News Stories

News Stories relating to "brain"

Tiny Ancestors

Some of our ancestors, who lived in Indonesia as recently as18,000 years ago, had tiny brains that were only about athird the size of modern human brains, yet they were capableof advanced thinking equal to our own. Scientists arecalling them "hobbits," after the little people in the popular films andbooks.

The journal Science reports...

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Why Intuition Works

A new brain study shows that people who use their intuitionare subconsciously sensing trouble ahead. Our unconsciousbrains pick up clues too subtle for our conscious brains topay attention to, so when we feel uneasy about getting intoa certain situation, we should stop and listen to ourintuition?because it's usually right. One example of this...

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We Actually Use Most of Our Brains

There's a myth that we only use 10% of our brains, but aresearcher has discovered that we actually use about 80%,mostly on tasks that take place outside of our consciousknowledge. However, this activity does not take place inyoung children, so most of our brains may be busysubconsciously reprocessing earlier thoughts andexperiences.


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MRI proves differences between Republican and Democrat brain

Two scientists at UCLA are using brain scans to determinehow the minds of Republicans differ from those of Democrats.

Last month, Dr. Joshua Freedman and Dr. Marco Iocaboni usedfunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitorbrain activity of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans whileshowing the subjects images of President Bush, John...

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Brain Cells Fly Plane

Mission accomplished: a collection of rat brain cells hasflown a virtual F-22 fighter jet from a Petri dish.

Approximately 25,000 interconnected rat neurons were culledfrom the motor cortex of mature rat embryos and ?seeded? ina Petri dish. The neurons soon formed a complex web ofinterconnections, transforming the collection of cells...

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Dreams May be Meaningless

Sleep researchers now think that dreams are produced in graymatter that's deep in the back of the brain. Scientistsstudying a woman who lost her ability to dream after astroke in that area are trying to discover if dreams haveany meaning.

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Chinese Dyslexics Same as Ours?

Chinese characters are so complex that it seems likeeveryone there would be dyslexic. However, despite having tomemorize 6,000 different characters, only about 7% ofChinese children have dyslexia, compared with as many as 15%in the U.S. This may be because the languages are processedin different parts of the brain.

Chinese schoolchildren...

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Asymmetrical Aggression

Don't pick a fight with someone who has ears, fingers orfeet of different sizes or shapes, because they're morelikely to react aggressively. Scientists think that earlystress in the womb from things such as a mother's smoking ordrinking can cause these small physical imperfections andalso poor impulse control.

Researcher Zeynep...

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No More Slackers

Scientists have learned how to turn lazy monkeys into hardworkers?could they someday do the same to us? It's notlikely to happen in the U.K., because they have Prozac inthe drinking water.

Employees in the U.S. already work harder and longer hoursthan workers in any other first world country. But in casethat's not enough for employers,...

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The Pain Game

We'll hurt less if we direct our minds away from our bodiesand onto something else. A special distracting, "cooling"game was created for a little boy with extensive burns thattook his mind off the pain.

Karen Lurie writes in that six-year-oldNathan Neisinger suffered serious burns when he accidentallypulled a pot of...

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Too Tired to Exercise? Take a Pill

Your body isn't exhausted from that workout?it's your brainthat's tired. Scientists are trying to invent a pill thatwill give you all the benefits of exercise without actuallyhaving to do it.

James Randerson writes in New Scientist that new evidenceshows that it?s our brains that make us feel tired out afterexercise. This happens in...

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Mind Control is Real

In the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," a manwants to erase memories of his lover. In the new (and old)versions of "The Manchurian Candidate," men are programmedto kill on command. Is any of this possible?

In, Amanda Onion quotes film consultantneurologist Jay Lombard as saying, "We use the idea in [TheManchurian...

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Sixth Sense is Real

If you think someone is watching you, it may not beparanoia. Researcher Stefan Schmidt believes he's provedthat our sixth sense is real. In one experiment, a volunteerin a sealed room watched a second volunteer in another roomon close circuit TV. The second volunteer was hooked up toelectrodes which recorded the electrical activity of theskin,...

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It Takes a Big Brain to Tell a Lie

The primates with the biggest brains, compared to their body size, are the best at deceiving others. Since humans have the biggest brains of all, we're especially good liars.

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What Makes a Chess Champ

Psychologists studying Chess experts have decided that, while Chess can be a slow, thoughtful game, the best players use their intutition to make quick decisions about which piece to play.

Psychologist Bruce D. Burns compared chess players' rankings in normal tournaments to their rankings at fast-paced "blitz" chess, where players have...

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The Genius in All of Us

Idiot-savants are people who were born with damaged brains and they are usually retarded, except in one spectacular area. For instance, when given a date, many of them can instantly tell you what day of the week it was?something most of us can't begin to do. Now an Australian researcher wants to tap into the genius part of the ordinary brain...

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How the Brain Grows Up

Those of us who've had to deal with cranky toddlers and stubborn teenagers will not be surprised to learn that the brain's center of reasoning and problem solving is the last to mature. This may be why it's so much harder for people to quit smoking if they began when they were teenagers.

Scientists have done regular MRI scans of 13...

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Brain Scan May Exonerate Killer

The sentence of death row inmate Jimmy Ray Slaughter is being appealed, based on a new type of lie detector: the brain fingerprint.

Graham Inglis explains the process in Phenomena magazine. If you're shown an image that you haven't seen before, your brain stores it away as a new memory that can be detected on a brain scanner. If you...

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Awake While in Surgery

It's one of our worst nightmares: being awake during surgery. But anesthesia doesn't work for everybody. The people this has happened to say the pain isn't the worst part, although that can be excruciating. It's the horror of being paralyzed and unable to talk to the surgeon, while being completely aware of what he's doing to you. Some patients...

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Why We Get Jet Lag

Scientists believe they've found the reason why we suffer from jet lag: It's because we have two timekeeping centers in our brains. One follows the clock, while the other one is influenced by natural events, such as sunrise and sunset. When we travel to another time zone, it takes a while for the two centers become coordinated again.


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Geniuses Use Both Sides of the Brain

Why are some people so much smarter than the rest of us? One reason may be that they've learned how to use both sides of their brain at the same time. Scientists know that the left side of the brain is the problem-solving side, while the right side is more imaginative. But if you're one of those rare people who can combine them, you can harness...

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Exercise Your Brain

Scientists know that people who listen to classical music score higher on tests ("the Mozart effect"). They also know that physical exercise is good for the brain. So what happens when you exercise to music?

Exercisers who listened to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" while working out on a treadmill before taking a test of verbal ability did...

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God in the Brain

Researcher Mario Beauregard is studying where in the brain religious feelings are actually experienced by placing electrodes on the scalps of seven nuns in order to record the electrical activity in their brains as they recall a spiritual experience. Before they would allow him to do this, Beauregard had to convince the nuns that he was not...

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Can Science Detect Evil in the Brain?

A new technique called "brain fingerprinting," which is much more accurate than a polygraph test, is an important new tool for catching criminals. However, in one of its first tests, it's being used to overturn a murder conviction.

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Juggling Changes the Brain

The brains of jugglers are larger than those of non-jugglers, but if you stop juggling, your brain will return to normal size.

Researchers gave brain scans to 12 people who had learned to juggle and found that the areas of gray matter in their brains had grown. Grey matter is the part of the brain used for higher-level thinking. But...

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Brain Pollution

We know that microscopic particles from soot and other pollutants can enter our lungs and can also cause heart attacks. But now it's been discovered that even smaller particles from air pollution can reach our brains. What harm this may cause is unknown, but they could be related to the alarming increase in brain tumors in recent years.

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University Looks for Buy Button

This Christmas, as with every holiday season, we're bombarded with ads and find ourselves succumbing and buying things we didn't think we wanted. Now the organization Commercial Alert says universities are using their medical equipment and research funds in neuromarketing experiments, to figure out how to push consumers' "buy buttons."


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Stroke Victim Now has British Accent

Tiffany Roberts, an American woman who had a stroke, now has a British accent, despite the fact that she's never been to the U.K. The "foreign accent syndrome" is rare but not unknown.

Once she began speaking again after her stroke in 1999, Roberts says, "When people first started asking me where in England I was from, and a family...

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Where & What is Consciousness

Christof Koch wants to find where consciousness lies inside what he calls our "zombie" self: the part of our brain that works automatically, so that our lungs breathe, our heart beats, our eyes blink, and we walk and talk. And he wants to know the purpose of consciousness, since we can obviously exist perfectly well, as zombies, without it....

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Let Your Mind Do the Moving

Christopher Reeve is pushing for research that will allow paraplegics like himself to regain bodily movement. But if this isn't possible, it might be better to let the mind do the moving instead. Reseachers are having success teaching monkeys?and people?how to move computer cursors and even machines using only their brain waves.

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