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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. Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.
  2. Researchers are leveraging gene-editing tools and mini-organs grown in the lab to study the effects of DISC1 mutations in cerebral organoids -- 'mini brains' -- cultured from human stem cells.
  3. Scientists have successfully generated hypothalamic-like neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) taken from the blood and skin cells of super-obese individuals and people with a normal body weight. The researchers found that the brain cells derived from the super obese were more likely to dysregulate hormones related to feeding behavior and hunger, as well as obesity-related genes and metabolic pathways.
  4. Scientists have for the first time found direct causal links between the neurotransmitter dopamine and avoidance -- behavior related to pain and fear. Researchers have long known that dopamine plays a key role in driving behavior related to pleasurable goals, such as food, sex and social interaction. In general, increasing dopamine boosts the drive toward these stimuli. But dopamine's role in allowing organisms to avoid negative events has remained mysterious.
  5. Using a machine-learning system known as a deep neural network, researchers have created the first model that can replicate human performance on auditory tasks such as identifying a musical genre. This type of model can shed light on how the human brain may be performing the same tasks.
  6. A small difference in a gene affecting brain circuitry explains variations in empathic fear among different inbred mice strains. As empathy is evolutionarily conserved from rodents to humans, the study brings new insights into the workings of the mammalian brain in social behavior.
  7. Neuroscientists have found that the human brain learns to make sense of auditory and visual stimuli in the same two-step process.
  8. Why is it harder for females to gain weight? A new study proposes that part of the answer may be in the brain.
  9. Scientists are using advanced techniques to monitor the activity of networks of single sensory neurons in the brain. By listening in on hundreds of conversations, the scientists have discovered how a single signal from one cell manages to attract attention.
  10. Expectations and biases play a large role in our enjoyment of experiences such as art and wine. Now, researchers have found that simply being told that a performer is a professional or a student changes the way the brain responds to music, and overcoming this bias takes a deliberate effort.