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.
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.
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.
It’s these brain cells that really make humans unique.
We have more neurons in our cortices than any other species, courtesy of an early technology – and along with them came our long, slow lives, with plenty of chances to gather around the dinner table.
Those smiles probably aren’t thanks to tryptophan.
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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.
When you’re looking for a destination, you might need to cut down the volume.
Do you ever find you suddenly need to turn off the radio so you can concentrate on what you're doing? It's because you only have a finite amount of attention, for particular types of tasks at least.
Fake news works at a cognitive level to shape our perceptions and drive our decisions.
We fall sway to fake news because it grabs our attention through outlandish claims, suggests false memories and contains appeals to our emotions that align with our politics.
The average Canadian adult consumes more than triple the daily limit of 25g added sugar recommended by the World Health Organization.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MRI scan of the brain.
One day we will have a science of consciousness, but it won’t be science as we know it today
It may not be science fiction anymore.
We worry about AI developing consciousness, but brain organoids may be more likely to do so.
A scientist explains how the brain works, for younger readers.
It gets easier with practice.
Despite its huge complexity, your brain directs its neural traffic in relatively straightforward ways when approaching cognitively demanding tasks such as puzzles.
Suicide is a growing health problem.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens in America. But there may be ways to study the stress response and figure out who is most at risk.
What makes a brain tick is very different from how computers operate.
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
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.
Honeybees: nature’s maths whizzes.
Honeybees are good at maths, but it was thought they could only count to four. That is, unless you present them with a task in which they are punished with a bitter-tasting drink for getting it wrong.
Same sex sexual behavior is common to many species and evolved millions of years ago.
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.
The human brain has an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion neural connections.
Sections in the brain called "senders" and "receivers" are responsible for directing neural traffic, and we are now a step closer to understanding how they work.