Early adult general cognitive ability is a stronger predictor of cognitive function and reserve later in life than other factors, such as higher education, occupational complexity or engaging in late-life intellectual activities.
Today's main hypothesis about the cause of autism symptoms is that neurons receive too little inhibition or too much excitation, causing hyperexcitability. This excessive spiking interferes with normal brain function. UC Berkeley neuroscientists demonstrated that while inhibition does decrease in the brains of mice models, the changed balance between excitation and inhibition doesn't affect spiking. The altered balance seems to be a compensatory mechanism that stabilizes brain activity in response to the disorder.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, a research team led by Siqi Zheng, the Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and Center for Real Estate, and the Faculty Director of MIT China Future City Lab, reveals that higher levels of pollution are associated with a decrease in people's happiness levels.
Researchers at the University of Utah Health conducted the first population-based study of suicidality in individuals with ASD in the United States. The 20-year retrospective study found that for individuals with autism, particularly females, the risk of suicide has increased through time compared to their non-autistic peers.
A new study identifies the neurons in the human visual cortex that selectively respond to faces. The researchers showed that the neurons in the visual cortex (in the vicinity of the Fusiform Face Area) responded much more strongly to faces than to city landscapes or objects. In an additional experiment, the neurons exhibited face-selectivity to human and animal faces that appeared within a movie. The results provide unique insights into human brain functioning at the cellular level during face processing.
A new 'brain training' game designed by researchers at the University of Cambridge improves users' concentration, according to new research published today. The scientists behind the venture say this could provide a welcome antidote to the daily distractions that we face in a busy world.
'People often focus on mobility impairments associated with SCI; however, addressing cognitive deficits in this population is also critically important,' said co-author Dr. Dyson-Hudson, director of SCI Research, and director of the Northern New Jersey SCI Model System. 'Future research needs to be based on broader measures of neuropsychological function. Identifying modifiable risk factors and developing targeted cognitive interventions will help restore maximal function, and support the efforts of individuals to participate in their communities and the workforce.'
Older adults concerned about displaying early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease should also consider a hearing check-up, suggest recent findings. What might appear to be signs of memory loss could actually point to hearing issues, says Dr. Susan Vandermorris, one of the study's authors and a clinical neuropsychologist at Baycrest.
Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute
The marketing of consumer 'neurotechnologies' can be enticing: apps that diagnose a mental state, and brain devices that improve cognition or 'read' one's emotional state. However, many of these increasingly popular products aren't fully supported by science and have little to no regulatory oversight, which poses potential health risks to the public. Two bioethicists suggest the creation of a working group that would further study, monitor, and provide guidance for this growing industry -- which is expected to top $3 billion by 2020.