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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Brain Research: A computer you can control with your mind ♦ Secret to a younger brain may lie in exercising your body ♦ Mental maps: Route-learning changes brain tissue

New research paves the way to begin developing a computer you can control with your mind A team of researchers has been able to predict participants' movements just by analyzing their brain activity. This study is the first human study to look at the neural signals of planned actions that are freely chosen by the participant and could be the first step in the development of brain-computer interfaces
Active body, active mind: The secret to a younger brain may lie in exercising your body It is widely recognized that our physical fitness is reflected in our mental fitness, especially as we get older. How does being physically fit affect our aging brains? Neuroimaging studies, in which the activity of different parts of the brain can be visualized, have provided some clues. Until now, however, no study has directly linked brain activation with both mental and physical performance
Researchers study differences in ischemic stroke in marijuana users Strokes in young adults who use marijuana are more likely to be caused by stenosis, narrowing of the arteries, in the skull than strokes in non-users. Previous studies found an association between marijuana use and stroke, but the new study is the first to explore differences in stroke in marijuana users and non-users,  
Mental maps: Route-learning changes brain tissue Fifteen years ago, a study showed that the brains of London cab drivers had an enlargement in the hippocampus, a brain area associated with navigation. But questions remained: Did the experience of navigating London's complex system of streets change their brains, or did only the people with larger hippocampi succeed in becoming cab drivers? Now, scientists have determined that learning detailed navigation information causes the hippocampal brain changes.
Lifestyle change could reduce risk of Alzheimer's Aging researchers are studying the connection between cholesterol level and cognitive decline in old age. Carriers of the ApoE4 genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's may be able to reduce their increased risk of cognitive decline by reducing their cholesterol level, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular disease.

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