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Octopuses given mood drug ‘ecstasy’ reveal genetic link to evolution of social behaviors in humans

By studying the genome of a kind of octopus not known for its friendliness toward its peers, then testing its behavioral reaction to a popular mood-altering drug called MDMA or ‘ecstasy,’ scientists say they have found preliminary evidence of an evolut…

Gambling monkeys help scientists find brain area linked to high-risk behavior

Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one’s willingness to make risky decisions.

Gut sense: Neural superhighway conveys messages from gut to brain in milliseconds

Searching for a more direct connection between the gut and the brain, researchers were shocked to see that distance spanned by a single synapse, relaying the signal in less than 100 milliseconds, less than the blink of an eye. The finding has profound …

Full, but still feasting: Mouse study reveals how urge to eat overpowers a signal to stop

A new study explores the mystery of what drives eating past the point of fullness, at the most basic level in the brain. It shows that two tiny clusters of cells battle for control of feeding behavior — and the one that drives eating overpowers the on…

Genomic dark matter activity connects Parkinson’s and psychiatric diseases

Using a new technique known as laser-capture RNA seq, that involves cutting out dopamine neurons from a human brain section with a laser, investigators have cataloged more than 70,000 novel elements active in these brain cells.

In depression the brain region for stress control is larger

Although depression is one of the leading psychiatric disorders, its cause remains unclear. A recent study found that those affected by depressive disorder have a larger hypothalamus compared to their healthy counterparts. This could explain why many s…