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Last updateWed, 01 Oct 2014 1pm

The Brain

How Exercise Makes Your Brain Grow

Not only has research discovered that we can foster new brain cell growth through exercise, but it may eventually be possible to “bottle” that benefit in prescription medication.

Read more: How Exercise Makes Your Brain Grow

Alcohol helps the brain remember, says new study - EurekAlert! (article link)

Repeated ethanol exposure enhances synaptic plasticity in a key area in the brain

AUSTIN, Texas-Drinking alcohol primes certain areas of our brain to learn and remember better, says a new study from the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin.

The common view that drinking is bad for learning and memory isn't wrong, says neurobiologist Hitoshi Morikawa, but it highlights only one side of what ethanol consumption does to the brain.

Read more: Alcohol helps the brain remember, says new study - EurekAlert! (article link)

The ups and downs of kids' brains - CNN (video)

Dr. Frances Jensen explores why children can easily learn language, what epilepsy does to their brains and more.

Read more: The ups and downs of kids' brains - CNN (video)

Neurorobotics reveals brain mechanisms of self-consciousness - EurekAlert! (article link)

(Cell Press) A new study uses creative engineering to unravel brain mechanisms associated with one of the most fundamental subjective human feelings: self-consciousness. The research, published by Cell Press in the April 28 issue of the journal Neuron, identifies a brain region called the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) as being critical for the feeling of being an entity localized at a particular position in space and for perceiving the world from this position and perspective.

Read more: Neurorobotics reveals brain mechanisms of self-consciousness - EurekAlert! (article link)

Chemistry Among Friends - ABC News (video)

Could you be genetically linked to your closest friends?

Read more: Chemistry Among Friends - ABC News (video)

How Your Brain Listens to Music - ABC News (video)

University Hospitals' Dr. Michael DeGeorgia on how your brain reacts to music.

Read more: How Your Brain Listens to Music - ABC News (video)

Women's Tears a Turnoff - ABC News (video)

A recent study showed that a chemical in a women's tears turns the libido of men off, testosterone levels went down.

Read more: Women's Tears a Turnoff - ABC News (video)

Erica Hill talks to Nicole Beland, Exec. Editor of Cosmopolitan, about how to sync activities to your body's clock - CBSNEWS (video)

- How to sync daily activities to your body's clock.
- The best time to have sex is at 7:00 am.
- In the morning testosterone levels go up and this is good for your libido.
- The best time for a job interview is 10:00-11:00 am.
- The pain threshold goes up and feeling something painful is best between 3:00-5:00 pm
- Hand eye coordination is best between 5:00-7:00 for workouts.
- Positivity is best at 6:00 pm for bad news.
- Creativity peeks at night 8:00 pm.

Read more: Erica Hill talks to Nicole Beland, Exec. Editor of Cosmopolitan, about how to sync activities to...

A woman with a rare condition shows how moving her hand causes the other to move involuntarily - NewScientist (video)

Mirror movements

A woman with a rare condition shows how moving her hand causes the other to move involuntarily.

Read more: A woman with a rare condition shows how moving her hand causes the other to move involuntarily -...

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Louann Brizendine neuropsychiatrist talk about men and women, hormones, pheromones - CNN (video)

- Hormones predispose our brains towards certain behavior.
- Pheromones change or effect the brain.
- The male brain is 9-10% bigger.

Read more: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Louann Brizendine neuropsychiatrist talk about men and women, hormones,...

The bee’s unusual social structure has allowed biologists to collect some of the best evidence yet that living in a society can boost brain size – NewScientist (mag article)

Many evolutionary biologists believe the increased in the size of the brain relative to the body size in animals such as primates was driven by the demands of living in societies. This is known as the social – or Machiavellian – intelligence hypothesis.
- Previous comparisons of different birds and primates have shown that more social animals tend to have larger brains.
- “Social interactions seem to impose important cognitive challenges that must be met by enhanced investment in certain brain regions”

Read more: The bee’s unusual social structure has allowed biologists to collect some of the best evidence yet...

Creativity correlates with low levels of the chemical N-acetylaspartate and slower communication between some areas may make people more creative – NewScientist (mag aricle)

Rex Jung at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and his colleagues had found that creativity correlates with low levels of the chemical N-acetylaspartate, which is found in neurons and seems to promote neural health and metabolism.
- Several recent studies have suggested that white matter of high integrity in the cortex, which is associated with higher mental function, means increased intelligence.
- Jung found that the most creative people had lower white-matter integrity in a region connecting the prefrontal cortex to a deeper structure called the thalamus, compared with their less creative peers.
- Jung suggests that slower communication between some areas may actually make people more creative.

Read more: Creativity correlates with low levels of the chemical N-acetylaspartate and slower communication...

Dissecting the Genius of Einstein's Brain - WSJ (video)

When it comes to brilliance, do exceptional brains exist? To find out if there is a link between brain structure and genius, scientists look to the gray matter of renowned physicist Albert Einstein. WSJ's science columnist Robert Lee Hotz reports.

Read more: Dissecting the Genius of Einstein's Brain - WSJ (video)

Scientists Discover Celebrity-Groupie Brain Cells - WSJ (video)

Neuroscientists at UCLA discover single human neurons respond to specific celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey. They say these brain cells show it only takes a simple circuit of neurons to encode an idea, perception or memory.

Read more: Scientists Discover Celebrity-Groupie Brain Cells - WSJ (video)

Brain use myth: All of the brain is being used, not just 10 percent despite the myth - CNN (video)

All of the brain is being used and not just 10 percent despite the myth.

Read more: Brain use myth: All of the brain is being used, not just 10 percent despite the myth - CNN (video)

Stress disrupts human thinking, but the brain can bounce back - EurekaAlert (article link)

- A new neuroimaging study on stressed-out students suggests that male humans, like male rats, don't do their most agile thinking under stress.
- At Mount Sinai Medical Center have shown that repeated stress on rats shriveled nerve cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, and that a shrunken prefrontal cortex is linked to slower performance on attention-shifting tasks.
- The message is that healthy brains are remarkably resilient and plastic

Read more: Stress disrupts human thinking, but the brain can bounce back - EurekaAlert (article link)

New and unexpected mechanism identifies how the brain responds to stress - EurekaAlert (article link)

- Normally, neurons receive different chemical signals that tell them to either switch on or switch off.
- What Bains and colleagues have shown is that stress turns down the activity of KCC2, thus removing the ability of the brake, a chemical known as GABA, to work properly.
- A loss of the brain's ability to slow down may explain some of the harmful, emotional consequences of stress.

Read more: New and unexpected mechanism identifies how the brain responds to stress - EurekaAlert (article...

Sex Addiction: neurotransmitter dopamine lights up areas deep within the brain - Men's Health (article link)

When you spot the object of your desire, the neurotransmitter dopamine lights up areas deep within the brain, triggering feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward. (Cocaine acts the same way.) You feel a rush, and your heartbeat quickens. Attraction, too, is a powerful drug.

The brain stem also gets into the act, releasing phenylethylamine (PEA), which speeds up the flow of information between nerve cells.

Read more: Sex Addiction: neurotransmitter dopamine lights up areas deep within the brain - Men's Health...

'Upgrade Your Brain' - Featuring world champion memory expert and London taxi drivers whose brain has increased in size. - YouTube (video)

'Upgrade Your Brain' - Featuring world champion memory expert and London taxi drivers whose brain has increased in size.

Read more: 'Upgrade Your Brain' - Featuring world champion memory expert and London taxi drivers whose brain...

Cool Brain Facts - Amen Clinic (article link)

 Many people have heard that we only use 10 percent of our brains.  Nonsense!  You may not use every neuron in your brain at the same time, but each is important.  

- If you don’t take care of your brain, you lose on average 85,000 brain cells a day. That is what causes aging. With appropriate forethought, however, you can reverse that trend and dramatically slow the aging process.
- The best sources of stimulation for the brain are physical exercise, mental exercise, and social bonding, which will be discussed in greater detail later on.

Read more: Cool Brain Facts - Amen Clinic (article link)