Psychology Research News -- ScienceDaily

New drug combination shows promise for common pediatric brain tumor
A new combination treatment aimed at resistant and recurrent low-grade gliomas slowed tumor growth and killed tumor cells in laboratory and mouse models.

Brain region discovered that only processes spoken, not written words
Patients in a new study were able to comprehend words that were written but not said aloud. They could write the names of things they saw but not verbalize them. For instance, if a patient in the study saw the word 'hippopotamus' written on a piece of paper, they could identify a hippopotamus in flashcards. But when that patient heard someone say 'hippopotamus,' they could not point to the picture of the animal.

Common cause in sudden death syndromes
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) are syndromes that share many medical similarities but whose physiological causes are poorly understood. An opinion article publishing March 21 in the journal Trends in Neurosciences suggests that the inability for an individual to wake up when their CO2 blood levels rise, likely due to a faulty neural reflex, may be a shared cause for incidences of death in both disorders.

Sleep and ageing: Two sides of one coin?
Researchers have discovered a brain process common to sleep and ageing in research that could pave the way for new treatments for insomnia.

How team sports change a child's brain
Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress. Now, new research has linked participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children and less depression in boys ages 9 to 11.

New brain research challenges our understanding of sleep
A new study has for the first time uncovered the large-scale brain patterns and networks in the brain which control sleep, providing knowledge which in the future may can in the long term help people who experience problems sleeping.

Blue Brain solves a century-old neuroscience problem
New research explains how the shapes of neurons can be classified using mathematical methods from the field of algebraic topology. Neuroscientists can now start building a formal catalogue for all the types of cells in the brain. Onto this catalogue of cells, they can systematically map the function and role in disease of each type of neuron in the brain.

Prenatal allergies prompt sexual changes in offspring
A single allergic reaction during pregnancy prompts sexual-development changes in the brains of offspring that last a lifetime, new research suggests. Female rats born to mothers exposed to an allergen during pregnancy acted more characteristically 'male' -- mounting other female rodents, for instance -- and had brains and nervous systems that looked more like those seen in typical male animals.

Small vessel disease MRI marker linked to worse cognitive health in older adults
Seemingly harmless fluid-filled spaces around the cerebral small vessels, commonly seen on brain MRIs in older adults, are now thought to be associated with more compromised cognitive skills, according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study published in Neurology.

Childhood trauma may affect brain structure, predisposing adults to recurring major depressive disorder
Early life trauma may affect the structure of the brain in a way that makes clinical depression more likely to be severe and recurrent, according to a two-year observational study.

Depression in 20s linked to memory loss in 50s
A new large-scale longitudinal study has found a clear link between episodes of depression and anxiety experienced by adults in their twenties, thirties and forties, with a decrease in memory function by the time they are in their fifties.

New study reshapes understanding of how the brain recovers from injury
Each year, approximately 265,000 Americans have a stroke that causes visual impairment. New research sheds light on how the damage in the brain caused by a stroke can lead to permanent vision impairment. The findings could provide researchers with a blueprint to better identify which areas of vision are recoverable, facilitating the development of more effective interventions to encourage vision recovery.

Brain-inspired AI inspires insights about the brain (and vice versa)
Researchers have described the results of experiments that used artificial neural networks to predict with greater accuracy than ever before how different areas in the brain respond to specific words. The work employed a type of recurrent neural network called long short-term memory (LSTM) that includes in its calculations the relationships of each word to what came before to better preserve context.

Gene variant associated with cellular aging
It is well known that psychiatric stress is associated with accelerated aging. Now, a new study shows that a gene mutation interacts with multiple types of psychiatric stress including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain and sleep disturbances in association with cellular aging.

Sniffing out Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to progressive brain cell death and extensive loss of motor function. Despite much research being conducted on this disease, there are no definitive diagnostic tests currently available. Now, researchers report the identification of compounds that make up the signature odor of the disease with the help an individual who can detect Parkinson's through smell.

Complications during birth and later social anxiety in children
A new study indicates that complications during birth may increase the risk that children will develop social anxiety by their pre-teen years.

How our body 'listens' to vibrations
We all know the feeling of a mobile phone vibrating in our hands. We perceive these vibrations so clearly thanks to specialized receptors that transduce them into neural signals sent to our brain. But how does the latter encode their physical characteristics? Neuroscientists have discovered that feeling a phone vibrate or hearing it ring is ultimately based on the same brain codes.

Experiments with roundworms suggest alternatives for the treatment of schizophrenia
Researchers used C. elegans as an animal model to investigate the importance of certain human genes for the treatment of schizophrenia.

How attention helps the brain perceive an object
The ability of the brain to ignore extraneous visual information is critical to how we work and function, but the processes governing perception and attention are not fully understood. Scientists have long theorized that attention to a particular object can alter perception by amplifying certain neuronal activity and suppressing the activity of other neurons (brain ''noise''). Now, scientists have confirmed this theory by showing how too much background noise from neurons can interrupt focused attention and cause the brain to struggle to perceive objects.

Diattenuation imaging: Promising imaging technique for brain research
A new imaging method provides structural information about brain tissue that was previously difficult to access. Diattenuation imaging allows researchers to differentiate, e.g., regions with many thin nerve fibers from regions with few thick nerve fibers. With current imaging methods, these tissue types cannot easily be distinguished.

Deep brain stimulation provides sustained relief for severe depression
Patients suffering from severe, treatment-resistant depression can benefit not only acutely but also the long-term from deep brain stimulation.

Measuring differences in brain chemicals in people with mild memory problems
Using strong and targeted but noninvasive magnets at specific sites in the brains of people with and without mild learning and memory problems, researchers report they were able to detect differences in the concentrations of brain chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. The strength of these magnetic fields allows the researchers to measure tiny amounts and compare multiple brain metabolite levels at the same time. These studies may ultimately help to reveal what initiates memory decline and may, perhaps, even predict dementia risk.

Inflammation links heart disease and depression
People with heart disease are more likely to suffer from depression, and the opposite is also true. Now, scientists believe they have identified a link between these two conditions: inflammation -- the body's response to negative environmental factors, such as stress.

New research identifies potential PTSD treatment improvement
Researchers may have found a way to improve a common treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by changing how the brain learns to respond less severely to fearful conditions, according to a new study.

Scientists hunt down the brain circuit responsible for alcohol cravings
Scientists have found that they can reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats -- with the flip of a switch. The researchers were able to use lasers to temporarily inactivate a specific neuronal population, reversing alcohol-seeking behavior and even reducing the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

A repellent odor inhibits the perception of a pleasant odor in vinegar flies
Scientists have discovered that repellent odors suppress the perception of pleasant smells. This happens because certain brain structures that respond to attractive odors are inhibited by a repellent one. These processes in the brain are also reflected in the behavior of the flies. This helps them to avoid spoiled or infected food sources, which would have fatal consequences for the flies and their offspring.

AI and MRIs at birth can predict cognitive development at age 2
Researchers used MRI brain scans and machine learning techniques at birth to predict cognitive development at age 2 years with 95 percent accuracy.

The sweet spot: Scientists discover taste center of human brain
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a new method of statistical analysis, researchers have discovered the taste center in the human brain by uncovering which parts of the brain distinguish different types of tastes.

The importance of puberty: A call for better research models
Puberty is much more than just a time of biological overdrive, propelled by sexual maturation. Progress in developmental science has greatly broadened the perspective of this critical maturational milestone.

Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer's symptoms
By exposing mice to a unique combination of light and sound, neuroscientists have shown they can improve cognitive and memory impairments similar to those seen in Alzheimer's patients.

Negative emotions can reduce our capacity to trust
It is no secret that a bad mood can negatively affect how we treat others. But can it also make us more distrustful? Yes, according to a new study, which shows that negative emotions reduce how much we trust others, even if these emotions were triggered by events that have nothing to do with the decision to trust.

Serotonin can regulate gene expression inside neurons
Findings could fundamentally change how scientists interpret the biological activities of serotonin.

Like rats, you brain may contain 'time cells' that help form long-term memories
A new study represents an important step in understanding the mystery behind how the brain encodes time when long-term memories are formed.

Blunting pain's emotional component
Pain researchers have shown in rodents that they can block receptors on brain cells that appear to be responsible for the negative emotions associated with pain, such as sadness, depression and lethargy. The findings could lead to new, less addictive approaches to pain treatment.

Differences in brain activity in children with anhedonia
Researchers have identified changes in brain connectivity and brain activity during rest and reward anticipation in children with anhedonia, a condition where people lose interest and pleasure in activities they used to enjoy. The study sheds light on brain function associated with anhedonia and helps differentiate anhedonia from other related aspects of psychopathology.

Parkinson's treatment delivers a power-up to brain cell 'batteries'
Scientists have gained clues into how a Parkinson's disease treatment, called deep brain stimulation, helps tackle symptoms.

Gene that keeps PTSD-like behavior at bay in female mice
More than 30 years ago, scientists discovered that mad cow and Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases are caused by prions. But in recent years, Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, M.D., demonstrated in mice that some prions are beneficial and serve important functions in the brain and body. And today, new research from Dr. Kandel describes how one such prion-like protein helps the brain keep fearful memories in check. Without it, female mice exhibit the tell-tale signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Role of a deep brain structure in concussion
Through a combination of biometric tracking, simulated modeling and medical imaging, researchers detail how hits to the side of the head cause concussion.

Neurofeedback gets you back in the zone
Researchers have shown -- for the first time -- that they can use online neurofeedback to modify an individual's arousal state to improve performance in a demanding sensory motor task, such as flying a plane or driving in suboptimal conditions.

First evidence for necessary role of human hippocampus in planning
A team of scientists reports finding the first evidence that the human hippocampus is necessary for future planning. The findings link its long-established role in memory with our ability to use our knowledge to map out the future effects of our actions.

Rsearchers explore stroke's effects on microbiome
Researchers are investigating how having a stroke can disrupt the community of bacteria that lives in the gut. These bacteria -- known collectively as the microbiome -- can interact with the central nervous system and may influence stroke patients' recovery.

First double-blind controlled trial of TNS shows reduced symptoms in some children with ADHD
Currently approved in Canada and Europe for adults with medication-resistant depression and seizures, trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) has been found to be an effective and safe means of treatment for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reports a new study.

Iron measurements with MRI reveal stroke's impact on brain
A simple MRI method that measures iron content can provide a more comprehensive picture of the consequences of stroke-related damage to the brain, according to a new study. Researchers said the findings point to a role for MRI brain iron measurements in monitoring recovery from stroke.

Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
A major new study has uncovered dramatic differences in the brains of Hispanics with a dementia diagnosis compared with those of non-Hispanic whites and of African Americans.

Forgetting uses more brain power than remembering
Choosing to forget something might take more mental effort than trying to remember it, researchers discovered through neuroimaging.

Brain stimulation improves depression symptoms, restores brain waves in clinical study
With a weak alternating electrical current sent through electrodes attached to the scalp, researchers successfully targeted a naturally occurring electrical pattern in a specific part of the brain and markedly improved depression symptoms in about 70 percent of participants in a clinical study.

Kids' concussion recovery like snakes and ladders game
During the first 24 hours, home and leisure activities may be undertaken as long as they are only for five minutes at a time, and stopped if symptoms increase. The guidelines give pathways for three categories of concussions: for those who are symptom free within 48 hours of the injury, those who are symptom free or much decreased within one to four weeks, and those who have the symptoms for more than four weeks.

Binge drinking in adolescence may increase risk for anxiety later in life
Researchers have found that adolescent binge drinking, even if discontinued, increases the risk for anxiety later in life due to abnormal epigenetic programming.

Researchers identify role sex-biased protein may play in autism
Researchers are one step closer to helping answer the question of why autism is four times more common in boys than in girls after identifying and characterizing the connection of certain proteins in the brain to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Could an eye doctor diagnose Alzheimer's before you have symptoms?
A study of more than 200 people suggests the loss of blood vessels in the retina could signal Alzheimer's disease.