November 5, 2012 |
Researchers have moved one step closer to understanding how anesthesia drugs work by identifying a component of brain activity that could explain why we lose consciousness under the influence of the drugs, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Though "going under" is an extremely common part of many medical procedures, the mechanism by which it works remains a mystery. This fact has practical ramifications: Some studies have shown that anesthesia can lead to loss of memory and other side effects, something researchers might be able to alleviate if they understand exactly what the drugs do in the body.
April 24, 2013 |
Want a better grip on your memory? A study suggests clenching a fist could play a role in how well you recall information. The study , published Tuesday in the journal PLOS ONE, was funded partially by the U.S. Army. It examined whether clenching the right or left fist could stimulate brain regions possibly connected to memory. Researchers recruited 51 right-handed individuals for the experiment, and asked them to squeeze a pink rubber ball for 90 seconds before they were shown a list of 36 words.
February 23, 2011 |
The electromagnetic radiation emitted by a cellular phone's antenna appears to activate nearby regions of the brain to unusually high levels, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. that is likely to spark new concerns about the health effects of wireless devices. The preliminary study, led by a respected neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, raises many more questions than it answers. But by providing solid evidence that cellphone use has measurable effects on brain activity, it suggests that the nation's passionate attachment to its 300 million cellphones may be altering the way we think and behave in subtle ways.
April 5, 2013 |
Dreams defy even the dreamer, slipping away as stealthily as they arrive in a mind made credulous by sleep. But what if scientists could read our dreams by using the most advanced medical imaging machines and employing the sophisticated algorithms that flag fraudulent transactions among millions of credit card purchases? Researchers in Japan have taken an early step toward this chimerical goal by training computers to recognize the images flitting through the minds of sleepers in the earliest stages of dreaming.
August 30, 2010 |
A series of studies published in recent years suggests that in people with depression, autism, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, the default mode network, that curious pattern of brain activity that ramps up when we daydream, works differently than it does in healthy control subjects. And in each condition, the malfunctions look slightly different, holding out the prospect of better psychiatric diagnoses down the line. In the case of schizophrenia, researchers from Harvard University and MIT found that the default mode network is overactive and faultily wired.
June 22, 2008 |
No one can read our thoughts, for now, but some scientists believe they can at least figure out in what language we do our thinking. Before we utter a single word, experts can determine our mother tongue and our level of proficiency in other languages by analyzing brain activity as we read, scientists working with Italy's National Research Council say. For more than a year, a team of scientists experimented on 15 interpreters, revealing what they...