50 Years of United States Presidential Scholars

A long-term study of the lives of U.S. Scholars from the 1960s offers important lessons for parents and teachers of gifted and talented children and teens. Educational researcher Felice Kaufman recently challenged some currently popular educational assumptions and practices when she spoke to a gathering of past Scholars, who were honored from 1964 through 2013.

Does Success Breed Success?

Suppose two individuals are equally motivated, equally talented, and equally well-positioned. If one of them gets a fortunate head start over the other, can a cascade of success ensue? Or are "lucky breaks" nothing more than pipe dreams and wishful thinking?

Why We Smell Much Better Than We Thought

Different odorants activate different combinations of receptors in the olfactory epithelium of the nose. Each individual combination acts as a sort of code that the brain deciphers to discriminate a scent. How many such codes can the brain crack? It turns out that the number is far larger than once thought.

How to Build a Better Batter

What happens when vision-research scientists set their sights to the baseball field? In a new study, vision training for some college sluggers improved their vision and won them some games. What’s more, the training may help all of us, whatever we demand of our eyes.

Can Coffee Improve Your Memory?

A new study shows that caffeine enhances memory—independent from its effects on alertness and attention.

Researchers and Practitioners Disagree on Repressed Memory

Roughly 60-80 percent of clinicians, psychoanalysts, and therapists surveyed agreed to some extent that traumatic memories are often repressed and can be retrieved in therapy, compared to less than 30 percent of research-oriented psychologists.

False Memories in People With Superior Memory Abilities

Susceptibility to memory distortions is a fundamental part of having a human brain, say University of California-Irvine researchers. Even people with extraordinary memory capacities store—and report—false memories.

Exercise During Pregnancy Aids Infant's Brain Development

A new study reveals that pregnant women can boost their baby's brain development with as little as 20 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise three times a week. Nothing strenuous needed. Simply walking in the third trimester can do the trick.

How Anxiety and Depression Begin in a Child's Brain

A new study from a research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison casts light on how negative events in childhood, including the kinds of chronic stress experienced in ordinary life, may alter brain circuitry and lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression.

How Does the Brain Assemble New Ideas from Old?

How does the human brain allow us to generalize things we have never seen before? Perhaps through a system that integrates the power of biology into a computer-like system.

Food and the Brain's Reward System

Why is fatty food so pleasant to one person and a real gut-wrencher to another? The answer lies in the fact that fatty foods change how the gut and brain communicate.

Remembering Something That Never Happened

Memories can be induced by artificial means. A new experiment with mice provides a model for studying the mechanisms of false memory formation in humans.

Best Visual Illusion of the Year Selected

Illusions reveal much about how the brain's visual system works. They are exciting art, too. Let the winning illusions from this year's contest trick and thrill your brain.

What Sea Slugs Forget, Scientists Can Help Them Remember

From the humble sea snail, University of Texas scientists are learning a lot about how memory works...and what to do when nerve cells forget.

Lonely? Socially Isolated?

A new study suggests that social isolation threatens health and long life, even among the elderly who don't perceive themselves as lonely.

Children with Epilepsy

Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a rare and severe form of epilepsy, accounting for up to 4 percent of all childhood epilepsy cases. Drugs and a low-carb diet are sometimes helpful treatments. A new video explores the challenges families face in caring for a child with LGS.

Arts and Sciences Challenge Promotes Brain Awareness

Enter your design in the Greenstein Institute's new contest, and you might see your icon for the brain age exhibited nationwide--in blown glass, no less!

Let's Take a Break!

The accumulation of a particular signal in the brain may trigger the decision to stop working. Its loss or dissipation may trigger resumed work. It's all a matter of perceived gains and losses.

Brain Cancer and Environmental Toxins

"Cancer attacks the mental well-being of not only the host, but also the family of the host. And with the incidence of childhood cancer increasing by over 20% from 1975-2007, the issues resulting from a diagnosis of cancer are becoming more common," says Trevor Schaefer. The new book "The Boy on the Lake" by Susan Rosser tells his story.

Will Neuroscience Change Education?

The science of neuroplasticity is changing the way we think about our brain’s learning potential. Incorporating spatial memory activated by music, art, and dance at an early age can grow our brains by using more of the hippocampus, resulting in stronger development of cognitive and social problem-solving skills.

Teens and Psychosomatic Illness

Researchers in Sweden report that a dance intervention program can improve self-assessments of health among school-age girls.

Children with Autism Wander into Danger, Part II

Researchers say we urgently need interventions to address wandering off among children with ASD and to provide support to affected families.

Growing More Mindful of Mindfulness

The therapeutic benefits of mindfulness are reviewed in a recent article in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.

3D Vision and the Brain

Neuroscientist and 3D filmmaker Dr. Barry Sandrew explains how and why, in his view, the brain perceives 3D images.

Of Spider-Man Movies and Other 3D Thrillers

3D movies make us wonder how the brain creates a 3D perception from a 2D stimulus.

New Study Reveals That Levels of a Brain Neurotransmitter May Be Key in ADHD

Children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have significantly lower concentrations of an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain compared with typically developing children.

Is It ADHD or Typical Toddler Behavior?

Dr. Mark Mahone of the Kennedy Krieger Institute recommends looking for ten signs of ADHD in preschool-age children.

Diabetes and Cognitive Decline in Later Life

Can preventing, delaying, or better controlling diabetes reduce the risk of cognitive impairment later in life? A new study says yes.

Mindfulness for a Mindless Age

A new book on mindfulness says experiencing life as it comes can go a long way toward relieving pain, stress, and anxiety. I once wrote a science fiction story that illustrates the point.

"Best Visual Illusion of the Year" Contest

Today's "Best Illusion of the Year" competition will welcome over a thousand vision scientists and visual artists. They'll celebrate how the brain's visual-perception system creates something that isn't there.