Quirky stories from ScienceDaily's Mind & Brain section.
A study of preoperative patients for rhinoplasty suggests poor mental well-being and low self-esteem were associated with poorer perceptions of nasal function, according to a new study.
Posted: July 20, 2017, 11:52 pm
A five-minute encounter with an outsider spurs a cascade of changes in gene activity in the brain that can last for hours, researchers report in a study of stickleback fish.
Posted: July 17, 2017, 8:34 pm
For the first time, a primitive movie has been encoded in -- and then played back from -- DNA in living cells. Scientists say it's a major step toward a 'molecular recorder' that may someday make it possible to access an archive of the changing internal states of a developing cell by sequencing its genome. The ability to record such sequential events as a movie at the molecular level is key to this reinventing of recording.
Posted: July 13, 2017, 12:26 am
Neurologists have created a hands-free, thought-controlled musical instrument. They hope that this new instrument will help empower and rehabilitate patients with motor disabilities such as those from stroke, spinal cord injury, amputation, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Posted: July 12, 2017, 8:35 pm
Some people experience intense aversion and anxiety when they see clusters of roughly circular shapes, such as the bubbles in a cup of coffee or the holes in a sponge. Now psychologists have found that the condition -- known as trypophobia -- may be an exaggerated response linked to deep-seated anxiety about parasites and infectious disease.
Posted: July 11, 2017, 9:44 pm
Manipulating the pulses of electrical activity in the thalamus during non-REM deep sleep make mice remember or forget.
Posted: July 6, 2017, 9:42 pm
A ground-breaking new study challenges the assumption that moral decisions are strongly context dependent and cannot be modeled or described algorithmically, finding that human behavior in dilemma situations can be modeled by a simple value-of-life-based model. The research suggests that human moral behavior can be well-described by algorithms and used by machines to manage moral dilemmas on the road.
Posted: July 5, 2017, 10:02 pm
Researchers developed ways to temporarily eliminate the sense of smell in adult mice, and discovered that those mice that lost smell could eat a high-fat diet and stay a normal weight, while littermates that retained the sense of smell ballooned to twice normal weight. Supersmellers gained more weight than did normal mice on the same high-fat diet. Smell-deficient mice burned excess fat instead of storing it, suggesting a link between smell and metabolism.
Posted: July 5, 2017, 10:00 pm
Seemingly any behavior can be 'gamified' and awarded digital points these days, from tracking the steps you've walked to the online purchases you've made and even the chores you've completed. Tracking behavior in this way helps to spur further action and new research shows that even meaningless scores can serve as effective motivators, as long as those scores are accelerating.
Posted: July 5, 2017, 7:23 pm
People tend to change the pitch of their voice depending on who they are talking to, and how dominant they feel, a study has found.
Posted: June 29, 2017, 7:47 pm
Neuroscientists have thoroughly mapped the touch, visual and auditory regions of the brain's cortex, but how does this sensory information get processed into our perception of the world? Researchers have for the first time reconstructed the spatial map a mouse creates with its whiskers, and found evidence that layers 2 and 3 of the somatosensory cortex integrate the discret inputs from each whisker to create a smooth map of the surrounding world.
Posted: June 28, 2017, 7:28 pm
A systematic review of zolpidem for noninsomnia neurological disorders, including movement disorders and disorders of consciousness, finds reason for additional research.
Posted: June 26, 2017, 10:47 pm
The way you hear and interpret the sounds around you changes as you move. That's how sound in the real world works. Now imagine if it worked that way while you were listening to a recording of a concert or playing a video game in virtual reality. Scientists are now using head related transfer functions (HRTF) to create an immersive sound environment.
Posted: June 26, 2017, 8:28 pm
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate safely through the environment using echolocation.
Posted: June 26, 2017, 7:06 pm
Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off — suggests new research.
Posted: June 23, 2017, 11:00 pm
Different types of memories stored in the same neuron of the marine snail Aplysia can be selectively erased, according to a new study.
Posted: June 22, 2017, 9:49 pm
Sons of older fathers are more intelligent, more focused on their interests and less concerned about fitting in, all characteristics typically seen in 'geeks,' suggests new British research.
Posted: June 20, 2017, 9:11 pm
One of the well-known challenges of marriage is keeping the passion alive after years of partnership, as passions tend to cool even in very happy relationships. Psychological scientists have now developed an unconventional intervention for helping a marriage maintain its spark: pictures of puppies and bunnies.
Posted: June 20, 2017, 2:24 am
Haute couture can be credited for enhancing more than catwalks and red carpets. New research suggests that the 3D or 'stereoscopic' vision of dressmakers is as sharp as their needles.
Posted: June 14, 2017, 11:07 pm
The arrangement of the photoreceptors in our eyes allows us to detect socially significant color variation better than other types of color vision, a team of researchers has found. Specifically, our color vision is superior at spotting "social signaling," such as blushing or other facial color changes -- even when compared to the type of color vision that we design for digital cameras and other photographic devices.
Posted: June 14, 2017, 6:59 pm
The artificial intelligence that can blow human pilots out of the sky in air-to-air combat accurately predicted treatment outcomes for bipolar disorder, according to a new medical study. The findings open a world of possibility for using AI, or machine learning, to treat disease, researchers said.
Posted: June 12, 2017, 9:23 pm
Using a sophisticated type of mathematics in a way that it has never been used before in neuroscience, a scientists have uncovered a universe of multi-dimensional geometrical structures and spaces within the networks of the brain. This research has significant implications for our understanding of the brain.
Posted: June 12, 2017, 7:11 pm
Eating in front of a mirror — or even with a picture of yourself eating — makes food more appealing, new research suggests.
Posted: June 8, 2017, 5:02 pm
Scientists have found a way to improve creativity through brain stimulation, according to researchers.
Posted: June 7, 2017, 6:24 pm
People with damage to a crucial part of the brain fail to recognize facial emotions, but they unexpectedly find faces looking sideways more memorable researchers have found.
Posted: June 6, 2017, 7:20 pm
Using fMRI signals and Deep Neural Network AI, researchers decode and predict what a subject is seeing or imagining.
Posted: May 31, 2017, 7:18 pm
Researchers have identified a subgroup of neurons in the mouse brain that, upon activation, immediately prompt binge-like eating.
Posted: May 25, 2017, 11:45 pm
Reading is such a modern cultural invention that there is no specific area in the brain dedicated to it. Scientists have found that learning to read as an adult reconfigures evolutionarily ancient brain structures hitherto assigned to different skills. These findings were obtained in a large-scale study in India in which completely illiterate women learned how to read and write for six months.
Posted: May 24, 2017, 11:37 pm
Biologists have discovered the gene that determines the male sex in houseflies. Surprisingly, the sex-determining mechanisms are not the same for all houseflies -- they depend on where the insects live. This knowledge not only helps us better understand the evolution of sex determination, but also aids in the control of agricultural pests or carriers of disease.
Posted: May 23, 2017, 7:20 pm
Researchers shows that an ability to perceive differences between similar images depends on the cultural background of the viewer.
Posted: May 23, 2017, 7:20 pm
What can we learn about emotions, the brain and behavior from a wristband? Plenty, according to a prominent engineer.
Posted: May 20, 2017, 6:23 pm
Artificial intelligence doesn't have to be super-sophisticated to make a difference in people's lives, according to a new study. Even 'dumb AI' can help human groups.
Posted: May 17, 2017, 10:55 pm
To understand numbers, you need culture, says a cognitive scientist. He argues against the current conventional wisdom that numerical cognition is biologically endowed.
Posted: May 16, 2017, 9:46 pm
Humans treat 'inferred' visual objects generated by the brain as more reliable than external images from the real world, according to new research.
Posted: May 16, 2017, 5:37 pm
The things we touch while shopping can affect what we buy, according to new studies. The authors suggest that tactile exposure to the object "activated the conceptual representation of that object, which then facilitated subsequent processing of the given object."
Posted: May 12, 2017, 7:43 pm
If you're creating a message to educate, inform, or persuade, don't underestimate the power of a well-executed cartoon. A new study suggests if you're trying to convince the public to change their stance on a topic such as wind energy, you may be more successful if you use a cartoon rather than a photograph.
Posted: May 11, 2017, 9:30 pm
A recent study found that people who watched live interactions with a robot were more likely to consider the robot to have more human-like qualities.
Posted: May 10, 2017, 9:22 pm
A test to assess the effect of red candies on happiness has been used to teach the often 'dull' or 'boring' concepts of clinical research. The study was based on a mock randomized control trial across three countries.
Posted: May 10, 2017, 7:26 pm
If you show up at work tired, you may want to focus strictly on your own tasks. New research suggests helping coworkers in the morning can lead to mental exhaustion and self-serving behavior in the afternoon that ultimately can create a toxic work environment.
Posted: May 10, 2017, 7:25 pm
Researchers have debunked the myth that extreme sportsmen and women are adrenalin junkies with a death wish, according to a new study.
Posted: May 9, 2017, 7:06 pm
Getting a shot at your doctor's office can be a stressful experience. But what if you knew your doctor was from your hometown, liked the same food as you, or shared your religious beliefs? Now that you feel more culturally connected to your doctor, will the shot hurt less?
Posted: May 5, 2017, 1:45 am
Individuals with a slender lower face are about 25 percent more likely to be left-handed. This unexpected finding was identified in 13,536 individuals who participated in three national surveys conducted in the United States. This association may shed new light on the origins of left-handedness, as slender jaws have also been associated with susceptibility to tuberculosis, a disease that has shaped human evolution and which today affects 2 billion people.
Posted: April 28, 2017, 3:55 am
Delivering bad news in a caring way -- and coping with a patient's reaction -- is a key skill for doctors. Intuitive technology is helping medical students learn the best approaches.
Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:47 pm
Peering into laboratory glassware, researchers have watched stem-cell-derived nerve cells arising in a specific region of the human brain migrate into another brain region. This process recapitulates what's been believed to occur in a developing fetus, but has never previously been viewed in real time.
Posted: April 26, 2017, 10:40 pm
Using human skin cells, neurobiologists have created a method to generate one of the principle cell types of the brain called microglia, which play a key role in preserving the function of neural networks and responding to injury and disease.
Posted: April 25, 2017, 6:53 pm
Scientific evidence of a 'higher' state of consciousness has been found in a new study. Using brain imaging technology, researchers measured the tiny magnetic fields produced in the brain and found that, across three psychedelic drugs, one measure of conscious level -- the neural signal diversity -- was reliably higher.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 6:46 pm
People's ability to make random choices or mimic a random process, such as coming up with hypothetical results for a series of coin flips, peaks around age 25, according to a study.
Posted: April 13, 2017, 11:41 pm
Pokemon Go people are happy people. That's the finding of media researchers who leapt to study the wildly popular mobile game shortly after its release in July 2016. Their work shows that Pokemon Go users were more likely to be positive, friendly and physically active.
Posted: April 13, 2017, 12:22 am
When 'the dress' went viral in 2015, millions were divided on its true colors: gold and white or black and blue? In a new study, an neuroscientist concludes that these differences in perception are due to our assumptions about how the dress was illuminated.
Posted: April 7, 2017, 10:57 pm
Humans are able to interpret the behavior of others by attributing mental states to them (and to themselves). By adopting the perspectives of other persons, they can assume their emotions, needs and intentions and react accordingly. In the animal kingdom, the ability to attribute mental states (Theory of Mind) is a highly contentious issue. Cognitive biologists could demonstrate with a new test procedure that dogs are not only able to identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and, therefore, knows where the food has been hidden. They can also apply this knowledge in order to correctly interpret cues by humans and find food they cannot see themselves.
Posted: April 7, 2017, 6:48 pm
A potential link between eating Marmite and activity in the brain has been identified by researchers, through the apparent increase of a chemical messenger associated with healthy brain function. Participants consuming a teaspoon of Marmite every day for a month, compared to a control group who consumed peanut butter, showed a substantial reduction of around 30 per cent in their brain’s response to visual stimuli, measured by recording electrical activity using electroencephalography (EEG).
Posted: April 5, 2017, 6:41 pm
New research carried out online has found that 59% of 28,113 respondents preferred to eat chocolate rabbits starting with the ears, 33% indicated that they had no starting point preference, and 4% indicated that they started with the tail or feet.
Posted: April 4, 2017, 6:30 pm
Researchers have created an artificial synapse capable of learning autonomously. They were also able to model the device, which is essential for developing more complex circuits.
Posted: April 3, 2017, 11:32 pm
The cognitive abilities of Neanderthals are debated, but a raven bone fragment found at the Zaskalnaya VI (ZSK) site in Crimea features two notches that may have been made by Neanderthals intentionally to display a visually consistent pattern, according to a new study.
Posted: March 30, 2017, 11:52 pm
Blind tadpoles were able to process visual information from eyes grafted onto their tails after being treated with a small molecule neurotransmitter drug that augmented innervation, integration, and function of the transplanted organs. The work, which used a pharmacological reagent already approved for use in humans, provides a potential road map for promoting innervation -- the supply of nerves to a body part -- in regenerative medicine.
Posted: March 30, 2017, 6:58 pm
In politics, Right-leaning politicians are in general physically more attractive, but in academia it is the other way around. A new study argues that Right-leaning politicians are more highly rewarded for attractive looks than Left-leaning politicians.
Posted: March 29, 2017, 7:55 pm
Researchers have developed a breakthrough technique to harvest cells directly from urine, and grow them into durable, clinically relevant stem cells to study Down syndrome.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 6:54 pm
Love is a major motivator both for parents and entrepreneurs, research shows. A multidisciplinary study asks whether entrepreneurs love their companies like parents love their children. The study used functional MRIs to study the brain activity of fathers and high-growth entrepreneurs. Fathers were shown pictures of their own children as well as other children they knew. Entrepreneurs were shown pictures of their own companies and other companies that they were familiar with.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 6:54 pm
The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives -- without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic. New research is shedding light on how sound memory works, and is even demonstrating a means to improve it.
Posted: March 27, 2017, 9:13 pm
Scientists have created a new technique that simplifies the production of human brain and muscle cells -- allowing millions of functional cells to be generated in just a few days. The results open the door to producing a diversity of new cell types that could not be made before in order to study disease.
Posted: March 23, 2017, 10:25 pm