Problems in how the brain recognizes and processes novel information lie at the root of psychosis, researchers from the University of Cambridge and King’s College London have found. The discovery that defective brain signals in patients with psychosis could be altered with medication paves the way for new treatments for the disease. The results describe how a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine ’tunes’ the brain to the level of novelty in a situation, and helps us to respond appropriately — by either updating our model of reality or discarding the information as unimportant.
The world around us is constantly changing. As seasons shift, or as night turns to day, and food becomes more or less available, every organism must adapt their behavior and physiology to cope with its changing environment. The neuroendocrine systems play a central role in converting signals from the environment into biomolecules that can generate a response. Cells in these systems communicate by releasing various signals, including small proteins called neuropeptides.
How old are you? What about your body, and your brain? People are used to answering this question by counting the years since birth. However, biological age could also be measured by looking at the integrity of the DNA in cells or by measuring the levels of proteins in the blood. Whether one goes by chronological age or biological age, each is simply an indicator of general health – but people with the same chronological age may have different biological ages, and vice versa.
A genetic dysfunction in specific brain cells strongly influences head pain occurrence, neuroscientists of the University of Zurich report1. This familial hemiplegic migraine type 2 (FHM2) causes a malfunction of astrocytes in the cingulate cortex, a brain region that is involved in the feeling of pain. Migraine is one of the most disabling neurological disorders, affecting one in seven people and causing a tremendous social and economic burden. Several findings suggest that migraine is a disease affecting a large part of the central nervous system and characterized by a global dysfunction in sensory information processing and integration, which also occurs between migraine episodes (interictal period).
Picture the sun setting over the ocean. It’s large above the horizon, spreading an orange-pink glow across the sky. Seagulls are flying overhead and your toes are in the sand. Many people will have been able to picture the sunset clearly and vividly — almost like seeing the real thing. For others, the image would have been vague and fleeting, but still there. If your mind was completely blank and you couldn’t visualise anything at all, then you might be one of the 2-5 percent of people who have aphantasia, a condition that involves a lack of all mental visual imagery.
If you have fallen in love with someone with anxiety, you may know how difficult life can be for them. Luckily, there are things that you can do to help to support them, making life more joyous for you both. **1. Avoid trying to fix them. ** Acknowledge that you are their wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or lover, and not their therapist. While you can be there to help support them through any tough times, it’s important to avoid pressuring them into behaving how you believe they should behave.
Smokers who scored higher on a test of math ability were more likely than others to say they want to quit smoking, according to new research. The reason: They had a better memory for numbers related to smoking risk, which led to perceiving a greater risk from smoking and then a greater intention to quit. “People who had better math skills remembered more of the scary numbers about smoking risks that we gave them, and that made a difference.
When I see red, it’s the most religious experience. Seeing red just results from photons of a certain frequency hitting the retina of my eye, which cascades electrical and biochemical pulses through my brain, in the same way a PC runs. But nothing happening in my eye or brain actually is the red colour I experience, nor are the photons or pulses. This is seemingly outside this world. Some say my brain is just fooling me, but I don’t accept that as I actually experience the red.