Research

MRI brain scans may predict substance abuse risk in adolescents

The current epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States has had devastating repercussions, with many deaths due to overdose, national economic consequences and overwhelmed families and first responders. As with so many diseases, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A study was recently completed in the College of Liberal Arts …

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Intense physical activity can improve brain function, says study

Physical activity is good for both physical and mental health. To reinforce the fact, a recent study by researchers at the University of Arizona established the connection between improved brain function and intense aerobic activity. The researchers found that activity that features locomotion increases neuroplasticity more than activities that are more dependent on hand-eye coordination, …

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Serotonin, the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter, may not make us so happy

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter located in the brain that is derived from the amino acid tryptophan. Over the years, serotonin has been referred to as the happy neurotransmitter because it is known to have a pivotal role in the reward pathway in the brain, resulting in all those feel-good motions. In fact, drug addiction is …

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Study links autism to disorder of touch perception in the skin

Sensitivity varies greatly among different people. How noise, pain, sound, touch and other stimuli are perceived determines responses. Variations in sensory perception result in variations in emotions and behavior. When people don’t feel as though they are receiving enough external stimuli, they may feel bored or do something to “stir things up.” On the other …

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New study suggests that texting alters daily brainwave rhythm

There is a specter haunting humanity, and that specter is phubbing. Phubbing is the act of staring at a smartphone to the exclusion of everything and everyone else. An extension of phubbing is cell phone distracted walking. The National Safety Council notes cell phone distracted walking accounted for over 11,000 injuries between 2000 and 2011. …

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Alcohol interventions are not reaching Greek college culture

College fraternities and binge drinking have gone hand-in-hand for decades. In spite of treatment professionals’ best efforts, alcohol interventions have largely failed to curb excessive alcohol consumption in Greek culture. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to this destructive relationship.   Binge drinking in Greek culture In 2000, Harvard School of Health …

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Understanding brain development malfunctions

In what could be a pivotal discovery, medical researchers have identified a brain receptor thought to be the one that initiates adolescent synaptic pruning; a maintenance process which facilitates learning. Synaptic pruning is what has been revealed to malfunction in young people with autism or schizophrenia. As referenced in our previous article explaining synaptic pruning, …

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