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Tue, 14 Aug 2018
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Magic Wand

Study Reveals Why We Get Distracted So Easily

Distractions turn on different part of our brains and do so more quickly than the daily grind of paying attention, neuroscientists have discovered.

Separate regions are responsible for the different ways our brain focuses on the world around us, according to the study by MIT researchers, and our brain waves even pulsate at different frequencies depending on the type of outside stimulus.

"Neural activity goes up and down in a regular periodic way, with everything vibrating together," said study co-leader and neuroscientist Earl K. Miller. "It is faster for automatic stimulus and slower for things we choose to pay attention to."

Question

Forgeting is Good for You? New Research Shows How Growth of Too Many New Neurons Could Actually Be More Harmful

New research from Columbia University Medical Center may explain why people who are able to easily and accurately recall historical dates or long-ago events, may have a harder time with word recall or remembering the day's current events. They may have too much memory - making it harder to filter out information and increasing the time it takes for new short-term memories to be processed and stored.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (March 13, 2007 issue), the research reinforces the old adage that too much of anything - even something good for you - can actually be detrimental. In this case, the good thing is the growth of new neurons, a process called neurogenesis, in the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Results of the study, conducted with mice, found that the absence of neurogenesis in the hippocampus improves working memory, a specific form of short-term memory that relates to the ability to store task-specific information for a limited timeframe, e.g., where your car is parked in a huge mall lot or remembering a phone number for few seconds before writing it down. Because working memory is highly sensitive to interference from information previously stored in memory, forgetting such information may therefore be necessary for performing everyday working memory tasks, such as balancing your check book or decision making.

Magic Wand

'The eyes have it' - autism research yields surprising results

Autistic children are able to interpret the mental state of others by looking at their eyes, contrary to previous research, a new University of Nottingham study has found.

In findings that contradict previous studies, psychologists found that autistic children can 'read' a stranger's mental state based on that person's eyes. Autistic children have long been thought to be poor at interpreting people's mental states based on facial expressions, especially expressions around the eyes.

Some researchers believe that this lack of ability could be central to the social problems experienced by autistic children and adults.

But the latest findings cast doubt on this hypothesis. A study at The University of Nottingham found that autistic children were able to interpret mental states when looking at animated facial expressions. The findings also suggest that the use of moving images, rather than conventional still pictures, gives a much more accurate measure of the abilities of autistic children.

Ambulance

Alzheimer's vaccine works on mice: Japan scientist

Japanese scientists have developed an oral vaccine for Alzheimer's disease that has proven effective and safe in mice, the director of a research institute behind the project said on Thursday.

The team is preparing to move to small-scale clinical trials in humans, possibly this year, said Takeshi Tabira, director of the National Institute for Longevity Sciences in Aichi, central Japan.

Health

Cancer therapy: When all else fails? Or maybe try this first.

Lawrence Burgh has a sober outlook on life. A 48-year-old physician whose career has centred on treating seriously ill patients, Burgh was diagnosed with cancer in December 2006. Yet despite his clinical experience, he has taken an extraordinary step to try to rid himself of his illness, a step many would consider to be a medical heresy.

Comment: Sounds like the Cancer Industry is going into damage control. Can't have cheap, safe drugs usurping investors profits.


Heart

Where's Your Pain? New Insights Into How The Brain Processes Pain Location

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.

Spatial aspects of pain are a common problem in diagnosis, said Robert Coghill, Ph.D., senior researcher on the study and a neuroscientist at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Patients cannot always distinguish pain from indigestion and pain from a heart attack, for example. Pain from a nerve injury is often felt at sites other than at the injury. And, in some cases, an injury on one side of the body results in pain on both sides.

"The scientific understanding of spatial aspects of pain is so limited that patients with widespread pain may get sent to a psychiatrist rather than a pain clinic," said Coghill.

Magic Wand

Smokers make poorer military slaves

Smokers perform worse at work than non-smokers, finds a study of US navy female service members published in Tobacco Control .

Smokers were also more likely to have a less than honourable discharge, to be demoted, to desert, and to earn less than their non-smoking colleagues, the study showed.

Historically, the prevalence of smoking among US military personnel has been higher than among civilians, say the authors. After a period of decline, smoking rates have once more started to climb.

There are currently around 59,000 women serving in the US Navy.

The findings are based on an analysis of the career progression of almost 5,500 women entering the US Navy over a period of 12 months between 1996 and 1997.

Heart

Exercise Makes You Stronger, Faster, Smarter - Even Rejuvenates You!

The stereotype of the "dumb jock" has never sounded right to Charles Hillman. A jock himself, he plays hockey four times a week, but when he isn't body-checking his opponents on the ice, he's giving his mind a comparable workout in his neuroscience and kinesiology lab at the University of Illinois.

Nearly every semester in his classroom, he says, students on the women's cross-country team set the curve on his exams. So recently he started wondering if there was a vital and overlooked link between brawn and brains - if long hours at the gym could somehow build up not just muscles, but minds.

Health

Committee rejects bill to reduce mercury in vaccinations

LITTLE ROCK - A bill to reduce mercury levels in vaccinations and require written consent before children or pregnant women could receive vaccinations containing mercury failed to get out of a Senate committee Monday.

Cut

U.N. recommends male circumcision to prevent HIV

GENEVA - The United Nations on Wednesday endorsed male circumcision as a way to prevent HIV infections in heterosexual men and said it should be made more easily available in African countries.

Two U.N. agencies, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS, backed recent research showing that removing the foreskin of the penis can more than halve men's vulnerability to the virus causing AIDS from having sex with HIV-infected women.


Comment: For more information about this topic and how it can be use for manipulation purposes, see here and here.