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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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‘Pacemaker’ for the Brain Can Help Memory, Study Finds

‘Pacemaker’ for the Brain Can Help Memory, Study Finds | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The timing of stimulation to the brain was determined to be crucial in research published on Thursday, and it might help treat dementia, head injuries and other conditions.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Fascinating. My guess is that electrical stimulation effects the sodium-potassium exchange pump which in turn effects the effects the concentration of anions. Normally, a neuron has a strong negative charge inside in part due to the imbalance of potassium and sodium. Even though both potassium and sodium ions have positive charge, their imbalance within the cell apparently helps to maintain those anions. On stimulation, the gradient that maintains that difference in levels is disrupted and allows the neuron to do its thing, which means that a cell assembly can be established with other neurons. So stimulation would presumably alter the gradient of the moment, either for good or bad depending at which state it was then in. Any other ideas? 
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Here's Why Some People Handle Stress Better Than Others

Here's Why Some People Handle Stress Better Than Others | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The ventral medial prefrontal cortex part of the brain shows greater flexibility in people who cope better with stress, finds a new study
Kenneth Weene's insight:
At the same time, people with more flexibility in that region are also more likely to use food and drinking as ways to reestablish comfort levels. In other words, this is the area of the brain that says "I must be comfortable no matter what the hell is going on." Reminds me of some politicians. Heck, it also sounds like me. 
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Individuals with social phobia have too much serotonin - not too little

Individuals with social phobia have too much serotonin - not too little | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Previous studies have led researchers to believe that individuals with social anxiety disorder/ social phobia have too low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. A new study carried out at Uppsala University, however, shows that the situation is exactly the opposite. Individuals with social phobia make too much serotonin. The more serotonin they produce, the more anxious they are in social situations.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

There is no subject I enjoy learning more about than neurobiology, but I keep wondering when those brain scientists will understand that the brain is filled with feedback loops, both amplifying and attenuating. To make believe that there is a simple pathway is to miss the whole glory of its functioning. 

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Why people with depression pay more attention to negative information

Why people with depression pay more attention to negative information | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

People with depression process emotional information more negatively than healthy people. They show increased sensitivity to sad faces, for instance, or a weaker response to happy faces. What has been missing is a biological explanation for these biases. Now a study reveals a mechanism: an unusual balance of chemicals in a brain area crucial for the feeling of disappointment.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

Absolutely fascinating reading for those of us who have an interest in neuroscience.

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Make love, not war! Scientists discover brain cells that make you want either fight or have sex

Make love, not war! Scientists discover brain cells that make you want either fight or have sex | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

The fight or flight response is well known, but now scientists have discovered brain cells that control the desire to fight – and mate.

Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is great neuroscience.

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Pregnancy Changes the Brain in Ways That May Help Mothering

Pregnancy Changes the Brain in Ways That May Help Mothering | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The changes affect areas used in perceiving the feelings and perspectives of others, according to a new study, and may aid in recognizing an infant’s needs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I found this fascinating. We all know that women's bodies change to adapt to pregnancy. However, the idea that brains also change as part of that adaptation is something new. I have my own theory about the hippocampal recovery, that it represents the storage of parenting memories, real and created, that the mother produces during those crucial first two years of attachment. 

It would be fascinating to me if a similar study were done with women who aborted their fetuses both electively and through miscarriage. Would they show both the same loss in gray matter and especially the same hippocampal recovery. If there is, then the next question would be how vivid would be the memories from those two years past for those women. Once one loves research, it becomes part of the way one thinks. The questions just abound. 
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Why Your Brain Thinks This Picture Shows a Giant, Martian Crab Monster

Why Your Brain Thinks This Picture Shows a Giant, Martian Crab Monster | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
It's called 'pareidolia'
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There goes Jesus on my toast and the Buddha in the bush outside my window. Darn science, don't you want to hang on to those great mystical experiences instead of learning about the fusiform gyri?

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Why Don't Animals Get Schizophrenia (and How Come We Do)?

Why Don't Animals Get Schizophrenia (and How Come We Do)? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Research suggest an evolutionary link between the disorder and what makes us human
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The price our species pays for the complexity of the human brain may well be the disorders of mind.

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Scientists find new clues to brain's wiring

Scientists find new clues to brain's wiring | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. These connections, or synapses, allow nerve cells to transmit and process information involved in thinking and moving the body.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Always good to know that neuroscience is moving forward. I wonder if I would have gone into psychology if it had all this hard science available back then. Maybe, I would have gone directly to writing books. I like personality and behavior more than I like neuroscience. But I do love learning this stuff.

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The Surprising Brain Differences Between Democrats and Republicans

The Surprising Brain Differences Between Democrats and Republicans | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Two new studies further support the theory that our political decision-making could have a neurological basis.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is must reading if you are interested in politics. Of course, it may be that the part of the brain we use is a function of how we have taught ourselves to react to life so I don't want to get to het up about the causal implications.

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