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- Baby talk words with repeated sounds help infants learn language
Babies find it easier to learn words with repetitive syllables rather than mixed sounds, a study suggests. Assessments of language learning in 18-month-olds suggest that children are better at grasping the names of objects with repeated syllables, over words with non-identical syllables. Researchers say the study may help explain why some words or phrases, such as 'train' and 'good night', have given rise to versions with repeated syllables, such as choo-choo and night-night.
- Cyborgs closer to becoming a reality of human evolution
Our excitement with and rapid uptake of technology -- and the growing opportunities for artificial brain enhancement -- are putting humans more firmly on the path to becoming cyborgs, according to evolution experts.
- Using virtual users to develop accessible ICT-based applications
In a new report, researchers report the development of a set of parametric cognitive virtual models of users with disabilities that can be used to simulate the user interaction with Information and communications technology (ICT) applications. This simulation will allow researchers to develop more efficient and accessible ICT applications for people with functional limitations and disabilities.
- Small talk: Electronic media keeping kids from communicating with parents
It happens in many households. Kids are tapping on their cell phones or are preoccupied by their favorite TV show as their parents ask them a question or want them to do a chore. Unlike previous research that has relied on self-reports by parents tracking their children's media usage, a new study used enhanced audio equipment to track the home environment of preschoolers as they interacted with parents in 2010 and 2011.
- The dying child: Room for improvement in end-of-life care
Many pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists believe that their clinical care extends from treating ill children through end-of-life care. However, are pediatricians actually meeting the needs of families and their dying child? In a new study, researchers surveyed bereaved parents and found that pediatric end-of-life care needs improvement.
- Stress affects males, females differently
A stress receptor in the brain regulates metabolic responses to stressful situations differently in male and female mice, report researchers. The results could aid in the development of treatments for regulating hunger or stress responses, including anxiety and depression.
- Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer
Men with prostate cancer who are under medical surveillance reported significantly greater resilience and less anxiety after receiving an intervention of mindfulness meditation, a study found. The anxiety and uncertainty that men who choose active surveillance experience when diagnosed with prostate cancer causes one in four to receive definitive therapies within one to three years, even when there is no sign of tumor progression.
- Why everyone wants to help the sick, but not the unemployed
New research explains why health-care costs are running out of control, while costs to unemployment protection are kept in line. The answer is found deep in our psychology, where powerful intuitions lead us to view illness as the result of bad luck and worthy of help.
- How the brain makes, and breaks, a habit
Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders. Working with a mouse model, an international team of researchers demonstrates what happens in the brain for habits to control behavior.
- Early-life stress causes digestive problems and anxiety in rats
Traumatic events early in life can increase levels of norepinephrine -- the primary hormone responsible for preparing the body to react to stressful situations -- in the gut, increasing the risk of developing chronic indigestion and anxiety during adulthood, a new study reports.
- Fasting-like diet reduces multiple sclerosis symptoms
A mouse study, followed by a human study, indicates that the fasting-mimicking diet holds promise as a treatment for autoimmune diseases. A fasting-like diet switches on a process in which body kills bad cells, begins to generate new healthy ones, report scientists.
- Mimicking deep sleep brain activity improves memory
It is not surprising that a good night's sleep improves our ability to remember what we learned during the day. Now, researchers have discovered a brain circuit that governs how certain memories are consolidated in the brain during sleep. The study shows how experimentally manipulating the identified neural connection during non-REM sleep (deep sleep) can prevent or enhance memory retention in mice.
- The brain needs cleaning to stay healthy
New research has revealed the mechanisms that keep the brain clean during neurodegenerative diseases.
- How prions kill neurons: New culture system shows early toxicity to dendritic spines
Prion diseases are fatal and incurable neurodegenerative conditions of humans and animals. Yet, how prions kill nerve cells (or neurons) remains unclear. A new study describes a system in which to study the early assault by prions on brain cells of the infected host.
- For millions on long-term opioid medications, change will be a challenge
A recent study surveyed patients to understand barriers to reducing the use of opioids to manage chronic pain. Millions of Americans take opioid medications daily to manage chronic pain, but there are growing concerns among health care professionals of opioid misuse and overdose.
- Brain picks up the beat of music automatically
A sense of rhythm is a uniquely human characteristic. Music cognition scientists discovered that the sense of rhythm – also known as the beat – is so fundamental to humans that we recognize patterns in music even without paying any attention or receiving any training.
- Difficult decisions involving perception increase activity in brain's insular cortex, study finds
As the difficulty of making a decision based on sensory evidence increases, activity in the brain's insular cortex also increases, according to researchers.
- New discovery from the molecular machinery for depression and addiction
Researchers have described how a group of the brain's transport proteins with important roles in depression and dependence overcome the step which limits their effectiveness. The discovery makes it possible to describe the full function of the transport protein and can provide better opportunities for counteracting the effect of amphetamine and ecstasy on the brain.
- Powering up the circadian rhythm
An American research team is the first to discover a protein that controls the strength of body's circadian rhythms. In new work, the team analyzed levels and molecular characteristics of REV-ERB? in the livers of mice throughout the day. They found that after its levels peaked during the day, two proteins, CDK1 and FBXW7, interacted with REV-ERB? to help reduce its levels to a low point by the middle of the night.
- Researchers show experience plays strong role in early stages of brain circuit development
A new study suggests that external stimulation guides certain neurons' early development so that inhibitory neurons split into two different types of neurons, each with a different job, adding another level of complexity and regulation to the brain's circuitry.
- In brain-injured patients, a way to measure awareness or its impending return
The precise diagnosis and prognosis of recovery of consciousness of patients after a severe brain injury is a challenging clinical task, as some brain-injured patients retain certain levels of awareness despite appearing fully unresponsive. Now, researchers have evidence that measures of the amount of glucose consumed by the brain can predict a person's current level of awareness, or the likelihood that they will recover awareness within a year.
- Exploring the rise and fall of alcohol-related mortality in Scotland: Affordability
The rise and fall of alcohol-related mortality in Scotland is partly due to changes in affordability, according to recent reports.
- Party on(line): The link between social media, alcohol use
One of the undeniable powers of social media is its ability to influence people and their behaviors. This is especially true, a study finds, when it comes to alcohol use. Researchers found that when participants in a study were exposed to ads touting beer, as opposed to those selling bottled water, they were more inclined to consider drinking alcohol.
- Mothers' parenting stress impacts both parents' sexual satisfaction
First-time parents are only somewhat satisfied with their sex lives according to health researchers who checked in with parents regularly after their baby was born. And one factor that appears to be reducing their sexual satisfaction is mothers' stress as a new parent.
- Practice less and play like a pro, say researchers
Visually guided videos could revolutionize coaching, say researchers. Watching videos that point to crucial details such as how golfers line up the ball, position their feet and twist their hips, significantly cuts the time it takes to master the skill, their report says.
- Higher wages for UK's lowest paid improve productivity
Employees work harder and more cohesively if they feel they and their colleagues are paid a wage which reflects their skill and effort, new research has found. Data from more than 360,000 UK firms following the introduction of the National Minimum Wage showed 'statistically significant' increase in productivity in Britain's low-paying employment sectors.
- Psychology of strategic deception revealed by online poker
Online poker offers new insights into the mind-set of scheming Machiavellians, researchers have found. The card betting game can be used as a novel way to better understand the psychology of strategic deception, say the researchers. Before now, the trait has rarely been studied in natural settings outside laboratories.
- Helping stroke survivors get back on their feet
Small sensory devices could help to improve walking recovery during stroke rehabilitation in a bid to reduce social isolation, say investigators.
- Could sing-a-long science be the key to straight A’s?
Does “edutainment” such as content-rich music videos have any place in the rapidly changing landscape of science education? A new study indicates that students can indeed learn serious science content from such videos.
- Study dispels myth about millionaire migration in the US
The view that the rich are highly mobile has gained much political traction in recent years and has become a central argument in debates about whether there should be 'millionaire taxes' on top-income earners. But a new study dispels the common myth about the propensity of millionaires in the United States to move from high to low tax states.
- New venture creation can alleviate suffering in the wake of a disaster
In the aftermath of a disaster, individuals can successfully overcome adversity by focusing on new venture creation, new research suggests.
- Multiple personality disorder may be rooted in traumatic experiences
A new study supports the notion that multiple personality disorder is rooted in traumatic experiences such as neglect or abuse in childhood, rather than being related to suggestibility or proneness to fantasy.
- Genome sequencing provides diagnosis for some types of intellectual disability
A study is one of the first to show the life-changing benefits of genome-wide sequencing for children with certain kinds of intellectual disability, report scientists.
- Researchers identify immune genes tied to common, deadly brain cancer
Researchers have identified a group of immune system genes that may play a role in how long people can live after developing a common type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain.
- Language of women versus men: 'Wonderful' and 'thankful' versus 'battle' and 'enemy'
In a computational analysis of the words used by more than 65,000 consenting Facebook users in some 10 million messages, it was discovered that women use language that is warmer and more agreeable than men.
- Prenatal fruit consumption boosts babies' cognitive development
The benefits of eating fruit can begin as early as in the womb. A new study, using data from nearly 700 Edmonton children, demonstrates that infants do significantly better on developmental tests when their mothers consume more fruit during pregnancy.
- Human amyloid-beta acts as natural antibiotic in the brain: Alzheimer's-associated amyloid plaques may trap microbes
A new study provides additional evidence that amyloid-beta protein -- which is deposited in the form of beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease -- is a normal part of the innate immune system, the body's first-line defense against infection.
- Charismatic speaking strategies of presidential candidates
Researchers have recently examined the speech patterns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina in a variety of settings to determine whether the presidential candidates followed the same voice modulation strategies. They researchers found that despite the politicians' varied messages, their vocal delivery remains the same.
- Humiliation from stares are worse than tiny seats for obese air travelers, new study
Feelings of shame and humiliation bother obese air passengers more than tight seat belts and tiny seats, according to a new study.
- Out of tune: Mismatch of vascular, neural responses suggests limits of fMRI
During sensory stimulation, increases in blood flow are not precisely 'tuned' to local neural activity, report investigators. This finding challenges the long-held view that vascular and local neural responses are tightly coupled and could suggest limitations for functional magnetic resonance imaging, which assumes that vascular changes reflect a proportional change in local neural activity.
- Humans less likely to return to an automated advisor once given bad advice
The ubiquitous Chat Bot popping up on websites asking if you need help has become standard on many sites. We dismiss, we engage, but do we trust the algorithm that is aiding our experience? Giving us answers and advice? A recent study found that participants were less likely to return to an automated advisor if given bad advice over a human advisor under the same circumstances.
- Exploring gender perception via speech
Snap judgments of speakers' femininity or masculinity are based on acoustic information from the speakers' voices, but some vocal qualities deemed 'feminine' can overlap with acoustic cues for 'clear speech,' which is a set of changes speakers make when they suspect their listener is having difficulty hearing. This overlap inspired researchers to explore gender perception via speech -- largely to determine whether adopting clear speech could help transgender people who would like to sound more feminine.
- Neuroscientists illuminate role of autism-linked gene
Neuroscientists have found that loss of the autism-linked Shank gene prevents brain synapses from maturing, in a study of fruit flies. Many genetic variants have been linked to autism, but only a handful are potent enough to induce the disorder on their own. Among these variants, mutations in a gene called Shank3 are among the most common, occurring in about 0.5 percent of people with autism.
- Anemia negatively affects recovery from traumatic brain injuries
Approximately half of patients hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries are anemic, according to recent studies, but anemia's effects on the recovery of these patients is not clear. Now, researchers have found evidence that anemia can negatively influence the outcomes of patients with traumatic brain injuries.
- Investigating how 'chemo brain' develops in cancer patients
During and after chemotherapy, many cancer patients describe feeling a mental fog, a condition that has been dubbed 'chemo brain.' Why this happens is unclear, but researchers have found a new clue to understanding this syndrome. A new study reports that chemotherapy in rats affects their chemical messengers dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with cognition.
- What can Pavlov's dogs tell us about drinking?
Pavlovian cues that predict alcohol can lead us toward addiction. And sometimes those cues can become desirable in and of themselves, as shown in a new study.
- Study examines suicide attempt risk factors, methods and timing, related to deployment among active duty soldiers
Suicide attempts, like suicides, have increased in the U.S. Army over the last decade. To better understand and prevent suicidal behavior, researchers examined timing and risk factors for suicide attempts among U.S. Army enlisted Soldiers. They found the highest risk was among those who never deployed, and those who never deployed were at greatest risk during their second month of service.
- Consumer knowledge gap on genetically modified food
While consumers are aware of genetically modified crops and food, their knowledge level is limited and often at odds with the facts, according to a newly published study.
- More lines are usually better when it comes to worker speed
When customers wait in one long line and go to the next available server, those servers work more slowly than when servers each have their own queue, new operations management research finds.
- Could wearable technology impact our healthcare, fashion, and even sport?
With the rapid proliferation of smart mobile devices, and the subsequent increase in data that is being gathered, the challenge is: how do we harness it?
- Family size, education levels: The right support could reverse long-held theory
More kids in your family, less education. This pattern isn't new, but a team of researchers has studied why that educational dip occurs and found that there are exceptions to the trend.
- Will heart medication help treat Alzheimer's disease?
Heart medication reduces the build-up of plaque in the brain’s blood vessels in mice, new research shows. The question is if this is true also in humans; if the answer is yes, it might bring scientists a step closer to developing a medicine against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Workaholism tied to psychiatric disorders
Workaholism frequently co-occurs with ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression, a large national Norwegian study shows. The study showed that workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than non-workaholics.
- Speech-language pathologists can help kids who struggle to read
Classroom teachers may not employ the strategies that can help students master complex written language, according to speech-language pathology researchers.
- Zika virus may be linked to more eye problems in Brazilian babies with microcephaly
Researchers studying babies with a Zika virus-related birth defect say they have found previously unreported eye problems possibly linked to the virus. In three Brazilian infants with microcephaly, the researchers observed retinal lesions, hemorrhaging and abnormal blood vessel development not noted before in relation to the virus.
- Study shows area undamaged by stroke remains so, regardless of time stroke is left untreated
A new study looked at a group of untreated acute stroke patients and found that there was no evidence of time dependence on damage outcomes for the penumbra, or tissue that is at risk of progressing to dead tissue but is still salvageable if blood flow is returned in a stroke, but rather an association with collateral flow -- or rerouting of blood through clear vessels.
- New study surveys genetic changes linked with Parkinson's disease
The genetic modifications associated with the development of Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD-associated dementia has been the focus of recent research, which is bringing new investigative tools to bear.
- E-cigarette use in UK almost doubled in 2 years, says Europe-wide study
New research has examined e-cigarette use -- and attitudes to the devices -- across Europe between 2012 and 2014. The work found that the proportion of people in the UK who had tried an e-cigarette had increased from 8.9 percent to 15.5 percent -- higher than the European average.
- Poverty marks a gene, predicting depression
A long line of research links poverty and depression. Now scientists unveil some of the biology of depression in high-risk adolescents whose families are socioeconomically disadvantaged. The study combines epigenetics, brain imaging and behavioral data over three years. The results are part of a growing body of work that may lead to biological predictors that could guide individualized strategies for preventing depression.
- Can't resist temptation? That may not be a bad thing
Children raised in poverty may have been mistakenly labeled as 'maladapted' for what appears to be a lack of self-control, new research suggests. The new study finds that what looks like selfishness may actually be beneficial behavior that's based on a child's environmental context -- that is to say, from being raised in a resource-poor environment.