March 29, 2011 |
Like a jab in the arm with a red-hot poker, social rejection hurts. Literally. A new study finds that our brains make little distinction between the sting of being rebuffed by peers -- or by a lover, boss or family member -- and the physical pain that arises from disease or injury. The new findings are published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from the University of Michigan, Columbia University and the University of Colorado put 40 individuals who were brokenhearted by a recent breakup into a brain scanner and watched as each dumpee gazed upon a photo of his or her dumper and pondered the hurt he or she felt at having been spurned.
August 9, 2013 |
Do women who are on the autism spectrum have brains that are more “masculine”? A team of researchers at Cambridge University's Autism Research Center has found striking similarities between the structural anomalies found in the brains of women with autism spectrum disorder and neurobiological characteristics known to be different between males and females in general. The results, published online Thursday in the review Brain , partially confirm aspects of an “extreme male brain” theory of autism put forth by Cambridge neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues.
November 11, 2013 |
Attention pregnant women: If you want to help your child get into Harvard, lace up those sneakers and exercise! Hardly a week goes by without science delivering new evidence that exercise boosts the brain. Studies have linked exercise to brain health in senior citizens , middle-aged adults and kids . A trio of researchers from the University of Montreal figured the same might hold true for babies in utero as well. Dave Ellemberg and Daniel Curnier, two professors from the university's Department of Kinesiology, and graduate student Elise Labonte-LeMoyne recruited women who were in their first trimester of pregnancy and randomly assigned them to an “active” or “sedentary” group.
April 2, 2012 |
Jonah Lehrer is the Los Angeles guy who writes about brains, and he has them aplenty too. He wonders how our noggins make us individually distinct, and yet how the basic factory model means that so many of our brains are wired the same. In books such as "Proust Was a Neuroscientist," Lehrer metaphorically pokes at our gray matter, and in his latest, "Imagine, How Creativity Works," considers the neuroscience of the divine spark. For my "Patt Morrison Asks" column , I questioned him about the trope that depression can stimulate creativity, which invariably leads to the hypothetical, "If we'd been able to prescribe antidepressants for the dispirited geniuses of the past, would we be deprived of their music and their art?"
September 3, 2010
The next cures for bacterial infections may come from an unlikely place: cockroach brains. Tissues from cockroach and locust brains and nervous systems killed off 90% of E. coli and MRSA bacteria without harming the human cells they were attacking, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham. The findings, released Saturday, are being presented this week at the autumn meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Nottingham, Great Britain. The researchers suspect it’s the proteins in the insect brains that so effectively kill the bacteria.
August 22, 2010 |
Catholic nuns are known for their acts of charity, but Sister Adrienne Schmidt has found a way to give beyond the grave: She will donate her brain to science. First, though, she is exercising it in an annual battery of memory tests administered by researchers at Chicago's Rush University. Schmidt, 82, repeats two-digit numbers, then three, four, five, six and seven digits. She names as many animals as she can in a minute. She listens to a 30-second story about a school cafeteria cook who is robbed of $56. Half an hour later, she must repeat as many details as she can. The yearly tests are designed to provide a history of how her brain is aging.