Research Articles that you may find interesting
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Brainwaves suppress obvious ideas to help us think more creatively

The human brain needs to suppress obvious ideas in order to reach the most creative ones, according to scientists. These obvious associations are present in both convergent thinking (finding an 'out-of-the-box' solution) and also in divergent thinking (when individuals have to come up with several creative ideas).

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Caffeine changes your brain structure, but won’t ruin your sleep

BASEL, Switzerland — There are those who believe drinking caffeine too late will keep them awake all night. Others, however, feel their brain just can’t function unless they have a hot cup of coffee in them. A new study may be unraveling both of those beliefs. Researchers from the University of Basel say regular caffeine consumption does not disrupt sleep quality, but it can alter the structure of the brain connected to memory.

Whether it’s coffee, cola, or energy drinks, study authors say caffeine is the world’s most consumed psychoactive substance. Their findings reveal that even consuming it for a short period of time can change the volume of gray matter in the brain.

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Power naps recharge the brain, improving mental sharpness and lowering risk of dementia

LONDON — There are plenty of benefits from working at home. Should one of those be trading in the traditional afternoon lunch break for an afternoon nap? A new study finds taking a regular midday nap may be good for the brain and keeps a person’s cognitive abilities sharper.

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Walking backwards can boost your short-term memory, study suggests (but scientists have no idea why!)

Volunteers did better in a memory test if they walked backwards before taking it  
People watched a video and were asked to walk backwards, forwards, or stay still
The control groups were then asked 20 questions about the events in the video
The backward-walking group got two more answers correct on average  

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Gently stroking babies 'provides pain relief'

Gently stroking a baby reduces activity in their brain associated with painful experiences, a study has found.

The study, by University of Oxford and Liverpool John Moores University, monitored the brain activity of 32 babies while they had blood tests.

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Banishing consciousness: the mystery of anaesthesia

The development of general anaesthesia has transformed surgery from a horrific ordeal into a gentle slumber. It is one of the commonest medical procedures in the world, yet we still don’t know how the drugs work. Perhaps this isn’t surprising: we still don’t understand consciousness, so how can we comprehend its disappearance?

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Largest Brain Study of 62,454 Scans Identifies Drivers of Brain Aging

In the largest known brain imaging study, scientists from Amen Clinics (Costa Mesa, CA), Google, John’s Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, San Francisco evaluated 62,454 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans of more than 30,000 individuals from 9 months old to 105 years of age to investigate factors that accelerate brain aging. SPECT tomography) evaluates regional cerebral blood flow in the brain that is reduced in various disorders.

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Two brain systems for thinking about others’ thoughts

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS), UCL, and the Social Neuroscience Lab Berlin were seeking to resolve a debate around when children develop Theory of Mind – the ability to understand what another person thinks and how they will behave.

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Brain implants used to fight drug addiction in US

Patients with severe opioid addiction are being given brain implants to help reduce their cravings, in the first trial of its kind in the US.

So-called deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating a range of conditions including Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. Some 180,000 people around the world have brain implants.

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Singing to infants matters: Early singing interactions affect musical preferences and facilitate vocabulary building

This research revealed that the frequency of reported parent-infant singing interactions predicted 6-month-old infants’ performance in laboratory music experiments and mediated their language development in the second year.

The main results showed that 6-month-olds preferred listening to sung rather than instrumental melodies, and that self-reported high levels of parental singing with their infants [i] were associated with less pronounced preference for the sung over the instrumental version of the tunes at 6 months, and [ii] predicted significant advantages on the language outcomes in the second year.

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Motivation depends on how the brain processes fatigue

How do we decide whether or not an activity which requires work is 'worth the effort'? Researchers at the University of Birmingham & University of Oxford have shown that the willingness to work is not static, and depends upon the fluctuating rhythms of fatigue.

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Scientists say active early learning shapes the adult brain

Through the Abecedarian Project, an early education, randomized controlled trial that has followed children since 1971, researchers have discovered an enhanced learning environment during the first five years of life shapes the brain in ways that are apparent four decades later.

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'Little brain' or cerebellum not so little after all

When we say someone has a quick mind, it may be in part thanks to our expanded cerebellum that distinguishes human brains from those of macaque monkeys, for example. High-resolution imaging shows the cerebellum is 80 percent of the area of the cortex, indicating it has grown as human behavior and cognition evolved.

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A smartphone technology to diagnose psychiatric diseases

Montfort launches revolutionary Brain Profiler app, which will be sent with Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe to the International Space Station in 2022.

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What happens to our consciousness when we fall asleep? Study may solve one of biggest scientific mysteries

TURKU, Finland — Where do our brains “go” when we fall asleep? A super network in the center of the brain could help solve one of the biggest scientific mysteries – how does human consciousness work? Scientists in Finland have discovered a central core network brimming with the same activity regardless of whether a person goes to sleep normally or loses consciousness due to anesthesia.

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Mammals dream about the world they’re entering before birth

Before birth, mammals dream about the world they’ll eventually enter.

Study authors conceived the fascinating and thought-provoking theory after observing waves of activity within the neonatal retinas of a group of mice who hadn’t opened their eyes for the first time yet. Upon birth, this activity ceases quickly and a more mature network of visual stimuli begins transmitting to the brain, where mammals further encode and store the information.

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Scientists entered people’s dreams and got them ‘talking’

Changing people’s thoughts during dreams is still science fiction, stresses co-author and cognitive neuroscientist Ken Paller, also at Northwestern. Nevertheless, he thinks the experiment is an important first step in communicating with dreamers; he likens it to the first conversation using a telephone or talking to an astronaut on another planet. Dreamers live in a “world entirely fabricated of memories stored in the brain,” he says. Now, researchers appear to have found a way to communicate with people in that world.

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Boredom’s link to mental illnesses, brain injuries and dysfunctional behaviors

“When you think about captivity for humans or animals, you’re preventing them from having the normal range of experiences they would have and autonomously engaging with the world,” Danckert said. “The human brain, and the mammalian brain more generally, is always looking for change and novelty. When we’re unable to have that, things go off the rails.”

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New study suggests ADHD- like behavior helps spur entrepreneurial activity

Many people have experienced a few nights of bad sleep that resulted in shifting attention spans, impulsive tendencies and hyperactivity the next day -- all behaviors resembling ADHD. A new study found that this dynamic may also be linked to increased entrepreneurial behavior.

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Israeli imaging technique could help doctors predict Alzheimer’s, cancer

Doctors may soon be able to compare brain scans taken over time from the same patient and to differentiate between healthy and diseased brain tissue without conducting an invasive or dangerous procedure, thanks to new research by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Pig brains partially revived four hours after death

US scientists have partially revived pig brains four hours after the animals were slaughtered.

The findings could fuel debate about the barrier between life and death, and provide a new way of researching diseases like Alzheimer's.

The study showed the death of brain cells could be halted and that some connections in the brain were restored.

However, there were no signals from the brain that would indicate awareness or consciousness.

The surprise findings challenge the idea that the brain goes into irreversible decline within minutes of the blood supply being cut off.