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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. Whether or not we consciously perceive the stimuli projected onto our retina is decided in our brain. A recent study shows how some signals dissipate along the processing path to conscious perception. This process begins at rather late stages of signal processing. By contrast, in earlier stages there is hardly any difference in the reaction of neurons to conscious and unconscious stimuli.
  2. A novel psychological therapy that encourages addressing emotional experiences related to trauma, conflict and relationship problems has been found helpful for people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.
  3. When people see an image of a person they recognize particular cells light up in the brain. Now, researchers have found that those cells light up even when a person sees a familiar face or object but fails to notice it. The only difference is that the neural activity is weaker and delayed in comparison to what happens when an observer consciously registers and can recall having seen a particular image.
  4. Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study. Scientists have found that the increase in the inflammatory marker was present specifically in patients with MDD who were experiencing suicidal thoughts, pinning the role of inflammation to suicidality rather than a diagnosis of MDD itself.
  5. By studying rodents, researchers showed that instead of attacking germs, some neutrophils may help heal the brain after an intracerebral hemorrhage, a form of stroke caused by ruptured blood vessels. The study suggests that two neutrophil-related proteins may play critical roles in protecting the brain from stroke-induced damage and could be used as treatments for intracerebral hemorrhage.
  6. As the embryonic brain develops, a complex cascade of cellular events occur, starting with progenitors -- the originating cells that generate neurons and spur proper cortex development. If this cascade malfunctions then the brain can develop abnormally. New research has shown how the deletion of the protein APC in progenitor leads to massive disruption of brain development and the Wnt protein pathway, which previously was linked to genes associated with autism.
  7. A new study shows that the so-called 'love hormone' oxytocin can intensify negative as well as positive experiences.
  8. A new role has been identified for the major Alzheimer's risk factor ApoE4, suggesting that targeting the protein may help treat the disease. Researchers show that ApoE4 exacerbates the brain damage caused by toxic tangles of a different Alzheimer's-associated protein: tau. In the absence of ApoE, tau tangles did very little harm to brain cells.
  9. New insights have been gained into how the brain is organized to help a person navigate through life.
  10. Both good and bad moods can be ‘picked up’ from friends, but depression can’t, suggests new research.