Uncategorized How the brain makes a difficult decision

How the brain makes a difficult decision

New research conducted in the Cognitive Neuroscience group of SISSA shows that a perceptual decision – recognizing an object and taking the appropriate action – is triggered as soon as the brain’s processing networks accumulate the exact right quantity of sensory information. Our sensory receptors continuously collect information from the outside world, allowing us to …

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Uncategorized A preventable global resurgence of measles

A preventable global resurgence of measles

In 2000, measles was declared to be eliminated in the United States, when no sustained transmission of the virus was seen in this country for more than 12 months. Today, however, the United States and many other countries that had also eliminated the disease are experiencing concerning outbreaks of measles because of declines in measles …

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Uncategorized Late dinner and no breakfast is a killer 

Late dinner and no breakfast is a killer 

People who skip breakfast and eat dinner near bedtime have worse outcomes after a heart attack. That’s the finding of research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1 The study found that people with the two eating habits had a four to five times …

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Uncategorized Is logical reasoning an antidote or a poison for political disagreement?

Is logical reasoning an antidote or a poison for political disagreement?

Star Trek’s Spock would not be surprised: People are “illogical.” New research exploring American liberals and conservatives shows that regardless of political affiliation, tribal instincts kick in and people’s ability to think logically suffers when it comes to arguments related to their political belief systems. When confronted with the unsound reasoning of opposing groups, people …

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Uncategorized Common sleep myths

Common sleep myths

People often say they can get by on five or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep. These are, in fact, among the most widely held myths about sleeping that not only shape poor habits, but may also pose a significant public health threat, …

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Uncategorized Ultrasound and counter-factual thinking

Ultrasound and counter-factual thinking

New research in primates has shown for the first time that counterfactual thinking is causally related to a frontal part of the brain, called the anterior cingulate cortex. And scientists have proven that the process can be changed by targeting neurons (nerve cells) in this region using low-intensity ultrasound. The study was led by Dr …

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Uncategorized Smiling has a small impact on making people happier

Smiling has a small impact on making people happier

“Conventional wisdom tells us that we can feel a little happier if we simply smile. Or that we can get ourselves in a more serious mood if we scowl,” said Nicholas Coles, UT PhD student in social psychology and lead researcher on the paper. “But psychologists have actually disagreed about this idea for over 100 …

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Uncategorized Life satisfaction and a sense of oneness 

Life satisfaction and a sense of oneness 

People who believe in oneness – the idea that everything in the world is connected and interdependent — appear to have greater life satisfaction than those who don’t, regardless of whether they belong to a religion or don’t, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. “The feeling of being at one with a …

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Uncategorized Neural patterns key to understanding PTSD

Neural patterns key to understanding PTSD

For decades, scientists have viewed emotional memory as a double-edged sword: while the entire emotional event is highly memorable, details of the event are often fuzzy. This lack of detailed recollection may lead to faulty reactivation of negative memories. For example, if someone is bitten by a dog, he or she may become anxious around …

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Uncategorized Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand

Empathy and cooperation go hand in hand

In a new analysis, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania investigate cooperation with an evolutionary approach. Using game-theory-driven models, they show that a capacity for empathy fosters cooperation, according to senior author Joshua Plotkin, an evolutionary biologist. The models also show that the extent to which empathy promotes cooperation depends on a given society’s system …

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