Assessing a child's exposure to air pollution on a monthly basis from conception to the age of 8.5, researchers found the greater the exposure to air pollution before the age of 5, the greater the alteration in brain structure by preadolescence.
A study spanning 17 years has found children born and raised in poverty had smaller subcortical brain regions, including the hippocampus, caudate, putamen, and thalamus. These brain areas also showed less growth over time.
Neuroimaging study reveals social learning is represented in the anterior cingulate cortex, while direct learning is represented in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. The two areas both interact with the striatum, which helps compute both reward prediction error and social prediction error.
Study reports the putamen, not just the cortex, contributes to the brain's ability to multitask.
Chronic stress can affect a person's health and mental well being. Due to the COVID-19 virus, chronic stress is on the rise worldwide. Researchers examine the general and psychological health implications of chronic stress and suggest some methods we can adopt to keep our stress levels in check.
Iron levels in the basal ganglia steadily increase throughout development and, in two sub-regions, continue to increase into adulthood. Decreased levels of iron in the putamen was correlated with impaired cognitive performance involving reasoning and spatial processing. Findings suggest the brain requires iron for healthy cognitive development.
Study reports the balance between serotonin and dopamine may be a risk factor for a person developing social anxiety disorder.
The right putamen, a brain area linked to reward, motivation, and feelings of pleasure, is smaller in children with a genetic risk factor for depression. Previous studies implicated reduced putamen volume with anhedonia, which is often associated with depression, suicidal behaviors, and psychosis.
MRI neuroimaging can distinguish between memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury. Using new image analysis software, researchers discovered TBI causes the most amount of damage to the ventral diencephalon, a brain area associated with memory and learning, and the least amount of atrophy to the hippocampus, a brain region most impacted by Alzheimer's.
Researchers identified 48 common genetic variants that appear to play a role in the size of the brainstem and other subcortical structures. Forty of the variants were novel. The findings also revealed 199 genes related to the variants which regulate brain development and susceptibility to neurological disorders.
Stress can have an impact on voice disorders. Researchers found those with higher salivary cortisol levels also exhibited brain activity that impacted the larynx. Those who were more introverted were more likely to have stress reactions related to speech.