A new study from Aarhus University in Denmark examined the effect of sugar intake and found that it altered the reward-processing circuitry of the brain similarly to addictive drugs.
A team of scientists checked the effects of sugar on the brain using a pig model. In the study, minipigs had access to a sucrose solution for 1 hour on 12 consecutive days. After sugar intake, brain scans were made within 24 hours.
After only 12 days of sucrose intake, the scientists could see major changes in the brain’s dopamine and opioid systems.
The lead researchers Michael Winterdahl says: “If sugar can change the brain’s reward system after only 12 days, as we saw in the case of the pigs, you can imagine that natural stimuli, such as learning or social interaction, are pushed into the background and replaced by sugar and/or other ‘artificial’ stimuli.”
A new study from the University of British Columbia, Canada, suggests that high school students taking music courses are doing significantly better on mathematics, science, and English exams compared to their peers who don’t take any music courses.
The researchers examined data from more than 112,000 students in public schools in British Columbia who finished school between 2012 and 2015. The sample contained data from those who completed at least one standardized exam for mathematics, science and English, and for whom the researchers had demographic information available.
One of the authors of the study, Martin Guhn, an assistant professor in UBC’s school of population and public health “Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding. A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop the discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner’s cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy.”
According to a recent European study, persistent bullying can cause the reshape of the developing brain of teenagers.
For the study, a team of researchers took data from the long-term study on teenage brain development and mental health collected from 682 teens aged from 14 to 19 from England, Ireland, France, and Germany.
Lead study author Erin Burke Quinlan from King’s College London comments: “Although not classically considered relevant to anxiety, the importance of structural changes in the putamen and caudate to the development of anxiety most likely lies in their contribution to related behaviors such as reward sensitivity, motivation, conditioning, attention, and emotional processing.”
New research from Arizona State University in Tempe, US, suggests that uterus may interact with the brain and influence the memory.
For the study, a team of researchers used a rat model. The female rats were included into four groups, and the rats from three groups underwent surgeries that were equivalent to the surgical removal of the ovaries and removal of the uterus in humans.
After six weeks of experiments and observation, the researchers found that for the female rats with the removed uterus it was more complicated to navigate through the maze than for the female rats from other groups.
First study author Stephanie Koebele, a psychology graduate student at Arizona State University, comments: “The surgical removal of just the uterus had a unique and negative effect on working memory, or how much information the rats were able to manage simultaneously, an effect we saw after the rats learned the rules of the maze.”
According to the findings of a recent research, published in the JNeurosci, regular talking to young children associated with the stronger connections between two developing brain regions critical for language.
The research was held independently of parental income and education. This means that engaging children in a conversation from an early age may promote their language skills regardless of socioeconomic status.
For the study, the team of researchers analyzed data received from 40 of children aged from 4 to 6 years. The scientists discovered that greater conversational turn-taking was associated with the stronger connections between brain regions that are critical for the comprehension and production of speech (Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area).
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