Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have used graphene—a two-dimensional form of carbon only one atom thick—to fabricate a new type...
Scientists have uncovered a surprising way to reduce the brain damage caused by head injuries - stopping the body's immune system from killing brain cells. The study, published in the open access journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, showed that in experiments on mice, an immune-based treatment ...
The 7th ECPP in Amsterdam from 1st-4th July was a fabulous opportunity to get up-to-date with the latest positive psychology research and practice. I was struck by how often the conference returned to the theme of connection and, in the widest-possible sense, well-being from a community perspective.
Dr. Monica Bartlett has a lot to be thankful for. Bartlett, an assistant professor of psychology at Gonzaga, recently conducted a study to be published in the journal “Emotion” that contains the first known evidence of the positive effects that expressions of gratitude have on the building and strengthening of social relationships.
Bartlett and Dr. Lisa Williams from the University of South Wales, Australia, brought 70 GU student participants into a lab under the premise that they would be participating in a “peer editing program,” during which they would serve as mentors for high school students writing college essays. At the end of the study, all of the GU participants received a handwritten note from their mentee. Thirty of these handwritten notes contained the words “Thank you SO much,” while the other 40 did not.
Results showed that the participants who received the thank you notes not only viewed their mentees as warmer people; they were also more willing to continue their relationship with their mentee. When given the opportunity, most of the 30 participants were willing to share their phone number or email with their mentee for future social interaction.
All humans have a natural opioid system in the brain. Now new research, presented at the ECNP Congress in Berlin, has found that the opioid system of pathological gamblers responds differently to those of normal healthy volunteers.
Zak's lecture, "The Moral Molecule: Vampire Economics the New Science of Good and Evil," will focus on his discovery that the hormone oxytocin influences trust, empathy and generosity in both men and women.
"Once we showed oxytocin responded to people trusting each other and motivated reciprocity, then we began a sort of longer term study to see how much oxytocin tells us about these positive social behaviors we call moral behaviors," he explained.
"Oxytocin works to increase our sense of emotional connection or empathy to others. It really enhances our social skills."
A surprise discovery that overturns decades of thinking about how the body fixes proteins that come unraveled greatly expands opportunities for therapies to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, which have been linked to the...
Sixty-nine scientists at Stanford University and other institutions issued a statement that the scientific track record does not support the claims that so-called "brain games" actually help older adults boost their mental powers.
Our brains are maladapted to the modern world we live in Johns Hopkins News-Letter Civilization allows many of us to flood our brains' pleasure centers with dopamine and other chemicals many times a day through supernormal stimuli like junk food,...
Although human and animal behaviors are largely shaped by reinforcement and punishment, choices in social settings are also influenced by information about the knowledge and experience of other decision-makers. During competitive games, monkeys increased their payoffs by systematically deviating from a simple heuristic learning algorithm and thereby countering the predictable exploitation by their computer opponent. Neurons in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) signaled the animal’s recent choice and reward history that reflected the computer’s exploitative strategy. The strength of switching signals in the dmPFC also correlated with the animal’s tendency to deviate from the heuristic learning algorithm. Therefore, the dmPFC might provide control signals for overriding simple heuristic learning algorithms based on the inferred strategies of the opponent.
Neural correlates of strategic reasoning during competitive games Hyojung Seo, Xinying Cai, Christopher H. Donahue, Daeyeol Lee
Theoretical advances in the science of consciousness have proposed that it is concomitant with balanced cortical integration and differentiation, enabled by efficient networks of information transfer across multiple scales. Here, we apply graph theory to compare key signatures of such networks in high-density electroencephalographic data from 32 patients with chronic disorders of consciousness, against normative data from healthy controls. Based on connectivity within canonical frequency bands, we found that patient networks had reduced local and global efficiency, and fewer hubs in the alpha band. We devised a novel topographical metric, termed modular span, which showed that the alpha network modules in patients were also spatially circumscribed, lacking the structured long-distance interactions commonly observed in the healthy controls. Importantly however, these differences between graph-theoretic metrics were partially reversed in delta and theta band networks, which were also significantly more similar to each other in patients than controls. Going further, we found that metrics of alpha network efficiency also correlated with the degree of behavioural awareness. Intriguingly, some patients in behaviourally unresponsive vegetative states who demonstrated evidence of covert awareness with functional neuroimaging stood out from this trend: they had alpha networks that were remarkably well preserved and similar to those observed in the controls. Taken together, our findings inform current understanding of disorders of consciousness by highlighting the distinctive brain networks that characterise them. In the significant minority of vegetative patients who follow commands in neuroimaging tests, they point to putative network mechanisms that could support cognitive function and consciousness despite profound behavioural impairment.