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News Stories relating to "brain"

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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Herpes Linked to Alzheimer's

Researchers have found a physical link between the herpes simplex virus and the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which forms the plaques that are present in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. This links the common cause of cold sores to Alzheimer's; however, 85% of us have the herpes simplex virus in our bodies and most of us will never...

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Paralyzed People Use Mind Control

German neuroscientist Niels Birbaumer is teaching 11 paralyzed patients who can't even blink their eyes how to use their brain waves to control a computer. They've learned to change the electrical signals coming from their brains by visualizing an arrow about to be shot from a bow or a runner crouched at the starting line. The electrical brain...

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Special Soldiers Have Different Brains

Special Forces soldiers have neurological differences that make them less likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder than the average soldier. A study of soldiers based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, found that Green Berets were much less likely to suffer symptoms of PTSD after a week of exercises that simulated being captured and...

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Meditation Changes Your Brain

Scientists have found evidence that meditation can make physical changes in our bodies, by boosting parts of the brain and the immune system. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin studied people who practiced "mindfulness" meditation, a technique developed by stress reduction specialist Jon Kabat-Zinn to help hospital patients deal with...

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Terrorist Had Brain Damage

German terrorist Ulrike Meinhof had a brain operation in the 1960s that may have caused her to become one of Europe's most feared urban killers. German psychiatrist Bernhard Bogerts, who studied her brain for 5 years, says it showed "pathological modifications." Meinhof committed suicide in 1976, and her brain was removed without the family?s...

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What's Different About a Killer's Brain

Now that the D.C. area sniper has finally been caught, people are dismayed at how "ordinary" he seems. Yet we can't imagine ourselves doing something like that, so is there anything basically different about the brains of serial killers?

Some answers come from a scientific study of Joel Rifkin, who strangled 17 prostitutes in four years...

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Brain on a Chip

Scientist have found a way to keep slices of living brain tissue alive for weeks and use them to test drugs for neurological and psychiatric disorders. This sounds like something out of an old science fiction movie, where a decapitated human head was kept alive with wires coming out of it, but the "mini-brain" is much sleeker than that. It...

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Kids on Ritalin Have Smaller Brains

Children with serious attention problems have smaller brains, but scientists say medication is not to blame. A 10-year U.S. study shows that the brains of children and teenagers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are 3% to 4% smaller than those of other children. Are their smaller brains the cause of ADHD?or the result of...

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You Can Get Along Fine with No Brain

The campus doctor at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. was treating a math major, when he noticed that the student's head was a little larger than normal. He referred the student to neurology professor John Lorber, who gave the student a CAT scan and discovered he has virtually no brain at all, despite having an IQ of 126 and doing well in...
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Can't Remember Names? Wear a Computer

If you can't remember the names of the people you've beenintroduced to 5 minutes later, wear a computer thatremembers for you. Accenture Technology Labs has created aPersonal Awareness Assistant (PAA) that uses speechrecognition software. It doesn't have a keyboard ormouse--it consists of two wireless microphones, one worn inthe user's ear and...

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Do Video Games Damage the Brain?

A Japanese surgeon claims that video games can damage thebrain. Akio Mori, a cranial nerve specialist at NihonUniversity College of Humanities and Sciences in Tokyo, sayshe?s concerned about the impact of video games on children'sbrains, after he recorded a lack of beta brainwave activityin young people who played them frequently.


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Musicians Have More Gray Matter

Professional musicians have more gray matter in the part of the brain that processes music. This may explain why some people seem to be born musicians, while the rest of us struggle with piano lessons. But scientists aren?t sure whether some people are born with the extra gray matter, or if it?s developed over years of practicing an instrument...

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Brain Areas Located for Religion, Sense of Self

Professor Andrew Newberg, of the University of Pennsylvania, measures prayer. He invites Buddhists and Franciscan nuns to meditate and pray in a secluded room. At the peak of their devotions, he injects a tracer that travels to their brains and reveals brain activity at the moment of transcendence.

He has found that there is a small...

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This Part of Brain Makes Us Human

Everything that makes us "human" is thought to be contained in a part of our brains the size of a billiard ball.Researchers who study the brain say they think they have found the part of it that sets us apart from other primates.

Putting ourselves in others' shoes, or understanding what others may be thinking, is what scientists consider...

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