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  • We can see that pain in your brain

We Can See That Pain in Your Brain!

Tor Wagner from the University of Colorado at Boulder took the lead on a study to try and see how the brain processes brain. By using an fMRI scan and painfully hot temperatures, the old ways of measuring pain have been proven insufficient. Usually, pain is recorded on a self-report basis on a 1-10 scale. There’s no way to know if pain is being exaggerated or underplayed by the patient.

Can We Predict Anorexia?

url-2 The size and shape of our brains may do exactly that.

The School of Medicine at the University of Colorado explored this, using MRIs on 19 adolescent females who had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, compared to 22 adolescent girls who had not.

The brain scans showed the females with anorexia “had larger left orbitofrontal, right insular, and bilateral temporal cortex gray matter.”

The orbitofrontal cortex tells the person when they’re full; it’s time to stop eating.

The insular is activated as we taste food; it’s related to the pleasantness of eating. Specifically, the […]

Hot Chocolate: Good for the Soul and Brain

Harvard’s recent study included 60 lucky participants drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day and seeing how it affected their cognitive skills. They found that those two delicious cups “could help sharpen cognitive skills and keep their brains healthy.”

How?

The drink leads to more blood flow to the brain, which plays an important role in cognitive diseases. This neurovascular coupling could lead to more research in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

However, the hot chocolate acts more like a treatment than an encouraged life change, meaning that people with an already healthy blood flow didn’t experience the positive changes than people with […]

High Fructose Corn Syrup Tricks Your Brain

Your brain works on nerve impulses that travel throughout your body. One of the important alerts comes from your stomach, which tells your brain it’s full. Without this process, we would just keep eating. That’s why it’s important to eat slowly; by slowing down, you won’t overeat by the time your brain figures out it’s full. However, studies are showing that high fructose corn syrup, or fructose in general, can hinder this trigger, allowing people to overeat.

High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. While all types of sugar have the same number of calories, they body metabolizes […]

Your Brain or Your Personality?

What makes you act the way you do? A new study conducted by Colin G. DeYoung and colleagues from the University of Minnesota suggests that certain personality traits are related to certain brain structure sizes.

The study finds that extraverts have an enlarged orbitofrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that registers rewards. These individuals are cheerful, assertive, and competitive.

However, the study could not find cause-and-effect, meaning scientists are still unsure whether the brain structure causes the personality trait or the trait causes the changes in brain structure, as personalities are (for the most part) constant, but do possess […]

Spotted: Brain “Clean-Up Crew”

While most biological systems use the lymphatic system to remove waste, the central nervous system uses something called the glymphatic system, which “cleans the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surround the brain and spinal cord and relies on specialized CNS support cells known as glia.” Helene Benveniste at Stony Brook University used a fluorescent tracer in rats, and tracked it with an MRI scan. This study has identified “two key influx nodes” in the brain. The team was able to measure the rate at which the glymphatic system removed the fluorescent […]