Health & Wellness
Harvard Medical School
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 23:14 CST
You study the menu at a restaurant and decide to order the steak rather than the salmon. But when the waiter tells you about the lobster special, you decide lobster trumps steak. Without reconsidering the salmon, you place your order - all because of a trait called "transitivity."
"Transitivity is the hallmark of rational economic choice," says Camillo Padoa-Schioppa, a postdoctoral researcher in HMS Professor of Neurobiology John Assad's lab. According to transitivity, if you prefer A to B and B to C, then you ought to prefer A to C. Or, if you prefer lobster to steak, and steak to salmon, then you will prefer lobster to salmon.
Padoa-Schioppa is lead author on a paper that suggests this trait might be encoded at the level of individual neurons. The study, which appears online Dec. 9 in Nature Neuroscience, shows that some neurons in a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex encode economic value in a "menu invariant" way. That is, the neurons respond the same to steak regardless if it's offered against salmon or lobster.
Jack Grinband, Ph.D.
Columbia University Medical Center
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 22:59 CST
NEW YORK - Violence is a frequent occurrence in television shows and movies, but can watching it make you behave differently?
Although research has shown some correlation between exposure to media violence and real-life violent behavior, there has been little direct neuroscientific support for this theory until now.
|©2000, The Patriot, Columbia Pictures
|This is your brain on violent media
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 21:31 CST
One measure of the troubled state of U.S. health care is the hordes of idealistic young people lining up to fix it.
A generation ago, college kids interested in health would have become doctors or nurses. Some might have picked hospital administration as a career.
Now, with health reform in the headlines and countless families having their own health crises, students are pouring into health policy classes in economics, political science, history, and public health departments. Many plan on making health policy their career.
Medical News Today
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 14:13 CST
Are those inclined towards generosity genetically programmed to behave that way? A team of researchers, including Dr. Ariel Knafo of the Psychology Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, believes that this could very well be the case.
Through an online task involving making a choice whether or not to give away money, the researchers found that those who chose to give away some or all of their money differed genetically from those involved in the exercise who chose not to give their money away.
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 06:46 CST
When Tiffany Monem's son, Daniel Emmons, was a baby she had to watch the clock to feed him because he didn't cry when he was hungry.
In fact, he didn't cry at all.
"You never knew when something was wrong with him," said Monem, 26, of West Rutland.
When she banged pots and pans out of Emmons' line of sight and he didn't react to the noise, Monem thought he could be deaf. Tests showed he was not. A doctor diagnosed him with autism a month before his second birthday. He is now 3 years old.
"Before Daniel, I had no idea what autism was," said Monem. "We need more training. We need more funding. We need more awareness."
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 06:33 CST
Every year, in the United States about 1,500 people have surgical objects accidentally left inside them after surgery, according to medical studies.
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 03:59 CST
A French court is set to award substantial damages to a 47-year-old father-of-two with Parkinson's disease who was ruled to have been turned into a gambler and thief, with compulsive homosexual urges, by the drugs he was being treated with.
Didier Jambart, a French defence ministry employee, has been suing for damages of €400,000 after being prescribed with dopamine agonist drugs in a case that is being closely studied by lawyers representing Parkinson's sufferers in Britain, the US and Canada. Like Jambart, they claim that they were provided with minimal information about the disturbing side effects, estimated to affect up to 15 per cent of those taking the drugs.
Sun, 09 Dec 2007 01:31 CST
Just three servings a month of raw broccoli or cabbage can reduce the risk of bladder cancer by as much as 40 percent, researchers reported this week.
|Savoy cabbage is seen at a roadside stand at Chino's farm in Ranch Santa Fe, California October 5, 2007.
Linda A. Johnson
Sat, 08 Dec 2007 22:03 CST
TRENTON, N.J. - Parents concerned about possible vaccine dangers and government intrusion are trying to block New Jersey from becoming the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers.
Sat, 08 Dec 2007 18:17 CST
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Eleven workers who removed brains from slaughtered pigs at a plant in Minnesota have come down with a mysterious neurological condition, company and U.S. health officials said on Friday.
Comment: Don't you feel good that "We've got the best people in the world working on this."?