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- Research of plain wren duets could help further understand fundamentals of conversation
Known for their beautiful singing duets, plain wrens of Costa Rica perform precise phrase-by-phrase modifications to the duration between two consecutive phrases, achieving careful coordination as their songs unfold. A new study shows that these songbirds achieve precise coordination by adjusting the period between two consecutive phrases (inter-phrase intervals), depending on whether their song is answered, the phrase type used in the duet and the position of the inter-phrase interval within the duet.
- Introverts prefer mountains
In a series of three studies, researchers tested whether there is a link between personality and an aspect of physical ecology: flat terrain versus mountainous terrain. The study found that only one of the Big Five personality traits predicted terrain preference -- extraversion.
- New compounds protect nervous system from the structural damage characteristic of multiple sclerosis
A newly characterized group of pharmacological compounds block both the inflammation and nerve cell damage seen in mouse models of multiple sclerosis, according to a study. Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the brain and spinal cord, where for unknown reasons, the body's immune system begins an inflammatory attack against myelin, the protective nerve coating that surrounds nerve fibers. Once myelin is stripped from these fibers, the nerve cells become highly susceptible to damage, which is believed to underlie their destruction, leading to the steady clinical decline seen in progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
- Intimate partners with low self-esteem stay in unhappy relationships
People with low self-esteem are more likely stay in unhappy relationships, suggests new research. Sufferers of low self-esteem tend not to voice relationship complaints with their partner because they fear rejection.
- Reviving drugs with anti-stroke potential, minus side effects
Scientists have found NMDA receptor antagonists that can limit damage to the brain in animal models of stroke, apparently without the pronounced side effects seen with similar drugs. Now researchers have found a potential path around this obstacle, they report.
- Employees become angry when receiving after-hours email, texts
People who receive electronic correspondence from work after hours become angry more often than not and that can interfere with their personal lives, a new study from a management researcher shows.
- Enhancing studies on a possible blood biomarker for traumatic brain injury
New technology could help advance blood biomarker capabilities for improved diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI). An estimated 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury each year, and an estimated 5.3 million individuals -- approximately two percent of the U.S. population -- are living with disability as a result of TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can occur from even the slightest bump or blow to the head.
- Physician-industry conflict of interest issue from MS patient perspective
A new study explores what multiple sclerosis patients know, or want to know, about their physician’s financial relationship with the pharmaceutical company sponsoring clinical trials.
- Aggressive boys tend to develop into physically stronger teens
Boys who show aggressive tendencies develop greater physical strength as teenagers than boys who are not aggressive, according to new research. Research has suggested a link between male upper-body strength and aggressive tendencies, but the mechanisms that account for the link are not well understood.
- Study challenges theory on unconscious memory system in the brain
A long-accepted scientific theory about the role the hippocampus plays in our unconscious memory is being challenged by new research. For decades, scientists have theorized that this part of the brain is not involved in processing unconscious memory, the type that allows us to do things like button a shirt without having to think about it.
- High stress for new mothers increases secondhand smoke risk for infants
Mothers with a high level of prenatal social stressors -- including possibly less control over their own housing situation or economic distress -- had 2.5 times higher odds to have only a partial or no restriction on smoking in their home than those with no stressors, which increases secondhand smoke risk, a study has found.
- Left or right? The brain knows before you move
A neural circuit that connects motor planning to movement has been identified by researchers. The study, the researchers say, explains why injuries that disrupt the brain's ability to carry out movement planning typically impair a person's ability to make movements on just one side of his or her body.
- Suicide rates rising for older US adults
Suicide rates for adults 40-64 years of age in the US have risen about 40 percent since 1999, with a sharp rise since 2007. One possible explanation could be the detrimental effects of the economic downturn of 2007-2009, leading to disproportionate effects on house values, household finances, and retirement savings for that age group. Researchers found that external economic factors were present in 37.5 percent of all completed suicides in 2010, rising from 32.9 percent in 2005.
- Teenagers aren't swayed by celebrity culture as a route to success
Young people believe that to get on in life they should work hard, a new study concludes. The study also notes that many teenagers admire celebrities who they think have earned their prosperity and behave respectably.
- Dying in front of the camera: What are the impacts?
Clips of protesters dying in consequence of current conflicts appear more and more frequently on YouTube. What do they trigger? How do they change the media and the way we perceive things? These are the questions investigated by a media scientist using the example of the conflicts in Iran and Syria. She has realized that images of dying people, even those shot from the dying person’s perspective, are nothing new. What has changed is the quality of the images; the encounter with death is more intense, more intimate. What does that do to the viewer? What impact do such videos have on people affected by conflicts?
- Calling the shots: Brain's decision-making structure
A key part of the brain involved with decision making, the striatum, appears to operate hierarchically – much like a traditional corporation with executives, middle managers and employees, according to researchers.
- Shake it off? Not so easy for people with depression, new brain research suggests
Rejected by a person you like? Just "shake it off" and move on, as music star Taylor Swift says. But while that might work for many people, it may not be so easy for those with untreated depression, a new brain study finds. The pain of social rejection lasts longer for them -- and their brain cells release less of a natural pain and stress-reducing chemical called natural opioids.
- Women veterans younger, more depressed when referred for heart test
Women veterans face a different home front battle with heart disease. Younger and more depressed when getting attention for chest pain -- heart tests often show a surprising result.
- Adults wtih disabilities screened for cancer less often
Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are much less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer, research shows. "As individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities live longer, their risk of developing chronic conditions like cancer increases. Suboptimal screening may contribute to a greater cancer burden in this population," says one researcher.
- Can coffee reduce your risk of MS?
Drinking coffee may be associated with a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study.
- Why debunked autism treatment fads persist
The communication struggles of children with autism spectrum disorder can drive parents and educators to try anything to understand their thoughts, needs and wants. Authors describe a litany of treatments for autism that have been attempted with little or no success over the years, including gluten- and casein-free diets, antifungal interventions, chelation therapy, magnetic shoe inserts, hyperbaric oxygen sessions, weighted vests, bleach enemas, sheep-stem-cell injections and many more.
- Strong connection between violence, mental illness in Guatemala during civil war lessens in postwar period
Violence during the civil war in Guatemala from 1960 to 1996 resulted in the development of significant mental health problems and conditions for the county’s people, according to a new multi-institution study. It continues to say that the mental health consequences resulting from violent events decreased in the postwar period, suggesting a nation in recovery.
- People with disabilities experience unrecognized health disparities, new research shows
People with disabilities have unmet medical needs and poorer overall health throughout their lives, and as a result should be recognized as a health disparity group so more attention can be directed to improving their quality of life, a team of policy researchers has found.
- Role of specialized protein affirmed in assuring normal cell development
A specialized DNA-binding protein called CTCF is essential for the precise expression of genes that control the body plan of a developing embryo, scientists have demonstrated. The findings focus on mouse brain cells that work to manage an animal's movements. The results add important details to how so-called Hox genes help cells keep their positions straight and in the right positions back to front.
- Method for mapping neuron clusters developed
A method for identifying clusters of neurons that work in concert to guide the behavior has been developed by researchers. Their findings address a long-standing mystery about the organization of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) -- one of the most recently evolved parts of the primate brain that underlies complex cognitive functions.
- Intermediary neuron acts as synaptic cloaking device
A specific type of neuron might be thwarting researchers' efforts at mapping the connectome by temporarily cloaking the synapses that link a wide field of neurons, report scientists. The researchers found that somatostatin cells send out a signal -- much like a cloaking device - that silences neighboring neurons, making the synapses invisible to researchers. By doing this, somatostatin neurons can change the way the brain functions, heightening some perceptual pathways and silencing others.
- Altering perception of feeding state may promote healthy aging
Targeting mechanisms in the central nervous system that sense energy generated by nutrients might yield the beneficial effects of low-calorie diets on healthy aging without the need to alter food intake, suggests new research.
- Neurons that help predict what another individual will do identified
Investigators have discovered two groups of neurons that play key roles in social interactions between primates -- one that is activated when deciding whether to cooperate with another individual and another group involved in predicting what the other will do.
- Bumblebees make false memories, too
It's well known that our human memory can fail us. People can be forgetful, and they can sometimes also 'remember' things incorrectly, with devastating consequences in the classroom, courtroom, and other areas of life. Now, researchers show for the first time that bumblebees can be unreliable witnesses too.
- Protein pathway involved in brain tumor stem cell growth identified
Glioblastomas are a highly aggressive type of brain tumor, with few effective treatment options. Researchers are one step closer to understanding glioblastoma development following the identification of a key protein signaling pathway involved in brain tumor stem cell growth and survival. Brain tumor stem cells are believed to play an important role in glioblastoma development and may be possible therapeutic targets.
- Patient perceptions of physician compassion measured
Cancer patients perceived a higher level of compassion and preferred physicians when they provided a more optimistic message in a clinical trial that used videos with doctors portrayed by actors, according to a new study.
- Teacher prejudices put girls off math, science, study suggests
Although higher education has already opened the door to equal opportunities for women and minorities in the US in the math and science professions, a new study suggests that elementary school teachers' unconscious biases significantly influence female students' academic choices later on.
- Thinking of God makes people bigger risk-takers, study suggests
Reminders of God can make people more likely to seek out and take risks, according to research. The findings suggest that people are willing to take these risks because they view God as providing security against potential negative outcomes.
- Persistent Insomnia, Increased Mortality Risk: Link found by researchers
A connection between persistent insomnia and increased inflammation and mortality has been identified by a group of researchers. Their study found that people who suffer from persistent insomnia are at greater risk than those who experience intermittent insomnia.
- Twin study lends new insights into link between back pain and depression
Genetic factors help to explain the commonly found association between low back pain and depression, suggests a large study of twins. Genetic factors affecting both conditions may be involved in the association between back pain and depression, according to the report.
- Emergency doctors and paramedics commonly misinterpret documents for end-of-life care choices, study finds
Emergency care providers vary in their understanding of a type of medical order intended to communicate seriously ill patients' choices for life-sustaining treatments, according to a pair of studies recently published.
- Optogenetic stimulation of the brain to control pain demonstrated in study
New research reveals for the first time how a small area of the brain can be optically stimulated to control pain. Researchers found that by using specific frequency of light to modulate a very small region of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC, they could considerably lessen pain in laboratory mice.
- Criminologist's study shows lack of mental health care for prisoners
A substantial number of prison inmates have not received treatment for mental health conditions, a expert claims. The study recommends that prisons prioritize the use of validated screening procedures for mental health disorders plus treatment.
- One brain area, two planning strategies
Ready to strike, the spear fisherman holds his spear above the water surface. He aims at the fish. But he is misled by the view: Due to the refraction of light on the surface, he does not see the actual location of the fish. How must his brain now plan the arm movement? Do the brain cells (neurons) reflect the position where the fish was spotted, in other words, the visual target? Or do they plan the physical target, which is the actual direction in which the arm and spear should move in order to hit the fish? In new research, investigators tried to answer this question on the different aspects of planning a limb movement.
- Children of undocumented Mexican immigrants have heightened risk of behavior problems
Children of undocumented Mexican immigrants have a significantly higher risk of behavior problems than their co-ethnic counterparts with documented or naturalized citizen mothers, according to a new study.
- Sticky protein hails new approach for treating Parkinson's
UK scientists have developed a peptide that sticks to the protein that causes Parkinson's disease, stopping it from killing brain cells. The research highlights a potential new route for slowing the progress of this incurable disease.
- Study maps extroversion types in the brain's anatomy
Scientists have mapped the similarities and the differences in the brain between the two different kinds of extroverts: 'Agentic' go-getters and 'affiliative' people persons.
- One in 3 women could potentially be spared chronic pain after breast cancer surgery
One in every three women undergoing a mastectomy could potentially be spared chronic post-operative pain if anesthesiologists used a regional anesthetic technique in combination with standard care, according to a new study.
- Should smoking be banned in UK parks?
Should smoking be banned in UK parks? Extending anti-smoking legislation in the UK to encompass a ban in parks and squares "is an opportunity to celebrate the great beacon of healthy living, clean air, and physical activity our green spaces are designed for," researchers write. "And, crucially, it is an opportunity to support our population -- young and old -- to make healthier lifestyle choices easier."
- People with ADHD are twice as likely to die prematurely, often due to accidents
People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a lower life expectancy and are more than twice as likely to die prematurely as those without the disorder, according to new research. Accidents are the most common cause of death in people with ADHD, and the relative risk of dying is much higher for women than men with ADHD and individuals diagnosed in adulthood. The study is the first to shed light on the role of ADHD in premature death.
- Many transplant surgeons in U.S. suffer burnout, research suggests
Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to an American national study on transplant surgeon burnout.
- Sleeping over 8 hours a day associated with greater risk of stroke
People who sleep for more than eight hours a day have an increased risk of stroke, according to a study -- and this risk doubles for older people who persistently sleep longer than average. However, the researchers say it is unclear why this association exists and call for further research to explore the link.
- Hidden gene gives hope for improving brain function
The mechanism a novel gene uses to affect brain function and elicit behavior related to neuropsychiatric disease has been identified by an international team of researchers. They discovered that a gene called Gomafu might be key to understanding how our brain rapidly responds to stressful experiences.
- Unusual disease that causes acute confusion may be underdiagnosed
An unusual disease called Susac syndrome, which can cause acute confusion and problems with hearing and eyesight, is rare but probably under reported, physicians report.
- How does the human brain tackle problems it did not evolve to solve?
Online dating, chatty smartphones, and social media played no role in the evolution of our ancestors, yet humans manage to deal with and even exploit these hallmarks of modern living. In a new article, researchers review the latest social neuroscience literature and argue that our ability to respond to the challenges of a fast-changing culture comes from our brains' ability to flexibly combine and repurpose the neural resources that evolution provided us.
- The £180 billion bill for living in a material world: Material lifestyles not making us happier
Our modern material lifestyles are failing to make us happier, damaging our health, are no longer sustainable and cost the overall economy tens of billions of pounds every year.
- Parkinson's disease patients have reduced visual contrast acuity
An iPad® application has been developed that can help physicians screen for Parkinson's Disease, report researchers. Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often have difficulties with visual acuity in low-contrast images. Because they may have normal high-contrast vision, this is often overlooked during routine eye exams, but this new app can help to identify the problem.
- Biology teachers: Understanding faith, teaching evolution not mutually exclusive
Discussing the relationship between science and faith, rather than avoiding the discussion, may better prepare future high school biology teachers for anticipating questions about evolution, according to political scientists.
- When it comes to the digital playground we need to stop crying wolf
Kids are leading the transition to digital media today. But, while too much time online could cause developmental problems, media consumption habits may not be making our children less bright or sociable, after all.
- International marketing: Are store brands becoming a global phenomenon?
Big name brands in the United States and Western Europe face a serious and growing threat from successful store brands. A new study explains why store brands have taken some countries by storm while leaving other countries relatively untouched.
- Stark inequalities in aging as UK government encourages people to work longer
Changes in pension and employment policies are making it increasingly necessary for older people in the UK to work beyond the age of 65. However, new research fnds significant differences in the likelihood of employment and income levels of people beyond 65, depending on their gender and health.
- Women twice as likely to see pot as risky
A study on the perceived risk of using cannabis and characteristics associated with these perceptions found that non-white, low-income women over 50 were most likely to perceive a risk in using the drug. Least likely were those 12 to 25, with a high school diploma or more, and family income above $75,000. The study is the first to describe changes across time in perceived risk of regular cannabis use among those 12 years and older.
- Consumer behavior and free trials: What makes a customer stay?
Free trials are wildly popular, but customers attracted with these promotions behave very differently from standard customers, according to a new study.
- Blockbusters: Can EEGs predict a movie's success better than surveys?
Seventy-five percent of movies earn a net loss during their run in theaters. A new study finds that brain activity visible through EEG measures may be a much cheaper and more accurate way to predict the commercial success of movies.
- Predicting consumer preferences? Do NOT walk a mile in their shoes
Salespeople have long believed that by imagining themselves as the customer, they can steer clear of their own personal preferences and make decisions that will appeal to consumers in general. According to a new study, the reality is exactly the opposite.