cognition

05/08/2014 - 11:06

A variant of the gene KLOTHO is known for its anti-aging effects in people fortunate enough to carry one copy. Now researchers find that it also has benefits when it comes to brain function. The variant appears to lend beneficial cognitive effects by increasing overall levels of klotho in the bloodstream and brain.

 

04/25/2014 - 10:48

A study on rats exposed to proton irradiation, simulating that experienced by astronauts on two-year planetary missions, indicates that some astronauts may be at risk of cognitive impairment. A substantial sub-group of the radiation-exposed rats displayed decreased accuracy, increased premature responding, increased attention lapses and slower reaction times in a rodent version of the human psychomotor vigilance test (PVT). This appears to be due to changes in the dopamine transporter system. The study, from researchers in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is published in the current issue of the journal Radiation Research.

 

04/23/2014 - 10:42

A new study from a large multi-national group of scientists suggests that absolute brain size is key in evolution of cognition and self-control. The study, published in early edition in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined 36 animal species in two problem-solving tasks measuring self-control. It found that absolute (not body size- relative) brain size and dietary breadth were the major predictors of species differences in self-control.

03/27/2014 - 09:03

The problems people with autism have with memory formation, higher-level thinking and social interactions may be partially attributable to the activity of receptors inside brain cells, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned.

 

02/20/2014 - 11:00

Adult humans continuously produce new neurons in the striatum, a brain region involved in motor control and cognitive functions, and these neurons could play an important role in recovery from stroke and possibly finding new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders, according to a study published by Cell Press February 20th in the journal Cell. To detect the birth of new neurons in the striatum, the authors used a method that measures carbon-14 found in human DNA as a result of above-ground nuclear testing more than half a century ago. The findings reveal a surprise finding of new neurons in a human brain structure where they haven't been previously described. The discovery may open up new avenues to treat diseases and disorders that affect the striatum.

 

01/28/2014 - 11:00

New research suggests a surprising degree of similarity in the organization of regions of the brain that control language and complex thought processes in humans and monkeys. The study, publishing online January 28 in the Cell Press journal Neuron, also revealed some key differences. The findings may provide valuable insights into the evolutionary processes that established our ties to other primates but also made us distinctly human.