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New knowledge about the ‘happiness hormone’ dopamine

New findings provide a better understanding of how the synthesis of dopamine is regulated in the brain. It may shed new light on the mechanism behind diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Brain-based method to determine impairment from cannabis intoxication

A new study shows that imaging of brain activity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy might offer a more accurate and reliable way to distinguish impairment from cannabis intoxication.

Sleep deprivation increases serotonin 2a receptor response in brain

Researchers have identified the effects of an environmental stressor, sleep deprivation, that could alter the balance controlled by antipsychotic drugs and impact individuals with schizophrenia.

New neural circuits discovered that regulate spatial learning and memory in the brain’s hippocampal formation

A research team has discovered new neural circuits that regulate spatial learning and memory in the brain’s hippocampal formation. The team identified novel functional roles of new circuit connections between the venal CA1 region and dorsal CA3 regions…

Novel brainstem circuit gives rise to the rhythms of vocalization

The vocal sounds of humans — laughing, crying, and the babbling of babies — have the same rhythmic quality as the sounds made by many mammals, songbirds, and even some species of fish. Researchers have discovered that a small cluster of neurons in th…

How the brain’s blue spot helps us focus our attention

How can we shift from a state of inattentiveness to one of highest attention? The locus coeruleus, literally the ‘blue spot,’ is a tiny cluster of cells at the base of the brain. As the main source of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, it helps us con…

Exercise alters brain chemistry to protect aging synapses

When elderly people stay active, their brains have more of a class of proteins that enhances the connections between neurons to maintain healthy cognition, a new study has found.

Anxiety and PTSD linked to increased myelin in brain’s gray matter

Scientists have shown in both anxious rats and military veterans with PTSD that acute stress is associated with increased myelination of axons in areas of the brain associated with memory and emotions. These areas in the brain’s gray matter are normall…

Can a human microglial atlas guide brain disorder research?

Researchers analyzed thousands of microglia from different brain regions of deceased patients who had been diagnosed with a variety of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Their results support the idea that microglia may play critical rol…

New hope for sight recovery in stroke survivors

Researchers have used MRI imaging to map visual brain activity in stroke survivors with sight loss that gives new hope for rehabilitation and recovery.