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pierredv : brain   45

Brain signature of emotion-linked pain is uncovered - health - 14 January 2015 - New Scientist
"For the first time, it is possible to distinguish between brain activity associated with pain from a physical cause, such as an injury, and that associated with pain linked to your state of mind." - There's a standard "neurologic pain signature". Asking volunteers to think about pain "a distinct set of brain structures linking the nucleus accumbens and ventromedial prefrontal cortex became active (PLoS Biology,"
NewScientist  pain  brain  brain-nucleus-accumbens  brain-ventromedial-prefrontal-cortex 
april 2015 by pierredv
Is pain always real? | Oxford Today
"there is no straightforward relationship between tissue damage and pain" - "all pain is created by the brain. No brain, no pain." - "the brain is actually doing something quite clever: using all of the available information to make a decision about the amount of threat to the tissues. This includes information not only from the nociceptors, but also from our other senses. And from data already stored within the brain itself."
OxfordToday  pain  brain  neuroscience  nociception 
april 2015 by pierredv
Eight weeks to a better brain | Harvard Gazette
"Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress." "For the current study, magnetic resonance (MR) images were taken of the brain structure of 16 study participants two weeks before and after they took part in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness." "The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus ... Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala "
meditation  brain  experiment  psychology  MBSR 
january 2015 by pierredv
Left or right-wing? Brain's disgust response tells all - health - 30 October 2014 - New Scientist
"Conservatives showed increased activity in brain regions previously implicated in processing disgust, such as the basal ganglia and amygdala, but also in a wide range of regions involved in regulating emotion, attention and integrating information. In liberals the brain showed increased activity in different regions, but these were just as diverse. The team found that these neural signatures of disgust can be used to predict political orientation"
brain  disgust  politics  NewScientist  neuroscience 
november 2014 by pierredv
Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal | Science | The Guardian Dec 2013
"Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains. Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women's brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men's brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions."
gender  brain  neuroscience  psychology  TheGuardian 
december 2013 by pierredv
The New Science of Mind -
We are beginning to discern the outlines of a complex neural circuit that becomes disordered in depressive illnesses. Helen Mayberg, at Emory University, and other scientists used brain-scanning techniques to identify several components of this circuit, two of which are particularly important. One is Area 25 (the subcallosal cingulate region), which mediates our unconscious and motor responses to emotional stress; the other is the right anterior insula, a region where self-awareness and interpersonal experience come together. These two regions connect to the hypothalamus, which plays a role in basic functions like sleep, appetite and libido, and to three other important regions of the brain: the amygdala, which evaluates emotional salience; the hippocampus, which is concerned with memory; and the prefrontal cortex, which is the seat of executive function and self-esteem. All of these regions can be disturbed in depressive illnesses.
brain-hypothalamus  brain-amygdala  brain-cingulate  NYTimes  mind  Eric  Kandel  depression  brain 
september 2013 by pierredv
How We Got "Please" and "Thank You" | Brain Pickings
But how did these commonest of courtesies, “please” and “thank you,” actually originate? That’s precisely what anthropologist and activist David Graeber explores in one of the most absorbing semi-asides in his altogether illuminating Debt: The First 5,000 Years
books  ethics  ex  Brain  Pickings  morality  customs  book  reviews 
july 2013 by pierredv
Fish Oil Fail: Omega-3s May Not Protect Brain Health After All |
"Despite the widely touted benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for preserving cognitive function and memory, a new review by the Cochrane Library finds that those effects may be overstated: healthy elderly people taking omega-3 supplements did no better on tests of thinking and verbal skills than those taking placebo."
ex  Time  omega-3  health  brain  supplements 
july 2013 by pierredv
Consciousness: Watching your mind in action - life - 22 May 2013 - New Scientist
Essay by researcher Daniel Bor. Two theories of consciousness = "global neuronal workspace" model. This suggests that input from our eyes, ears and so on, is first processed unconsciously, primarily in sensory brain regions. It emerges into our conscious awareness only if it ignites activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortices, with these regions connecting through ultrafast brainwaves. = "information integration theory", which says consciousness is simply combining data together so that it is more than the sum of its parts... model could be applied equally well to the internet as to a human: its creators make the audacious claim that we should be able to calculate how conscious any particular information-processing network is – be it in the brain of a human, rat or computer... Unfortunately the maths involves so many fiendish calculations, which grow exponentially as the number of nodes increases
consciousness  information-integration-theory  global  neuronal  workspace  model  NewScientist  brain 
july 2013 by pierredv
How to stay sane | Brain Pickings
notes on Philippa Perry, "How To Stay Sane" ... "At the heart of Perry’s argument — in line with neurologist Oliver Sacks’s recent meditation on memory and how “narrative truth,” rather than “historical truth,” shapes our impression of the world — is the recognition that stories make us human and learning to reframe our interpretations of reality is key to our experience of life"
stories  ex  Brain  Pickings  optimism 
june 2013 by pierredv
See-through brains clarify connections : Nature News & Comment
"The technique, published online in Nature on 10 April, turns the brain transparent using the detergent SDS, which strips away lipids that normally block the passage of light  (K. Chung et al. Nature; 2013). Other groups have tried to clarify brains in the past, but many lipid-extraction techniques dissolve proteins and thus make it harder to identify different types of neurons. Deisseroth’s group solved this problem by first infusing the brain with acryl­amide, which binds proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules. When the acrylamide is heated, it polymerizes and forms a tissue-wide mesh that secures the molecules. The resulting brain–hydrogel hybrid showed only 8% protein loss after lipid extraction, compared to 41% with existing methods."
anatomy  brain  NatureJournal 
may 2013 by pierredv
Biology and ideology: The anatomy of politics : Nature News & Comment
"From genes to hormone levels, biology may help to shape political behaviour." “I'd like to see people have a little less chutzpah about their political beliefs, and understand that some people experience the world differently,” says [political scientist John] Hibbing.
morality  hormones  twin-studies  genetics  politics  brain  NatureJournal 
october 2012 by pierredv
The Many Emerging Roles of Astrocytes | Brain Blogger
"Astrocytes are not electrically active in the classic way that neurons are. They were, therefore, long assumed not to play any active roles in neural signalling. However, experimental methods that allowed for the measurement of calcium release from cells, demonstrated that astrocytes communicated, not through electricity and voltage, but through calcium signalling. Calcium is involved in, but not necessarily responsible for neural signalling. By altering the calcium concentrations around a cell, the astrocytes can influence, but not initiate neural signalling." "In addition to playing complex roles in the brain, scientists grossly underestimated their size and reach. . . single astrocyte in the human brain may have connections with as many as two million neurons. Their processes extend to every corner of the brain and spinal cord."
neuroscience  biology  brain  brainblogger  astrocytes 
february 2012 by pierredv
Reflections on the Mind: Scientific American - Vilayanur Ramachanran
You probably look in a mirror every day without thinking about it. But mirrors can reveal a great deal about the brain, with implications for psychology, clinical neurology and even philosophy.
perception  brain  neuroscience  mind  vision  Scientific  American 
august 2011 by pierredv
The grand delusion: Why nothing is as it seems - New Scientist
Collection of articles about various illusions and delusions: = visual perception = bias = memory = self, us/them = consciousness
psychology  delusion  illusions  perception  brain  research  NewScientist  ** 
may 2011 by pierredv
Being bilingual may delay Alzheimer's and boost brain power | Science | The Guardian
"Learning a second language and speaking it regularly can improve your cognitive skills and delay the onset of dementia"
cognition  alzheimers  brain  health  theguardian 
february 2011 by pierredv
Mental muscle: six ways to boost your brain - life - 04 October 2010 - New Scientist
"Brain training games won't make you smarter – but a dose of blue light or an electrical shock just might "
brain  learning  meditation  music  diet  health  research  NewScientist 
december 2010 by pierredv
Philosophers Zone - 2 October 2010 - The Extended Mind
Richard Menari and John Sutton
"Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? Some philosophers are now arguing that thoughts are not all in the head. The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument has excited a vigorous debate among philosophers and this week we discover what the fuss is about."
brain  mind  philosophy  cognition  ** 
november 2010 by pierredv
Out of your head: Leaving the body behind - life - 13 October 2009 - New Scientist
Out-of-body experiences - may be due to malfunctioning TPJ temporoparietal junction "The TPJ processes visual and touch signals, balance and spatial information from the inner ear, and the proprioceptive sensations from joints, tendons and muscles that tell us where our body parts are in relation to one another. Its job is to meld these together to create a feeling of embodiment"
NewScientist  neuroscience  brain  psychology  brain-TPJ 
august 2010 by pierredv
Look into my eyes: The power of hypnosis - life - 09 October 2009 - New Scientist
" highly hypnotisable participants had a 30 per cent bigger rostrum, a part of the brain thought to help focus attention"
psychology  brain  consciousness  NewScientist  brain-rostrum 
august 2010 by pierredv
A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret : NPR
Fallon - found his OFC and MAO profiles matched that of the stereotype for serial killers - but turns out education is the third key ingredient
neuroscience  brain  brain-OFC  npr 
july 2010 by pierredv
Nothing Fishy about Preventing Cognitive Decline | Brain Blogger
"a new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reports that the use of fish-oil supplements has no effect on cognitive function." "randomized, double-blind, controlled study of 867 adults aged 70 to 79" - no beneficial results, may be because they already had eaten healthy diets including fish earlier
brain  health  brainblogger 
may 2010 by pierredv
The secrets of intelligence lie within a single cell - life - 26 April 2010 - New Scientist
argument that a single cell has a lot of intelligence, critique of thinking of a neuron as a transistor
neuroscience  biology  brain  intelligence  cell  NewScientist 
may 2010 by pierredv
Firing on all neurons: Where consciousness comes from - life - 22 March 2010 - New Scientist
"global workspace theory, was first floated in 1983 by Bernard Baars... proposed that non-conscious experiences are processed locally within separate regions of the brain, like the visual cortex. According to this theory, we only become conscious of this information if these signals are broadcast to an assembly of neurons distributed across many different regions of the brain - the "global workspace" (see diagram) - which then reverberates in a flash of coordinated activity. The result is a mental interpretation of the world that has integrated all the senses into a single picture, while filtering out conflicting pieces of information. Regions implicated: prefrontal, cingulate, parietal
consciousness  neuroscience  NewScientist  brain  brain-prefrontal  brain-cingulate  brain-parietal 
march 2010 by pierredv
Depression’s Upside - Feb 2010
by Jonah Lehrer built around the "analytic-rumination hypothesis"" for depression advanced by Andrews and Thompson but lots of quotes and bits about brain anatomy, eg. focus in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex VLPFC
NYTimes  depression  psychology  neuroscience  cognition  brain-VLPFC  anatomy  brain 
march 2010 by pierredv
You won't find consciousness in the brain - Ray Tallis
Ray Tallis argues that "explanation [of consciousness] will always remain incomplete - or unrealisable. This concerns the disjunction between the objects of science and the contents of consciousness"
consciousness  brain  neuroscience  philosophy  NewScientist 
february 2010 by pierredv
Listening to Your Pulse : The Frontal Cortex
Importance of Damasio's "body loop". Players of the Iowa Gambling Test (IGT).
via Boston Globe: "People who were more accurate at counting their own heartbeats picked more cards from the decks with better returns. It seems that people who are in touch with feedback from their own body have an easier time learning from positive and negative experiences."
psychology  body  brain  emotion  sensation  damasio  decision-making  experiment 
february 2010 by pierredv
Pain or prayer? Two ways to grow a religion - life - 24 December 2009 - New Scientist
review of Harvey Whitehouse's theory about the role of ritual in religions. He posits correlation: high frequency low arousal in "doctrinal" religions, and low frequency high arousal in "imagistic" ones Meditative traditions like vipassana and zen where practitioners engage in periodic, intense meditation retreats puts them towards the imagistic end - cf. the table: they have low transmission frequency, internally generated ritual meaning, passive leadership, slow spread, and non-centralized structure
religion  brain  NewScientist  meditation 
december 2009 by pierredv
Icy stares and dirty minds: Hitch-hiking emotions - life - 15 September 2009 - New Scientist
"Many now believe that this reflects the way complex emotions arose in our evolutionary past. As our brain evolved to process more and more complex emotions, the theory goes, there was no need for new neural machinery: our emotions simply piggybacked onto the circuits that handle basic sensory perceptions"
brain  neuroscience  psychology  NewScientist 
october 2009 by pierredv
Will designer brains divide humanity? - science-in-society - 13 May 2009 - New Scientist
A survey of cognition interventions, but with insert on influence of meditation on brain tissue: "WE ARE on the brink of technological breakthroughs that could augment our mental powers beyond recognition. It will soon be possible to boost human brainpower with electronic "plug-ins" or even by genetic enhancement. What will this mean for the future of humanity?" "The evidence for this plasticity continues to grow. Andreas Roepstorff of Aarhus University in Denmark presented brain scans at the Berlin meeting showing that in people who meditate, the areas of the brain that control breathing are larger than the corresponding areas in people who do not (NeuroReport, DOI: 10.1097/wnr.0b013e328320012a)."
brain  culture  cognition  neuroscience  meditation  NewScientist 
july 2009 by pierredv
Doubting Darwin: Debate Over The Mind's Evolution : NPR
"Evolution doubters have adopted a new focus for their attacks on Darwin's theory: the human brain. They say it's impossible that a grouping of cells could produce something as abstract and complex as consciousness or free will. Brain scientists counter that there's plenty of evidence that the brain causes the mind. But they admit they're not exactly sure how this happens" Steven Novella vs. Michael Egnor
religion  mind  consciousness  brain  npr 
february 2009 by pierredv
Brains apart: The real difference between the sexes - life - 16 July 2008 - New Scientist
Emerging discoveries about differences in biochemistry as well as physiology. For example, the reason women feel more pain than men may be due to differences in pain circuitry. In mice at least, males use NMDA receptors to dampen pain, but blocking this pathway had little impact on females. This might explain why there are sex differences in responses to opiod pain killers
psychology  biochemistry  brain  gender  NewScientist  *** 
december 2008 by pierredv

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