New UTSA study describes how dopamine tells you it isn’t worth the wait

How do we know if it was worth the wait in line to get a meal at the new restaurant in town? To do this our brain must be able to signal how good the meal tastes and associate this feeling with the restaurant. This is done by a small group of cells deep in the brain that release the chemical dopamine.

Learning and staying in shape key to longer lifespan

People who are overweight cut their life expectancy by two months for every extra kilogramme of weight they carry, research suggests. A major study of the genes that underpin longevity has also found that education leads to a longer life, with almost a year added for each year spent studying beyond school. Other key findings are that people who give up smoking, study for longer and are open to new experiences might expect to live longer.

Brain waves reflect different types of learning

Researchers have, for the first time, identified neural signatures of explicit and implicit learning. Figuring out how to pedal a bike and memorizing the rules of chess require two different types of learning, and now for the first time, researchers have been able to distinguish each type of learning by the brain-wave patterns it produces.

Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier

MRI study analyzes stress-processing brain regions in older city dwellers. A study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has investigated the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers’ homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others.

The female brain reacts more strongly to prosocial behavior

Behavioral Experiments show that women are more generous than men. Now, researchers at the UZH have been able to demonstrate that female and male brains process prosocial and selfish behavior differently. For women, prosocial behavior triggers a stronger reward signal, while male reward systems respond more strongly to selfish behavior.

Genetics study shows how cells adapt to help repair nerve damage

Research led by the Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, Professor Tim Aitman, has been chosen as a highlight. In the UK, 1 in 10 people over the age of 55 suffer from numbness, pain or muscle weakness in the body’s extremities.

Less stress, more social competence

Adults too can acquire social skills such as empathy and compassion. The human brain is able to change and adapt to new conditions throughout life. Scientists refer to this capacity as plasticity. Until recently, it was unclear to what extent areas of the brain that control social behavior also possess this ability.

Brain wiring affects how people perform specific tasks

The way a person’s brain is “wired” directly impacts how well they perform simple and complex tasks, according to a new study from researchers at Rice University. DescriptionThe brain is organized into different subnetworks, or “modules,” that support distinct functions for different tasks, such as speaking, memorizing and expressing emotion.

Combination treatment targeting glucose in advanced brain cancer shows promising results in preclinical study

UCLA scientists have discovered a potential combination treatment for glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer in adults. The three-year study led by David Nathanson, a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that the drug combination tested in mice disrupts and exploits glucose intake, essentially cutting off the tumor’s nutrients and energy supply.

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