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Behavioral Neuroscience – News and Features

Neurotransmitters in a synapse.

Changing People’s Brain Dopamine Levels Impacts Their Mentalizing Abilities

Changing the levels of dopamine in a person's brain affects their ability to understand mental states in themselves and in other people.
Protein structure.

To Capture One of the Brain’s Fastest-Acting Proteins, Scientists Had To Slow It Down

New groundbreaking images of one of the brain’s fastest-acting proteins are providing critical clues that may lead to the development of targeted therapies to treat epilepsy and other brain disorders.
Cannabis leaves.

Stronger Cannabis Linked to Higher Psychosis Risk in Teens

New study estimates that teens using cannabis are at 11 times higher risk of developing a psychotic disorder compared to teens not using cannabis. The association between cannabis and psychotic disorders may be stronger than indicated by previously.
An abstract image of the brain.

Brain Imaging Identifies Six Subtypes of Depression

Stanford Medicine scientists have identified six “biotypes” of depression by using machine learning to group depressed patients’ brain images.
An old person holds their hands in their lap.

Multiomics Approach Identifies Four Distinct Molecular Profiles of Alzheimer’s

A multiomics approach has identified four distinct molecular profiles of Alzheimer's, one of which was associated with worse cognitive function.
A puzzle that spells the word autism.

Brain Cell Overgrowth Before Birth Associated With Autism Severity

Brain organoids derived from toddlers with autism spectrum disorder suggest that subtypes of the condition may have in utero origins. That's according to a new study from researchers at the University of California San Diego, led by Dr. Alysson R. Muotri.
A tray of junk food.

Study Links High-Fat Diet to Increased Anxiety

When we’re stressed out, many of us turn to junk food for solace. But new CU Boulder research suggests this strategy may backfire. The study found that in animals, a high-fat diet disrupts resident gut bacteria.
A face can be seen in an AC unit.

Our Brains Apply Biases to Faces Seen in Inanimate Objects

Seeing faces in inanimate objects is a common occurrence and research has found our brains assign them the same biases as we would human faces.
The word paranoia spelled in wooden tiles.

Novel Approach Reveals How Paranoia Arises in the Human Brain

By aligning data from monkeys with human data, researchers have uncovered how one specific region of the brain might provoke feelings of paranoia.
Two hands reaching to each other against a blue sky.

The Neural Mechanisms Behind Selflessness

Researchers have identified the neural mechanisms behind the universal dilemma of deciding to help someone else at personal cost.