Scientific News

Live a normal life with only 10 per cent of your brain?!

While the astonishing case of a French man living a normal life despite having lost 90% of his brain was first reported in 2007 in the journal The Lancet, the story is resurfacing as part of the international conference of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. The portrait of this unusual subject was presented during the event, provoking new questions amongst the scientific community. How can a human lead a normal life with only 10% of his brain? The specialist Axel Cleeremans from the Université Libre de Bruxelles sheds light on the question.

Listening to Cleeremans paint the portrait of the patient during the conference held in June in Buenos Aires, one ...

Why are birds so smart?

Scientists have long questioned the cognitive abilities of birds in relation to their tiny brain size; in certain areas they resemble or even outperform mammals. A new study carried out by researchers from the Universities of Prague, Vienna, and Rio de Janeiro has revealed how birds are able to perform such cognitive feats with brains the size of a walnut. What if Hitchcock were right?

Among birds, corvids (crows, magpies, and jays for example) and parrots appear to be cognitively superior; they may even rival the great apes. They are able to make and use tools, understand cause and effect mechanisms (in both directions), recognize themselves in a mirror, plan for future ...

What do text messages do to our brain?

New neurological evidence highlighting the dangers of texting while driving has recently been published in Epilepsy & Behavior. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and the University of Florida have revealed a new dynamic in the brain that they’ve termed “texting rhythm.” What exactly is our brain doing as we’re writing an SMS?

To study how writing text messages impacts brain dynamics, the team of neuropathologists evaluated data from 129 patients (53 of whom suffered from seizures). The participants were monitored over a period of 16 months and were invited to perform different types of activities: sending SMS, performing cognitive, attention, and ...

Why does our brain disconnect when we sleep?

On the train, at the beach, in front of the television... we've all experienced that moment when sleep starts to come over us: we slowly lose consciousness of our surroundings. And as we dive into the arms of Morpheus, our senses diminish; and then there's nothing. Thomas Andrillon and his colleagues studied this loss of contact with the environment. Why does the brain isolate itself during sleep?

Sleep is characterized by a loss of behavioral responsiveness. Until now, scientists weren’t able to determine exactly how neuronal activity could limit the ability to process sensory information as we sleep. In order to study this “disconnection” by the brain, a team of ...

Does chocolate make the brain more efficient?

While we may be familiar with chocolate and especially dark chocolate’s positive effect on stress; its effects on cognitive performance were little known… until now. Sweet tooths will have something to be happy about because this recent study published in the medical journal Appetite showed that the regular consumption of chocolate helps fight cognitive decline. So how is it good for our brain?

The study carried out by Georgina E. Crichton at the Nutritional Physiology Research Centre (University of South Australia), in collaboration with the psychology department, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Maine (USA), and the ...

Why are movies scary?

The shark draws near… [music from Jaws]. Janet Leigh takes her shower and a shadow appears behind the curtain… [music from Psycho]. The teenager Regan contorts, writhing back in forth more than is humanly possible [music from The Exorcist]. We as viewers are in no danger, yet these scenes frighten us. How is that we forget it’s only cinema? Read on to learn why.

Rather than questioning the nature of emotions elicited by the film, as philosophers might do (are they real emotions?), Olivier Koenig, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University Lumière Lyon 2 (France), would rather explore the emotional mechanisms. According to the researcher, one of the central ...

Is encouraging small children good for brain development?

“Stop babying him!” “Let him do it himself!” What about encouraging and reassuring young children instead? According to a study carried out at the University of Washington and published in PNAS, very young children who have been supported, praised and coddled by their mother have brains that are better structured for learning and for handling stressful situations later on. To what extent does maternal support, beginning in childhood, influence a child's brain development?

Aside from a few mentions in longitudinal studies, the effects of positive maternal support have not been demonstrated in humans (though it has been shown in animals, particularly rats. Determining ...

Could seafood help maintain your memory?

Summer is here... For those of you who are lucky enough to be on the beach, you might take the opportunity to enjoy some seafood. Well don’t hold yourself back! According to a recent study published in the medical journal Neurology, oysters, whelks, shrimp, and other seafood are beneficial to cognitive health, especially in the elderly. What are the benefits of eating seafood?

In their research, scientists from the medical center at Rush University (United States), and Wageningen University (the Netherlands) monitored 915 volunteers (average age: 81.4 years; 25% men) over the course of 5 years, regularly subjecting them to cognitive tests (19 in all) in order to analyze the ...

How can the "first night effect" be explained?

We may be in the most peaceful room with the most comfortable bedding, but for some reason when we sleep in an unfamiliar place, our sleep is often less than optimal. This phenomenon, known as the “first night effect," is very common. Researchers at the Department of Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Psychology at Brown University appear to have solved the mystery. What causes us to have fitful sleep during the first night in an unfamiliar environment?

Trouble falling asleep and micro-awakenings, a decrease in REM sleep: we’ve all experienced these characteristics of fragmented sleep the first time we sleep in a new vacation rental or at a friend’s house. Until the ...

Can music help young children speak?

The triple meter of that waltz may be beneficial to your baby. In any case, it’s one of the types of music that a team of researchers from the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington used in order to highlight the positive effects of early music education on speech development in young children. How can music help them acquire language? Let’s take a look at the research!

In their study, T. Christina Zhao and Patricia K. Kuhl wanted to determine whether music games could facilitate speech development in infants. 20 9-month old babies were taught to reproduce musical rhythms and were compared with 19 other babies of the same age who were ...

Close
Login

Please type in your email address below:

LoadingPlease wait... Loading...
Close Log in
Password forgotten

Please enter the email address you are using with HAPPYneuron.
Instructions to reset your password will be sent to this email address.

LoadingSaving data...
Close
Log in

It seems that you have forgotten your password. What do you wish to do?

Close
Free Registration

Try the HAPPYneuron program for free for 7 days.

Type the characters you see in the picture below.

Reload security image
Captcha image
By clicking "Get Started" below you agree to HAPPYneuron's terms of use.
Terms of Use
Close
Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest information and news about the brain and our special offers twice a month for free.