A part of the mouse brain called the supramammillary nucleus (SuM) is specialized for detecting new experiences, researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan have found1. Within the SuM, responses to experiences related to unknown individuals — called social novelty — were separated from those related to unfamiliar places — called context novelty — before being sent to distinct parts of the brain’s main memory-formation center. The finding may further the understanding of normal memory, as well as conditions in which recognizing and reacting to new information is impaired.
Unexplained repeated pregnancy loss is a poorly understood condition that can cause significant distress and for which no effective treatment exists. Much research to date has focused on dysfunctions of the uterus or hormonal signaling (Saravelos and Regan, 2014), but the possible involvement of the nervous system has not been explored despite the role of the olfactory system in mammalian reproduction being well-documented (Dulac and Torello, 2003). Exposing female rodents to the smell of adult males can lead to synchronized menstrual cycling (Whitten, 1956) and accelerated sexual maturation (Vandenbergh, 1967), as well as to embryos failing to implant in the uterus (Bruce, 1959).
Is it possible to model the habits of serenity? Would a person who is highly serene even have any habits? Or are people who are habitually calm actually living in a numbed-out cocoon? Can you genuinely feel a sense of serenity on a regular basis? Sometimes it seem like feelings of anxiety have become normal in nearly all aspects of life . People aren’t able to enjoy feelings of calmness and peace on any regular basis.
A significant change in the purpose of sleep happens at the age of about 2 and a half, a UCLA-led team of scientists has discovered. Prior to that age, the brain grows very rapidly. During REM sleep, when vivid dreams occur, the young brain is busy building and strengthening synapses — the structures that connect neurons to one another and allow them to communicate. “Don’t wake babies up during REM sleep—important work is being done in their brains as they sleep,”
Immune cells surrounding the brain produce a molecule that is then absorbed by neurons in the brain, where it appears to be necessary for normal behavior, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates. The findings indicate that elements of the immune system affect both mind and body, and that the immune molecule IL-17 may be a key link between the two. “The brain and the body are not as separate as people think.
Following a night of shorter sleep, people react more emotionally to stressful events the next day, and they don’t find as much joy in the good things, according to new research from University of British Columbia. “When people experience something positive, such as getting a hug or spending time in nature, they typically feel happier that day. But we found that when a person sleeps less than their usual amount, they don’t have as much of a boost in positive emotions from their positive events,”
People who can unconsciously predict complex patterns, an ability called implicit pattern learning, are likely to hold stronger beliefs that there is a god who creates patterns of events in the universe, report neuroscientists at Georgetown University. The study spanned two very different cultural and religious groups, one in the U.S. and one in Afghanistan. “Belief in a god or gods who intervene in the world to create order is a core element of global religions.
Gerald Maguire has stuttered since childhood, but you might not guess it from talking to him. For the past 25 years, Maguire — a psychiatrist at the University of California, Riverside — has been treating his disorder with antipsychotic medications not officially approved for the condition. Only with careful attention might you discern his occasional stumble on multisyllabic words like “statistically” and “pharmaceutical.” Maguire has plenty of company: More than 70 million people worldwide, including about 3 million Americans, stutter — that is, they have difficulty with the starting and timing of speech, resulting in halting and repetition.