I’m OK, You’re Not OK

Empathy

The right supramarginal gyrus plays an important role in empathy

Egoism and narcissism appear to be on the rise in our society, while empathy is on the decline. And yet, the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes is extremely important for our coexistence. A research team headed by Tania Singer from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences has discovered that our own feelings can distort our capacity for empathy. This emotionally driven egocentricity is recognized and corrected by the brain. When, however, the right supramarginal gyrus doesn’t function properly or when we have to make particularly quick decisions, our empathy is severely limited. Read More →

How Schizophrenia Affects the Brain

Brain

It’s hard to fully understand a mental disease like schizophrenia without peering into the human brain. Now, a study by University of Iowa psychiatry professor Nancy Andreasen uses brain scans to document how schizophrenia impacts brain tissue as well as the effects of anti-psychotic drugs on those who have relapses. Read More →

Human Brains Hardwired for Empathy & Friendship

Friendships

Perhaps one of the most defining features of humanity is our capacity for empathy – the ability to put ourselves in others’ shoes. A new University of Virginia study strongly suggests that we are hardwired to empathize because we closely associate people who are close to us – friends, spouses, lovers – with our very selves. Read More →

Preventing ‘Traffic Jams’ in Brain Cells

Imagine if you could open up your brain and look inside.

What you would see is a network of nerve cells called neurons, each with its own internal highway system for transporting essential materials between different parts of the cell. Read More →

Track Your Concentration with Innovative Headband

Melon comes in black or white.

Melon comes in black or white.

Are you on a quest for greater self-awareness or simply a productivity junkie seeking to frugally extort every second out of the day?  The Melon headband quantifies the brain’s focus during any activity of your choosing to better understand your working habits. Together with its proprietary mobile app, Melon gives insight into the brain’s response to various stimuli: action, environments, emotions, or whatever behavior you decide to measure, and visually records the data. Read More →

Study Finds Brain System for Emotional Self-Control

Human Brain

Different brain areas are activated when we choose to suppress an emotion, compared to when we are instructed to inhibit an emotion, according a new study from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Ghent University. Read More →

Human Brain vs. Supercomputer

Blue Gene:Q Sequoia

The Blue Gene/Q Sequoia. (Image via IBM)

Last November, IBM revealed that its lightning speed, Blue Gene/Q Sequoia supercomputer achieved a record simulation of more than 530 billion neurons. The Blue Gene/ Q Sequoia can perform over 16 quadrillion calculations per second, ranking as the second-fastest supercomputer in the world. (The number one spot is held by Cray’s Titan, built by the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee.) Read More →

Awake While Asleep: Lucid Dreaming

Image Credit: webneel.com

Image Credit: webneel.com

For the typical dreamer, a dream is usually a phenomenon that’s only experienced in hindsight. We may be moved to wonderment by the memory of it, but oftentimes we’ve missed out on the actual moment of participation. What’s more, we may already have begun to alter many of the details due to foggy recollection. We’re thus already experiencing a translation of our dream by the time we awaken. Read More →

How Genetics Shape Our Addictions

Have you ever wondered why some people find it so much easier to stop smoking than others? New research (cited below) shows that vulnerability to smoking addiction is shaped by our genes. A study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University shows that people with genetically fast nicotine metabolism have a significantly greater brain response to smoking cues than those with slow nicotine metabolism. Read More →

Navigation on the Brain

Before GPS and cellular devices gave drivers directions, Long Range Navigation (LORAN) beacons helped sailors and pilots to find their way during their travels. Powerful radio pulses emanate from radio transmitter sites. Skilled operators are able to determine latitude and longitude if they’ve received at least three different beacons. Signals from close transmitters arrive earlier than those from far away sites, because radio energy constantly travels at the speed of light. Read More →