Archive | Mind and Brain


Stimulants’ ADHD calming mechanism revealed

When Dr. Charles Bradley administered Benzedrine to a group of children with hyperactivity in 1937 a new era of psychopharmacology was born. His observation that “fourteen children responded in a spectacular fashion” ushered in the widespread use of methamphetamine-like drugs to treat hyperactivity and learning disorders. But for more than seven decades scientists have not […]

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Could suicide be a variant of an evolutionarily adaptive set of behaviors?

Snapping shrimp, naked mole rats, ants, honeybees, and humans – what do they all have in common? They all share a similar colony-like organizational system that biologists have termed eusociality. Eusocial species have been remarkably successful in both surviving and thriving through the use of colony-level cooperation. One cooperative behavior used by all eusocial species […]

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fMRI data trove yields new insights into consciousness and abstract thought

Using 20 years of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from tens of thousands of brain imaging experiments, neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts have created a geometry-based method for massive data analysis to reach a new understanding of how thought arises from brain structure. The research, appearing in the current issue of Nature Scientific […]

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Missing link found between brain and immune system

In a discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That these vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the […]

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New research suggests smartphone use associated with lowered intelligence

New University of Waterloo research that examined people’s smartphone habits as well as their analytical, verbal, and numeracy skills found an association between heavy smartphone use and lowered intelligence. The three studies, appearing in the journalComputers in Human Behavior, suggest that having convenience at our fingertips is making it easy for us to avoid thinking […]

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Marijuana’s long-term effects on the brain: do you want the good news or the bad news?

A study by University of Texas scientists has found that chronic marijuana users have a smaller orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), but increased brain connectivity. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe how they compared adult marijuana users and gender- and age-matched non-users, accounting for potential biases such as gender, age and ethnicity. […]

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Could “free will” arise from random brain noise?

Free will, the ability that we believe we have to make choices – and mistakes – might arise from simple random fluctuations in the brain’s background electrical noise, say neuroscientists from the University of California, Davis. “How do we behave independently of cause and effect?” said Jesse Bengson, a researcher at the University’s Center for […]

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