Neuroscience Essential Reads

Is Consciousness a Stream? An Update

By Evan Thompson Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Waking, Dreaming, Being
Neuroscience and Indian Buddhist philosophy agree that perceptual consciousness seems continuous but is really discrete.

Is Psychological Science Bad Science?

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 in Good Thinking
In the largest replication effort to date, researchers could not replicate over half of the psychology studies targeted. Here is why that doesn't spell doom for psychological science.

Prions, Memory and PTSD

By Shaili Jain M.D. on August 26, 2015 in The Aftermath of Trauma
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been described as a disorder of memory. It has become quite apparent that there are two types of memory in PTSD. The work of Eric R. Kandel forms the basis for much of what we understand about how memories are formed.

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

What's Wrong with Antianxiety Drugs?

Recognition of the multiplicity of the brain systems that contribute to fear and anxiety disorders is the first step towards the development of better treatments.

How to Completely Change How You Think About Menopause

If you are a woman anywhere near 50, you either just went through menopause or you are going to go through it within the next five years. How is that going to affect your sex life? And how will you respond chemically to new love affairs and breakups?

The Amygdala Is NOT the Brain's Fear Center

The amygdala is not a "fear" center out of which effuses the feeling of being afraid. "Fear" is a cognitively assembled conscious experience that is based on threat detection, arousal, attention, perception, memory, and other neural processes.

7 Ways Childhood Adversity Changes Your Brain

If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been struggling a little too hard for a little too long with chronic emotional and physical health conditions that just won’t abate, feeling as if you’ve been swimming against some invisible current that never ceases, a new field of scientific research may offer you hope, answers, and healing insights.

Why Are the Candy Crushes of the World Dominating Our Lives?

What happens when an organic form of existence, after evolving for millions of years, meets the last word in planned and designed addictiveness? Darwin goes searching for the gas pedal in this evolutionary phenomenon of his.

Welcome to "I Got a Mind to Tell You"

Want the facts about mind, brain, mental and mental disorders. Follow "I Got a Mind to Tell You."

It’s Not 'All in Your Head.' It’s in Your Brain.

Current research helps us to understand that some physical illnesses, especially those that are not easily explained, are not made up at all. They are the result of complex neuroendocrine responses due to heredity, trauma and stress. The symptoms are real. They are not all in one’s head.

Can Improv Comedy Treat Social Anxiety?

By Jon Fortenbury on August 02, 2015 in NeuroProgress
People are increasingly turning to improv comedy (theatre made up on the spot) to reduce social anxiety. The reason it's working for some and not all is simple, but powerful.

Why We Think We're So Much Smarter Than We Really Are

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 in Mind Change
Searching the Internet for information creates an illusion of knowledge, in which we think we are smarter than we really are.

Brain's Response to Meditation

With meditation, you have the opportunity to become aware of what causes you stress and condition yourself to react differently. You can learn to let go of negative thoughts, events or interactions.

Still Alice? Still Alzheimer’s

By Joe Pierre M.D. on July 31, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Is there anything nice to say about Alzheimer's disease?

Is Music a Universal Language?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 31, 2015 in Talking Apes
Both music and language are universals of the human experience, even though the forms they take vary greatly from culture to culture.

Fear and Anxiety Affect the Health and Life Span of Dogs

Research shows that increased levels of certain types of fearfulness in dogs may be associated higher susceptibility to skin diseases and to reduced life span.

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in The Human Beast
Changing technology stimulates the brain and increases intelligence. But that may only be true if the technology challenges us. In a world run by intelligent machines, our lives could get a lot simpler. Would that make us less intelligent?

Brain Organoids Show Predicted Epigenetic Effects in Autism

New evidence from cultured brain cells of autistics shows that over-expression of a brain growth gene is critical, just as predicted by the imprinted brain theory.

When Music Becomes Language

By Eliezer J. Sternberg M.D. on July 28, 2015 in NeuroLogic
When jazz musicians achieve the highest levels of mastery, their brain processing undergoes a fundamental change, and they begin to perceive music in a way no one else can.

Are You Tone Deaf?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in Talking Apes
The musically gifted often foist the “tone deaf” label on those whose music production abilities aren’t up to their expectations, but most have music perception skills in the normal range.

The Quicksand of Self-deception: The Nocebo Effect

The placebo effect is a well-known phenomenon. Less well-known is the nocebo effect, placebo’s “evil twin.” Can physicians cause more harm than good when they give their patients too much information about a potential medication or therapeutic treatment, including those for weight-related disorders? What are the ethical considerations involved in withholding information?

Behavior Differences Between Smaller and Larger Dogs

Research shows that there are significant differences between the behaviors of smaller and larger dogs. Some of these differences have to do with the behaviors of their owners.

Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In

Both psychiatrists and psychologists devote their careers to helping people with mental health issues. As promising as neuroscience may be for helping researchers find clues to the brain, the real key to treatment lies in therapy, not drugs. Your best bet is to explore all options when you or your loved ones seek help.

Reviewing the Evidence for Mental Illness Being Epigenetic

The basic claim of the imprinted brain theory that gene expression is critical in neuro-development is vindicated by a new review of the data.

How the Brain Can Hear Voices That Don't Exist

By Guest Bloggers on July 17, 2015 in The Guest Room
Schizophrenic individuals who experience auditory hallucinations seem to hear voices emanating from within. Neuroscientists are investigating how and why this happens.

Should a Dog's Name Be Part of an Obedience Command?

Most dog trainers believe that you must use a dog's name before you give him an obedience command if you want to get a reliable response. Are they correct?

The Wonderful Wizarding World of Hypnosis with Children

The magical world of Rowling's Harry Potter saga parallels the the professional world of clinical hypnosis in health care. The tension separating the fictional magical and "muggle" worlds need not exist for clinicians who integrate clinical hypnosis skills into health care practice. The best part of hypnosis with children is that they are sorcerers. We are the apprentices.

Genetic Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness?

Is Van Gogh's illness coincidence or destiny... Hold your horses, let me explain to you how these studies work first.

How Zoning Out Benefits Your Present and Your Future

By Josh Davis Ph.D. on July 14, 2015 in Your Mental Toolkit
Contrary to what we've always been told, we don't mind-wander enough. Research shows a number of benefits to mind-wandering in the realms of creative problem solving, planning, and holding out for something better in the future. With our devices pouring information into us constantly, we block out the important background processing that occurs when we mind-wander.