Psychopaths’ Brains Wired To Seek Rewards At Any Cost

The brains of psychopaths seem to be wired to continually seek a reward at any cost, new Vanderbilt University research finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain’s reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals. Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes…

What is Optogenetics?

Optogenetics (from Greek optos, meaning “visible”) uses light to control neurons which have been genetically sensitised to light. It is a neuromodulation technique employed in neuroscience that uses a combination of techniques from optics and genetics to control and monitor the activities of individual neurons in living tissue—even within freely-moving animals—and to precisely measure the…

What is Nystagmus?

Nystagmus is a condition of involuntary eye movement, acquired in infancy or later in life, that may result in reduced or limited vision. Due to the involuntary movement of the eye, it is often called “dancing eyes”. When the head rotates about any axis, distant visual images are sustained by rotating eyes in the opposite…

What is Psychopathology?

Psychopathology is the scientific study of mental disorders, including efforts to understand their genetic, biological, psychological, and social causes; effective classification schemes (nosology); course across all stages of development; manifestations; and treatment. Psychopathology is defined as the origin of mental disorders, how they develop, and the symptoms they might produce in a person. The word…

What Is EEG (Electroencephalography)?

EEG is an acronym for electroencephalography, which is an electrophysiological monitoring method to record electrical activity of the brain. It is typically noninvasive, with the electrodes placed along the scalp, although invasive electrodes are sometimes used in specific applications. Electroencephalography measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current within the neurons of the brain. In clinical…

Blocking Conditioned Fear Memory with Behavioral Therapy

For the first time, scientists have selectively blocked a conditioned fear memory in humans with a behavioral manipulation. Participants remained free of the fear memory for at least a year. The research builds on emerging evidence from animal studies that reactivating an emotional memory opens a 6-hour window of opportunity in which a training procedure…

What Is An Observational Study?

An observational study draws inferences from a sample to a population where the independent variable is not under the control of the researcher because of ethical concerns or logistical constraints. One common observational study is about the possible effect of a treatment on subjects, where the assignment of subjects into a treated group versus a…

Diseases Associated With Apoptosis

The many different types of apoptosis pathways contain a multitude of different biochemical components, many of them not yet understood. As a pathway is more or less sequential in nature, removing or modifying one component leads to an effect in another. In a living organism, this can have disastrous effects, often in the form of…