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Machine Learning Uncovers New Insights into the Human Brain
Machine Learning Uncovers New Insights into the Human Brain
News   Jan 14, 2019

Researchers have successfully employed machine learning to uncover new insights into the cellular architecture of the human brain. The team demonstrated an approach that automatically estimates parameters of the brain using data collected from fMRI, enabling neuroscientists to infer the cellular properties of different brain regions without probing the brain using surgical means.

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Millions on Prescription Sleeping Pills Would Sleep Through a Fire Alarm
Millions on Prescription Sleeping Pills Would Sleep Through a Fire Alarm
News   Jan 14, 2019

In a trial of one of the main class of prescription sleeping pills, half the participants slept through a fire alarm as loud as someone vacuuming next to their bed. But a newer alternative preserves the ability to wake in response to danger signals, according to a new research.

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How Words Get an Emotional Meaning
How Words Get an Emotional Meaning
News   Jan 14, 2019

Many objects in everyday life have an emotional meaning. The same applies to words. The name of a stranger has no emotional value at first, but if a loving relationship develops, the same name suddenly has a positive connotation. Researchers have investigated how the brain processes such stimuli, which can be positive or negative. The results were published in the journal Neuropsychologia.

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Revealing Gene Regulation in the Brain
Revealing Gene Regulation in the Brain
News   Jan 14, 2019

Researchers have built a resource with information on gene regulation from more than 2,000 human brains. Initial results included identifying mechanisms that may drive the risk of mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.

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Alleviating Flashbacks by Playing Tetris
Alleviating Flashbacks by Playing Tetris
News   Jan 14, 2019

A behavioural intervention procedure including the computer game Tetris could help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to alleviate involuntarily recurring visual memories of traumatic experiences.

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How Today’s High School Cliques Compare to Yesterday’s
How Today’s High School Cliques Compare to Yesterday’s
News   Jan 14, 2019

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Texas at Austin, have found that while many high school peer crowds and influences have remained constant over time, changing demographics, cultural influences and the increasing number of college-bound youth have led to the emergence of new peer groups and perceptions.

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Novel Scale Measures Children's Connection to Nature
Novel Scale Measures Children's Connection to Nature
News   Jan 14, 2019

City lifestyle has been criticised for being an important reason for children being disconnected from nature. This has led to an unhealthy lifestyle in regards to active play and eating habits. Even worse, many young children do not feel well psychologically – they are often stressed and depressed. 16 per cent of pre-schoolers in Hong Kong and up to 22% in China show signs of mental health problems (Kwok SY, Gu M, Cheung AP, 2017; Zhu J, et al. 2017).



Recent research shows that spending time in nature may bring many health benefits, and many environmental programmes around the world are trying to decrease ‘nature-deficit’ and ‘child-nature disconnectedness’ in order to improve children’s health. For example, the WHO, in order to monitor implementation of the Parma Declaration commitment to providing every child with access to “green spaces to play and undertake physical activity”, has set a 300-meter target. Interestingly, 90 per cent of the Hong Kong population lives within 400 metres of such areas. However, despite the extensive, adjacent greenness, families are not using these areas.

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Keeping Time in the Brain
Keeping Time in the Brain
News   Jan 11, 2019

Astrocytes are star-shaped nerve cells found in the brain and spinal cord that were thought to support neurons in regulating circadian rhythms – the body’s internal 24-hour 'clock'. But new research reveals how the cells can actually lead the tempo of the circadian rhythms and shows for the first time how astrocytes are able to control patterns of daily behaviour in mammals.

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Mo' Pain, Less Gain for a Brain on Cocaine
Mo' Pain, Less Gain for a Brain on Cocaine
News   Jan 11, 2019

A new study shows how the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine changes when working for cocaine. Our brains naturally release dopamine to reward us for working hard for something gratifying, for example, a sweet piece of chocolate. Yet when it comes to illicit substances such as cocaine, the harder the effort put into getting cocaine, the less likely there will be a large jolt of dopamine.

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Poor Sleep Associated With Higher Levels of Alzheimer's Protein
Poor Sleep Associated With Higher Levels of Alzheimer's Protein
News   Jan 10, 2019

Poor sleep is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. But how and why restless nights are linked to Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood. Now, researchers may have uncovered part of the explanation. They found that older people who have less slow-wave sleep – the deep sleep you need to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed – have higher levels of the brain protein tau.

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