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When there’s an audience, people’s performance improves

Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.

A waking nightmare: The enigma of sleep paralysis

In sleep paralysis, your mind wakes up, but your body does not. You may also experience frightening hallucinations. What is this, and how can we cope?

3-D human ‘mini-brains’ shed new light on genetic underpinnings of major mental illness

Researchers are leveraging gene-editing tools and mini-organs grown in the lab to study the effects of DISC1 mutations in cerebral organoids — ‘mini brains’ — cultured from human stem cells.

Neurons derived from super-obese people respond differently to appetite hormones

Scientists have successfully generated hypothalamic-like neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) taken from the blood and skin cells of super-obese individuals and people with a normal body weight. The researchers found that the brai…

Scientists identify connection between dopamine and behavior related to pain and fear

Scientists have for the first time found direct causal links between the neurotransmitter dopamine and avoidance — behavior related to pain and fear. Researchers have long known that dopamine plays a key role in driving behavior related to pleasurable…

Machine-learning system processes sounds like humans do

Using a machine-learning system known as a deep neural network, researchers have created the first model that can replicate human performance on auditory tasks such as identifying a musical genre. This type of model can shed light on how the human brai…

Gene variant increases empathy-driven fear in mice

A small difference in a gene affecting brain circuitry explains variations in empathic fear among different inbred mice strains. As empathy is evolutionarily conserved from rodents to humans, the study brings new insights into the workings of the mamma…

Brain processes sight and sound in same manner

Neuroscientists have found that the human brain learns to make sense of auditory and visual stimuli in the same two-step process.

Why is it harder for females to gain weight?

Why is it harder for females to gain weight? A new study proposes that part of the answer may be in the brain.

Brain networks: Keeping the excitement under control

Scientists are using advanced techniques to monitor the activity of networks of single sensory neurons in the brain. By listening in on hundreds of conversations, the scientists have discovered how a single signal from one cell manages to attract atten…