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Posts Tagged "fMRI"

Dog Spies

February Dog Roundup (Brains, an Identity Crisis, Undrinkables and More)

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February might be a short month, but like every month, it was packed with a healthy dose of dog studies and dog news. In case you were hibernating, working, catching up on a good book (or True Detective!), taking care of a sick loved one or just not reading dog news, here’s what you should [...]

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Guest Blog

Looking for Empathy in a Conflict-Ridden World

I witnessed a breakup yesterday in the middle of MIT’s vast Infinite Corridor—a hallway known for its heavy traffic and long stretch of straightness. Finals are upon the undergraduates, so perhaps tensions were a bit high for the young, failing couple. Something, however, had clearly pushed the girl overboard. Her boyfriend had fallen dramatically to [...]

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Illusion Chasers

Ticklish laughter tickles your brain

Neuroscience can be lots of fun, but perhaps even more so when researchers study the brain’s Laughter Perception Network. In a new study researchers found that the brain responds differently to fMRI imaging of ticklish versus socially complex laughter.

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MIND Guest Blog

How Our Brains Process Books

Reading. (Credit: Paul Bence/Flickr)

We all know how it feels to get lost in a great book. Sometimes the characters and emotions can seem every bit as real as those of our everyday lives. But what’s happening in our brains as we dive into those pages? How is it different from what happens as we experience real life – [...]

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Observations

What’s a Voxel and What Can It Tell Us? A Primer on fMRI

fMRI working memory task

At right is a picture of someone’s brain as seen through functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI. This particular subject is taxing his neurons with a working memory task—those sunny orange specks represent brain activity related to the task. fMRI images show the brain according to changes in blood oxygen level, a proxy for degree [...]

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Observations

Doctors Diagnose in a Jiffy—and Using Common Regions of the Brain

brain scan of diagnosing doctors

Medical school might be a long, slow slog, but once doctors have their training, they can often make diagnoses in a matter of moments. New research suggests that doctors actually identify an abnormality in less than two seconds—not much longer than it takes them to name an animal or a letter of the alphabet. Twenty-five [...]

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Observations

Your love is my drug: How passion sparks the same painkilling pathways as drugs

people in love feel less pain, works like painkiller drugs

Who says love hurts? New research shows that strong romantic feelings actually ease physical pain via the same neural pathways as powerful drugs. By simply gazing at a picture of their beloved, undergraduates in a recent study were able to substantially reduce their experience of pain. The effect occurs thanks to a boost in the [...]

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Observations

New evidence that fMRI experiments are valid measure of neuron activity

fmri brain scan validation stimulation region brain activity

Among the more than a quarter of a million published functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies are assays that have purported to locate our mental experiences of religion, love and even the future in the brain. Recently, researchers even investigated the reliability of the scans to find out whether they should hold up in court [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Scientists Scan Children’s Brains for Answers to Mental Illness

kid practices getting her brain scanned

In a room tucked next to the reception desk in a colorful lobby of a Park Avenue office tower, kids slide into the core of a white cylinder and practice something kids typically find quite difficult: staying still. Inside the tunnel, a child lies on her back and looks up at a television screen, watching [...]

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