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Science Daily Psychology News

Learn about the brain, behavior and health. Read health articles on intellectual development, brain abnormalities, and mental health. Updated daily.
  1. People who have better spatial memory are also better at identifying odors, according to a new study. The study builds on a recent theory that the main reason that a sense of smell evolved was to aid in navigation, since most animals rely primarily on smell to find food and avoid predators.
  2. Bullying and aggression carry heavy societal costs. For the first time, researchers have found a signalling mechanism in the brain that shapes social behavior -- specifically a growth factor protein, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and its receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), which affects social dominance. This novel discovery has implications for a deeper understanding of the neurobiology of aggression and bullying.
  3. Neuroscientists have found a brain region that appears to be strongly connected to food preference decisions, like what to choose from a buffet line or potluck table.
  4. Neuroscientists are tracking eye movements to understand how practicing tough reasoning tests like the LSAT makes students smarter.
  5. New research suggests that higher-level brain functions have a major role in losing weight. In a study among 24 participants at a weight-loss clinic, those who achieved greatest success in terms of weight loss demonstrated more activity in the brain regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex associated with self-control.
  6. Neuroscientists have discovered that human dendrites have very different electrical properties from those of other species. These differences may contribute to the enhanced computing power of the human brain.
  7. Researchers have shown that astrocytes -- long-overlooked supportive cells in the brain -- help to enable the brain's plasticity, a new role for astrocytes that was not previously known. The findings could point to ways to restore connections that have been lost due to aging or trauma.
  8. Researchers have discovered a potentially new approach to deliver therapeutics more effectively to the brain. The research could have implications for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, and brain cancer.
  9. Volunteers aged 9-10 with dyslexia took less time to read passages from children's books, possibly thanks to attenuated excitability of the cerebral cortex.
  10. A new study found that the social lives of sweat bees -- named for their attraction to perspiration -- are linked to patterns of activity in specific genes, including ones linked to autism.