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Mindfulness training can influence health via stress reduction pathways

Mindfulness training can influence health via stress reduction pathways

Over the past decade, there have been many encouraging findings suggesting that mindfulness training can improve a broad range of mental and physical health problems. Yet, exactly how mindfulness positively impacts health is not clear. [More]
Newly found peptide may reduce desire for food

Newly found peptide may reduce desire for food

Researchers have identified a peptide and hormone that when administered to a specific area of the brain may reduce the desire for food. The study, which appears in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, may one day lead to medications that treat obesity and binge eating disorders. [More]
Endogenous cannabinoids linked to weight gain in people with schizophrenia

Endogenous cannabinoids linked to weight gain in people with schizophrenia

Cannabinoids may be involved in the weight gain that occurs in people with schizophrenia who are treated with the antipsychotic olanzapine, according to a pilot study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology by researchers at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and Université de Montréal. [More]
Researchers identify a common pattern across different psychiatric disorders

Researchers identify a common pattern across different psychiatric disorders

In a study analyzing whole-brain images from nearly 16,000 people, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine identified a common pattern across a spectrum of psychiatric disorders that are widely perceived to be quite distinct. [More]
Research explores effect of DBS treatments in animals with brain injuries

Research explores effect of DBS treatments in animals with brain injuries

The research, published in Behavioural Brain Research, was conducted by Pilar Segura and Ignacio Morgado (coordinators), Laura Aldavert and Marc Ramoneda, psychobiologists of the Institute of Neurosciences and the Department of Psychobiology and Health Sciences Methodology of the UAB and by Elisabet Kadar and Gemma Huguet, molecular biologists of the University of Girona, to explore the power of Deep Brain Stimulation treatments in the hypothalamus to recover the ability to learn and remember after a severe lesion of the amygdala. [More]
UCLA researchers find new treatment that restores normal social behavior in autism mice model

UCLA researchers find new treatment that restores normal social behavior in autism mice model

Among the problems people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) struggle with are difficulties with social behavior and communication. That can translate to an inability to make friends, engage in routine conversations, or pick up on the social cues that are second nature to most people. Similarly, in a mouse model of ASD, the animals, like humans, show little interest in interacting or socializing with other mice. [More]
Researchers identify novel life-preserving circuit responsible for recognizing threats

Researchers identify novel life-preserving circuit responsible for recognizing threats

Our existence depends on a bit of evolutionary genius aptly nicknamed "fight or flight." But where in our brain does the alarm first go off, and what other parts of the brain are mobilized to express fear and remember to avoid danger in the future? [More]
Brain uses separate pathway to recall old fear memories

Brain uses separate pathway to recall old fear memories

People with anxiety disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often experience prolonged and exaggerated fearfulness. Now, an animal study suggests that this might involve disruption of a gradual shifting of brain circuitry for retrieving fear memories. Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered in rats that an old fear memory is recalled by a separate brain pathway from the one originally used to recall it when it was fresh. [More]
CSHL researchers describe new pathway that controls fear memories in the mouse brain

CSHL researchers describe new pathway that controls fear memories in the mouse brain

Some people have no fear, like that 17-year-old kid who drives like a maniac. But for the nearly 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, an overabundance of fear rules their lives. Debilitating anxiety prevents them from participating in life's most mundane moments, from driving a car to riding in an elevator. [More]
Neurobiologists find paradoxical effect of abuse-related cues in infants, adults

Neurobiologists find paradoxical effect of abuse-related cues in infants, adults

Neurobiologists at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere have found a surprising and paradoxical effect of abuse-related cues in rat pups: those cues also can lower depressive-like behavior when the rat pups are fully grown. [More]
New study reveals how the brain can distinguish between good and bad smells

New study reveals how the brain can distinguish between good and bad smells

Whether an odor is pleasant or disgusting to an organism is not just a matter of taste. Often, an organism's survival depends on its ability to make just such a discrimination, because odors can provide important information about food sources, oviposition sites or suitable mates. [More]
TSRI scientists awarded $2.3 million grant to find ways to erase traumatic memories

TSRI scientists awarded $2.3 million grant to find ways to erase traumatic memories

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded $2.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services of the National Institutes of Health to better understand how memories are stored in the hopes of eventually being able to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by erasing traumatic memories without altering other, more benign ones. [More]
Study: Obese children's brains light up differently when tasting sugar

Study: Obese children's brains light up differently when tasting sugar

A new study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine finds that the brains of obese children literally light up differently when tasting sugar. [More]

Scientists identify brain mechanisms that turn unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories

We know that everyday events can be easy to forget, but dangerous experiences that trigger fear can remain engraved in the brain for years. Now, scientists from New York University and Japan's RIKEN Brain Science Institute have added to our understanding how this occurs. [More]
Cellular mechanisms of alcohol dependence: an interview with Dr Sanna, TSRI

Cellular mechanisms of alcohol dependence: an interview with Dr Sanna, TSRI

In the brain there are both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters. These are molecules that are released from nerve endings in the brain and in the periphery and either excite or inhibit other nerve cells, also known as neurons. [More]
Elevated anxious temperament associated with neuropeptide Y receptors

Elevated anxious temperament associated with neuropeptide Y receptors

Persistent anxiety is one of the most common and distressing symptoms compromising mental health. Most of the research on the neurobiology of anxiety has focused on the generation of increased anxiety, i.e., the processes that "turn on" anxiety. [More]

Brain scientist wins 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology

A brain scientist who helped explain how our emotions affect what we learn and remember has won the 2015 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. [More]
Study shows how specific trauma changes into a state of generalized fear

Study shows how specific trauma changes into a state of generalized fear

"I can't get the memories out of my mind!... I am right back in Vietnam, in the middle of the monsoon season at my guard post. My hands are freezing, yet sweat pours from my entire body...I smell a damp sulfur smell. Suddenly I see what's left of my buddy Troy, his head on a bamboo platter, sent back to our camp by the Viet Cong." [More]
New approach can prevent chronic marijuana use, relieve mood, anxiety disorders

New approach can prevent chronic marijuana use, relieve mood, anxiety disorders

Replenishing the supply of a molecule that normally activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain could relieve mood and anxiety disorders and enable some people to quit using marijuana, a Vanderbilt University study suggests. [More]
Variants of ASIC1a gene appear to be associated with panic disorder

Variants of ASIC1a gene appear to be associated with panic disorder

Panic disorder is a severe form of anxiety in which the affected individual feels an abrupt onset of fear, often accompanied by profound physical symptoms of discomfort. Scientists have known from studying twins that genes contribute to the risk of panic disorder, but very little is known about which specific genes are involved. [More]