Psychology Research News -- ScienceDaily

Do you hear what I hear?
A new study found that infants at high risk for autism were less attuned to differences in speech patterns than low-risk infants. The findings suggest that interventions to improve language skills should begin during infancy for those at high risk for autism.

Short-term use of opioids increases subjective pleasure: Risk of addiction
As indicated by a recently published study, short-term opioid use shifts a range of emotional responses to the positive direction. This may be one of the reasons behind the onset of opioid use disorder.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for kids with long-term conditions
The mental health of children and young people with some long term physical conditions could benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), according to a recent study. The systematic review used robust methods to bring together and make sense of the best science in this area.

Virtual reality can spot navigation problems in early Alzheimer's disease
Virtual reality (VR) can identify early Alzheimer's disease more accurately than 'gold standard' cognitive tests currently in use, new research suggests.

How to enhance or suppress memories
New research shows memories are pliable if you know which regions of the brain's hippocampus to stimulate -- a finding that could someday enable personalized treatment for people with PTSD, depression and anxiety.

Targeting key gene could help lead to Down syndrome treatment
Targeting a key gene before birth could someday help lead to a treatment for Down syndrome by reversing abnormal embryonic brain development and improving cognitive function after birth, according to a new study.

Bipolar disorder may be linked to Parkinson's disease
People who have bipolar disorder may be more likely to later develop Parkinson's disease than people who do not have bipolar disorder, according at a new study.

Aspirin green light for brain bleed stroke patients, study suggests
People who suffer a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain -- known as brain haemorrhage -- can take common medicines without raising their risk of another stroke, a major clinical trial has found. Researchers say the findings are reassuring for the thousands of people who take the medicines to reduce their risk of heart attack and another common type of stroke caused by blood clots in the brain.

Air pollution linked to childhood anxiety
A new study looks at the correlation between exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and childhood anxiety, by looking at the altered neurochemistry in pre-adolescents.

Multiple brain regions moderate and link depressive mood and pain
New research expands and deepens the association between clinical depression and pain, identifying specific regions of the brain that drive, influence and moderate depressive mood and its relationship to perceiving physical pain.

Exercise: Psych patients' new natural prescription
A new study advocates for exercise as a fundamental treatment and intervention method within inpatient psychiatric facilities.

Optical illusions reveal regular waves of brain activity enable visual feature integration
Rhythmic waves of brain activity cause us to see or not see complex images that flash before our eyes. An image can become practically invisible if it flashes before our eyes at the same time as a low point of those brain waves. We can reset that brain wave rhythm with a simple voluntary action, like choosing to push a button.

Inhibition of protein phosphorylation promotes optic nerve regeneration after injury
Research results suggest that the inhibition of phosphorylation of microtubule-binding protein CRMP2 could be a novel approach to the development of treatments for optic neuropathies, such as glaucoma and traumatic injury.

What's the right amount of 'zapping' in epilepsy laser surgery?
A multicenter trial of minimally invasive laser surgery to treat epileptic seizures reveals approaches for better seizure control with fewer side effects.

Road to cell death mapped in the Alzheimer's brain
Scientists have identified a new mechanism that accelerates aging in the brain and gives rise to the most devastating biological features of Alzheimer's disease. The findings also unify three long-standing theories behind the disease's origins into one cohesive narrative that explains how healthy cells become sick and gives scientists new avenues for screening compounds designed to slow or stop disease progression, something existing medications cannot do.

Head injury effects halted by xenon gas, finds first ever life-long study in mice
Following traumatic brain injury (TBI), xenon prevented early death, improved long-term cognition, and protected brain tissue in mice in a new study.

Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria
People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies.

Scientists succeed in testing potential brain-based method to diagnose autism
Scientists have taken the first step in developing an objective, brain-based test to diagnose autism.

Anxious people quicker to flee danger
By better understanding anxiety circuits in our brain, researchers may one day learn what goes awry in people with anxiety disorders.

'Imagine...' -- our attitudes can change solely by the power of imagination
Our attitudes can be influenced not only by what we actually experience but also by what we imagine.

Brain changes in autism traced to specific cell types
Changes in gene activity in specific brain cells are associated with the severity of autism in children and young adults with the disorder, according to a new study.

Brain's insular cortex processes pain and drives learning from pain
Neuroscientists have discovered an area of the brain, the insular cortex, that processes painful experiences and thereby drives learning from aversive events.

How we make complex decisions
Neuroscientists have identified a brain circuit that helps break complex decisions down into smaller pieces. The study sheds light on how the brain reasons about probable causes of failure after a hierarchy of decisions.

Automatic neurological disease diagnosis using deep learning
A team of researchers has developed MNet, an automatic diagnosis system for neurological diseases using magnetoencephalography (MEG), demonstrating the possibility of making automatic neurological disease diagnoses using MEG.

Study paves way for better treatment of lingering concussion symptoms
The results of the studyshow that significant levels of fatigue and poorer brain function can persist for months, or even years, following concussion.

Antibiotic treatment alleviates Alzheimer's disease symptoms in male mice
Researchers have demonstrated that the type of bacteria living in the gut can influence the development of Alzheimer's disease symptoms in mice. The study shows that, by altering the gut microbiome, long-term antibiotic treatment reduces inflammation and slows the growth of amyloid plaques in the brains of male mice, though the same treatment has no effect on female animals.

Brain network activity can improve in epilepsy patients after surgery
Successful epilepsy surgery can improve brain connectivity similar to patterns seen in people without epilepsy.

Jawless fish take a bite out of the blood-brain barrier
A jawless parasitic fish could help lead the way to more effective treatments for multiple brain ailments, including cancer, trauma and stroke. Researchers borrowed molecules from the immune system of the parasitic sea lamprey to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to brain tumors.

Memories are strengthened via brainwaves produced during sleep, new study shows
New research brings us closer to understanding how learned information turns into reliable memories during sleep.

Brain stimulation improves working memory in adults
Magnetic stimulation of the brain improves working memory, offering a new potential avenue of therapy for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Twitter image colors and content could help identify users with depression, anxiety
A new study shows users who score high on a depression and anxiety survey often post photos that are less aesthetically appealing, less vivid in color or display little depth of field.

Researchers block protein that plays a key role in Alzheimer's disease
In recent years, it has become increasingly clear to researchers that the protein galectin-3 is involved in inflammatory diseases in the brain. A study now shows the de facto key role played by the protein in Alzheimer's disease. When the researchers shut off the gene that produces this protein in mice, the amount of Alzheimer's plaque and the inflammatory load both decreased.

Molecular basis of brain dysfunction and embryo malformation associated with thalidomide
Scientists have identified the molecule involved in thalidomide-related dysfunctions associated with in utero brain and organ development. Their in vivo results using a zebrafish model of mammalian development showed that thalidomide binds to a protein named cereblon, a subunit of an enzyme complex responsible for the creation of neurons, thereby inhibiting normal brain development. Their results suggest this protein as a possible therapeutic target for regulating abnormal brain development.

Combination therapy advisable for bowel disorder IBS
The more abnormalities in intestinal and brain function that IBS sufferers have, the more severe their symptoms of this functional bowel disorder, and the more adversely their everyday life is affected. This is shown by a study indicating that patients with IBS should get treatments for different abnormalities simultaneously, to improve both bowel function and signaling from the brain to the gut.

Blood flow command center discovered in the brain
Researchers have discovered a group of cells in the brain that may function as a 'master-controller' for the cardiovascular system, orchestrating the control of blood flow to different parts of the body.

Unexplored neural circuit modulates memory strength
The fruit fly mushroom body contains three groups of neurons that produce dopamine. Two of them work together to process aversive memories, a new study shows.

Characterizing the relay station in the brain that controls our movements
The relay station of the brain, the substantia nigra, consists of different types of nerve cells and is responsible for controlling the execution of diverse movements. Researchers have now characterized two of these cell populations more precisely and has been able to assign an exact function to each of them.

Obesity: The key role of a brain protein revealed
Regardless of how much you exercise or how balanced your diet is, controlling your weight is more brain-related than you might have thought. Researchers show for the first time in mice that the acyl-CoA-binding protein, or ACBP, has a direct influence on the neurons that allow rodents and humans to maintain a healthy weight.

Detecting dementia's damaging effects before it's too late
Patients with a rare neurodegenerative brain disorder called Primary Progressive Aphasia, or PPA, show abnormalities in brain function in areas that look structurally normal on an MRI scan. This could mean that scientists could use this as an early detection method.

A new treatment for stroke in mice reduces brain damage and promotes motor recovery
New research shows that brain fluids can be normalized with adrenergic receptor antagonists, a combination of drugs to block the activity of (nor)adrenaline in the brain. This experimental treatment for stroke aided motor recovery and reduced cell death in mice, scientists report.

Brain researchers seek 'fingerprints' of severe mental diseases
Findings from a new study of large-scale systems in the brain could improve understanding of the symptoms and causes of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and other mental illnesses. Researchers detail their investigation into brain network connectivity in patients with psychotic disorders.

Room for thought: Brain region that watches for walls identified
To move through the world, you need a sense of your surroundings, especially of the constraints that restrict your movement: the walls, ceiling and other barriers that define the geometry of the navigable space around you. And now, a team of neuroscientists has identified an area of the human brain dedicated to perceiving this geometry. This brain region orients us in space, so we can avoid bumping into things, figure out where we are and navigate safely through our environment.

People fail to recognize male postnatal depression
A new study shows that people are almost twice as likely to correctly identify signs of postnatal depression in women than in men.

Prince Charming's kiss unlocking brain's regenerative potential?
Researchers find that 'waves' of Hes1 and Ascl1 gene expression control the quiescent and active state of adult neural stem cells. Hes1 expression promotes quiescence and suppresses Ascl1, and knocking out Hes1 increases Ascl1 expression and subsequent adult neural stem cell activation.

Combat personnel with brain injuries pinpoints abnormal brain waves
A new study finds that veterans and service members with a history of combat-related mild traumatic brain injury have much higher levels of abnormally fast brain waves in a region that plays a key role in consciousness.

New brain tumor imaging technique uses protein found in scorpion venom
A novel imaging technique that uses a synthesized form of scorpion venom to light up brain tumors has shown promise in a clinical trial.

Scientists locate brain area where value decisions are made
Neurobiologists have pinpointed the brain area responsible for value decisions that are made based on past experiences. Data from tens of thousands of neurons revealed an area of the brain called the retrosplenial cortex, or RSC, which was not previously known for 'value-based decision-making,' a fundamental animal behavior that is impaired in neurological conditions ranging from schizophrenia to dementia and addiction.

Back to the sources of neural diversity
By deciphering the genetic programs of neurons of the cerebral cortex, researchers have unraveled the mechanisms controlling the genesis of cells in one of the most essential parts of our brain.

Mathematical framework explores how the brain keeps a beat
A new mathematical model demonstrates how neurons in the brain could work together to learn and keep a musical beat.

Stem cells provide information about neuron resilience in ALS
Researchers have developed a stem cell based model in order to study the resilience and vulnerability of neurons in the neurodegenerative disease ALS. The results can aid in the identification of new genetic targets for treatments protecting sensitive neurons.