Articles on Neuroscience

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Using lab rats allows us to experiment in ways that would not be acceptable in humans. ressaure

Rats, rewards and mental illness

Many forms of mental illness can affect our moods. But that isn’t all they do: they can also damage our willpower. Problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity…
By activing a small set of neurons in the brains of mice, scientists can artificially reactivate memories. AAP/Yonhap

Triggering a memory: scientists learn how to reboot recollections

Scientists say they have found a way to activate the brain cells that trigger particular memories, according to research…

Altered white matter in autistic brains

Autistic individuals have lower quality white matter, affecting the brain’s synchronisation of the frontal and posterior…

Marijuana impairs memory

Independent of its effect on neurons, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient (THC) impairs memory by affecting passive support…
When emotions meet economics: New York police and protesters clash during the Occupy movement protests on Wall Street. AAP

Economics and the brain: how people really make decisions in turbulent times

In a 2008 paper on neuroeconomics, Carnegie Mellon University economist George Loewenstein said: “Whereas psychologists tend to view humans as fallible and sometime even self-destructive, economists tend…
Differences in the brains of autistic infants emerge well before behavioural signs. Awen Photography

Looking for early signs of autism in the infant brain

For parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the diagnostic process can be a long and stressful journey. Behavioural signs of ASD can appear around the child’s first birthday when he fails…
Hesitation might be our crowning achievement. nana untel

Looking backwards and forwards – is that what makes us human?

Understanding what is special, if anything, about the human brain is a scientific problem of such magnitude it has defied all manner of investigation for centuries. And human consciousness, our experience…
Dopamine, which is released during gaming, can influence the wiring of the adolescent brain. Steven Andrew Photography

Pleasure centre: how video games affect young brains

Teens who frequently play video games have larger reward centres in their brains than those who play less often, according to a study published today in the journal Translational Psychiatry. The researchers…
Neuroimaging is commonplace, but do you know what you’re getting into? Katrina Lawrence/AFP

Adventures in blobology: 20 years of fMRI brain scanning

This month, fMRI brain imaging celebrates its 20th anniversary. And so it should. It has come to dominate cognitive neuroscience. Massive amounts of precious funding are poured into it and thousands of…
The brain repairs itself only minimally following damage or disease. x-ray delta one

Set to fade: is the brain doomed to degenerate?

Welcome to the sixth and final part of _On the Brain, a Conversation series by people whose job it is to know as much as there is to know about the body’s most complex organ. Here, Professor Malcolm Horne…
Addicts have choices, but those choices might be severely constrained. davidblume

Brain’s addiction: is shooting up a disease or a choice?

Welcome to part four of _On the brain, a Conversation series by people whose job it is to know as much as there is to know about the body’s most complex organ. Here, Neil Levy, Head of Neuroethics at Florey…

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