Articles on Neuroscience

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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.
The frequency and intensity of repetitive behaviours vary between mild and severe, which is why it’s called a spectrum. Dubova/Shutterstock

It’s 25 years since we redefined autism – here’s what we’ve learnt

It's been 25 years since autism was redefined and the surge in diagnoses and research began. But while we've come along way in our understanding of the spectrum, advances in drug therapies has lagged.
Different MR images help us unravel the mysteries of the brain. A diffusion MRI tractography reconstruction like this reveals the complicated wiring deep within a person’s brain. Thijs Dhollander

Some women seem to lack a key brain structure for smell – but their sense of smell is fine

Odd findings in a brain scan of a 29-year-old woman have scientists asking new questions about how our sense of smell really works.
What makes a brain tick is very different from how computers operate. Yurchanka Siarhei/Shutterstock.com

Why a computer will never be truly conscious

Brain functions integrate and compress multiple components of an experience, including sight and smell – which simply can't be handled in the way computers sense, process and store data.
Red quantum dots glow inside a rat brain cell. Nanoscale Advances, 2019, 1, 3424 - 3442

Quantum dots that light up TVs could be used for brain research

These tiny nanoparticles might provide a new way to see what's happening in the brain and even deliver treatments to specific cells – if researchers figure out how to use them safely and effectively.
Same sex sexual behavior is common to many species and evolved millions of years ago. oneinchpunch/Shutterstock.com

An origin story for the queer community

Conversion therapy has been pushed on some in the LGBQ community by those who think same-sex sexual behavior is 'unnatural.' But such behavior seems to have evolved millions of years before humans.

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