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- Male biology students consistently underestimate female peers, study finds
New research shows consistent gender bias among male biology undergraduate students, suggesting that they could be undermining the confidence of female students as they embark on studies in STEM disciplines.
- Mommy and me: Study shows how affectionate mothering can combat the effects of maternal depression
Certain parenting strategies can combat the negative impacts of maternal depression on an infant, suggests the first study of its kind. The work sought to investigate how a depressed mother's neuroendocrine response to stress can program the infant's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a set of signals and relationships between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenals. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is responsible for creating cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress.
- First nationwide survey of climate change education
How is climate change being taught in American schools? Is it being taught at all? And how are teachers addressing climate change denial in their classrooms, schools, and school districts? Until today's release of NCSE's comprehensive nationwide survey, no one knew.
- What 'tainted' engagement rings reveal about consumer expectations
We're told diamonds -- and their value -- are forever. But new research into the re-sale of diamond engagement rings shows a diamond's value is affected by the story people attach to it and whether it fits with their ideas about what a good ring needs to be.
- Novel neuroprotective therapy found to enhance memory
New research highlights the neuroprotective potential of a peptide developed at the university, and the marked difference in nerve cell communication in male and female mice. If researchers come to understand how the protein acts differently in each sex, drugs for potential therapeutics can be optimized to treat both autism and Alzheimer's disease.
- Memory ensembles: To preserve its memories, the brain must regulate its neural networks
For over forty years, neuro-scientists have been interested in the biological mechanisms underlying the storage of the information that our brain records every day. Today, a team of researchers demonstrates how the brain regulates the size of the neuronal ensembles that reflect the memory trace to optimize performance. By targeting neurons in the hippocampus, the scientists show that it is possible to inhibit -- or on the contrary to resurface -- a memory.
- Why smiles (and frowns) are contagious
Smile! It makes everyone in the room feel better because they, consciously or unconsciously, are smiling with you. Growing evidence shows that an instinct for facial mimicry allows us to empathize with and even experience other people's feelings. If we can't mirror another person's face, it limits our ability to read and properly react to their expressions.
- Social animals seek out the company of others because their brains are wired to find it rewarding
Social animals are strongly motivated to seek out the company of others, especially after periods of isolation, because their brains are wired to find it rewarding. A study now reveals a neural circuit that mediates social seeking behavior driven instead by a loneliness-like state. By shedding light on the neuroscience of isolation, the findings could help our understanding of social anxiety and autism spectrum disorders.
- I want her to want me: Where men, sex and personality meet
A man’s attachment style - a personality trait reflecting his romantic relationship tendencies - may actually influence his perceptions of whether a woman is interested in him sexually, new research suggests.
- Will you be turning left or right for that Valentine’s Day kiss: It’ll depend on who you’re kissing!
As Valentine's Day approaches, love is in the air. One sure-fire way to express love towards someone, be it a partner or even a child, is with a kiss. A recent study in Laterality demonstrates how the direction turned during a kiss differs depending on whether the kiss is shared between romantic partners or between a parent and child.
- It’s easier to learn words that sound like what they mean
What makes some words easier to learn than others? Researchers found that ideophones — words that sound like what they mean — are easier to learn than regular words. This suggests that some of our associations between sound and meaning may be universal. Often, the sound of a word doesn’t say much about its meaning: none of the individual sounds in dog mean anything about having four legs or enjoying being scratched behind the ears. This is why a domesticated canine can be referred to as dog in English, hond in Dutch, and inu in Japanese — and why it takes hard work to learn any language. But not all words are like that. Many languages have words which use the sounds of language in a vivid way to show what the word means: ideophones like kibikibi ‘energetic’ or bukubuku ‘fat’.
- New smart chip makes low-powered, wireless neural implants a possibility
A versatile chip offers multiple applications in various electronic devices, report researchers, suggested that there is now hope that a low-powered, wireless neural implant may soon be a reality. Neural implants when embedded in the brain can alleviate the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease or give paraplegic people the ability to move their prosthetic limbs.
- Narcissists not necessarily satisfied with themselves
Narcissists feel superior to others but aren’t necessarily satisfied with themselves. After reviewing the research literature, researchers conclude that narcissism and self-esteem are much more distinct than conventional wisdom has led us to believe.
- New approach offered to treating cocaine addiction
An FDA-approved drug used for diabetes and obesity may also reduce cocaine dependence, new research indicates. The drug, trade name Byetta, derives from a naturally occurring hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1, which regulates feeding behavior. Knowing what they did about GLP-1, the research team turned to it as a possible treatment for cocaine addicts.
- Incidence of dementia may be declining, new study reveals
Despite the concern of an explosion of dementia cases in an aging population over the next few decades, a new study suggests that the rate of new cases of dementia actually may be decreasing.
- Hold on! The ability to hold a grip predicts who has the willpower finish their schoolwork
A connection between a person’s ability to maintain a firm grip and having the self-control to finish their schoolwork has been made by a team of researchers.
- Remember where you're going? How scent helps
In bloodhounds and neutrophils, getting the scent is not enough. Dogs and immune cells have to remember the chemoattractant they are pursuing, even when it momentarily fades out or threatens to overwhelm.
- Your brain may be what interests that guy checking you out
Modern men increasingly value brains over beauty when choosing long-term mates, say researchers. While the common view is that our mate choices are evolutionarily "hardwired" in our brains and therefore minimally responsive to changing conditions, some evolutionary scientists now argue that humans are programmed to respond with great flexibility to changing environments.
- Couch potatoes may have smaller brains later in life
Poor physical fitness in middle age may be linked to a smaller brain size 20 years later, according to a new study.
- Lipid-based diets effectively combat Alzheimer's disease in mouse model
Researchers have devised several lipid-based diets aimed at slowing down progression and relieving symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is generally accepted that lifestyle and particularly dietary habits influence mental health, and prevalence and progression of AD. Numerous epidemiological studies have revealed profitable effects of dietary intake of especially fish oil on cognitive decline during aging and dementia.
- Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development
The age at which an adolescent begins using marijuana may affect typical brain development, according to researchers. Scientists describe how marijuana use, and the age at which use is initiated, may adversely alter brain structures that underlie higher order thinking.
- Beliefs about all-knowing gods fosters co-operation
Beliefs about all-knowing, punishing gods -- a defining feature of religions ranging from Christianity to Hinduism -- may have played a key role in expanding co-operation among far-flung peoples and led to the development of modern-day states.
- Study sheds light on source of drug addicts risk-taking behavior
New insight has been gained into how the brains of drug addicts may be wired differently. The findings show that while drug users have very strong motivation to seek out 'rewards,' they exhibit an impaired ability to adjust their behavior and are less fulfilled once they have achieved what they desire. This disconnect between the craving for a drug and inability to regulate behavior may be key to breaking the cycle of addiction.
- Two in five individuals with schizophrenia have attempted suicide
Those with schizophrenia who'd been physically abused during childhood were five times more likely to have attempted suicide, a new study shows. The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts among individuals with schizophrenia was 39.2 percent compared to 2.8 percent of those without the disorder, according to the study.
- Overconfidence, loss aversion are key predictors for investment mistakes
A personal financial planning expert has identified several risk factors for people who are more likely to make investment mistakes during a down market. Overconfidence tops the list.
- Computerized rehab aids those suffering from brain injuries
Computerized cognitive rehabilitation (a program to help brain-injured or otherwise cognitively impaired individuals to restore normal functioning) can improve attention and executive functioning in brain injury survivors including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke, researchers have demonstrated for the first time.
- Exercise and meditation together help beat depression
A mind and body combination of exercise and meditation, done twice a week for only two months, reduced the symptoms for a group of students by 40 percent.
- Enhancing neuronal activity promotes axon regeneration in adult central nervous system
Scientists have demonstrated that axon regenerative capacity can be boosted with the right stimulants on neuronal activity through either an optogenetic or a chemogenetic approach.
- Anger, contempt and disgust fuel hostility, new research shows
A new study is the first to demonstrate the connection between the emotions anger, contempt and disgust and hostility toward opponent groups. Study participants primed with these emotions expressed more hostility toward opponents than participants primed with sadness and fear or neutral emotions, laying the groundwork for future researched aimed at preventing and reducing hostility and aggression.
- Study examines euthanasia, assisted suicide of patients with psychiatric disorders
A review of euthanasia or assisted suicide cases among patients with psychiatric disorders in the Netherlands found that most had chronic, severe conditions, with histories of attempted suicides and hospitalizations, and were described as socially isolated or lonely.
- Better definition needed for reasonable medical certainty in child abuse cases
Physicians use different definitions of "reasonable medical certainty" when testifying as expert witnesses in child abuse cases. The variability is troubling because it could result in flawed rulings, according to researchers.
- New study reveals visual working memory may provide clues to autism's social struggles
Poor visual working memory can play an important role in the struggles experienced by autistic children, according to a new study. The aim of this study was to compare the working memory profiles of autistic children with typically developing children. The results suggest that children with autism have much worse visual working memory compared to typically developing students.
- Rise in marijuana in U.S. use not as high as previously reported
Researchers report an estimated 12.5 percent of adults living in the United States use marijuana, but this research also shows that the rate of pot use did not double from 2002 to 2013 — as had been reported in the fall — but instead increased by about 20 percent. Meanwhile, the rate of problems related to the drug has remained steady.
- Study offers treatment hope for sleep disordered breathing
People with a condition linked to obesity that causes them to stop breathing in their sleep could be helped by new research. The study could lead to new treatments for the condition called central sleep apnoea -- which occurs during sleep disordered breathing and is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Prelinguistic infants can categorize colors
Researchers have revealed that infants aged between 5 and 7 months hold the representation of color categories in their brain, even before the acquisition of language.
- Baby physics
We are born with a basic grasp of physics, just enough not to be surprised when we interact with objects. Scientists discovered this in the past two decades. What they did not know yet was that, as early as five months of age, this 'naive' physics also extends to liquids and materials that do not behave like solids (for example, sand), as demonstrated by a new study.
- Attention problems persist in childhood leukemia survivors treated with chemotherapy alone
Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients from the contemporary treatment era remain at risk for attention and learning problems later, researchers report. ALL is the most common childhood cancer and among the most curable. The study involved the largest and most comprehensive assessment to date of neurocognitive outcomes in pediatric ALL survivors treated with intensive chemotherapy alone rather than in combination with cranial radiation therapy.
- Pregnancy and PTSD: Surprising findings could help moms-to-be at risk
For most women, expecting a baby brings intense joy -- and a fair amount of worry. But what about women who have lived through something awful enough to cause post-traumatic stress disorder? Contrary to what researchers expected, a new study shows that pregnancy may actually reduce their PTSD symptoms. Or at the least, it won't cause a flare-up.
- Childhood maltreatment predicts range of negative outcomes in bipolar patients
Child maltreatment could predict a range of negative outcomes in patients with bipolar disorder, according to new research, which adds to growing evidence on the enduring mental health impact of childhood abuse and neglect.
- Alcohol offender program associated with drop in deaths, study finds
A widely copied alcohol offender program that has been shown to reduce DUIs and domestic violence has how been linked to a cut in deaths. The 24/7 Sobriety Program in South Dakota was associated with a 4 percent drop in deaths in counties that adopted the strategy, a finding that suggests that criminal justice interventions that reduce heavy alcohol consumption also may cut mortality.
- Teaching neurons to respond to placebos as potential treatment for Parkinson's
Scientist have discovered a way to make neurons respond to a placebo (a medically ineffective treatment), in the same way as they would to medically effective treatment, according to a new study.
- Engineering researchers use laser to 'weld' neurons
A method of connecting neurons, using ultrashort laser pulses -- a breakthrough technique that opens the door to new medical research and treatment opportunities -- has been developed by scientists. Neurons are cells in the nervous system that are responsible for transferring information between the brain and the rest of the body. The research team is the first ever to find a way to bond neurons and in doing so, is giving researchers a powerful new tool.
- Common gene variant influences food choices ... for better or worse
Scientists have recently discovered that for girls who are carriers of a particular gene variant (DRD4 VNTR with 7 repeats), the crucial element that influences a child's fat intake is not the gene variant itself. Instead, it is the interplay between the gene and girls' early socioeconomic environment that may determine whether they have increased fat intake or healthier than average eating compared to their peers from the same class background.
- Americans recognize 'past presidents' who never were, study finds
Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Hubert Humphrey and some guy named "Thomas Moore" are among the names that many Americans mistakenly identify as belonging to a past president of the United States, finds a news study by memory researchers.
- Companies must adapt internal communication as demographics change, study finds
As baby boomers retire and an increasing number of millennials enter the workforce, internal communicators must adapt to accommodate the shift of generations, the rise of internal social media and the development of metrics to determine employee engagement, according to a new study.
- It doesn't 'get better' for some bullied LGBT youths
In the first study to examine the severity of LGBT bullying over time and its impact on mental health, researchers found that while most LGBT teens are experiencing relief in bullying, about a third are experiencing severe victimizations. This harassment and assault will often lead to lasting mental health problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- New guideline for treatment of prolonged seizures in children and adults
Status epilepticus -- continuous or rapid sequential seizure activity for 30 minutes or more -- is a medical emergency with a high mortality rate in both children and adults. Prompt and effective treatment is key; therefore the American Epilepsy Society (AES) has released a new guideline to help physicians, hospitals, and health systems treat patients effectively.
- Epilepsy at the molecular level
Researchers study the link between malformations of the cerebral cortex and the occurrence of the neurological disease. Why does a structural irregularity in the temporal lobe make humans more susceptible to epileptic seizures? Experts have been searching for the answer to this question for a long time. A group of scientists has published a study involving a comparison of nearly 30,000 genes.
- COPD may cause structural changes within the brain
Patients with COPD demonstrated gray matter decreases in areas of the brain that process breathlessness, fear and sensitivity to pain. The study found patients with COPD show regionally decreased gray matter volume in the anterior, mid, and posterior cingulate cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Levels of degeneration in certain areas of the brain were also impacted by longer disease duration. Those individuals showed a greater fear of breathlessness and fear of physical activity, which can affect the course of the disease.
- Find a partner who marches to the beat of your own drum
Everyone marches to the beat of their own drum: From walking to talking to producing music, different people's movements occur at different speeds. But do these differences influence coordination of group actions? The answer is yes, according to researchers. The finding has the potential to help us predict for each person how successful they will be in a group task, depending on how similar their partners are to them in their internal rhythms.
- Task-oriented rehab program does not result in greater recovery from stroke
The use of a structured, task-oriented rehabilitation program, compared with usual rehabilitation, did not result in better motor function or recovery after 12 months for patients with moderate upper extremity impairment following a stroke, according to a study.
- Ten fingers not needed for fast typing
The number of fingers does not determine typing speed, new study shows. People using self-taught typing strategies were found to be as fast as trained typists.
- Stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol debunked
In contrast to enduring stories about extraordinarily high rates of alcohol misuse among Native Americans, researchers have found that Native Americans' binge and heavy drinking rates actually match those of whites. The groups differed regarding abstinence: Native Americans were more likely to abstain from alcohol use.
- Conversion of head and neck cancer cells into radiation-resistant cancer stem cells depends on HPV status, study finds
Head and neck cancers that test positive for the human papilloma virus (HPV) are known to respond more favorably to radiation therapy than those that test HPV-negative, but an explanation for these differences has remained elusive.
- 'A word's worth more than a thousand pictures' according to study on young children
Children play an important role in ensuring that they are cared for by adults by using physical and cognitive cues. But what's more important in how they influence adults and elicit their nurturing spirit? Is it their physical features or what they say?
- Evidence of a lipid link in the inherited form of Alzheimer's disease
Biochemical changes occurring in the blood in the rare inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease have been identified by researchers. Changes in these fat-like substances, may suggest a method to diagnose all forms of Alzheimer’s disease before significant damage to the brain occurs.
- Innate teaching skills 'part of human nature'
A small but novel study of hunter-gatherers concludes that teaching is part of the human genome, that it is a part of our human nature, researchers say. The Aka are among the last of the world's hunter-gatherers, but their way of life accounts for 99 percent of human history. That they teach, and how they teach, offers new insight into who we are as humans and how we might best learn.
- Stress could help activate brown fat
Mild stress stimulates the activity and heat production by brown fat associated with raised cortisol, according to a study. Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, is one of two types of fat found in humans and other mammals. Initially only attributed to babies and hibernating mammals, it was discovered in recent years that adults can have brown fat too. Its main function is to generate body heat by burning calories (opposed to white fat, which is a result of storing excess calories. People with a lower body mass index (BMI) therefore have a higher amount of brown fat.
- Whistle while you work
What is the key to being happy? More specifically, what is the key to being happy at work? More money, more time off, family benefits? Researchers suggest that they may have found the answers.
- Predicting who will develop multiple sclerosis
A team of investigators has launched a study of individuals at risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) to better understand the sequence of events that leads some people to develop the disease and set the stage for developing and testing interventions with which to block the onset of MS.