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Heroin Reduces The Brain’s Ability To Form Synapses

Exposure to heroin sharply reduces levels of the protein necessary for developing and maintaining the brain’s synapses, a preclinical study[1] by University at Buffalo researchers has found. The development of addiction relapse is directly related to the impact that reductions in this protein, called drebrin, have on specific cells involved in the brain’s pleasure-seeking/reward pathways. […]

How Bullying May Shape Adolescent Brains

In recent years, a steadily increasing volume of data has demonstrated that peer victimization — the clinical term for bullying — impacts hundreds of millions of children and adolescents, with the effects sometimes lasting years and, possibly, decades. The problem is even recognized as a global health challenge by the World Health Organization and the […]

Does Osteocalcin, Not Adrenaline, Drive Fight Or Flight Response?

The “fight or flight” response, is commonly believed to be triggered in part by the hormone adrenaline. But a new study[1] from researchers at Columbia University suggests that bony vertebrates are not able to produce this response to danger without the skeleton. The researchers found in mice and humans that almost immediately after the brain […]

Default Mode Network May Contain A Universal Code For Aesthetics

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor subjects’ brain activity as they were shown images of art, architecture or natural landscapes, researchers have found that in the visual parts of the brain, different types of images led to very different patterns of activity, even across images all judged by subjects to be aesthetically pleasing[1]. […]