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Loving touch may be key to healthy sense of self

Loving touch may be key to healthy sense of self | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New research from the UK shows that slow caresses or strokes may contribute to developing and maintaining a positive sense of self.
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Ruth Obadia's curator insight, November 11, 2013 12:36 AM

A new study suggests that a gentle caress may be the key to feeling comfortable with one's self. Researchers say a loving touch may increase the brain's ability to construct a sense of body ownership and, in turn, play a part in creating and sustaining a healthy sense of self.

Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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How Repetition Enchants the Brain and the Psychology of Why We Love It in Music

“The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism,” Haruki Murakami reflected on the power of a daily routine. “Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue,” Mary Oliver wrote about the secret of great poetry, adding: “When it does, it grows sweeter.” But nowhere does rhythmic repetition mesmerize us more powerfully than in music, with its singular way of enchanting the brain.

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How your brain actually makes decisions while you sleep

Proof that sleeping on it really can make a difference.



An illustration of awake and asleep. (Courtesy of Michael Halassa, M.D., PhD)

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'Dimmer switch' for mood disorders discovered

'Dimmer switch' for mood disorders discovered | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as 'disappointment.'
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Scientists show rise and fall of brain volume

Brian Wandell and his group looked at 24 brain regions to see how the composition changed from age 7 to 83. The regions in red changed the most, regions in blue changed the least. Credit: Wandell Lab

(Medical Xpress)—We can witness our bodies mature, then gradually grow wrinkled and weaker with age, but it is only recently that scientists have been able to track a similar progression in the nerve bundles of our brains. That tissue increases in volume until around age 40, then slowly shrinks. By ...

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Understanding Structural-Functional Relationships in the Human Brain

Relating the brain’s structural connectivity (SC) to its functional connectivity (FC) is a fundamental goal in neuroscience because it is capable of aiding our understanding of how the relatively fixed SC architecture underlies human cognition and diverse behaviors. With the aid of current noninvasive imaging technologies (e.g., structural MRI, diffusion MRI, and functional MRI) and graph theory methods, researchers have modeled the human brain as a complex network of interacting neuronal elements and characterized the underlying structural and functional connectivity patterns that support diverse cognitive functions. Specifically, research has demonstrated a tight SC-FC coupling, not only in interregional connectivity strength but also in network topologic organizations, such as community, rich-club, and motifs. Moreover, this SC-FC coupling exhibits significant changes in normal development and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. This review summarizes recent progress regarding the SC-FC relationship of the human brain and emphasizes the important role of large-scale brain networks in the understanding of structural-functional associations. Future research directions related to this topic are also proposed.

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Brain 'node' causes deep sleep without sedative - Futurity

Brain 'node' causes deep sleep without sedative - Futurity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The activity of a "sleep node" in the mammalian brain appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep, say researchers.

Scientists have identified a second “sleep node” in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep. The sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem reveals how we fall into deep sleep. Published online in Nature Neuroscience, the study demonstrates that fully half of all of the brain’s sleep-promoting activity originates from the parafacial zone (PZ) in the brainstem. The brainstem is a primordial part of the brain that regulates basic functions necessary for survival, such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. “The close association of a sleep center with other regions that are critical for life highlights the evolutionary importance of sleep in the brain,” says study coauthor Caroline E. Bass, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


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Neuroimaging Study Pinpoints Neurobiological Basis for Key Symptoms Associated with PTSD

Neuroimaging Study Pinpoints Neurobiological Basis for Key Symptoms Associated with PTSD | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new neuroimaging study links kappa opioid receptors in the brain to a narrow cluster of symptoms associated with PTSD.

 

Study led by NYU Langone Medical Center bolsters support for new, personalized approaches to treating PTSD and other trauma-based disorders.

 

The study compared the brain scans of healthy volunteers with those of clinically diagnosed trauma victims with PTSD, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder whose symptoms ranged from emotional detachment to isolation. The image shows a PET scan of a normal brain and is for illustrative purposes only. Credit Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center.


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The Brain Stimulation Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland

The Brain Stimulation Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method of brain stimulation used to treat major depression in the Johns Hopkins Brain Stimulation Program.
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Researchers debunk myth about Parkinson’s: There’s no lack of dopamine

Researchers debunk myth about Parkinson’s: There’s no lack of dopamine | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Using advanced computer models, neuroscience researchers at the University of Copenhagen have gained new knowledge about the complex processes that cause Parkinson’s disease.
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Scientists Discover New Sleep Node in the Brain

Scientists Discover New Sleep Node in the Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers identify 'sleep node' in the mammalian brain. Its activity appears to be necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.

 

Using designer genes, researchers at UB and Harvard were able to ‘turn on’ specific neurons in the brainstem that result in deep sleep. Credit University at Buffalo.


Findings may lead to new therapies for sleep disorders, including insomnia.


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Julien Cuyeu's curator insight, September 17, 11:33 AM

If I could turn on my GABA inhibitors to go sleep instantly, I would be a happy person every time.

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Researchers find neural compensation in people with Alzheimer’s-related protein

Researchers find neural compensation in people with Alzheimer’s-related protein | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The human brain is capable of a neural workaround that compensates for the buildup of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
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The rise of emotional awareness

The rise of emotional awareness | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Our emotions are subject to the ebbs and flow of daily life. Even the subtlest differences in our environments can have a visceral effect on our emotional state and interactions, with new tools and sensor quantifying by exactly how much.

New systems are being developed which use sensors and advanced algorithms to understand, react to and even anticipate our moods and emotional states.

These technologies have a built-in emotional responsiveness that will change the way we think of interactivity, allowing us to connect with our surroundings, with each other and even with ourselves, in an exciting and dynamic new way.

Margaret Morris, research scientist at Intel Labs, has explored the intersection of technology and emotions, examining how computing devices might enhance our personal and professional relationships. In the interview below, Morris talks about what it means to allow technology to get to know us and how will it can help us learn more about ourselves.

 


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Sleeping brains can process and respond to words - health - 11 September 2014 - New Scientist

Sleeping brains can process and respond to words - health - 11 September 2014 - New Scientist | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Our brains can categorise words and prepare physical responses to them while we sleep, highlighting just how awake some of our brain regions are as we
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Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain

Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Falling asleep leads to a loss of sensory awareness and to the inability to interact with the environment [ 1 ]. While this was traditionally thought as a consequence of the brain shutting down to external inputs, it is now acknowledged that incoming stimuli can still be processed, at least to some extent, during sleep [ 2 ]. For instance, sleeping participants can create novel sensory associations between tones and odors [ 3 ] or reactivate existing semantic associations, as evidenced by event-related potentials [ 4–7 ]. Yet, the extent to which the brain continues to process external stimuli remains largely unknown. In particular, it remains unclear whether sensory information can be processed in a flexible and task-dependent manner by the sleeping brain, all the way up to the preparation of relevant actions. Here, using semantic categorization and lexical decision tasks, we studied task-relevant responses triggered by spoken stimuli in the sleeping brain. Awake participants classified words as either animals or objects (experiment 1) or as either words or pseudowords (experiment 2) by pressing a button with their right or left hand, while transitioning toward sleep. The lateralized readiness potential (LRP), an electrophysiological index of response preparation, revealed that task-specific preparatory responses are preserved during sleep. These findings demonstrate that despite the absence of awareness and behavioral responsiveness, sleepers can still extract task-relevant information from external stimuli and covertly prepare for appropriate motor responses.

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This Is What Sex Looks Like Inside An MRI Machine | IFLScience

This Is What Sex Looks Like Inside An MRI Machine | IFLScience | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Have you ever wondered what sex would look like if you were able to see INSIDE the bodies of the participants? No? Just me?  Well, even if you haven't wondered, you can now find out.
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Single dose of antidepressant changes the brain

Single dose of antidepressant changes the brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A single dose of antidepressant is enough to produce dramatic changes in the functional architecture of the human brain. Brain scans taken of people before and after an acute dose of a commonly prescribed SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) reveal changes in connectivity within three hours, say researchers ...
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Memory, Imagination, and Predicting the Future

Memory, Imagination, and Predicting the Future
A Common Brain Mechanism?


Sinéad L. Mullally1
Eleanor A. Maguire1
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK


On the face of it, memory, imagination, and prediction seem to be distinct cognitive functions. However, metacognitive, cognitive, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging evidence is emerging that they are not, suggesting intimate links in their underlying processes. Here, we explore these empirical findings and the evolving theoretical frameworks that seek to explain how a common neural system supports our recollection of times past, imagination, and our attempts to predict the future.

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Sensing neuronal activity with light

For years, neuroscientists have been trying to develop tools that would allow them to clearly view the brain's circuitry in action -- from the first moment a neuron fires to the resulting behavior in an organism.
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Lack of Facial Expression Leads to Perceptions of Unhappiness

Lack of Facial Expression Leads to Perceptions of Unhappiness | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

People with facial paralysis are perceived as being less happy simply because they can’t communicate in the universal language of facial expression, a new study from an Oregon State University psychology professor shows.

 

Some basic facial expressions, including the smile, are communicated universally across cultures. This image is for illustrative purposes only and is not connected to the research. Credit DrSJS.


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Slimy fish and the origins of brain development

Slimy fish and the origins of brain development | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Lamprey—slimy, eel-like parasitic fish with tooth-riddled, jawless sucking mouths—are rather disgusting to look at, but thanks to their important position on the vertebrate family tree, they can offer important insights about the evolutionary...
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Smoking and schizophrenia linked by alterations in brain nicotine signals

Smoking and schizophrenia linked by alterations in brain nicotine signals | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Schizophrenia is associated with increased rates and intensity of tobacco smoking.
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Neuroimaging technique identifies concussion-related brain disease in living brain

Neuroimaging technique identifies concussion-related brain disease in living brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
An experimental positron emission tomography (PET) tracer is effective in diagnosing concussion-related brain disease while a person is still alive, according to a case study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and at...
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Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause brain damage, says study - Economic Times

Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause brain damage, says study - Economic Times | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Economic Times
Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause brain damage, says study
Economic Times
Other KS symptoms can include apathy, anxiety and confabulation (fabricating imaginary experiences to compensate for memory loss), researchers said.
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EEG Study Findings Reveal How Fear is Processed in the Brain

EEG Study Findings Reveal How Fear is Processed in the Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new EEG study illustrates how fear arises in the brain when people are exposed to threatening images.
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Neuroscience Provides Clues To Organization

Neuroscience Provides Clues To Organization | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom for better managing our time and organizing our professional and personal lives. 

We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom for better managing our time and organizing our professional and personal lives. Don’t try to multitask. Turn off the email and Facebook alerts. But what’s grounded in real evidence and what’s not? In his new book The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin — a McGill University professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience — explores how having a basic understanding of the way the brain works can help us think about organizing our homes, our businesses, our time and even our schools in an age of information overload. We spoke with Levitin about his work. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Question: What was your goal in writing this book? Answer: Neuroscientists have learned a lot in the last 10 or 15 years about how the brain organizes information, and why we pay attention to some things and forget others. But most of this information hasn’t trickled down to the average reader. There are a lot of books about how to get organized and a lot of books about how to be better and more productive at business, but I don’t know of one that grounds any of these in the science. From the book, you seem to be a fan of David Allen, the time management guru. Does his Getting Things Donesystem have a real basis in neuroscience? 


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