New Understanding Of Why The Brain Makes Learning Mistakes

A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University investigated the brain’s neural activity during learned behavior and found that the brain makes mistakes because it applies incorrect inner beliefs, or internal models, about how the world works. The research suggests that when the brain makes a mistake, it actually thinks that it is making the correct…

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Discovery Puts Designer Dopamine Neurons Within Reach

For decades, the elusive holy grail in Parkinson’s disease research has been finding a way to repair faulty dopamine neurons and put them back into patients, where they will start producing dopamine again. Researchers have used fetal material, which is difficult to obtain and of variable quality. Embryonic stem cells represented a tremendous innovation, but…

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New Way To Deliver MicroRNAs for Cancer Treatment

Twenty years ago, scientists discovered that short strands of RNA known as microRNA help cells to fine-tune their gene expression. Disruption or loss of some microRNAs has been linked to cancer, raising the possibility of treating tumors by adjusting microRNA levels. Developing such treatments requires delivering microRNA to tumors, which has proven difficult. However, researchers…

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Neural Correlates Of Mystical Experience

Suppression of the brain’s inhibitory functions can result in openness to mystical experiences, suggests new research from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Victoria University of Wellington. The study found that rather than activating a single area in the brain, what’s been referred to as the potential ‘God Spot‘, it is the suppression of the…

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Brain Scans Explain Quickness To Blame

The paradox of why we are quick to blame people for their actions, but slower to give them credit get some light shed on it by new research from Duke University. We constantly read others’ intentions in what they do, from seeing someone help an elderly person cross the street or cutting in line or…

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Weaker Breaths In Kids Linked To Early Pesticide Exposure

Taking a deep breath might be a bit harder for children exposed early in life to a widely used class of pesticides in agriculture, according to a new paper by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. A new study has linked the levels of organophosphate pesticide metabolites in the urine of 279 children living…

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Nogo: Blocking A Single Molecule Defeats Chronic Fear

As those who suffer from anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder can attest, recovering from pervasive fear memories can be difficult or impossible to do. Yale researchers, however, have shown how disabling a single molecule can help animals eliminate engrained fear responses. Said Stephen Strittmatter, the Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology and professor of neuroscience,…

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Forgotten First Languages Wire Brain For Second Language

If you spoke Chinese or some other language as a young child but don’t speak it now, you probably assume you’ve forgotten it. But a recent study suggests your brain hasn’t. In fact, that “forgotten” first language could have a lot to do with what goes on in your brain when you speak today. Researchers…

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HIV/AIDS Drugs Interfere With Brain’s Myelin

Antiretroviral therapies, or ART, have enabled people with HIV and AIDS to live much longer lives, transforming what was considered a death sentence into a chronic condition. Yet concerns for these patients remain. Up to half of people with HIV on these drug regimens have some sort of cognitive impairment, such as memory loss or…

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