Spiritual retreats change feel-good chemical systems in the brain

More Americans than ever are turning to spiritual, meditative and religious retreats as a way to reset their daily life and enhance well-being. Now, researchers show there are changes in the dopamine and serotonin systems in the brains of retreat participants.

Read More...

Comments Off on Spiritual retreats change feel-good chemical systems in the brain

Brain ‘rewires’ itself to enhance other senses in blind people

The brains of those who are born blind make new connections in the absence of visual information, resulting in enhanced, compensatory abilities such as a heightened sense of hearing, smell and touch, as well as cognitive functions (such as memory and language) according to a new study.

Read More...

Comments Off on Brain ‘rewires’ itself to enhance other senses in blind people

Study identifies brain cells involved in Pavlovian response

A new study has traced the Pavlovian response to a small cluster of brain cells — the same neurons that go awry during Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome. The research could one day help neuroscientists find new approaches to diagnosing and treating these disorders.

Read More...

Comments Off on Study identifies brain cells involved in Pavlovian response

Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior

Neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that responds to rewarding events. Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events, but the new study finds that most of the neurons here are involved in the reward circuit.

Read More...

Comments Off on Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior

Changes in the vascular system may trigger Alzheimer’s disease

In some people whose cognitive functions are weakened due to Alzheimer’s, the disease can be traced back to changes in the brain’s blood vasculature. Scientists have found that a protein involved in blood clotting and inflammation might offer a potential path to new drugs.

Read More...

Comments Off on Changes in the vascular system may trigger Alzheimer’s disease

Satnavs ‘switch off’ parts of the brain

Using a satnav (GPS navigation system) to get to your destination ‘switches off’ parts of the brain that would otherwise be used to simulate different routes, reveals new research. The study involved 24 volunteers navigating a simulation of Soho in central London while undergoing brain scans.

Read More...

Comments Off on Satnavs ‘switch off’ parts of the brain

Caution needed for drugs in development for most common malignant pediatric brain tumor

Researchers have studied how a crucial cancer-related protein plays a role in one of the most aggressive forms of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood.

Read More...

Comments Off on Caution needed for drugs in development for most common malignant pediatric brain tumor

How the brain sees the world in 3-D

We live in a three-dimensional world, but everything we see is first recorded on our retinas in only two dimensions. So how does the brain represent 3-D information? In a new study, researchers for the first time have shown how different parts of the brain represent an object’s location in depth compared to its 2-D location.

Read More...

Comments Off on How the brain sees the world in 3-D