Articles on Neuroscience

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Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk in Toronto in late January 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Coronavirus fears: Should we take a deep breath?

We have a strong tendency to overreact emotionally and underreact behaviourally to news of infectious diseases.
Just a few millimeters across, organoids are clumps of cells that resemble the brain. Madeline Andrews, Arnold Kriegstein's lab, UCSF

Brain organoids help neuroscientists understand brain development, but aren’t perfect matches for real brains

Brain organoids are tiny models that neuroscientists use to learn more about how the brain grows and works. But new research finds important differences between the model and the real thing.
Our mental health benefits when nature is part of our neighbourhoods, as in this residential street in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Melanie Thomson

Biodiversity and our brains: how ecology and mental health go together in our cities

It's well-established that green spaces are good for our well-being. Now we can demonstrate that greater biodiversity boosts this benefit, as well as helping to sustain native plants and animals.
The teenage brain has a voracious drive for reward, diminished behavioural control and a susceptibility to be shaped by experience. This often manifests as a reduced ability to resist high-calorie junk foods. (Shutterstock)

How junk food shapes the developing teenage brain

Excessively eating junk foods during adolescence could alter brain development, leading to lasting poor diet habits. But, like a muscle, the brain can be exercised to improve willpower.
Neurostimulation is rife with potential and pitfalls. Metamorworks/Shutterstock

Stimulus package: brain stimulation holds huge promise, but is critically under-regulated

From dementia to depression to drug addiction, artificial brain stimulation has been hailed as a landmark medical technology for the future. But safeguards are needed if we want the benefits without the risks.
Those smiles probably aren’t thanks to tryptophan. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Turning to turkey’s tryptophan to boost mood? Not so fast

Tryptophan, found in food, is an important ingredient in the neurotransmitter serotonin. But is that enough to support it as a possible mood booster? The research is decidedly mixed.
The average Canadian adult consumes more than triple the daily limit of 25g added sugar recommended by the World Health Organization. (Unsplash/muhammad ruqiyaddin)

Your brain on sugar: What the science actually says

Sugar triggers dopamine "hits" in the brain, making us crave more of it. Sugar also disrupts memory formation.
We knew people with Parkinson’s disease were at heightened risk of developing addictive behaviours like gambling. Our research gives insight into why this is. From shutterstock.com

Why do many people with Parkinson’s disease develop an addiction? We built a virtual casino to find out

About one in six people who take the most common medication for Parkinson's disease will develop addictive behaviours. We found whether this happens depends on a person's unique brain structure.

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