Brain

Is that pain in your chest a heart attack or indigestion? New research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine reveals that more areas of the brain than previously thought are involved in determining the location of pain.

The validity of a leading theory that has held a glimmer of hope for unraveling the intricacies of the brain has just been called into question. Dr. Ilan Lampl of the Weizmann Institute of Science's Neurobiology Department has produced convincing evidence to the contrary. His findings recently appeared in the journal Neuron.

Cells in the central nervous system tend to communicate with each other via a wave of electrical signals that travel along neurons. The question is: How does the brain translate this information to allow us to perceive and understand the world before us?

Although intelligence is generally thought to play a key role in children's early academic achievement, aspects of children's self-regulation abilities—including the ability to alternately shift and focus attention and to inhibit impulsive responding--are uniquely related to early academic success and account for greater variation in early academic progress than do measures of intelligence.

Little children never cease to amaze. University of Washington researchers have found that 18-month-old toddlers engage in what they call "emotional eavesdropping" by listening and watching emotional reactions directed by one adult to another and then using this emotional information to shape their own behavior.

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have mapped out many of the dynamic genetic and biochemical changes that make up a cell's response to a shortage of a molecule called Coenzyme A (CoA), a key player in metabolism. The results provide the most detailed look ever obtained of the complex metabolic changes in a cell triggered by a potentially fatal stress.

Modern man"s earliest known close ancestor was significantly more apelike than previously believed, a New York University College of Dentistry professor has found.

Fresh evidence that suggests monkeys can learn skills from each other, in the same manner as humans, has been uncovered by a University of Cambridge researcher.

Dr Antonio Moura, a Brazilian researcher from the Department of Biological Anthropology, has discovered signs that Capuchin monkeys in Brazil bang stones as a signalling device to ward off potential predators.

For parents, 8 million cases of acute middle ear infections every year add up to a lot of sleepless nights and trips to the pediatrician. But new research from a collaboration between Rockefeller University and St. Jude Children’s Hospital could change all that.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and their colleagues have found that mice simply expressing a human light receptor in addition to their own can acquire new color vision, a sign that the brain can adapt far more rapidly to new sensory information than anticipated.

This work, appearing March 23 in Science, also suggests that when the first ancestral primate inherited a new type of photoreceptor more than 40 million years ago, it probably experienced immediate color enhancement, which may have allowed this trait to spread quickly.

Playground roughhousing has long been a tradition of children and adolescents, much to the chagrin of several generations of parents who worry that their child will be hurt or worse, become accustom to violence and aggression. But animal research may paint a different portrait of rough and tumble play; one that suggests that social and emotional development may rely heavily on such peer interaction.

Within the mind of every smoker trying to quit rages a battle between the higher-order functions of the brain wanting to break the habit and the lower-order functions screaming for another cigarette, say researchers at Duke University Medical Center. More often than not, that cigarette gets lit.

Disrupt the gene that regulates the biological clocks in mice and they become manic, exhibiting behaviors similar to humans with bipolar disorder, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Scientists' inability to follow the whereabouts of cells injected into the human body has long been a major drawback in developing effective medical therapies. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a promising new technique for noninvasively tracking where living cells go after they are put into the body. The new technique, which uses genetically encoded cells producing a natural contrast that can be viewed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), appears much more effective than present methods used to detect injected biomaterials.

Psychiatric researchers at The Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have uncovered evidence of a new gene that appears to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, a disorder characterized by distorted thinking, hallucinations and a reduced ability to feel normal emotions..

What is the very best way to learn a complex task? Is it practice, practice, practice, or is watching and thinking enough to let you imitate a physical activity, such as skiing or ballet? A new study from Brandeis University published this week in the Journal of Vision unravels some of the mysteries surrounding how we learn to do things like tie our shoes, feed ourselves, or perform dazzling dance steps.