Psychology in the News

How the brain processes color
Neuroscience News
Through the development of new technology, University of Minnesota researchers have developed a method that allows scientists to understand how a fruit fly’s brain responds to seeing color. Prior to this, being able to determine how a brain responds to color was limited to humans and animals with slower visual systems. A fruit fly, when compared to a human, has a visual system that is five times faster. Some predatory insects see ten times faster than humans. Read More

New study suggests handwriting engages the brain more than typing
CTV News
A new study out of Norway suggests that handwriting and drawing engages the brain far more than typing on a keyboard, after measuring the brain activity of children and young adults performing these tasks. The research, published this past summer in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, looked at a small sample size of twelve children and twelve young adults. Read More

How decoding dyslexia can help decode the mind
Scientific American
During this school year, thousands of children will begin reading. Despite their best efforts, however, up to a tenth of them will struggle. If we were aware of the early warning signs, we could help these children by using research-based remediation. But dyslexia is poorly understood by the public. Unveiling these misconceptions can help millions of children. It could also help decode the human mind. Read More

A world without pain
The New Yorker
We like to think that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, or more resilient, or … something. Deeper. Wiser. Enlarged. There is “glory in our sufferings,” the Bible promises. “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” In this equation, no pain is too great to be good. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars,” Dostoyevsky wrote. “The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” Read More

Getting the brain’s attention
New technology helps dissect how it ignores or acts on information
Today, the internet is a sensory free-for-all: Pop-up ads burst into articles every few paragraphs, stealing the screen with lollipop colors and music, shouting product information from unseen corners. The human body is not so different. Every fingernail, elbow, nostril, and eyebrow is constantly vying for the brain’s attention. Read More

Horror movies manipulate brain activity expertly to enhance excitement
Humans are fascinated by what scares us, be it sky-diving, roller-coasters, or true-crime documentaries—provided these threats are kept at a safe distance. Horror movies are no different. Read More

What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Aging Better
A neuroscientist explains how our brains age and provides tips for aging with more vitality and happiness. Read More

Why Your Brain Needs Exercise
The evolutionary history of humans explains why physical activity is important for brain health. Read More

5 vitamin deficiencies that can affect your sleep
We know that diet and sleep are deeply connected. But the truth is, we don’t know nearly enough yet about how individual nutrients impact our sleep. Here, I look at 5 vitamins that appear to play a role in how much sleep we get and how restful and high-quality that sleep is.  Read More

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The brain’s pathways to imagination may hold the key to altruistic behavior
In those split seconds when people witness others in distress, neural pathways in the brain support the drive to help through facets of imagination that allow people to see the episode as it unfolds and envision how to aid those in need, according to a team of Boston College researchers. Read More.

Unraveling mechanisms of speech processing in the brain
CUNY via Neuroscience News Mouse models reveal different specializations between the left and right auditory cortex. Researchers identified differences in the wiring diagrams between the sides of the cortex that may explain their specific roles in speech processing. Read More.