Tag Archives: brains

Curcumin improves memory and mood, new UCLA study says

Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin — the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color — improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers. (more…)

Read More

Scientists restore youthful plasticity to the brains of adult mice

Like much of the rest of the body, the brain loses flexibility with age, impacting the ability to learn, remember and adapt. Now, scientists at University of Utah Health report they can rejuvenate the plasticity of the mouse brain, specifically in the visual cortex, increasing its ability to change in response to experience. Manipulating a single gene triggers the shift, revealing it as a potential target for new treatments that could recover the brain’s youthful potential. (more…)

Read More

Anxious Women’s Brains Work Harder

EAST LANSING, Mich. — In a discovery that could help in the identification and treatment of anxiety disorders, Michigan State University scientists say the brains of anxious women work much harder than those of men.

The finding stems from an experiment in which college students performed a relatively simple task while their brain activity was measured by an electrode cap. Only women who identified themselves as particularly anxious or big worriers recorded high brain activity when they made mistakes during the task.

Jason Moser, lead investigator on the project, said the findings may ultimately help mental health professionals determine which girls may be prone to anxiety problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. (more…)

Read More

Former UA Students Invent Robot, Start Own Company

Peter Seid and Phu Nguyen invented smartphone-controlled robots that can learn from their environment and interact with people. Their company, Romotive, is based in Las Vegas.

Ever dreamed of having a robot in your home that you can interact with, talk to and even send on errands? If you have, then your dream is coming true, because two former University of Arizona students have invented just such a robot.

Phu Nguyen and Peter Seid were friends from high school in Phoenix before coming to the UA to launch college careers that neither of them expected would lead to starting their own Las Vegas-based company selling robots and backed by some of the world’s top entrepreneurs. (more…)

Read More

Is Meditation the Push-up for the Brain?

*Study shows practice may have potential to change brain’s physical structure*

Two years ago, researchers at UCLA found that specific regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger and had more gray matter than the brains of individuals in a control group. This suggested that meditation may indeed be good for all of us since, alas, our brains shrink naturally with age.

Now, a follow-up study suggests that people who meditate also have stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. Having stronger connections influences the ability to rapidly relay electrical signals in the brain. And significantly, these effects are evident throughout the entire brain, not just in specific areas. (more…)

Read More

Violent Video Games Reduce Brain Response to Violence and Increase Aggressive Behavior, University of Missouri Study Finds

*Parental moderation encouraged for children*

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Scientists have known for years that playing violent video games causes players to become more aggressive.  The findings of a new University of Missouri (MU) study provide one explanation for why this occurs: the brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression.

“Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally,” said Bruce Bartholow, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science. (more…)

Read More

MU, ASU Researchers’ Discovery Could Change Views of Human Evolution

*3.2 million-year-old human predecessor had arches in feet*

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Feet arches give humans a spring in their steps, shock absorbing abilities, and stiff platforms to propel themselves forward, allowing them to walk upright consistently. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri and Arizona State University have found proof that arches existed in a predecessor to the human species that lived more than 3 million years ago. This discovery could change scientists’ views of human evolution. The study is being published this week in Science.

Carol Ward, an MU researcher in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the MU School of Medicine, and William Kimbel and Donald Johanson, director and founding director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, studied a 3.2 million-year-old fourth metatarsal of Australopithecus afarensis. A team from the Institute of Human Origins and National Museum of Ethiopia led by Kimbel discovered the fossil in Hadar, Ethiopia. The species is often referred to as “Lucy,” the nickname of the most complete fossil skeleton of the species to be discovered. (more…)

Read More