Brain-machine interfaces may be used to study and regulate mood

Brain-machine interfaces translate brain signals into information that can be used to control robotic limbs, and now even predict an individual’s mood state. Researchers envision using BMIs together with electrical stimulation, to regulate abnormal brain signals in patients with treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric disorders. Continue reading Brain-machine interfaces may be used to study and regulate mood

Dirtiness is perceived by all, cleanliness is pursued by women

Housekeeping is an arena that houses gendered behavior even today, despite the increasing trend where both the man and the woman of the household work and ‘bring home the bread’. The common myth that men just cannot see the dirt has been busted by a study published in Sociological Methods and Research. This new study attempts to understand the interplay between individual preferences and gender … Continue reading Dirtiness is perceived by all, cleanliness is pursued by women

With Great Responsibility Comes Great Charity

The next time you’re looking to raise some money, choose your words carefully. A recent study by a collaboration between Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia has shown that the wealthy are willing to donate more money if they are prompted with agentic appeals for donations – that is, appeals to individual action – rather than communal. Drawing on previous research on … Continue reading With Great Responsibility Comes Great Charity

Your Personality May Determine How You Respond to Placebo Pills

The placebo effect is a puzzling phenomenon. Placebos (sugar pills or saline solutions secretly substituted for actual drugs) are commonly used in clinical trials to set a baseline against which to measure the effects of a drug. However, people in the placebo group will often show improvements alongside the treatment group. The fact that an inactive substance, such as a sugar pill, can lead to … Continue reading Your Personality May Determine How You Respond to Placebo Pills

New Detailed Brain Map Could Aide Future Understanding

Researchers have created the most detailed general map of the brain to date by scanning the brains of 1200 people. After recording detailed imaging of the subjects’ brain activity as they performed a variety of mental tasks, the information was used to ‘teach’ a computer to identify spatial ‘regions’ of related activity. These regions span the brain, creating a 3D, puzzle-like map. Also called a … Continue reading New Detailed Brain Map Could Aide Future Understanding

Oh no! Recent paper may make it harder to blame your character faults on birth order

If you have siblings you’ve probably been told at one point or another that firstborns are bossy, the youngest is spoiled and the poor middle child is always neglected. People have been trying to figure out the effect of birth order on personality for over a hundred years and at times it feels that with each month a new study pops up either supporting or … Continue reading Oh no! Recent paper may make it harder to blame your character faults on birth order

A Reanalysis: Paxil Declared Unsafe for Teens

In 2001, a famous clinical trial, Study 329, declared that the antidepressant Paxil was safe for adolescents. After a great deal of controversy, criticism, and numerous lawsuits, patient level data was finally made available by GlaxoSmithKlein for reanalysis. The original study found that adolescents on Paxil fared no better than those given a placebo on the study’s standard depression questionnaire, but did improve according to … Continue reading A Reanalysis: Paxil Declared Unsafe for Teens

Ask the Brain: Why Do We Crave Sugar When We’re Stressed?

In America, uncontrolled sugar consumption is a concern because of its contributions to obesity and diabetes. A recent study investigated the psychological basis of sugar cravings during times of stress. Researchers proposed that sugar turns down the stress response in the human brain. As a result, we may be consuming sugar as a quick way to hold back feelings of stress. To test this hypothesis, … Continue reading Ask the Brain: Why Do We Crave Sugar When We’re Stressed?

ScienceEd

Sparking Scientific Curiosity: (R)evolutions in the way we teach and learn

Presented by Kevin Harlen, Greg Kestin, Katie Dagon, and Ben Morris Science education is a hot topic many of us have heard discussed widely in the media, by politicians and in America’s school systems. This talk will shed light on the different aspects of science education, why they are important and how they will impact us today and in the future. Our presentation will open … Continue reading Sparking Scientific Curiosity: (R)evolutions in the way we teach and learn

Born to be Bad? The Biological Basis of Criminal Behavior

Presented by Clare Malone Is there a biological reason why some people become violent offenders? This is an area of biology with many legal, ethical, and societal implications. Tonight we will focus on what the biology can, and cannot, tell us about the causes of violent behavior. We will talk about the studies that have been done, their results, and their limitations. Along the way … Continue reading Born to be Bad? The Biological Basis of Criminal Behavior