Psychology Research News -- ScienceDaily

Conscious visual perception occurs outside the visual system
A new study finds that the conscious perception of visual location occurs in the frontal lobes of the brain, rather than in the visual system in the back of the brain. The results are significant given the ongoing debate among neuroscientists on what consciousness is and where it happens in the brain.

To the brain, straight from the vein: IV treatment for TBI
A team of researchers has found that neural exosomes -- 'cargo' molecules within the nervous system that carry messages to the brain -- can minimize or even avert progression of traumatic brain injury when used as part of a new cell-to-cell messaging technology.

Want to avoid the holiday blues? New report suggests skipping the sweet treats
A new study from a team of clinical psychologists suggests eating added sugars -- common in so many holiday foods -- can trigger metabolic, inflammatory and neurobiological processes tied to depressive illness.

Experts review evidence yoga is good for the brain
Scientists have known for decades that aerobic exercise strengthens the brain and contributes to the growth of new neurons, but few studies have examined how yoga affects the brain. A review of the science finds evidence that yoga enhances many of the same brain structures and functions that benefit from aerobic exercise.

Researchers discover brain circuit linked to food impulsivity
A team of researchers has now identified a specific circuit in the brain that alters food impulsivity.

Scientists eager to explain brain rhythm boost's broad impact in Alzheimer's models
Neuroscientists lay out the the few knowns and many unknowns that must be understood to determine why sensory stimuluation of 40Hz brain rhythms have broad effects, particularly in Alzheimer's models.

Genetic brain disorder fixed in mice using precision epigenome editing
Using a targeted gene epigenome editing approach in the developing mouse brain, researchers reversed one gene mutation that leads to the genetic disorder WAGR syndrome, which causes intellectual disability and obesity in people. This specific editing was unique in that it changed the epigenome -- how the genes are regulated -- without changing the actual genetic code of the gene being regulated.

Side effects of pediatric medications for anxiety, OCD
New research specifically looks at side effects that impact children and adolescents being treated for anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Dementia study reveals how proteins interact to stop brain signals
Fresh insights into damaging proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease could aid the quest for treatments.

Brain function abnormal in children with Type 1 diabetes
Children with Type 1 diabetes show subtle but important differences in brain function compared with those who don't have the disease, a study has shown.

Why doesn't deep-brain stimulation work for everyone?
Researchers have mapped nine functional networks in the deep-brain structures of 10 healthy people, an accomplishment that could lead to improvements in deep-brain stimulation therapy for severe cases of Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions.

Justified and unjustified movie violence evokes different brain responses
In a study, researchers find that scenes of justified and unjustified violence in movies activate different parts of the adolescent brain. The research is the first to show that when movie characters engage in violence that is seen as justified, there is a synchronized response among viewers in a part of the brain involved in moral evaluation, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, suggesting that viewers see the violent behavior as acceptable for self- or family protection.

Brain patterns can predict speech of words and syllables
Neurons in the brain's motor cortex previously thought of as active mainly during hand and arm movements also light up during speech in a way that is similar to patterns of brain activity linked to these movements, suggest new findings.

The genetic signature of memory
Despite their importance in memory, the human cortex and subcortex display a distinct collection of 'gene signatures.' The work increases our understanding of how the brain creates memories and identifies potential genes for further investigation.

How playing the drums changes the brain
People who play drums regularly for years differ from unmusical people in their brain structure and function. The results of a new study suggest that they have fewer, but thicker fibers in the main connecting tract between the two halves of the brain. In addition, their motor brain areas are organized more efficiently.

Play sports for a healthier brain
There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes' brains. But a new study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes across a variety of sports -- including football, soccer and hockey -- have healthier brains than non-athletes.

Scientists use crabs to validate popular method to identify unknown human brain neurons
A crab's nervous system could help scientists learn what causes single neurons in the human brain to become 'out of whack,' which can contribute to the development of neurological diseases like Alzheimer's disease. Knowing exactly how a single neuron operates among the billions housed in the human brain could one day help scientists design innovative ways to prevent and treat these diseases, such as targeted therapies.

Open source EEG visualization tool
Researchers have developed a free open source computer program that can be used to create visual and quantitative representations of brain electrical activity in laboratory animals in hopes of developing countermeasures for opioid use disorder.

Brain differences detected in children with depressed parents
The largest brain imaging study of children ever conducted in the United States has revealed structural differences in the brains of those whose parents have depression.

Between arousal and inhibition
Why nerve cells in the brain process information differently.

Multiple correlations between brain complexity and locomotion pattern in vertebrates
Researchers have uncovered multi-level relationships between locomotion - the ways animals move - and brain architecture, using high-definition 3D models of lizard and snake brains.

New protein function could be key to treatment of drug addiction and behavioral disorders
The reward pathway of the brain causes feelings of happiness but is also involved in behavioral disorders like schizophrenia and addiction. A breakthrough study has now identified the role of a protein called Npas4 in the reward pathway, mediated by the well-known proteins MAPK and CBP, opening doors to potential therapies for associated disorders. Cocaine-treated mice with inactivated Npas4 exhibited considerable reduction in cocaine-seeking behavior, emphasizing the relevance of the protein.

Improving blood vessel health in brain may help combat Alzheimer's
Researchers have found that very slow spontaneous blood vessel pulsations drive the clearance of substances from the brain, indicating that targeting and improving this process may help to prevent or treat amyloid-beta accumulation.

A week in the dark rewires brain cell networks and changes hearing in adult mice
New research reveals how a week in the dark rewires brain cell networks and changes hearing sensitivity in adult mice long after the optimal window for auditory learning has passed. With further study, cross-modal learning -- the manipulation of one sense to induce change in another sense -- could be used to help people with disabilities. For example, temporary sight deprivation might be used to help deaf and hearing-impaired people adapt to cochlear implants and hearing aids.

By imaging the brain, scientists can predict a person's aptitude for cognitive training
People with specific brain attributes are more likely than others to benefit from targeted cognitive interventions designed to enhance fluid intelligence, scientists report in a new study. Fluid intelligence is a measure of one's ability to adapt to new situations and solve never-before-seen problems.

Controlling attention with brain waves
Having trouble paying attention? Neuroscientists may have a solution for you: Turn down your alpha brain waves. In a new study, the researchers found that people can enhance their attention by controlling their own alpha brain waves based on neurofeedback they receive as they perform a particular task.

Scientists create 'epigenetic couch potato' mouse
A study in mice shows for the first time that epigenetics -- the molecular mechanisms that determine which genes are turned on or off -- plays a key role in determining an individual's innate drive to exercise.

Study finds key brain region smaller in birth control pill users
Researchers studying the brain found that women taking oral contraceptives, commonly known as birth control pills, had significantly smaller hypothalamus volume, compared to women not taking the pill, according to a new study.

Machine learning that works like a dream
Researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm that classifies the sleep stages of mice with record accuracy. This work may be used to greatly enhance the field of sleep research.

Micro implants could restore standing and walking
Researchers are focused on restoring lower-body function after severe spinal injuries using a tiny spinal implant. In new research, the team showcases a map to identify which parts of the spinal cord trigger the hip, knees, ankles and toes, and the areas that put movements together.

Focused ultrasound may open door to Alzheimer's treatment
Focused ultrasound is a safe and effective way to target and open areas of the blood-brain barrier, potentially allowing for new treatment approaches to Alzheimer's disease, according to initial results from a new study.

Concussion alters how information is transmitted within the brain
Damage from concussion alters the way information is transmitted between the 2 halves of the brain, according to a new study.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

The neurobiological basis of gender dysphoria
A new theory of gender dysphoria argues the symptoms of the condition are due to changes in network activity, rather than incorrect brain sex, according to new work.

Concussion recovery not clear cut for children
Sleep problems, fatigue and attention difficulties in the weeks after a child's concussion injury could be a sign of reduced brain function and decreased grey matter.

Why do we freeze when startled? New study in flies points to serotonin
A study in fruit flies has identified serotonin as a chemical that triggers the body's startle response, the automatic deer-in-the-headlights reflex that freezes the body momentarily in response to a potential threat. Today's study reveals that when a fly experiences an unexpected change to its surroundings, such as a sudden vibration, release of serotonin helps to literally -- and temporarily -- stop the fly in its tracks.

Vision: Not seeing the trees for the wood
Researchers have shown how it is possible that objects stand out less when they are surrounded by similar objects. This surroundings-suppressing effect is caused by feedback from higher visual brain areas. The results of this research are important for a better understanding of the way in which the brain transforms incoming light into a cohesive image.

First implantable magnet resonance detector
A new miniature NMR implant measures neuronal activity.

Researchers use machine learning tools to reveal how memories are coded in the brain
These findings indicate that stable short-term memory information exists within a population of neurons with dynamic activity.

Artificial intelligence-based algorithm for intensive care of traumatic brain injury
A recent study presents the first artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithm that may be utilized in the intensive care unit for treating patients with severe traumatic brain injury.

Skiers have lower incidence of depression and vascular dementia -- but not Alzheimer's
Half as many diagnosed with depression, a delayed manifestation of Parkinson's, a reduced risk of developing vascular dementia -- but not Alzheimer's. These connections were discovered by researchers when they compared 200,000 people who had participated in a long-distance cross-country ski race between 1989 and 2010 with a matched cohort of the general population.

Cutting neurodegeneration associated with dementia, in animal models
Korean research team made up of Dr. Hyung-Jun Kim and Shinrye Lee of KBRI, and professor Kiyoung Kim of Soonchunhyang University, found a new molecular mechanism of suppressing neuronal toxicity associateded dementia and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Cerebral organoid model provides clues about how to prevent virus-induced brain cell death
Scientists have determined that La Crosse virus (LACV), which can cause inflammation of the brain in children, affects brain cells differently depending on their developmental stage. A new study shows that uncommitted neural stems cells generally survive LACV infection, while LACV often kills neurons. The study also shows that neurons infected by LACV can be rescued by interferon, a powerful antiviral protein.

Minimally invasive procedure relieves tremors in Parkinson's patients
A procedure that applies pulses of focused ultrasound to the brain is safe and effective for reducing tremors and improving quality of life in people with essential tremor or Parkinson's disease tremor, according to a new study.

Concussions in high school athletes may be a risk factor for suicide
Concussion, the most common form of traumatic brain injury, has been linked to an increased risk of depression and suicide in adults. Now new research suggests high school students with a history of sports-related concussions might be at an increased risk for suicide completion.

Perception of touch in the brain
More than ten percent of the cerebral cortex are involved in processing information about our sense of touch -- a larger area than previously thought.

Air pollution linked to higher glaucoma risk
Living in a more polluted area is associated with a greater likelihood of having glaucoma, a debilitating eye condition that can cause blindness, finds a new study. People in neighborhoods with higher amounts of fine particulate matter pollution were at least 6% more likely to report having glaucoma than those in the least-polluted areas.

MRI reveals brain damage in obese teens
Researchers using MRI have found signs of damage that may be related to inflammation in the brains of obese adolescents, according to a new study.

Prenatal opioid exposure may alter brain function in babies
Connectivity in an area of the brain that regulates emotion may be altered in infants exposed to opioids while in utero, according to a new study.

Babies in the womb may see more than we thought
Light-sensitive cells active in the retina even before the fetus can distinguish images may play a larger role in the developing eye and brain than previously thought. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells seemingly help establish blood supply to the retina, circadian rhythms and the pupillary light reflex. Researchers have now discovered that these cells are electrically connected in a network that is able to detect light intensity, suggesting a bigger role in development.