grey matter

Reduced brain size may suggest a genetic predisposition towards higher alcohol consumption, according to new research. “Our results suggest that associations between alcohol consumption and reduced brain volume are attributable to shared genetic factors. Lower brain volume in specific regions may predispose a person to greater alcohol consumption. The study is impressive because it uses… Read more

Having excess body fat, particularly around the gut, may be linked to brain shrinkage, a new study reports. Researchers calculated obesity by measuring body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio in their study participants; they found those with higher ratios of both measures had the lowest brain volume. “Existing research has linked brain shrinkage to… Read more

Individuals who have trouble coping with uncertainty or the ambiguity of possible future threats may have an unusually large striatum, an area of the brain already associated with general anxiety disorder, according to new research. Lead author Justin Kim, PhD, of Dartmouth College, said: “Uncertainty and ambiguity of potential future threats are central to understanding… Read more

Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in brain structure, probably related to improving the mother’s ability to protect and interact with the child, a study has found. Pregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations, but the effects on the brain are still unknown. In this study a team of researchers compared the structure of the… Read more

Physical differences in the brains of people who respond emotionally to others’ feelings, compared to those who respond more rationally, have been found by researchers at Monash University. Led by Robert Eres from the University’s School of Psychological Sciences, the work pinpoints correlations between grey matter density and cognitive and affective empathy. The study investigated… Read more