Green: NAc-projecting prefrontal cortex neurons become active during the presentation of a reward-predictive cue, and this activity drives reward-seeking behavior. Purple: PVT-projecting prefrontal cortex neurons inhibited during reward-predictive cue. Credit: The Stuber Lab (UNC School of Medicine) The prefrontal cortex, a large and recently evolved structure that wraps the front of the brain, has powerful

Credit: Association for Psychological Science We use others’ eyes – whether they’re widened or narrowed – to infer emotional states, and the inferences we make align with the optical function of those expressions, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The research reveals, for example, that

Our brain tricks us into believing the low-hanging fruit really is the ripest, a new study says.Image credit:Flickr/Victoria Price The amount of effort required to do something influences what we think we see, finds a new UCL study suggesting we’re biased towards perceiving anything challenging to be less appealing. “Our brain tricks us into believing

Highly creative people have significantly more white matter connections (shown in green) between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, according to a new analysis. Credit: Daniele Durante, University of Padova An MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging traces the bundles of nerve fibers that carry electrical signals between different areas of the brain.

Add-on treatment with high-dose b-vitamins can significantly reduce symptoms of schizophrenia more than standard treatments alone, a new study finds. Image credit: Flickr/Vitamina Verde A review of worldwide studies has found that add-on treatment with high-dose b-vitamins – including B6, B8 and B12 – can significantly reduce symptoms of schizophrenia more than standard treatments alone.

Fathers given boosts of the hormone oxytocin show increased activity in brain regions associated with reward and empathy when viewing photos of their toddlers, a new study finds.Image credit:Flickr/Ashley Webb Fathers given boosts of the hormone oxytocin show increased activity in brain regions associated with reward and empathy when viewing photos of their toddlers, an

Credit: University of Leicester A genetic ‘switch’ has been discovered by MRC researchers at the University of Leicester which could help to prevent or delay the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. In a paper published in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation, the team discovered that a gene called ATF4 plays a key role in Parkinson’s

Largest imaging study of ADHD to date identifies differences in five regions of the brain, with greatest differences seen in children rather than adults.Image credit:Practical Cures Largest imaging study of ADHD to date identifies differences in five regions of the brain, with greatest differences seen in children rather than adults. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is

Psychologists have found that the emotional benefits of compassionate acts are significant for the giver, whether or not the recipient is even aware of the act. Image credit:Flickr/Pia Kristine We’ve all heard that it’s better to give than to receive. Now there’s empirical evidence to show that being compassionate to a spouse is rewarding in

Participants rode stationary bikes while wearing a wireless heart rate monitor and an EEG cap.Credit: Image courtesy of University of California – Santa Barbara It’s universally accepted that the benefits of exercise go well beyond fitness, from reducing the risk of disease to improving sleep and enhancing mood. Physical activity gives cognitive function a boost

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