Brain's Updating Mechanisms May Create False Memories

The brain can update or ’edit’ poorly formed memories with the wrong information, according to research from University of Technology Sydney. Senior author Professor Bryce Vissel, from the UTS Centre for Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine, said his team used novel behavioural, molecular and computational techniques to investigate memories that have not been well-formed, and how…

Study Traces Brain-to-gut Connections

Neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute have traced neural pathways that connect the brain to the stomach, providing a biological mechanism to explain how stress can foster ulcer development. The findings[1] build a scientific basis for the brain’s influence over organ function and emphasize the importance of the brain-body connection. “Pavlov demonstrated many…

Biased Studies Linked Antidepressants During Pregnancy To Autism

Taking antidepressants during pregnancy does not appear to increase the child’s risk of autism, according to a new meta-analysis. The review[1] examines 14 studies, many of which identified a connection between antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism. However, that research failed to account for ascertainment bias, which occurs when one group of patients or subjects…

Brain Development: Why The Young Sleep Longer

From absorbing new languages to mastering musical instruments, young children are wired to learn in ways that adults are not (Johnson and Newport, 1989). This ability coincides with periods of intense brain plasticity during which neurons can easily remodel their connections (Hubel and Wiesel, 1970). Many children are also scandalously good sleepers, typically getting several…

Vitamin D Linked To Low Virus Death Rate

New research has found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries. Previous observational studies have reported an association between low levels of vitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D modulates the response of white blood cells,…

The Science Of Why Music Helps Us Connect In Isolation

“Don’t hold back, sing with all of your heart,” said our colleague Simon Baron-Cohen on a Zoom meeting the other night with his fellow band members. Simon is director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University by day and bass player of the blues and funk group Deep Blue by night. His band and…

Fear Memory Extinction Depends On Flexibility Of DNA

The ability to extinguish fearful memories relies on a change in DNA structure: from Z-DNA to B-DNA, new research shows. The findings suggest that the more easily you can switch between DNA these structures, the more plastic your memory is. “DNA can adopt a variety of different structures. The most common and most widely recognized…

Coconut For Acid Reflux Relief

Coconuts grow in profusion in tropical countries such as the Philippines, and people in these areas have discovered many uses for coconuts from its trunk, leaves and fruits. Not a single part of the coconut plant is wasted as all of it has specific uses. Recent developments have brought the attention of Americans to the…