Neuroscientists have provided an insight into the neuronal mechanisms involved in prosocial behavior, and how they are modulated by perceived group membership. Researchers suggest that there is a neurobiological basis of whether people chose to help, or withdraw help, based on positive or negative identification of the person in pain.
Brain imaging studies of women with breast cancer before and after chemotherapy treatments show grey matter is being affected during the chemotherapy treatments. Brain areas believed to be critical for multi-tasking, memory and other cognitive functions were seen to change during the chemotherapy.
A study published in October's Cortex has shown young people who regularly play video games have an advantage in performing tasks which require visuomotor skills. The study also found that gamers show increased activity in the prefrontal cortex when asked to perform visuomotor tasks. By contrast, non-gamers had more reliant use of the parietal cortex, an area which involves hand-eye coordination, when performing visuomotor tasks.
Researchers have discovered that children exposed to high levels of manganese in drinking water perform poorly on cognitive tests. The research stated that, on average, children who drink water with more concentrated levels of manganese have an IQ score 6 points lower than children whose drinking water contained little to no manganese.
Researchers have discovered that disabling the RGS14 gene in mice can make them smarter. When the RGS14 gene was disabled within the CA2 region of the hippocampus, researchers found that mice were better able to remember objects they had explored and learn to navigate mazes better than regular mice.
Neuroscience researchers have discovered the anterior prefrontal cortex appears to be larger in people with strong introspective abilities. Additionally, the structure of white matter within this area of the brain is also linked to the process of introspection.
Neuroscientists have reported they have found an association between physical fitness and brain development in children. The report suggests children who are physically fitter tend to have larger hippocampi and perform better in memory based tests than their less fit counterparts.
Neuralstem has released a new report detailing positive results for stem cell treatments. Initial findings show that not only do implanted human spinal cord-derived stem cells survive, but also differentiate into neurons in rats brains affected by strokes. This finding could potentially provide new therapies for treating strokes.
Leading neuroscience researchers will be attending a conference in Milwaukee this month. The conference will focus on obtaining better insights into the inner workings of the brain to better understand thinking, brain development and neurological diseases. Some key neuroscience presentations will include Neuropsychiatric Disorders, The Genetics of Brain Connectivity and The Mathematical Modeling of Brain Regions.
Neuroscience researchers have discovered how a structural component within neurons performs coordinated movements when connections are strengthened. Researchers also distinguished two separate steps during long term potentiation which are involved in remodeling the internal "skeletons" of dendritic spines. The research could be influential in providing further understanding of many neurological, cognitive and neurodegenerative diseases.
Scientists have identified two proteins which may have a critical function in biological systems. The proteins, named Piezo1 and Piezo2, have been identified as being involved in cellular response to mechanical stimulation.