How humans use objects in novel ways to solve problems

What's SSUP? The Sample, Simulate, Update cognitive model developed by MIT researchers learns to use tools like humans do.

Center for Brains, Minds and Machines • mit
Nov. 24, 2020 ~5 min

machine-learning artificial-intelligence learning research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences center-for-brains-minds-and-machines mcgovern-institute

A hunger for social contact

Neuroscientists find that isolation provokes brain activity similar to that seen during hunger cravings.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Nov. 23, 2020 ~8 min

neuroscience mental-health covid-19 pandemic research school-of-science brain-and-cognitive-sciences national-institutes-of-health-nih mcgovern-institute

Laughing is good for your mind and your body – here's what the research shows

Whether in the form of a discreet titter or a full-on roar, laughter comes with many benefits for physical and mental health.

Janet M. Gibson, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Grinnell College • conversation
Nov. 23, 2020 ~8 min

brain emotion psychology wellbeing stress emotions positive-psychology laughter well-being humor mental-well-being human-brain emotional-well-being smiling social-bonds social-bonding

Decoy could halt this deadly (and spreading) virus

More viral outbreaks are likely. Researchers are working to thwart one, Venezuelan equine encephalitus virus, with a decoy molecule.

Tamara Bhandari-Washington University • futurity
Nov. 20, 2020 ~7 min

brains viruses drug-development health-and-medicine

New wireless chip shines a light on brain function

A new wireless chip tested in rats could pave the way for advances in our understanding of how the brain works, researchers say.

Matt Shipman-NC State • futurity
Nov. 19, 2020 ~4 min

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Small study reveals details of brain damage in COVID-19 patients

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers examined six patients using a specialized magnetic resonance technique and found that COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms show some of the same metabolic disturbances in the brain as patients who have suffered oxygen deprivation from other causes.

Harvard Gazette • harvard
Nov. 18, 2020 ~4 min

covid-19 health-medicine massachusetts-general-hospital brain-damage 3-tesla-magnetic-resonance-spectroscopy leukoencephalopathy neurological-injury oxygen-deprivation

Brains change by middle age after lead exposure as a kid

"...there are deficits and differences in the overall structure of the brain that are apparent decades after [lead exposure]."

Karl Bates-Duke • futurity
Nov. 18, 2020 ~6 min

lead brains childrens-health health-and-medicine

Key neurons judge options during decisions

Research with monkeys choosing between juice flavors clarifies how the brain makes decisions by evaluating the benefits of each option.

Tamara Bhandari-Washington University • futurity
Nov. 16, 2020 ~8 min

neurons brains science-and-technology decisions

New methods could spot Alzheimer’s before symptoms

"This is one of the first studies to [show] procedures for defining people in preclinical stages of Alzheimer's disease who do and do not show signs..."

Brian Consiglio-Missouri • futurity
Nov. 12, 2020 ~6 min

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