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Brain study reveals how successful students overcome math anxiety

April 24, 2012

College student woman studying math exam

Using fMRI brain-imaging technology for the first time with people experiencing mathematics anxiety, University of Chicago scientists have gained new insights into how some students are able to overcome their fears and succeed in math.

For the highly math-anxious, researchers found a strong link between math success and activity in a network of brain areas in the frontal and parietal lobes involved in controlling attention… read more

Brain study points to ‘sixth sense’

February 22, 2005

Following the Asian tsunami, scientists struggled to explain reports that primitive aboriginal tribesmen had somehow sensed the impending danger in time to join wild animals in a life-saving flight to higher ground.

A new theory suggests that the anterior cingulate cortex, described by some scientists as part of the brain’s “oops” center, may actually function as an early warning system — one that works at a subconscious level to… read more

Brain structure size corresponds to personality

June 23, 2010

University of Minnesota researchers have found that the size of different parts of people’s brains corresponds to certain of their personality traits.

For example, they found that conscientious people tend to have a bigger lateral prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain involved in planning and controlling behavior. Other traits linked to the size of structures in the brain were extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness.

More info:… read more

Brain Structure Assists In Immune Response

January 30, 2009

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have imaged in real time the body’s immune response to a parasitic infection, toxoplasma, in the brain.

The research suggests that in the brain, specialized structures are induced by inflammation that guide migration of T cells in this immune-privileged environment and allow them to perform a search-and-destroy type of mission required to find abnormal cells or microbes with the brain.

Brain stimulation technique boosts language ability in Alzheimer’s patients

June 25, 2010

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the brain boosts the language ability of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, suggests preliminary research published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive technique that involves the delivery of a rapid succession of magnetic pulses in frequencies of up to 100 Hz.

Brain stimulation creates shadow person

September 21, 2006

Swiss scientists say they’ve found electrical stimulation of the brain can create the sensation of a “shadow person” mimicking one’s bodily movements.

Brain stimulation accelerates learning

April 14, 2011

Researchers at the University of Texas, Dallas, have found in laboratory experiments that brain stimulation accelerates learning  that may eventually lead to improved treatment of learning impairments, strokes, tinnitus, and chronic pain.

The researchers used brain stimulation of rats to release neurotransmitters that caused the brain to increase its response to a small set of tones. The team found that this increased response allowed rats… read more

Brain signals from a primate directly move paralyzed limbs in another primate ‘avatar’

February 24, 2014

Neural activity signals recorded from pre-motor neurons (top) are decoded and played back to control limb movements in a functionally paralyzed primate avatar (bottom) --- a step toward making brain-machine interfaces for paralyzed humans to control their own limbs using their brain activity alone (illustration adapted) (credit: Maryam M. Shanechi et al./Nature Communications)

Taking brain-machine interfaces (BMI) to the next level, new research may help paralyzed people move their own limb just by thinking about it.

Previous research has been limited to controlling external devices, such as robots or synthetic avatar arms.

In a paper published online Feb. 18 in Nature Communications, Maryam Shanechi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University, working with Ziv Williams,… read more

Brain Signal Linked to Autism

February 8, 2008

By imaging the brains of adolescents with a high-functioning form of autism as they played an interactive trust game, Baylor College of Medicine cientists have identified a physiological marker specific to the disorder.

Brain shuts off in response to healer’s prayer

April 28, 2010

Parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices of the brain, which play key roles in vigilance and scepticism, were deactivated when devout volunteers listened to a supposed healer, Aarhus University researchers found.

They speculate that brain regions may be deactivated in a similar way in response to doctors, parents, and politicians.

Brain Sensor for Market Research

December 7, 2007

Emsense claims that it has developed tools to monitor a person’s true reactions during a commercial or video game, using EEG at the forehead, and other sensors that monitor breathing rate, head motion, heart rate, blink rate, and skin temperature.

While it hasn’t published in peer-reviewed journals, the company has 22 patents that cover related topics.

Brain ‘seismology’ helps predict epileptic attacks (preview)

January 14, 2008

The dynamics of earthquakes and seizures are similar, say University of Kansas researchers, and the finding could lead to new ways of predicting the attacks.

There are several striking features in common. Low-level tremors that foreshadow full earthquakes, for example, are mirrored by tiny neural spikes in the brain’s electrical activity before a seizure.

Brain Sees Violent Video Games as Real Life — Study

June 23, 2005

The brains of players of violent video games react as if the violence were real, a study has suggested.

It found that as violence became imminent, the cognitive parts of the brain became active and that during a fight, emotional parts of the brain were shut down.

It suggests that video games are training the brain to react with this pattern.

Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation

January 28, 2010

Scientists at Emory University have extended the fear map from the amygdala to part of the brain known as the prelimbic cortex.

It was found that mice lacking a critical growth factor in the prelimbic cortex have trouble remembering to fear electric shocks. The discovery could help improve diagnosis and treatment for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.

Brain science to help teachers get into kids’ heads

September 17, 2009

The foundation of successful learning is improving “executive function,” a collection of cognitive processes important for self-control and focusing on the task at hand, concluded scientists at the Decade of the Mind (DOM) symposium last week in Berlin, Germany.

“Executive function” could be achieved with relatively small changes, such as altering the timetabling of exercise sessions or encouraging the learning of a musical instrument, they said. “One day, a… read more

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