Neuroscience Essential Reads

Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dr. Nathan Emery's new book "Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence" is a gold mine of information and surprises about the latest research on bird smarts.

There Is More Than Butterflies in Your Stomach

By Emeran Mayer M.D. on August 24, 2016 in Gut Sensations
Is all the hype about the gut microbes, probiotics and certain foods and your brain health really justified? Separating speculations from scientific evidence is crucial

Autistics as Undomesticated Humans

To the extent that humans are a self-domesticated species, autistics can be seen as less domesticated than others.

Video Games Stronger Than Morphine: U.S. Military

The Military has discovered that playing video games can be more effective than morphine in treating combat burn veterans—but what is this digital morphine doing to kids' brains?

Why a Drained Brain Makes Bad Decisions

By David DiSalvo on August 22, 2016 in Neuronarrative
The brain is an energy hog that uses 15-20% of the body’s circulating blood glucose each day, and that energy isn't insignificant when it comes to making sound decisions.

Are Animals Conscious?

Are animals conscious? The implications are important.

Should You Share Your Cocktail Hour With Your Dog?

Evidence shows that sharing alcoholic beverages with your dog is a bad practice.

The Practical Benefits of a Wandering Mind

The next time you’re trying to concentrate and find your mind wandering off task, you might just want to let it go. New research suggests it may be helping you achieve your goals.

Olympics Bare Extreme Range of the Human Spirit

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
While we can aspire to Olympic ideals of decorum we often fail to adhere to their real life practice...a short coming not restricted to high performance athletes, of course.
Malloreigh via flickr

Want to Be Successful? Spend More Time Staring Into Space

Think about the last time you had a great idea or solved a problem that had been plaguing you—were you in the shower?

Increase Funding for Mental Illness Now

The time has come to declare war on mental illness and place a priority on funding innovative neurobiological research for better prevention, diagnosis, and early intervention.

A Key Brain Protein Fits the Diametric Model

Levels of the key brain protein, BDNF, vary as predicted by the diametric model of mental illness: lower in psychotic spectrum disorders, but higher in autistic spectrum ones.

The "Electrochemical Persuasion" of Neuromodulation

Deliberate stimulation of the brain to manipulate behavior reads like something out of George Orwell’s "1984," but treatment of eating disorders & obesity is no longer "brainless"

Auto Accidents and Brain Trauma

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on August 12, 2016 in The New Normal
What happens to your brain in a car accident?

3 Ways Aerobic Exercise Improves Schizophrenia Symptoms

By Christopher Bergland on August 12, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking report, published this morning, identifies three specific ways that aerobic exercise improves cognitive functioning in people with schizophrenia.

#PhelpsFace and the Neuroscience of Getting “in the Zone”

By Jordan Gaines Lewis, Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Brain Babble
What explains the swimmer's snarling face toward Chad le Clos before Monday's 200m butterfly?

Chronic Stress and Mental Illness in Children and Teens

A child raised with constant exposure to chronic stress will negatively impact the still developing brain of the child.

Attenuation of Arousal: The Linchpin of Emotional Regulation

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on August 10, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Stress hormones grab our attention and prepare us to run or fight, in case action is required. Thereafter, arousal needs to be sharply reduced so we can assess the situation.

More Ways Couples Misunderstand Each Other III

The very familiarity that makes us feel secure in love relationships reduces novelty and interest. Fortunately, we can deliberately activate interest at any time.

Gender Identity Is in the Brain. What Does This Tell Us?

Has the surge in our knowledge of the brain told us anything useful about the basis for gender identity? If it did, how would we use it?

Mini-Brains Promise Big Gains Against Mental Disorders

To penetrate the brain’s extraordinary complexity, scientists are creating models of specific brain systems that may further understanding of mental disorders.

Consciousness and Language

The relation between consciousness and language is not always clear, but a better understanding of how cognitive abilities evolved helps clarify this relationship.

New Study Reveals How Immune System Affects Social Behavior

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on August 08, 2016 in Beastly Behavior
Could evolution have programmed us to avoid social interactions when we might be contagious?
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Adolescence and the Parental Brain Trust

It can strengthen adolescent capacity to cope to have open access to what, by living longer, parents have come to know.

A Tale of Science, Ethics, Intrigue, and Human Flaws

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on August 08, 2016 in Trouble in Mind
The NYT article heralding a controversial new book on amnesiac HM, the neurosurgeon who operated on him, and the scientists who studied him is a poor reflection of the whole truth.

The Cognitive Cost of Paying Attention

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on August 07, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
Stopped at a light and thinking about reaching over to check the texts on your phone? It will affect your ability to concentrate on driving. So, maybe don't do that.

Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? Maybe, but Probably Not

By Matthew MacKinnon MD on August 06, 2016 in Neuraptitude
The fear of cancer looms large in the public consciousness for good reason: It is the second leading cause of death. But what role do cell phones play? A minor one at worst.

Mothers, Madness, and Mitochondria

The role of mitochondria in providing energy and countering cancer, along with their maternal mode of inheritance, makes them predictably implicated in psychiatric disorders.
Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz

Above and Beyond

Why would someone donate a kidney to a complete stranger?

How to Manage Panic Attacks

When you're in the midst of a panic attack, these techniques can make it feel less scary and help you move out of it.