How our Brains “Hear” Inner Speech

Most people hear themself speak even if they’re not saying words out loud. They could be reading the paper or thinking through their schedule for the day. This internal the monologue you “hear” inside your head is an ever-present but still unexamined phenomenon. A new study examines a possible brain mechanism that could explain how…

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Teen Drivers Brains Reward Risky Behaviour, Except When Mom Is There

How adolescent brains negotiate risk, and the factors that modulate their risk-taking behind the wheel, are revealed in a new study of teenagers and their moms. In the study, 14-year-old volunteers completed a simulated driving task while researchers tracked blood flow in their brains. In one trial, the teen driver was alone; in another, the…

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Why Dulled Emotions Could Save You Money

Your feelings about something and the value you put on it are calculated similarly in a specific brain region, Duke University scientists have discovered. The region is a small area right between the eyes at the front of the brain. It’s called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, or vmPFC for short. Scott Huettel, director of Duke…

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Brain Activity In Depressed Preschoolers Sparked By Faces

The brain area associated with regulating emotion works differently in preschoolers with depression, a new study shows. The findings could point to new ways to identify and treat children earlier and possibly prevent problems later in life, says Michael S. Gaffrey, assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. “The findings really hammer…

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Imagination Can Change Multisensory Perception

Your imagination may affect how you experience the world more than you think. What we imagine hearing or seeing in our head can change our actual perception, a new study from Karolinska Institutet shows. The study sheds new light on a classic question in psychology and neuroscience: How do our brains combine information from the…

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Study Confirms Smart Strategies for Achieving Goals

In 1953 a team of researchers interviewed Yale’s graduating seniors, asking them whether they had written down the specific goals that they wanted to achieve in life. Twenty years later, the researchers tracked down the same cohort and found that the 3% of people who had specific goals all those years before had accumulated more…

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What is Intuition?

The word intuition is derived from the Latin intueor – to see; intuition is thus often invoked to explain how the mind can “see” answers to problems or decisions in the absence of explicit reasoning – a “gut reaction”. Several recent popular psychology books – such as Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and…

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What Is Atypical Depression?

Atypical depression, or depression with atypical features as it has been known in the DSM IV, is depression that shares many of the typical symptoms of the psychiatric syndromes major depression or dysthymia but is characterized by improved mood in response to positive events. In contrast, people with melancholic depression generally do not experience an…

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Deprivation, Autism And Disability Shine A Light On Development

We are born with basic visual biases, which make us look at faces, as if by reflex (nature). By regularly looking at a parent who talks, smiles, and looks back affectionately at us, we come to understand more about each of these things (nurture). Through this combination of brain-wiring and early experiences, we are set…

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