past to present.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE



More News, Less Turkey

Today on the list: Bribing Israel, the possibilities of precognition, the value of banks (it’s complicated), and the incredible shrinking withdrawal date.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Carolyn Coles (CC-BY)

Jet Lag Makes You Dumb (If You’re a Hamster)

Scientists gave some hamsters the frequent flier treatment and found that their brains birthed fewer neurons. The sleep-confused rodents also had learning and memory issues almost a month after their simulated travel ordeal.

Posted on Nov 17, 2010 READ MORE



Bungie

Video Games Are Good for Your Brain

Don’t listen to Hillary Clinton. Video games are good for you. They make you and your children sharper, and kids should be able to play them without permission.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Sonja Pieper (CC-BY-SA)

Drink Up, Ladies

There are three kinds of studies we hear about. (1) Something incredibly obvious turns out to be true. (2) Something you like is good for you. (3) Something you like is bad for you. Obviously we prefer No. 2s, like this study out of Norway that says drinking wine—especially if you’re a woman—might make you smarter.

Posted on Aug 18, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / jepoirrier (CC-BY-SA)

Breakthrough Test for Alzheimer’s

Researchers say they have developed a 100 percent accurate spinal tap test for the brain disease. Brain scans, too, have become a potentially important tool in diagnosing the disease. The new tests are significant because Alzheimer’s can begin more than a decade before symptoms show up and because there is hope that new drugs could be effective.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE



One-State Solution?

Today on the list: Why academics are still flipping out about television, how Israeli conservatives may be pushing for a one-state solution, and the human brain’s “Life of Brian” mechanism.

Posted on Aug 9, 2010 READ MORE


Cyberspace Dunderheads

I’ve come down with a bad case of the shallows. That’s technology writer Nicholas Carr’s term—and the title of his new book—for the invisible, invidious impact of computers on the modern brain.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE



Palin’s Payday, Flotilla Folly and Priest-Love, All in One

Why shooting peace activists to death is a big deal—even in foreign policy circles, what priests’ mistresses think of celibacy, and how much public money Sarah Palin got paid to attempt public speech.

Posted on May 31, 2010 READ MORE


cell phone graffiti
Flickr / Gastev

Cell Phones, Cancer and You

Here’s some good news for all of us who are tragically glued to our mobile phones: According to a new study, there may be reason to doubt the alarming cell-phones-cause-cancer theory, but it should be noted that this study was funded in part by the mobile industry.

Posted on May 17, 2010 READ MORE



Free Umbrella Edition

Inside Citibank’s homophobia, how to clean art with tattoo removal lasers, and populism with brains. All this and more after the jump.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Millennial Edition

Why the brain forgets things on purpose, the ugliest fish in the world, and finding out how millennial you are. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 READ MORE


that's what she said
youtube.com

Tracing the Neural Circuitry of Humor

Everyone’s going nuts for functional MRI in research circles these days, it seems. Why, a bunch of wacky neuroscientists from Dartmouth College have even used the technology to study what happens when we humans find something funny.

Posted on Feb 8, 2010 READ MORE


mother and baby
Flickr / ECohen

Are We Wired for Compassion?

When the term human nature gets thrown around, it’s sometimes used in a derisive fashion, as if to boil all the complex motivations, biological drives and psychological quirks that comprise our makeup down to some simplistic, base formula. However, there are some who might cast the concept in a brighter light. ... (continued)

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List

We’re kicking off a new feature. Get the best of the Net from Larry Gross. Tonight: Internet for Nobel Prize, secrets of the Kremlin, augmented reality art, charges against nude model dropped, and more.

Posted on Nov 25, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert and Pinsky
colbertnation.com

Psychology, Metaphors and You

Can you tell your metaphors from your synecdoches? These terms may trigger bad freshman English flashbacks, but at least when it comes to metaphors, they’re more important than you might think; in fact, they might just be intrinsic to how you think.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / _Patola_

Workaholics Risk Dementia, Study Finds

Those who have lost their jobs can take solace in the fact that although working may put food on the table, it can also break your brain. A study has found that busy bees who labor more than 55 hours a week develop problems with reasoning, memory and vocabulary, and the problems get worse the more they work.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Ben Roethlisberger
AP photo / Chris Gardner

NFL Players Risk More Than Broken Bones

Scientists have made new discoveries about the traumatic head injuries sustained by football players, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will play in the Super Bowl this Sunday. Just one concussion can lead to dementia-like symptoms years later and multiple incidents can bring about severe brain damage and perhaps even drug addiction or suicide.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE



Simon Lewis on Traumatic Brain Injuries

A devastating and growing problem is explored in Michael Paul Mason’s riveting new book, “Head Cases.”

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy Goes Under the Knife

Ted Kennedy was to undergo brain surgery Monday morning as part of an aggressive course of treatment for his recently diagnosed cancer. According to the Boston Globe, the senator met with a panel of experts that included representatives of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, as well as his own doctors.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


head x-ray
defenseindustrydaily.com

Pentagon Sweeps 20,000 Veterans Under the Rug

Roughly 20,000 soldiers who aren’t on the military’s list of combat wounded have signs of brain injury, according to an analysis of Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs data conducted by USA Today. The Pentagon’s official tally of troops who’ve suffered brain trauma in combat is 4,471—one-fifth the total gleaned from military records.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


MRI scan
boingboing.net

Finding God in the Brain

Is having a religious experience a matter of stimulating a particular area of the brain?  The God-o-thalamus, perhaps?  (Er, sorry.)  Neuroscientists at the University of Montreal are studying functional MRI (fMRI) scans to see if they can locate such an area and then, perhaps, artificially induce a heavenly state of mind.

Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE


Rove’s Sad Legacy

Buh-bye, Karl Rove. On your way out of the White House, don’t let the screen door hit you where the dog should have bit you.

Posted on Aug 14, 2007 READ MORE


Andy Borowitz: Rocket Scientists Not as Smart as Originally Thought

The satirist reveals that rocket scientists, according to a report by the American Association of Brain Surgeons, are less intelligent than you might imagine.

Posted on Sep 15, 2006 READ MORE


Ellen Goodman: Horror or Hope in Vegetative Patient Study?

British researchers reported that a totally unresponsive 23-year-old woman showed signs of awareness on a brain-imaging test. What we can’t know, however, is whether someone actually wants to keep living like that.

Posted on Sep 13, 2006 READ MORE


Explained: Why E-Mail Baffles the Elderly

Harvard researchers think they’ve found the protein that stops the growth of new neural connections in adult brains. The more you have of it, the less you are able to learn.
Our theory: George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld have been freebasing this stuff for years.

Posted on Aug 21, 2006 READ MORE


Driving with celling
From dottocomu.com

Cellphone Calls Mangle Driving Skills

Driving while talking on your cell cuts by half the brain’s ability to recognize and respond to traffic conditions, according to a study. Says a researcher: “Twentysomethings on a cellphone have the same reaction time as 70-year-olds.”

Posted on Aug 14, 2006 READ MORE


head games
From true.com

Researcher: Men’s and Women’s Brains Wired Differently

In her new book “The Female Brain,” a UCSF neuropsychiatrist writes, “Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road.” Men, however, “have O’Hare Airport as a hub for processing thoughts about sex, where women have the airfield nearby that lands small and private planes.”

Posted on Aug 13, 2006 READ MORE


Government Using ‘Brain Scans’ on Terrorists?

The ACLU has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to get details on the possible use of “brain scanning” technology during terrorist interrogations by the U.S. government.

Posted on Jun 30, 2006 READ MORE


Inhalable Aphrodisiac for Women Shows Promise

A New Jersey drug company says Bremolanotide, which stimulates the brain, rather than the genitals, may be the long-sought female version of Viagra. The drug is still in preclinical tests.

Posted on May 21, 2006 READ MORE


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