…Past research has shown that seeing muscular figures can make men feel badly about their own bodies, similar to the way seeing stick-thin supermodels can make women question their weight.
But the same effect may not hold true for our favorite comic book characters.
The study, published this week in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests watching superheroes can actually increase males’ self esteem - and might make mere mortals stronger.
This is really interesting, and I’d like to read the actual paper. Basically the idea is this, Different images affect your body Image in different ways. a typical male seeing photos of men more muscular than himself tends to lower their self esteem. HOWEVER in the case of seeing their favorite super hero’s, these men rated their self esteem higher when they saw the more muscular versions of their super heroes then when they saw the weaker versions. the idea is that there is an emotional bond of connection (I identity with batman cause I’m an orphan and I wanna kick butt too) where when they see strength in their hero, they see it also in themselves.
My questions would be:
- Is this effect a result of the psychological bond/association or because this characters are considered non threatening? Basically, Batman is not a sexual rival, would body image be effected if we showed heterosexual men pictures of gay fit men who are “stereotypically” identified as gay
- Can this effect be seen with people (they are connected to their brother, is his strength an ego boost?)
- Also, is this effect held with live action versions of the comic book heroes?
- Does this higher rate of self esteem actually inspire any tangible physical changes in athletic performance?
just some thoughts.
Neuroscience: Specific regions of the hippocampus connected to discrete steps of task mastery, study finds →
In a study published in Nature Neuroscience, neurobiologists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have been linking synapse formation in the hippocampus to distinct learning steps. They show how different regions of the hippocampus have specific and sequential…
Click to read more. HONESTLY this is awesome stuff. the way how your brain is involved and goes through all these sub-processes for simple things is awesome.
Even when they are not directly in sight, we are aware of our surroundings: so it is that when our eyes are fixed on an interesting book, for example, we know that the door is to the right, the bookshelf is to the left and the window is behind us. However, research into the brain has so far concerned itself predominantly with how information from our field of vision is coded in the visual cortex. To date it has not been known how the brain codes our surroundings beyond the field of view from an egocentric perspective (that is, from the point of view of the observer).
In the latest issue of the renowned journal Current Biology, Andreas Schindler und Andreas Bartels, scientists at the Werner Reichardt Center for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) of the University of Tübingen, present for the first time direct evidence of this kind of spatial information in the brain.
The participants in their study found themselves in the center of a virtual octagonal room, with a unique object in each corner. As the brain’s activity was monitored by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging, the participants stood in front of one corner and looked at its object. Now they were instructed to determine the position of a second randomly chosen object within the room relative to their current perspective (for example, the object behind them). After a few trials the participant turned around so that the next object was brought into the field of view and the task was set up again. The whole procedure was repeated until every object had been looked at once.
The scientists discovered that patterns of activity in the parietal cortex code the participant’s egocentric position, that is, the relative position to his or her surroundings. The spatial information discovered there proved to be independent of the particular object, its absolute position in the room or that of the observer – i.e. it encoded egocentric spatial information of the three-dimensional surroundings. This result turns out to be particularly interesting because damage to the brain in the parietal cortex can lead to serious disruption of egocentric spatial awareness. Hence it is difficult for patients suffering from optical ataxia to carry out coordinated grasping movements. Lesions in the parietal cortex can also lead to a symptom called spatial neglect where patients have difficulties in perceiving their surroundings on the side opposite to the lesion. The brain areas identified in the present study coincided precisely with the areas of brain damage in such patients and provide for the first time insights regarding their function in the healthy brain.
OH MAI GAWD! sooo cool! =D
Using sound waves to levitate individual droplets of solutions containing pharmaceutical drugs and drying them in mid-air. Why do this? This is useful because most of the drugs on the market are either amorphous or crystalline and the crystalline form doesn’t get absorbed by the body. So levitating the solution allows the drug to be made into an amorphous state (by evaporation) because if it were to touch any surface it would simply crystallize. They call this “containerless processing”.
The frequencies used are just above the audible range at about 22 kilohertz and when the two speakers are aligned they create two sets of sound waves, perfectly interfering with each other creating a phenomenon known as a standing wave. This allows the objects to levitate in areas within the waves known as nodes as the acoustic pressure is enough to cancel the force of gravity.
Is… this…………..actually sensible??? I don’t really get if it’s a practical application.
can someone explain this better?
How The Memory Works In Learning
Teachers are the caretakers of the development of students’ highest brain during the years of its most extensive changes. As such, they have the privilege and opportunity to influence the quality and quantity of neuronal and connective pathways so all children leave school with their brains optimized for future success.
This introduction to the basics of the neuroscience of learning includes information that should be included in all teacher education programs. It is intentionally brief such that it can be taught in a single day of instruction. Ideally there would be additional opportunities for future teachers to pursue further inquiry into the science of how the brain learns, retrieves, and applies information.
This is why I love my major! answering life’s questions with science and empiricism SOOOO EXCITING!!! making the world a better place one research article at a time. =D
The Origins of the Heart
The traditional heart symbol has been used to represent love and devotion for hundreds of years, but where did it come from? Because it only very loosely resembles the organ it is supposed to symbolize.
In the 4th century BCE, Aristotle popularized the idea that the heart was the seat of passion and emotions. His early anatomical studies also incorrectly claimed that it only had three chambers, much like the shape that persists today.
The Greek colony of Cyrene (in modern-day Libya) also holds claim to some heart-shaped history. Beginning in the 7th century BCE, they made a boatload of coin trading silphium, a now-extinct plant whose seeds were used to season food and for medicine. They loved it so much that they put it on their money! Oh, and it was allegedly a contraceptive, which is a whole other kind of love …
The heart shape really began to take over the Western world in the 1600’s, after Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque reported a vision of Christ holding a traditional three-pointed heart surrounded by a crown of thorns. the Catholic Church owned the modern image of the heart, and its association with St. Valentine, until it lost a bidding war with Hallmark.
With graphs, and scientific studies attached.
Basically republican Kryptonite.
“Psychology without neuroscience is still the science of mental life but neuroscience without psychology is just a science of neurons”J Kihlstrom (via neuromorphogenesis)
Researchers from the University of South Florida and colleagues at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital studying the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) using rat models, have found that, overtime, TBI results in progressive brain deterioration characterized by elevated inflammation and suppressed cell regeneration. However, therapeutic intervention, even in the chronic stage of TBI, may still help prevent cell death.
Their study is published in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONE.
“In the U.S., an estimated 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury,” said Dr. Cesar V. Borlongan, professor and vice chair of the department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida (USF). “In addition, TBI is responsible for 52,000 early deaths, accounts for 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, and costs approximately $52 billion yearly to treat.”
While TBI is generally considered an acute injury, secondary cell death caused by neuroinflammation and an impaired repair mechanism accompany the injury over time, said the authors. Long-term neurological deficits from TBI related to inflammation may cause more severe secondary injuries and predispose long-term survivors to age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic dementia.
Since the U.S. military has been involved in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the incidence of traumatic brain injury suffered by troops has increased dramatically, primarily from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), according to Martin Steele, Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), USF associate vice president for veterans research, and executive director of Military Partnerships. In response, the U.S. Veterans Administration has increasingly focused on TBI research and treatment.
“Progressive injury to hippocampal, cortical and thalamic regions contributes to long-term cognitive damage post-TBI,” said study co-author Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research and innovation. “Both military and civilian patients have shown functional and cognitive deficits resulting from TBI.”
Because TBI involves both acute and chronic stages, the researchers noted that animal model research on the chronic stages of TBI could provide insight into identifying therapeutic targets for treatment in the post-acute stage.
“Using animal models of TBI, our study investigated the prolonged pathological outcomes of TBI in different parts of the brain, such as the dorsal striatum, thalamus, corpus callosum white matter, hippocampus and cerebral peduncle,” explained Borlongan, the study’s lead author. “We found that a massive neuroinflammation after TBI causes a second wave of cell death that impairs cell proliferation and impedes the brain’s regenerative capabilities.”
Upon examining the rat brains eight weeks post-trauma, the researchers found “a significant up-regulation of activated microglia cells, not only in the area of direct trauma, but also in adjacent as well as distant areas.” The location of inflammation correlated with the cell loss and impaired cell proliferation researchers observed.
Microglia cells act as the first and main form of immune defense in the central nervous system and make up 20 percent of the total glial cell population within the brain. They are distributed across large regions throughout the brain and spinal cord.
“Our study found that cell proliferation was significantly affected by a cascade of neuroinflammatory events in chronic TBI and we identified the susceptibility of newly formed cells within neurologic niches and suppression of neurological repair,” wrote the authors.
The researchers concluded that, while the progressive deterioration of the TBI-affected brain over time suppressed efforts of repair, intervention, even in the chronic stage of TBI injury, could help further deterioration.
People tend to diss rat and mice models but they are important parts of the research process. it starts the discussion and background for important treatments that we can’t necessarily begin with on humans. it’s interesting stuff I look forward to reading more on this!
The science of getting drunk.
How alcohol affects your body.
When doctors at the University of Iowa prepared a patient to inhale a panic-inducing dose of carbon dioxide, she was fearless. But within seconds of breathing in the mixture, she cried for help, overwhelmed by the sensation that she was suffocating.
The patient, a woman in her 40s known as SM, has an extremely rare condition called Urbach-Wiethe disease that has caused extensive damage to the amygdala, an almond-shaped area in the brain long known for its role in fear. She had not felt terror since getting the disease when she was an adolescent.
In a paper published online Feb. 3 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the UI team provides proof that the amygdala is not the only gatekeeper of fear in the human mind. Other regions—such as the brainstem, diencephalon, or insular cortex—could sense the body’s most primal inner signals of danger when basic survival is threatened.
“This research says panic, or intense fear, is induced somewhere outside of the amygdala,” says John Wemmie, associate professor of psychiatry at the UI and senior author on the paper. “This could be a fundamental part of explaining why people have panic attacks.”
If true, the newly discovered pathways could become targets for treating panic attacks, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and other anxiety-related conditions caused by a swirl of internal emotional triggers.
“Our findings can shed light on how a normal response can lead to a disorder, and also on potential treatment mechanisms,” says Daniel Tranel, professor of neurology and psychology at the UI and a corresponding author on the paper.
I think this is really interesting because in my undergraduate learning career we don’t spend much time or research on the cerebellum or the brain stem, s it’s interactions often go unnoticed. way to go! ^_^
As global average temperatures warm due to climate change, scientists have learned that plants are flowering earlier in the year than ever before.
More troubling, scientists explained this week in the journal PLOS ONE that Massachusetts and Wisconsin in particular saw the earliest flowerings in recorded history during 2010 and 2012: a clear sign that climate change is already having a very real effect on nature’s annual cycle.
Using the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold, two of America’s most cherished environmental authors, scientists monitored dozens of different species of plant to determine how far off the flowering times would be compared to observations taken from 1852-1858 and from 1935-1945.
What they found is startling, yet simple: “Based on our linear regression analysis of these historical phenology and temperature data, plant species flower on average 3.2 days earlier for each 1°C rise in mean spring temperatures,” they wrote.
Researchers added that 27 of the 32 species observed in Massachusetts are flowering much earlier than their historical norms, and the window for blooms has shifted along with the mean spring temperature. In Wisconsin, 23 of 23 species were observed flowering earlier than usual.
To test the theory that climate was driving early flowering, scientists went back and created a prediction model based on pre-2010 and 2012 data, finding that their forecasts were 95 percent accurate according to what actually happened during those years.
Researchers warned that while many species have tried to adapt to the changing climate, “at some point plants may no longer flower earlier in response to warming due to photoperiod constraints or unmet winter chilling requirements.” That could leave a lot more vegetation ill-equipped to withstand droughts or other natural disasters driven by climate change.
This is an EXCELLENT article. You guys are going to scroll past, but honestly the science involved is impeccable. it’s simple, it’s elegant, and it’s not one of those things you can easily refute.
Batman is having none of your shit today, Superman.
granted this Video is a bit… atheist and combative, BUT if you watch it, it will explain exactly why batman was being so snarky.
Batman is the most powerful hero, cause he’s the most knowledgeable hero
In-brain monitoring shows memory network
Working with patients with electrodes implanted in their brains, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have shown for the first time that areas of the brain work together at the same time to recall memories. The unique approach promises new insights into how we remember details of time and place.
“Previous work has focused on one region of the brain at a time,” said Arne Ekstrom, assistant professor at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. “Our results show that memory recall involves simultaneous activity across brain regions.” Ekstrom is senior author of a paper describing the work published Jan. 27 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Ekstrom and UC Davis graduate student Andrew Watrous worked with patients being treated for a severe seizure condition by neurosurgeon Dr. Nitin Tandon and his UTHealth colleagues.
To pinpoint the origin of the seizures in these patients, Tandon and his team place electrodes on the patient’s brain inside the skull. The electrodes remain in place for one to two weeks for monitoring.
Six such patients volunteered for Ekstrom and Watrous’ study while the electrodes were in place. Using a laptop computer, the patients learned to navigate a route through a virtual streetscape, picking up passengers and taking them to specific places. Later, they were asked to recall the routes from memory.
Correct memory recall was associated with increased activity across multiple connected brain regions at the same time, Ekstrom said, rather than activity in one region followed by another.
However, the analysis did show that the medial temporal lobe is an important hub of the memory network, confirming earlier studies, he said.
Intriguingly, memories of time and of place were associated with different frequencies of brain activity across the network. For example, recalling, “What shop is next to the donut shop?” set off a different frequency of activity from recalling “Where was I at 11 a.m.?”
Using different frequencies could explain how the brain codes and recalls elements of past events such as time and location at the same time, Ekstrom said.
“Just as cell phones and wireless devices work at different radio frequencies for different information, the brain resonates at different frequencies for spatial and temporal information,” he said.
The researchers hope to explore further how the brain codes information in future work.
The neuroscientists analyzed their results with graph theory, a new technique that is being used for studying networks, ranging from social media connections to airline schedules.
“Previously, we didn’t have enough data from different brain regions to use graph theory. This combination of multiple readings during memory retrieval and graph theory is unique,” Ekstrom said.
Placing electrodes inside the skull provides clearer resolution of electrical signals than external electrodes, making the data invaluable for the study of cognitive functions, Tandon said. “This work has yielded important insights into the normal mechanisms underpinning recall, and provides us with a framework for the study of memory dysfunction in the future.”
WHOA! this is super super exciting. I mean it was theorized that memory works like this, but this is super cool! imagine making a memory flow chart of how people remember things! ^_^
Nearly the entire genetic landscape of the most common form of brain tumor can be explained by abnormalities in just five genes, an international team of researchers led by Yale School of Medicine scientists report online in the Jan. 24 edition of the journal Science. Knowledge of the genomic profile of the tumors and their location in the brain make it possible for the first time to develop personalized medical therapies for meningiomas, which currently are only managed surgically.
Meningioma tumors affect about 170,000 patients in the United States. They are usually benign but can turn malignant in about 10 percent of cases. Even non-cancerous tumors can require surgery if they affect the surrounding brain tissue and disrupt neurological functions.
Approximately half of the tumors have already been linked to a mutation or deletion of a gene called neurofibromin 2, or NF2. The origins of the rest of the meningiomas had remained a mystery.
The Yale team conducted genomic analyses of 300 meningiomas and found four new genetic suspects, each of which yields clues to the origins and treatment of the condition. Tumors mutated with each of these genes tend to be located in different areas of the brain, which can indicate how likely they are to become malignant.
“Combining knowledge of these mutations with the location of tumor growth has direct clinical relevance and opens the door for personalized therapies,” said Dr. Murat Gunel, the Nixdorff-German Professor of Neurosurgery, professor of genetics and of neurobiology, and senior author of the study. Gunel is also a member of Yale Cancer Center’s Genetics and Genomics Research Program.
This is always so interesting to me because I always have a trouble grasping Genetics.
So we understand some people with a certain Genotype Develop Cancer in specific areas, but how does this help us make a personalized therapy? at the end of the day we still have to physically take the tumor out. Granted we could now (possibly) screen better for people with potential for certain tumors in certain areas, but how strong is this correlation, does it warrant this approach?
either way, all science news is cool news, and infinitely better than stuff abut the Kardashians.