How Electro-Shock Therapy Affects the Brain and Depression []

by Emily Allen / Daily Mail

Scientists have finally discovered how one of psychiatry’s most controversial treatments can help patients with severe depression.

Researchers at Aberdeen University have discovered that ECT – or electro-convulsive therapy - affects the way different parts of the brain involved in depression ‘communicate’ with each other.

They found that the treatment appears to ‘turn down’ an overactive connection between areas of the brain that control mood and the parts responsible for thinking and concentrating.

This stops the overwhelming impact that depression has on sufferers’ ability to enjoy normal life and carry on with day-to-day activities.

This decrease in connectivity observed after ECT treatment was accompanied by a significant improvement in the patient’s depressive symptoms.

The ECT treatment, which is 75-years-old, involves an electric shock being passed through the cortex of a severely-depressed patient to ‘cure’ them.

Its graphic portrayal in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Next won Jack Nicholson an Oscar.

The controversial treatment was introduced in 1938 by an Italian neurologist Ugo Cerletti, who was allegedly inspired by watching pigs being stunned with electric shock before being butchered in Rome.  The animals would go into seizures and fall down, making it easier to slit their throats.

At the time psychiatric orthodoxy held – wrongly – that schizophrenia and epilepsy were antagonistic and one could not exist in the presence of the other.

Deciding to try the stunning technique on his patients, Dr Cerletti found electric shocks to the head caused his most obsessive and difficult mental patients to become meek and manageable.

Later the treatment was found to be effective in treating severe depression but its mode of action has remained until now a complete mystery.

The study involved using MRI to scan the brains of nine severely depressed patients before and after ECT, and then applying entirely new and complex mathematical analysis to investigate brain connectivity.

Professor of Psychiatry at the university Ian Reid, who is also a consultant psychiatrist at the Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, said: ‘We believe we’ve solved a 70 year old therapeutic riddle.

‘ECT is a controversial treatment, and one prominent criticism has been that it is not understood how it works and what it does to the brain.

‘For all the debate surrounding ECT, it is one of the most effective treatments not just in psychiatry but in the whole of medicine, because 75 per cent to 85 per cent of patients recover from their symptoms.

‘Over the last couple of years there has been an emerging new perspective on how depression affects the brain.

‘This theory has suggested a ‘hyper-connection’ between the areas of the brain involved in emotional processing and mood change and the parts of the brain involved in thinking and concentrating.

‘Our key finding is that if you compare the connections in the brain before and after ECT, ECT reduces this ‘hyper-connectivity’.

‘For the first time we can point to something that ECT does in the brain that makes sense in the context of what we think is wrong in people who are depressed.’

Although ECT is extremely effective, it is only used on people who need treatment quickly: those who are very severely depressed, who are at risk from taking their own lives, and perhaps cannot look after themselves, or those who have not responded to other treatments.

Professor Reid said: ‘The treatment can also affect memory, though for most patients this is short-lived.

‘However if we understand more about how ECT works, we will be in a better position to replace it with something less invasive and more acceptable.

‘At the moment only about 40 per cent of people with depression get better with treatment from their GP.

‘Our findings may lead to new drug targets which match the effectiveness of ECT without an impact on memory.’

Professor Christian Schwarzbauer, chair in neuroimaging at Aberdeen, who devised the maths used to analyse the data, said: ‘We were able to find out to what extent more than 25,000 different brain areas ‘communicated’ with each other.

‘The method could be applied to a wide range of other brain disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, or dementia, and may lead to a better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms and the development of new diagnostic tools.’

The team’s findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more:

Science Uncovers Genes Governing Male and Female Behaviors []

by Cassie Murdoch /

We tend to think of the differences between men and women in broad, comprehensive terms. Women are more nurturing, men are more aggressive, and on and on. Of course we rationally understand that these traits are influenced by our sex hormones, but on a deeper level we seem to regard the differences in our behavior as somehow fixed. But now new research is showing that, in fact, there are very specific genes that regulate male or female behaviors, and they can be turned on and off at will—which could drastically alter the way we think about what drives us to be who we are.

The connection between sex hormones and behavior has long been understood, but the relationship between hormone levels and gene expression in our brains was less clear. To better understand it, the research, which was conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, aimed to locate a number of genes that are influenced by testosterone and estrogen and in turn dictate specific sets of male and female behaviors in mice.

To do this, lead researcher Dr. Nirao Shah and his team analyzed sex differences in gene expression in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that is involved with sensing hormones. They managed to locate 16 genes that were expressed differently in males and in females, and showed that the different expressions were regulated by the sex hormones.

But what they also found is that they could isolate parts of classic male and female behaviors and pinpoint them as being governed by their own particular genes. It’s fascinating to think of all of our sex-specific quirks as connecting back to specific genes that can be turned on and off.EurekAlert offers a useful analogy for understanding the relationship between the hormones and genes. If you think of your brain as a house that’s wired into the power grid, then,

A sex hormone is similar to the main breaker that connects the house to the utility pole and regulates electricity to the entire house. Individual genes influenced by sex hormones are like the light switches in each room, making it possible to turn the lights on in the kitchen while leaving the bedroom dark.

Shah explains how this plays out in the mice:

It’s as if you can deconstruct a social behavior into genetic components. Each gene regulates a few components of a behavior without affecting other aspects of male and female behavior.

In other words, by flipping the switch, you could turn off a mouse’s sex drive, willingness to spend time with their young, and even their desire to pick fights—while leaving every other behavioral element unaffected.

Imagine how crazy it would be if we could do that in humans. Don’t like it that your boyfriend gets into fights at the bar? Just flip the switch. For now, Shah says that understanding the genes that drive male and female behavior can guide researchers to find the genetic basis for other complex social behaviors. And along the same lines, it could prove very useful in locating which genes are involved in diseases where a gender difference exist, such as autism, which affects four times as many males as it does females.

As good as all that sounds, there is something a bit unnerving about contemplating your genes as a collection of switches that govern your behaviors. On some level it would be a dream to be able to turn behaviors off and on at will—it would revolutionize the way we interact, but, on the more terrifying side of things, it would also totally change our conception of what makes us who we are. Fortunately, manipulating them is a complicated process. So it looks like we have a while until we’re all going to need to start popping pills to fine tune ourselves. That’s a relief, because for most of us managing the hormones we already have is a big enough job.


This is what your brain on drugs really looks like []

by Robert T. Gonzalez /

Scientists this week published a study that reveals what the human brain looks like under the influence of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical found in magic mushrooms.

The study has turned a few heads, and raised some interesting questions. What does the human brain look like during a mushroom trip? Come to think of it, what sort of activity do scientists see in the brains of people after they smoke a joint, or once they’ve downed a few beers? Let’s take a peek at what your brain really looks like on drugs — illicit and otherwise — and what scientists stand to learn from collecting this kind of information.

The results of the mushroom study were published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt and his team. The researchers recruited thirty people to participate in the investigation, all of whom were experienced with the use of hallucinogenic drugs. The study was designed to monitor the changes in brain activity that emerge during the transition from a normal, sober state of consciousness to one influenced by the effects of the psychedelic compound psilocybin. This was accomplished by recording subjects’ brain, both before and after the intravenous administration of 2 milligrams of psilocybin (i.e. the psilocybin was injected directly into the subject’s blood stream via a vein). Two mg of psilocybin delivered intravenously is comparable to 15mg delivered orally — what the researchers describe as “a moderate dose.”

Your Brain on Shrooms


Shown here are the effects of psilocybin that the researchers observed. Regions labeled in blue indicate a decrease in brain activity. This activity was measured via two variations of a common neuroimaging method called functional magnetic resonance imagine (or fMRI for short), which works by monitoring blood flow in the brain. (It bears mentioning that while the rest of the images of brain activation in this post were also detected via fMRI, other neuroimaging techniques do exist, includingCT scanningmagnetoencephalography, andpositron emission tomography, to name a few.)

Many people have either had or heard of mind-bending experiences attributable to psilocybin — so if you or someone you know has experimented with mushrooms, the fact that the researchers’ observations reflected adecrease in brain activity during a trip will probably strike you as odd. What’s going on here, man?

“Psychedelics are thought of as ‘mind-expanding’ drugs, so it has commonly been assumed that they work by increasing brain activity,” explained Nutt in an interview with Nature’s Mo Costandi. “Surprisingly, we found that psilocybin actually caused activity to decrease in areas that have the densest connections with other areas.”

Did you catch that? The most important thing to take away from this study isn’t the fact that brain activity decreased, it’s where the activity decreased. The greatest dips in activity were observed in regions of the brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices (ACC and PCC, respectively). And as if that wasn’t enough, the researchers’ findings also suggest that psilocybin takes its disabling effects one step further by disrupting connections between the mPFC and PCC.

You can think of your mPFC, PCC, and a third region of your brain called the thalamus, astransportation hubs that coordinate the flow of information throughout your brain. Decreased activity within and between the brain’s hubs, conclude Nutt and his colleagues, allows for “an unconstrained style of cognition.”

What the hell does that mean? Costandi fleshes things out for us, with a little help from Aldous Huxley :

In his 1954 book The Doors of Perception, novelist Aldous Huxley, who famously experimented with psychedelics, suggested that the drugs produce a sensory deluge by opening a “reducing valve” in the brain that normally acts to limit our perceptions.

The new findings are consistent with this idea, and with the free-energy principle of brain function developed by Karl Friston of University College London that states that the brain works by constraining our perceptual experiences so that its predictions of the world are as accurate as possible.

The observations by Nutt and his colleagues come together quite nicely with a model of “unconstrained cognition.” There is, however, one small snag: the team’s findings directly contradict those observed in previous studies.

“We have completed a number of similar studies,” explains Franz Vollenweider, a neuropsychopharmacologist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, “and we always saw anactivation of these same areas” [emphasis added].

So why don’t the researchers’ findings match up? The short answer is: don’t know; needs more research. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hypothesize. For example, in Vollenweider’s study, test subjects were administered psilocybin orally, and their brains were imaged an hour later. In Nutt’s study, however, the psychedelic compound was administered intravenously, and the brain scans were performed immediately.

According to Keith Laws, a neuropsychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, previous studies have shown that the decreases in brain activity observed by Nutt and his colleagues are also linked to the anticipation of unpleasant experiences. Being dosed with psilocybin intravenously, muses Laws, was probably a pretty stressful experience, even for experienced drug users. “I suspect,” Laws explains, “that [Nutt and his colleagues] measured something to do with anxiety.”

Click here to read the rest of the article…

Being Narcissistic Stresses Dudes Out []

by Anna North /

It turns out it’s hard out there for a narcissist — at least if he’s a guy. A new study has found that men who are full of themselves may actually be stressed out by their own narcissism.

In a study published in PLoS One, researchers David Reinhard, Sara Konrath, William Lopez, and Heather Cameron gave 106 undergrads (79 women, 27 men) a 40-item Narcissistic Personality Inventory, in which they had to pick either narcissistic responses (“If I ruled the world it would be a better place”) or non-narcissistic ones (“The thought of ruling the world frightens the hell out of me”). They subdivided the results into unhealthy narcissism — characterized by “entitlement” and “exploitativeness” — and healthy narcissism — associated with qualities like leadership and self-sufficiency (also vanity, though it’s unclear why that’s healthy). They also tested the subjects’ saliva (using a technique amusingly called “passive drool”) for cortisol, a hormone related to stress response. The researchers found that men with high levels of unhealthy narcissism also had higher cortisol levels. Unhealthily narcissistic ladies had higher levels too, but the effect was much smaller.

Higher levels of cortisol mean narcissistic dudes have a more active stress response, which could lead to cardiovascular problems — the study authors note that “future work might examine [whether] high narcissism in earlier life predicts poor health outcomes in later life.” Though hanging out with a narcissistic person is certainly stressful, it’s not obvious why narcissists themselves would be freaked out. Reinhard et al, however, note that previous research has shown that “narcissists are susceptible to a host of unrealistic self-views that are difficult and stressful to continuously maintain.” Translation: convincing yourself that you’re the most important person in the world is actually a lot of work. So why is this more stressful for men? The study authors write,

Perhaps females can escape more severe physiological consequences of narcissism because there are different expectations for their roles in society. Female gender roles promote behaviors that encourage women to value relationships and to seek and gain social support, which may lower their risks for chronic [stress]. In fact, female narcissism might be associated with different kinds of exploitative strategies than male narcissism. Perhaps female narcissists use “feminine” roles to their advantage and obtain both social and financial resources more indirectly.

Study coauthor Sara Konrath adds, “Given societal definitions of masculinity that overlap with narcissism — for example, the belief that men should be arrogant and dominant — men who endorse stereotypically male sex roles and who are also high in narcissism may feel especially stressed.” This isn’t carte blanche for ladies to act like assholes — they still might stress out the people around them. But the study’s findings may point to a sort of poetic justice for male narcissists — acting like they’re hot shit all the time may cause them pain, and even usher them into an early grave. Which seems like a pretty good argument for recognizing that the world doesn’t revolve around you.

Narcissism’s Gender Gap: Toxic Trait Stresses Men More [LiveScience]
Expensive Egos: Narcissistic Males Have Higher Cortisol [PLoS One]


Remembering things that never happened []

by Tiffany O’Callaghan /

Despite knowing better, many of us cling to the notion that memory is a reliable record and trawling through it can be similar to flipping through an old photo album. But what about the memories – sometimes vivid in nature – of things that never were?

Examining the false stories that we can create for ourselves is the aim of a new initiative led by artist Alasdair Hopwood. As part of a residency at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unitled by Chris French at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Hopwood aims to explore what false memories reveal about our sense of identity.

To do this, he has created the False Memory Archive, a collection of people’s fabricated recollections either jotted down after talks he has given or submitted online at the project’s website. At a discussion of the project at Goldsmiths this week, Hopwood recounted how he had hoped to get 50 submissions over the course of his year-long residency funded by the Wellcome Trust. A very low estimate, he soon learned: “We got 70 in the first week.”

Our appetite for understanding and improving memory is tremendous, and French is hopeful that the false memory project will raise awareness about the intricacies of remembering. “People have so many misconceptions about the way memory works,” he says. In part, that’s because memories are so infrequently challenged. The few times they are, he says, are in the courts, after anomalous claims – like seeing aliens or the Lochness monster – or, he adds with a wry smile, in romantic relationships.

For Hopwood, examining the ways we deceive ourselves through memory is perhaps a natural progression. He has worked with fellow artists as part of the WITH Collective on projects that expose and poke fun at the many ways we style our public selves. “Identity is not fixed,” he says. Instead, it shifts depending on the company we are in, and even the format of the interaction – be it social media or in person.

We’re extraordinarily preoccupied with sculpting our identities, as the glut of self-help books and pseudoscientific methods for personal development demonstrates. Through the WITH Collective, Hopwood has pushed this to the preposterous in a series of whimsical, biting and often hilarious “solutions” offering people alternate realities to claim as their own. In these fictitious scenarios, people can avail themselves of “traumaformer” for example, a “product” that conjures up a more traumatic past for the purchaser, or shift the blame to someone else with “scapegoad”. For the sexually curious but timid, there’s also “homoflexible”: “We perform your fantasies/fears for you, as you, so you don’t have to,” the site boasts.

These past projects have all been gleefully tongue in cheek, “cheerful antagonism” as Hopwood describes it. Yet these satirical takes on modern living have been cast in new light as his understanding of memory has grown, and with it his fascination for false memory in particular.

Hopwood has already been intrigued by the detailed and often bizarre recollections pouring in, but he isn’t yet sure what will come of this project – whether the false memories should be left to speak for themselves, or if they will inspire works of visual art or a combination of both. “I don’t want to make a work that is overtly illustrative,” he says.

An accomplished satirist, whatever Hopwood makes of these misleading memories, the results should certainly be hard to forget.

To add your own false memories, go to

6 People Who Gained Amazing Skills from Brain Injuries Read more: 6 People Who Gained Amazing Skills from Brain Injuries []

by Eddie Rodriguez / 

In real life, people don’t suffer freaky events like getting struck by lightning or getting part of their brain removed and then suddenly find themselves with new superpowers, like heat vision or flight. However, people do apparently suffer freaky events and then gain the ability to do art.

It’s a poorly understood phenomenon, but according to the experts who’ve studied them, these people aren’t just messing with us.

#6. Man Has Mystery Illness, Gains Super Memory and Painting Powers

Quick: Picture in your mind what your neighborhood looked like when you were 4 years old. Even better, try to draw a picture of it, in fine detail. Hell, most of us couldn’t do the latter with a room we saw five minutes ago. To unlock that ability, apparently all we need is a severe, life-threatening fever to jar it loose.

When 30-something Italian immigrant Franco Magnani arrived in San Francisco in the 1960s, he came down with just such a fever — to the point that he sometimes became delirious and had seizures. In the aftermath, Magnani started having insanely vivid dreams/memories about his childhood hometown of Pontito, Italy. The man hadn’t visited the place in more than 30 years, but his dreams were intense and filled with detail, as if his seizures had somehow surfaced a bunch of old image files off his brain’s hard drive, perfectly intact.

Magnani became so engulfed by the memories that he started to draw and eventually paint them. If the below paintings look like random pictures of streets and alleys you could see on anybody’s wall, you have to see them next to a photo of the real scene to understand why they’re remarkable. The photo is on the left. The painting on the right was painted from a three-decade-old memory from early childhood:


Can we call “Photoshop” on a painting?

Again, Magnani did not have that photo to work from – that was taken later, probably by somebody trying to find out if he was full of shit. And keep in mind, painting at all was totally out of character for him, given that he had been a cook in Italy and a woodworker when he came to San Francisco. Yet even though he’d never so much as held a brush in his life, he was suddenly overcome with an urge to paint these scenes, with as much detail as his memory provided him. Yes, there are variations in the pics — for instance when he paints the view from his old bedroom window, he’s remembering it being zoomed out a bit:

Photo, again on the left.

What you’re seeing is the product of what had become an obsession. According to one of his friends, Magnani was known to leave his favorite bar mid-drink if he got a memory that he wanted to paint. Later, when word of Magnani’s story got out, doctors said that what he had was probably “temporal lobe epilepsy,” which is known to sometimes create an obsessive personality in sufferers.

Photo on left.

When Magnani’s work was eventually shown in art galleries, it was put up next to photo comparisons of Pontito taken from the same angles as his paintings. You can see the result for yourself.


And to think, all he had to do was have himself a fever and a couple of seizures. We’re betting any aspiring artist will take that deal over three years of putting up with stuck-up assholes at art schools.

Read more: 6 People Who Gained Amazing Skills from Brain Injuries |

Scientists Reconstruct Brains’ Visions Into Digital Video In Historic Experiment []

By Jesus Diaz /

UC Berkeley scientists have developed a system to capture visual activity in human brains and reconstruct it as digital video clips. Eventually, this process will allow you to record and reconstruct your own dreams on a computer screen.

I just can’t believe this is happening for real, but according to Professor Jack Gallant—UC Berkeley neuroscientist and coauthor of the research published today in the journal Current Biology—”this is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery. We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.

Indeed, it’s mindblowing. I’m simultaneously excited and terrified. This is how it works:

They used three different subjects for the experiments—incidentally, they were part of the research team because it requires being inside a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging system for hours at a time. The subjects were exposed to two different groups of Hollywood movie trailers as the fMRI system recorded the brain’s blood flow through their brains’ visual cortex.

The readings were fed into a computer program in which they were divided into three-dimensional pixels units called voxels (volumetric pixels). This process effectively decodes the brain signals generated by moving pictures, connecting the shape and motion information from the movies to specific brain actions. As the sessions progressed, the computer learned more and more about how the visual activity presented on the screen corresponded to the brain activity.

Click here to continue reading the article…

Yawning is actually good for the brain! []

By Alasdair Wilkins /

If you ask people why they yawn, the most typical answer will be “because I’m tired.” But sleepiness and boredom might not be the real reasons behind yawning. It actually might be a way of getting rid of hot air.

That’s the finding of Princeton researcher Andrew Gallup and the University of Arizona Omar Eldakar. The pair have found that yawning frequency is correlated with what season it is, and people are more likely to yawn when their body temperature is greater than the heat around them. They argue that yawning is actually a way for our bodies to regulate brain temperature, and the apparent link to fatigue or boredom are just coincidental to that process.

Gallup explains:

“This provides additional support for the view that the mechanisms controlling the expression of yawning are involved in thermoregulatory physiology. Despite numerous theories posited in the past few decades, very little experimental research has been done to uncover the biological function of yawning, and there is still no consensus about its purpose among the dozen or so researchers studying the topic today.

“Enter the brain cooling, or thermoregulatory, hypothesis, which proposes that yawning is triggered by increases in brain temperature, and that the physiological consequences of a yawn act to promote brain cooling. I participated in a study that confirmed this dynamic after we observed changes in the brain temperature of rats before and after the animals yawned. The cooling effect of yawning is thought to result from enhanced blood flow to the brain caused by stretching of the jaw, as well as countercurrent heat exchange with the ambient air that accompanies the deep inhalation.

“According to the brain cooling hypothesis, it is the temperature of the ambient air that gives a yawn its utility. Thus yawning should be counterproductive — and therefore suppressed — in ambient temperatures at or exceeding body temperature because taking a deep inhalation of air would not promote cooling. In other words, there should be a ‘thermal window’ or a relatively narrow range of ambient temperatures in which to expect highest rates of yawning.

Gallup and Eldakar tested this hypothesis by measuring the yawn frequency of 160 Arizona pedestrians, eighty of whom were tested during summer – when average temperatures are 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, just like our internal temperature – and during winter, when it’s a relatively mild 71 degrees. As Gallup explains, the results showed a clear season variation:

“Our study accordingly showed a higher incidence of yawning across seasons when ambient temperatures were lower, even after statistically controlling for other features such as humidity, time spent outside and the amount of sleep the night before. Nearly half of the people in the winter session yawned, as opposed to less than a quarter of summer participants.

“Furthermore, when analyzing data for each season separately, we observed that yawning was related to the length of time a person spent outside exposed to the climate conditions. This was particularly true during the summer when the proportion of individuals yawning dropped significantly as the length of time spent outside increased prior to testing. Nearly 40 percent of participants yawned within the first five minutes outside, but the percentage of summertime yawners dropped to less than 10 percent thereafter. An inverse effect was observed in the winter, but the proportion of people who yawned increased only slightly for those who spent more than five minutes outdoors.”

Does Brain Inflammation Cause Depression? []

by Annalee Newitz

It’s possible that depression could be cured by reducing mild swelling in your brain. Neuroscientists have linked depression to brain inflammation before, and now a new study suggests further evidence for this theory. Here you can see the distinctive signature of a glial cell responding to swollen tissue in a brain — the cell’s center is elongated, and it has many more branching fibers than a typical glial cell.

Neurologist Susana Torres-Platas and colleagues recently discovered that this type of glial cell also shows up in the brains of people who killed themselves. Are we witnessing the distinctive neuroanatomy of depression?

Writing in Nature Neuropsychopharmacology, the researchers write that they dissected the brains of 10 people who had committed suicide and died after suddenly becoming depressed. They found noticeable differences between fibrous astrocytes, or star-shaped glial cells, in the brains of depressed people and a control group. Fibrous astrocytes are cells that provide support to neurons in the brain by aiding in their growth as well as neurotransmission, or chemical communication between neurons. There are two kinds of astrocytes in the brain, and the fibrous type is mostly in your brain’s white matter.

Write Torres-Platas and colleagues:

It can be hypothesized that the hypertrophic fibrous astrocytes described here in depressed suicides reflect local inflammation in the white matter. Strong lines of evidence support the neuroinflammatory theory of depression. In particular, it has been well documented that patients suffering from depression have significantly higher levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines.

In other words, these super-active and enlarged astrocytes are likely a response to small areas of inflammation in the brain’s white matter. This suggests yet another way that depression can be caused by physical changes to the brain itself. It may also help to explain why people who have suffered concussions are depressed afterwards — their brains are literally swollen.

Read the full scientific paper via Nature Neuropsychopharmacology

Study: Big City Life Will Make You Mean!!!

In a new study just released it appears that living in a Big City has the effect of making people be less tolerant of others.  In other words, people get on each other’s nerves faster!!!!

In the AP article, “Big City Got You Down? Stress Study May Show Why?” by Malcolm Ritter, he reports that

Imaging scans show that in city dwellers or people who grew up in urban areas, certain areas of the brain react more vigorously to stress. That may help explain how city life can boost the risks of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, researchers said.

The study, sponsored by the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, looked at people from urban settings and was published in the latest issue of “Nature.”

For more on the study:

AP: Big city got you down? Stress study may show why

Nature: City living and urban upbringing affect neural social stress processing in humans

Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers