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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. Researchers have cast doubt on a widely-held belief that connects family income with cognitive development. The popular theory holds that genes play a larger role in brain development for children from advantaged environments than in those from poorer backgrounds, especially in the United States.
  2. Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. Some think it arises from a single region or neural network. Others argue that metabolism is key. A new article makes the case that the brain's dynamic properties -- how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands -- are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain.
  3. Researchers using MRI have discovered a common pattern of structural abnormalities in the brains of people with depression and social anxiety, according to a new study.
  4. A recent study showed approximately one-fifth of patients with cancer experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) several months after diagnosis, and many of these patients continued to live with PTSD years later.
  5. Researchers found that conditional deletion of Sox2 – the gene encoding the SOX2 stem cell transcription factor – and the associated dampening of astrocyte reactivity appear to promote functional recovery, including behavioral recovery, after traumatic brain injury.
  6. Boosting activity in brain areas related to thinking and problem-solving may also protect against worsening anxiety, suggests a new study. Using noninvasive brain imaging, the researchers found that at-risk people were less likely to develop anxiety if they had higher activity in a region of the brain responsible for complex mental operations. The results may be a step towards tailoring psychological therapies to the specific brain functioning of individual patients.
  7. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is known to cause memory loss and cognitive decline, but other functions of the brain can remain intact. The reasons cells in some brain regions degenerate while others are protected is largely unknown. Researchers have found that factors encoded in the DNA of brain cells contribute to the patterns of degeneration, or vulnerability, in AD.
  8. Astrocytes, the supporting cells of the brain, could play a significant role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a new study. This is the first time researchers discovered a direct association between astrocytes and AD.
  9. Researchers find that the relationship between prairie vole couples suffers when the male has access to alcohol, but his female partner doesn't - similar to what has been observed in human couples. The researchers also found changes in a specific brain region in the male voles. The results could help researchers find strategies to overcome the negative effects of alcohol on human relationships.
  10. While simulation platforms have been used to train surgeons before they enter an actual operating room (OR), few studies have evaluated how well trainees transfer those skills from the simulator to the OR. Now, a study that used noninvasive brain imaging to evaluate brain activity has found that simulator-trained medical students successfully transferred those skills to operating on cadavers and were faster than peers who had no simulator training.