How do our memories shape the way sensory information is collected? For the first time, scientists have demonstrated a way to observe how our experiences shape sensory information in awake animals. The team was able to measure the activity of a group of inhibitory neurons that links the odor-sensing area of the brain with brain areas responsible for thought and cognition. This connection provides feedback so that memories and experiences can alter the way smells are interpreted.
Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found.
Participants' brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery.
The research, published in NeuroImage, suggests that an artist's talent could be innate.
But training and environmental upbringing also play crucial roles in their ability, the authors report.
As in many areas of science, the exact interplay of nature and nurture remains unclear.
Lead author Rebecca Chamberlain from KU Leuven, Belgium, said she was interested in finding out how artists saw the world differently.
No 'right' side
Ellen Winner of Boston College, US, who was not involved with the study, commented that it was very interesting research.
She said it should help "put to rest the facile claims that artists use 'the right side of their brain' given that increased grey and white matter were found in the art group in both left and right structures of the brain".
"Only a prospective study could get at the question of innate structural brain differences that predispose people to become visual artists, and this kind of study has not been done as it would be very difficult and very expensive to carry out."
The oxytocin made me do it Waterbury Republican American LOS ANGELES — Researchers have found that after a squirt of the brain hormone ocytocin, volunteers lied more readily about their results in a game in order to benefit their team.
Carrying a copy of a gene variant called ApoE4 confers a substantially greater risk for Alzheimer's disease on women than it does on men, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you'll live -- and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.
What does the research say about using cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine to improve cognition or function?
This is the Medscape Psychiatry Minute. I'm Dr. Peter Yellowlees. Cognitive enhancers, including cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, are used to treat dementia, but their effectiveness for mild cognitive impairment is unclear. Now a team of investigators from Toronto, Canada, have conducted a systematic review to examine the efficacy and safety of cognitive enhancers for mild cognitive impairment. The investigators screened 15,554 titles and abstracts and 1384 full-text articles for studies of the effects of donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine, or memantine on mild cognitive impairment. From this extensive literature, only 8 randomized clinical trials and 3 companion reports met inclusion criteria. In these studies, the investigators found no significant effects of cognitive enhancers on cognition or function. Cognitive enhancers were associated with higher risks for nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting than placebo. Although much more research is needed into the overall value of cognitive enhancers, the findings from this study do not support their use in patients with mild cognitive impairment. This article is selected from Medscape Best Evidence. I'm Dr. Peter Yellowlees.
Researchers using information provided by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique have identified regional white matter damage in the brains of people who experience chronic dizziness and other symptoms after concussion.
(Medical Xpress)—Schizophrenia is a severe disease for which there is still no effective medical treatment. In an attempt to understand exactly what happens in the brain of a schizophrenic person, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have analyzed proteins in the brains of rats that ...