Tag Archives: brain injury

UCLA psychologists report new insights on human brain, consciousness

UCLA psychologists have used brain-imaging techniques to study what happens to the human brain when it slips into unconsciousness. Their research, published Oct. 17 in the online journal PLOS Computational Biology, is an initial step toward developing a scientific definition of consciousness.

“In terms of brain function, the difference between being conscious and unconscious is a bit like the difference between driving from Los Angeles to New York in a straight line versus having to cover the same route hopping on and off several buses that force you to take a ‘zig-zag’ route and stop in several places,” said lead study author Martin Monti, an assistant professor of psychology and neurosurgery at UCLA. (more…)

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UCLA Study First to Image Concussion-Related Abnormal Brain Proteins in Retired NFL Players

Technique may lead to earlier diagnosis, tracking of brain disorders in athletes

Sports-related concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries have grabbed headlines in recent months, as the long-term damage they can cause becomes increasingly evident among both current and former athletes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that millions of these injuries occur each year.

Despite the devastating consequences of traumatic brain injury and the large number of athletes playing contact sports who are at risk, no method has been developed for early detection or tracking of the brain pathology associated with these injuries. (more…)

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Mammalian Brain Knows Where It’s at

A new study in the journal Neuron suggests that the brain uses a different region than neuroscientists had thought to associate objects and locations in the space around an individual. Knowing where this fundamental process occurs could help treat disease and brain injury as well as inform basic understanding of how the brain supports memory and guides behavior.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Where are you?

Conventional wisdom in brain research says that you just used your hippocampus to answer that question, but that might not be the whole story. The context of place depends on not just how you got there, but also the things you see around you. A new study in Neuron provides evidence that a different part of the brain is important for understanding where you are based on the spatial layout of the objects in that place. The finding, in rats, has a direct analogy to primate neuroanatomy. (more…)

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Elevated Indoor Carbon Dioxide Impairs Decision-Making Performance

Berkeley Lab scientists surprised to find significant adverse effects of CO2 on human decision-making performance.

Overturning decades of conventional wisdom, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have found that moderately high indoor concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) can significantly impair people’s decision-making performance. The results were unexpected and may have particular implications for schools and other spaces with high occupant density.

“In our field we have always had a dogma that CO2 itself, at the levels we find in buildings, is just not important and doesn’t have any direct impacts on people,” said Berkeley Lab scientist William Fisk, a co-author of the study, which was published in Environmental Health Perspectives online last month. “So these results, which were quite unambiguous, were surprising.” The study was conducted with researchers from State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. (more…)

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Concussions and Head Impacts May Accelerate Brain Aging

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Concussions and even lesser head impacts may speed up the brain’s natural aging process by causing signaling pathways in the brain to break down more quickly than they would in someone who has never suffered a brain injury or concussion.

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology and the U-M Health System looked at college students with and without a history of concussion and found changes in gait, balance and in the brain’s electrical activity, specifically attention and impulse control, said Steven Broglio, assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the Neurotrauma Research Laboratory. (more…)

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Distinct “God Spot” in the Brain Does Not Exist, MU Researcher Says

Study shows religious participation and spirituality processed in different cerebral regions

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Scientists have speculated that the human brain features a “God spot,” one distinct area of the brain responsible for spirituality. Now, University of Missouri researchers have completed research that indicates spirituality is a complex phenomenon, and multiple areas of the brain are responsible for the many aspects of spiritual experiences. Based on a previously published study that indicated spiritual transcendence is associated with decreased right parietal lobe functioning, MU researchers replicated their findings. In addition, the researchers determined that other aspects of spiritual functioning are related to increased activity in the frontal lobe. (more…)

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Religious, Spiritual Support Benefits Men and Women Facing Chronic Illness, MU Study Finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Individuals who practice religion and spirituality report better physical and mental health than those who do not. To better understand this relationship and how spirituality/religion can be used for coping with significant health issues, University of Missouri researchers are examining what aspects of religion are most beneficial and for what populations. Now, MU health psychology researchers have found that religious and spiritual support improves health outcomes for both men and women who face chronic health conditions. (more…)

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