Hearing Test May Identify Autism Risk

Researchers have identified an inner ear deficiency in children with Autism that may impact their ability to recognize speech. The findings, which were published in the journal Autism Research, could ultimately be used as a way to identify children at risk for the disorder at an early age.

“This study identifies a simple, safe, and non-invasive method to screen young children for hearing deficits that are associated with Autism,” said Anne Luebke, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience and a co-author of the study. “This technique may provide clinicians a new window into the disorder and enable us to intervene earlier and help achieve optimal outcomes.”

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social-communication skills and restricted and repetitive behaviors. While many signs of ASD are present before age two, the majority of children with ASD are not diagnosed until after age four, which means that corrective therapies are started later, delaying their potential impact.    

One of the challenges to early detection of ASD is to find ways to identify children at risk for the disorder sooner and in children with speech delays. Some of the earliest and consistent signs of ASD involve auditory communication, however, most tests rely on speech, and are often ineffective in children who are very young or who have communication delays.

In the new study, researchers used a technique that measures what are called otoacoustic emissions. The test is akin to the screening that many newborns must undergo before leaving the hospital to check for hearing problems. Using miniature speaker/microphone earplugs, the researchers were able to measure hearing deficiencies by listening for signs that the ear is having difficulty processing sounds. Specifically, the device’s highly sensitive microphone can detect minute sound emission made by inner ear outer hair cells in response to certain tones or clicking sounds. If these cells are not functioning properly, the device fails to detect an emission which indicates that inner ear – or cochlear – function is impaired.

The researchers tested the hearing of children between the ages of 6 and 17, roughly half of whom have been diagnosed with ASD. They found that the children with ASD had hearing difficultly in a specific frequency (1-2 kHz) that is important for processing speech. They also found a correlation between the degree of cochlear impairment and the severity of ASD symptoms.  

“Auditory impairment has long been associated with developmental delay and other problems, such as language deficits,” said Loisa Bennetto, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Rochester Department Of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology and a co-author of the study. “While there is no association between hearing problems and autism, difficulty in processing speech may contribute to some of the core symptoms of the disease. Early detection could help identify risk for ASD and enable clinicians to intervene earlier. Additionally, these findings can inform the development of approaches to correct auditory impairment with hearing aids or other devices that can improve the range of sounds the ear can process.”

Because the test is non-invasive, inexpensive, and does not require the subject to respond verbally, this technique could be adapted to screen infants, an approach that the team is currently exploring.

Why Do We Believe We Can See Souls, Auras, Spirits in Spooky Photography? | Big Think

Humans are fascinated by things that don’t exist—Jesus in a grilled cheese; the Loch Ness monster; Yeti—often at the expense of what does. Seeing what isn’t there is not evidence of the spirit world, though it does offer insight into human vision and beliefs.

New theory explains how beta waves arise in the brain

Beta rhythms, or waves of brain activity with an approximately 20 Hz frequency, accompany vital fundamental behaviors such as attention, sensation and motion and are associated with some disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Scientists have debated how the spontaneous waves emerge, and they have not yet determined whether the waves are just a byproduct of activity, or play a causal role in brain functions. Now in a new paper led by Brown University neuroscientists, they have a specific new mechanistic explanation of beta waves to consider.

The new theory, presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the product of several lines of evidence: external brainwave readings from human subjects, sophisticated computational simulations and detailed electrical recordings from two mammalian model organisms.

“A first step to understanding beta’s causal role in behavior or pathology, and how to manipulate it for optimal function, is to understand where it comes from at the cellular and circuit level,” said corresponding author Stephanie Jones, research associate professor of neuroscience at Brown University. “Our study combined several techniques to address this question and proposed a novel mechanism for spontaneous neocortical beta. This discovery suggests several possible mechanisms through which beta may impact function.”

Making waves

The team started by using external magnetoencephalography (MEG) sensors to observe beta waves in the human somatosensory cortex, which processes sense of touch, and the inferior frontal cortex, which is associated with higher cognition.

They closely analyzed the beta waves, finding they lasted at most a mere 150 milliseconds and had a characteristic wave shape, featuring a large, steep valley in the middle of the wave.

The question from there was what neural activity in the cortex could produce such waves. The team attempted to recreate the waves using a computer model of a cortical circuitry, made up of a multilayered cortical column that contained multiple cell types across different layers. Importantly, the model was designed to include a cell type called pyramidal neurons, whose activity is thought to dominate the human MEG recordings.

They found that they could closely replicate the shape of the beta waves in the model by delivering two kinds of excitatory synaptic stimulation to distinct layers in the cortical columns of cells: one that was weak and broad in duration to the lower layers, contacting spiny dendrites on the pyramidal neurons close to the cell body; and another that was stronger and briefer, lasting 50 milliseconds (i.e., one beta period), to the upper layers, contacting dendrites farther away from the cell body. The strong distal drive created the valley in the waveform that determined the beta frequency.

Meanwhile they tried to model other hypotheses about how beta waves emerge, but found those unsuccessful.

With a model of what to look for, the team then tested it by looking for a real biological correlate of it in two animal models. The team analyzed measurements in the cortex of mice and rhesus macaques and found direct confirmation that this kind of stimulation and response occurred across the cortical layers in the animal models.

“The ultimate test of the model predictions is to record the electrical signals inside the brain,” Jones said. “These recordings supported our model predictions.”

Beta in the brain

Neither the computer models nor the measurements traced the source of the excitatory synaptic stimulations that drive the pyramidal neurons to produce the beta waves, but Jones and her co-authors posit that they likely come from the thalamus, deeper in the brain. Projections from the thalamus happen to be in exactly the right places needed to deliver signals to the right positions on the dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the cortex. The thalamus is also known to send out bursts of activity that last 50 milliseconds, as predicted by their theory.

With a new biophysical theory of how the waves emerge, the researchers hope the field can now investigate whether beta rhythms affect or merely reflect behavior and disease. Jones’s team in collaboration with Professor of Neuroscience Christopher Moore at Brown is now testing predictions from the theory that beta may decrease sensory or motor information processing functions in the brain. New hypotheses are that the inputs that create beta may also stimulate inhibitory neurons in the top layers of the cortex, or that they may may saturate the activity of the pyramidal neurons, thereby reducing their ability to process information; or that the thalamic bursts that give rise to beta occupy the thalamus to the point where it doesn’t pass information along to the cortex.

Figuring this out could lead to new therapies based on manipulating beta, Jones said.

“An active and growing field of neuroscience research is trying to manipulate brain rhythms for optimal function with stimulation techniques,” she said. “We hope that our novel finding on the neural origin of beta will help guide research to manipulate beta, and possibly other rhythms, for improved function in sensorimotor pathologies.”

New Device Emulates Human Synapses

Engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are leading a research team that is developing a new type of nanodevice for computer microprocessors that can mimic the functioning of a biological synapse—the place where a signal passes from one nerve cell to another in the body.

The research is in Nature Materials. (full access paywall)


Giant Artwork Reflects The Gorgeous Complexity of The Human Brain

The new work at The Franklin Institute may be the most complex and detailed artistic depiction of the brain ever.

Your brain has approximately 86 billion neurons joined together through some 100 trillion connections, giving rise to a complex biological machine capable of pulling off amazing feats. Yet it’s difficult to truly grasp the sophistication of this interconnected web of cells.

Now, a new work of art based on actual scientific data provides a glimpse into this complexity.

The 8-by-12-foot gold panel, depicting a sagittal slice of the human brain, blends hand drawing and multiple human brain datasets from several universities. The work was created by Greg Dunn, a neuroscientist-turned-artist, and Brian Edwards, a physicist at the University of Pennsylvania, and goes on display at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. 

“The human brain is insanely complicated,” Dunn said. “Rather than being told that your brain has 80 billion neurons, you can see with your own eyes what the activity of 500,000 of them looks like, and that has a much greater capacity to make an emotional impact than does a factoid in a book someplace.”

To reflect the neural activity within the brain, Dunn and Edwards have developed a technique called micro-etching: They paint the neurons by making microscopic ridges on a reflective sheet in such a way that they catch and reflect light from certain angles. When the light source moves in relation to the gold panel, the image appears to be animated, as if waves of activity are sweeping through it.

First, the visual cortex at the back of the brain lights up, then light propagates to the rest of the brain, gleaming and dimming in various regions — just as neurons would signal inside a real brain when you look at a piece of art.

That’s the idea behind the name of Dunn and Edwards’ piece: “Self Reflected.” It’s basically an animated painting of your brain perceiving itself in an animated painting.

To make the artwork resemble a real brain as closely as possible, the artists used actual MRI scans and human brain maps, but the datasets were not detailed enough. “There were a lot of holes to fill in,” Dunn said. Several students working with the duo explored scientific literature to figure out what types of neurons are in a given brain region, what they look like and what they are connected to. Then the artists drew each neuron.

Dunn and Edwards then used data from DTI scans — a special type of imaging that maps bundles of white matter connecting different regions of the brain. This completed the picture, and the results were scanned into a computer. Using photolithography, the artists etched the image onto a panel covered with gold leaf.

“A lot of times in science and engineering, we take a complex object and distill it down to its bare essential components, and study that component really well” Edwards said. But when it comes to the brain, understanding one neuron is very different from understanding how billions of neurons work together and give rise to consciousness.

“Of course, we can’t explain consciousness through an art piece, but we can give a sense of the fact that it is more complicated than just a few neurons,” he added.

The artists hope their work will inspire people, even professional neuroscientists, “to take a moment and remember that our brains are absolutely insanely beautiful and they are buzzing with activity every instant of our lives,” Dunn said. “Everybody takes it for granted, but we have, at the very core of our being, the most complex machine in the entire universe.”

Image 1: A computer image of “Self Reflected,” an etching of a human brain created by artists Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards.

Image 2: A close-up of the cerebellum in the finished work.

Image 3: A close-up of the motor cortex in the finished work.

Image 4: This is what “Self Reflected” looks like when it’s illuminated with all white light.

Image 5: Pons and brainstem close up.

Image 6: Putkinje neurons - color encodes reflective position in microetching.

Image 7: Primary visual cortex in the calcarine fissure.

Image 8: Basal ganglia and connected circuitry.

Image 9: Parietal cortex.

Image 10: Cerebellum.

Credit for all Images: Greg Dunn“Self Reflected”

Source: The Huffington Post (by Bahar Gholipour)

How to Hijack Your Brain’s Reward Circuitry and Make it Work *For* You

The reward circuit of the brain has several component parts, each of which plays a distinct but interconnected role.  We’re going to focus on the five most important parts: the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the ventral striatum, the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the cerebral cortex.

Read the rest of the article here!


Book Recommendations: Books that have helped me think and write critically when it comes to scientific literature. I’ve never gotten below a 4.0/1st in a lab report.

This post will be especially helpful for those taking psychology, neuropsychology, neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, pharmacy etc. All books are written by world leading academic researchers and are very well referenced. 

Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre - 342pgs, Age 11+.

If there is a book on this list that you read, let it be this! Dr Goldacre focuses on the misuse of science by journalists, homeopaths, schools and big pharmaceutical companies. The book has a great segment on understanding “The Placebo Effect”. Other topics include; Brain Gym, misleading cosmetic adverts, issues with vitamin pills and “toxins”. He has a blog he runs Badscience.net that has great free articles! The book is beautifully referenced and really easy to read, definitely worth investing in. If you can’t spend money on the book just yet, there is a similar free talk here

Drugs: Without the Hot Air by Prof David Nutt - 316pgs, Age 12+.

Prof Nutt incurred the wrath of the UK government when he put forth research papers stating that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than many illegal drugs, including LSD, ecstasy and cannabis. In “Drugs”, he talks us through the science of what drugs are and how they work, quantifying and comparing the harms caused by different drugs, as well as drug addiction. This book is a great starting point and has educated me on all major drugs better than any textbook has. It’s written in simple English with numerous references and even has a wonderful segment titled “What should I tell my kids about drugs?”. I have had the pleasure of meeting Prof Nutt multiple times and given the slander he has endured, he remains passionate and dedicated to his field. Prof Nutt runs a website aimed at the general public Drugscience.org. There is a similar free talk here.

Bad Pharma by Dr Ben Goldacre - 404pgs, Age 15+.

Another gem by Dr Goldacre, this is a slightly heavier text than the above two books but is a must read for those going into pharmacy or research. Bad Pharma explains where new drugs come from and issues with missing data in clinical trials. Companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. Dr Goldacre discusses the issues with design and also the harms of not making the missing trial data available. This book is not ‘anti-drug’, this book highlights issues with publication bias and how this needs to be and can be mended in order for doctors and patients to make better informed decisions on the drugs they are prescribing/prescribed.There is a similar free talk here.

The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Dr Oliver Sacks - 246pgs, Age 11+.

Written by the late Dr Oliver Sacks, this was the first book I purchased at the age of 13 in the field of neurology that made me go nuts for the brain. As a huge fan of Roald Dahl’s style, this book was just perfect. Dr Sacks turned patient case studies into short stories, inviting you into the incredible world of neurological disorders. The following phenomena are covered: visual agnosias, memory loss, Parkinsonion-symptoms, hallucinations etc. Dr Oliver Sacks has multiple books that are worth investing in, have a look at  Oliversacks.com. There is a similar free talk here.

Phantoms in the Brain by Dr V. S. Ramachandran - 257pgs, Age 15+.

Ramachandran, through his research into brain damage, has discovered that the brain is continually organising itself in response to change. Phantoms in the Brain explores case studies and experiments invented by Dr Ramachandran like the Mirror Box to help understand the underlying issues. Examples of the case studies involve a woman who persists that her left arm is not paralysed (albeit her entire leftside is paralysed) and a young man loses his right arm in a motorcycle accident, yet he continues to feel a phantom arm with vivid sensation of movement. In a series of experiments using nothing more than Q-tips and dribbles of warm water the young man helped Dr Ramachandran discover how the brain is remapped after injury. This book is really enjoyable and is a slightly more in-depth read than The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. There is a similar free talk here.  

The Lucifer Effect by Dr Philip Zimbardo - 488pgs, Age 18+ (due to explicit images).

Prof Zimbardo provides an in-depth analysis of his classic Stanford Prison Experiment, and his personal experiences as an expert witness for one of the Abu Ghraib prison guards, raising fundamental questions about the nature of good and evil. This book has really interesting commentaries on The Columbine Shooting, People’s Temple Mass Suicide, Prison Abuse in Afghanistan etc. I enjoyed the book but it does get really repetitive (it definitely could have been made shorter by 100 pages), the publishers also use a really small font. There is a similar free talk here

Ages have been mentioned not as restrictions but as guidelines in terms of the writing style and sensitivity of the literature. Every book mentioned above doesn’t need to be read chronologically, from cover-to-cover. They have been compiled in such a way that you can dip in and out of the chapters without confusion. Lovely!  All free talks are given by the authors and they cover the same topics that are mentioned in the books. 

If you ever wish to discuss the literature, do get in touch with me! 

9.7 it’s ya girl fresh from her first ever college class!! it’s probably a good sign that I fell in love with it immediately, as it’s the first requirement in my bio/neuro major :)) I also decided to go with a normal planner this year sadly, a bujo just took too much time to keep up with and I’m going for efficiency!!

LSD’s impact on the brain revealed in groundbreaking images

The profound impact of LSD on the brain has been laid bare by the first modern scans of people high on the drug.

The images, taken from volunteers who agreed to take a trip in the name of science, have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the neural basis for effects produced by one of the most powerful drugs ever created.

A dose of the psychedelic substance – injected rather than dropped – unleashed a wave of changes that altered activity and connectivity across the brain. This has led scientists to new theories of visual hallucinations and the sense of oneness with the universe some users report.

The brain scans revealed that trippers experienced images through information drawn from many parts of their brains, and not just the visual cortex at the back of the head that normally processes visual information. Under the drug, regions once segregated spoke to one another.

Further images showed that other brain regions that usually form a network became more separated in a change that accompanied users’ feelings of oneness with the world, a loss of personal identity called “ego dissolution”.

David Nutt, the government’s former drugs advisor, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, and senior researcher on the study, said neuroscientists had waited 50 years for this moment. “This is to neuroscience what the Higgs boson was to particle physics,” he said. “We didn’t know how these profound effects were produced. It was too difficult to do. Scientists were either scared or couldn’t be bothered to overcome the enormous hurdles to get this done.”

LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, was first synthesised in 1938 but its extraordinary psychological properties did not become clear until 1943. Throughout the 1950s and 60s the drug had a major impact on psychology and psychiatric research, but its adoption as a recreational drug and its influence on youth culture led to it being banned in the 1960s.

The outlawing of LSD had an immediate effect on scientific research and studies into its effects on the brain and its potential therapeutic uses have been hampered ever since. The latest study was made possible through a crowdfunding campaign and The Beckley Foundation, which researches psychoactive substances.

With his colleague Robin Carhart-Harris, Nutt invited 20 physically and mentally healthy volunteers to attend a clinic on two separate days. One day they received an injection of 75mcg of LSD and on the other they received a placebo instead.

Using three different brain imaging techniques, named arterial spin labelling, resting state MRI and magnetoencephalography, the scientists measured blood flow, functional connections within and between brain networks, and brainwaves in the volunteers on and off the drug.

Carhart-Harris said that on LSD, scans suggested volunteers were “seeing with their eyes shut”, though the images they reported were from their imaginations rather than the world outside. “We saw many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD, even though volunteers’ eyes were closed,” he said. The more prominent the effect, the more intense people rated their dreamlike visions.

Under the influence, brain networks that deal with vision, attention, movement and hearing became far more connected, leading to what looked like a “more unified brain”, he said. But at the same time, other networks broke down. Scans revealed a loss of connections between part of the brain called the parahippocampus and another region known as the retrosplenial cortex.

A second image shows different sections of the brain, either on placebo, or under the influence of LSD (lots of orange). Photograph: Imperial/Beckley Foundation.

The effect could underpin the altered state of consciousness long linked to LSD, and the sense of the self-disintegrating and being replaced with a sense of oneness with others and nature. “This experience is sometimes framed in a religious or spiritual way, and seems to be associated with improvements in wellbeing after the drug’s effects have subsided,” Carhart-Harris said.

The drug can be seen as reversing the more restricted thinking we develop from infancy to adulthood, said Nutt, whose study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study could pave the way for LSD or related chemicals to be used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nutt said the drug could pull the brain out of thought patterns seen in depression and addiction through its effects on brain networks.

Amanda Feilding, director of the Beckley Foundation, said: “We are finally unveiling the brain mechanisms underlying the potential of LSD, not only to heal, but also to deepen our understanding of consciousness itself.”

Top Image: Image shows how, with eyes-closed, much more of the brain contributes to the visual experience under LSD than under placebo. The magnitude of this effect correlates with participants’ reports of complex, dreamlike visions. Photograph: Imperial/Beckley Foundation.

Source: Guardian (by Ian Sample)

So I get asked a lot about wanting to get into psychology/neuroscience and what books I would recommend, so I’ve made a list for you all to look through! I’ve separated into leisure reading and academic texts as reading Oliver Sacks would be much easier to read on the train for light reading, than a full blown anatomical textbook!

Books – Leisure

These are books worth reading that are not purely academic. A lot of these are your bog standard Oliver Sacks books but I cannot recommend his works enough!

Oliver Sacks – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

This is the first book that’s always suggested to anyone going into Psychology and for good reason. It covers the weird and wonderful feats of the human brain, and how damage affects it. Full of case studies, notes and facts all wrapped up in a little bundle!

Nathan Filer - The Shock of the Fall

This is probably my favourite book. It’s fiction, but based on a very real disorder. Written by Nathan Filer who was once a nurse on a ward, he looks at psychosis and writes it in such a beautiful and accurate way that you actually almost feel as if you understand what psychosis is really like. For those who have actually suffered from psychotic breaks, this really illustrates it in such an accurate and yet simple way, it really is the best book I’ve ever read. It touches on death, mental health, loss, love, and everything in between. I won’t say much more because it would be considered as a spoiler but it really is a great insight into one of the most misunderstood psychotic disorders out there, and working on a ward myself, it really is as well written as it could be.

Sam Kean - The Tale of the Duelling Neurosurgeons

So this book I haven’t finished, I’ve only read the first chapter and have been too busy to continue reading it but from what I’ve read, this is a valuable resource for anyone going into neurology/neuroscience/psychiatry. It goes through the history of how we came to understand the human brain as it is now, and is written in a fluid and fun manner, so you’re not as bored as you would be reading an academic text book. It almost dramatizes the historical events that happened which makes it a fantastic read. It looks at key figures in the history of neuroscience, key events, neuroplasticity, delusions and much more. It’s fantastically written from what I can tell so far and has a lot of great info for anyone wanting to get into the fields of psychology/neuroscience.

Bruce Hood – The Domesticated Brain

This one’s an easy read and a very good one. When I first started my undergraduate degree I hadn’t really don’t a lot of preparation – in all honesty I didn’t even plan on doing psychology, so I hadn’t done ANY reading or prep prior to my course – So I found this book in a Waterstones before I got my train back to London. It’s not as easy to read as Sam Kean but easier than Oliver Sacks, so it’s something good to pick up between assignments. Its main focus is on how we are social animals and how evolution has changed the way we behave as well as the biology, so not quite as well rounded in all areas of psychology but a must read if you’re particularly interested in our evolutionary biology and social psychology.

Academic Texts

Purves et al. – Neuroscience

My Fundamental Neuroscience Module was pretty much based on this text, it’s got EVERYTHING you need to know about the mechanisms of the human brain on every level, molecular upwards. It’s comprehensive and pretty much has been my saviour throughout this degree.

Crossman – Neuroanatomy: An Illustrated Colour Text

I cannot praise this book enough. It has EVERY anatomical detail down in an easy to read, easy to study from, easy to do anything with form. It’s one of the few books I’m actually buying to keep at the end of this year just because it’s the perfect book to reference for your neuroanatomical needs. Without this, I would’ve seriously struggled with learning about optic nerves, cranial nerves, cranial nuclei, the skull, everything. It’s a saviour and a necessity if you plan on doing any kind of psychology. I promise you wont regret this one. Plus, it’s not too expensive either.

Diamond – The Human Brain Colouring Book

This is just fantastic. It’s a great resource for stress relief AND learning. It’s self-explanatory really, an excellent resource to have at home for when you can’t be arsed with assignments or doing anything and fancy a bit of colouring while learning about things! Plus it’s a great aid if you’re a visual learner.

Carlson, Martin, Buskist – Psychology

This was basically my hero for my entire undergrad. It was the recommended text for the course and the only one I actually bought, 100% worth it. It covers everything in a really easy to understand way, with fantastic diagrams and images. It doesn’t have too much detail but it’s not really necessary since you really only need the basics to understand a theory or concept. There’s not a lot of difference between the editions, I currently have the 4th edition and it’s still relevant and since the new edition has been published the one I paid for has dropped to only 1/4t of what I paid for it. So definitely worth getting if you’re going into undergrad psychology. For higher degrees I’d recommend this if you’re coming onto a psychology course and are not from that background. If you’re going into neuroscience or something more biological then this might not be the best investment, I’d recommend the Purves textbook instead.

Nolte – The Human Brain in Photographs and Diagrams

Not so much a wordy textbook but a necessary resource if you’re doing neuroscience. This will be your second bible (after the Crossman text) throughout your learning journey. It’s FANTASTIC. The human brain looks VERY different to what it does in illustrated diagrams, trust me, and this will be your hero especially if you don’t have access to real brain dissection labs. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to be able to label a photograph of the human brain when all you’ve been looking at is illustrations or rendered models, the actual human brain is really… well, not very distinctive. If I didn’t have dissection class, finding the blood vessels would have been almost impossible, as well as the internal structures, they’re VERY subtle so this book will really help you in the anatomical aspects of the course.

I hope this has been somewhat useful in helping people prepare for a psychology/neuroscience degree and if you have any questions I’m only an ask away! ♥

I googled science pick-up lines and I was not disappointed
  • You’re so hot, you denature my proteins. 
  • Do you have 11 protons? ‘Cause you’re Sodium fine!  
  • You make my anoxic sediments want to increase their redox potential. 
  • I’m more attracted to you than F is attracted to an electron. 
  • We fit together like the sticky ends of recombinant DNA. 
  • You’re hotter than a bunsen burner set to full power. 
  • If I were a neurotransmitter, I would be dopamine so I could activate your reward pathway. 
  • According to the second law of thermodynamics, you’re supposed to share your hotness with me. 
  • How about me and you go back to my place and form a covalent bond?
  • I wish I were Adenine because then I could get paired with U.
  • If you were C6, and I were H12, all we would need is the air we breathe to be sweeter than sugar.
  • I want to stick to u like glue-cose.
  • You must be the one for me, since my selectively permeable membrane let you through. 

To Help or Not? Emergency Situations Amplify Tendencies to Behave Egotistically or Prosocially

It is said that people show their true colors in times of adversity. In a recently published study, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have found that extreme conditions bring out the good in people as well as the bad. In their experiments, prosocial and altruistic people in particular often helped others even more in an emergency situation than in a relaxed and non-threatening situation, whereas selfish participants became less cooperative.

The research is in Scientific Reports. (full open access)

Some facts about human brain:

• Your brain keeps developing until your late 40s

• New brain connections are created every time you form memory.

• Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.

• 60% of your brain is fat.

• The human brain has the same consistency as tofu.

• The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.