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Genetic Switches Behind Human Brain Evolution

The human brain differs from that of mice and monkeys because of its large cerebral cortex. The organ's most highly developed part, the cerebral cortex is responsible for thinking, perceiving and sophisticated communication. Scientists are just beginning to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that drive the growth of the

Uncovering the Power of Glial Cells

The collaboration was led by Erin Purcell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan State University; Joseph W. Salatino, Purcell's graduate student researcher; Kip A. Ludwig, associate director of technology at Mayo Clinic; and Takashi Kozai, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering. "Glial cells

No Evidence that Gadolinium Causes Neurologic Harm

Gadolinium-based contrast media were introduced in 1988 as a means of enhancing MRI images and are commonly used today. The contrast agent is injected into the patient's bloodstream and eliminated from the body through the kidneys. "It's estimated that approximately 400 million doses of gadolinium have been administered since 1988," said

Smart People Have Better Connected Brains

Understanding the foundations of human thought is fascinating for scientists and laypersons alike. Differences in cognitive abilities -- and the resulting differences for example in academic success and professional careers -- are attributed to a considerable degree to individual differences in intelligence. A study just published in Scientific Reports shows that these

Imaging Technique Shows Progress Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is associated with areas of high protein concentration in brain tissue: plaques and tangles. Raman imaging is now used to get sharp images of these affected areas. It is an attractive technique, because it shows more than the specific proteins involved. The presence of water and lipids, influenced

Consuming Nuts Strengthens Brainwave Function

In the study titled "Nuts and brain: Effects of eating nuts on changing electroencephalograph brainwaves," researchers found that some nuts stimulated some brain frequencies more than others. Pistachios, for instance, produced the greatest gamma wave response, which is critical for enhancing cognitive processing, information retention, learning, perception and rapid eye

Head and Face Pain Causes More Suffering

Duke University scientists have discovered how the brain's wiring makes us suffer more from head and face pain. The answer may lie not just in what is reported to us by the five senses, but in how that sensation makes us feel emotionally. The team found that sensory neurons that serve