Treatment for manic-depressive illness restores brain volume deficits

In a massive research effort published in Biological Psychiatry, eleven international research groups collaborated to pool brain imaging data from adults with bipolar disorder. This allowed them to perform a mega-analysis to evaluate the differences in brain structure between individuals with bipolar disorder and healthy comparison subjects.

Drivers engaging in secondary task may pay more attention to road

Although many human factors/ergonomics studies conducted over the past few years indicate that drivers who talk on the phone fail to attend to the road and increase the likelihood of an accident, the monotony of driving may also pose an accident risk. New research by HF/E researchers at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, published in Human Factors, suggests that drivers who lose focus on the road because of boredom may actually increase their attention by engaging in a secondary task, particularly during the last leg of their journey.

How do women fend off domestic violence?

For many women in violent relationships, leaving is not an option. Yet a woman’s arsenal of defenses for resisting violence critically depends on her position within the family and community, according to new research from Concordia University published in the journal Review of Radical Political Economics.

Got a goal? A helpful partner isn’t always helpful

You might think that a loving partner helps keep you on track—say, when you want to stick to your jogging or concentrate on your studies. But a new study in Psychological Science, a publication of the Association of Psychological Science, reports the opposite: Thinking about the support a significant other offers in pursuing goals can undermine the motivation to work toward those goals—and can increase procrastination before getting down to work.

Total cooperation among people is not viable

The objective of this research is to understand how cooperation works in nature in general, and among humans in particular. From the evolutionary point of view it is very difficult to understand why we would help others when what interests us is helping ourselves, explained the authors of this study, which was recently published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Partnership of genes affects the brain’s development

The human brain consists of approximately one hundred billion nerve cells. Each of these cells needs to connect to specific other cells during the brain’s development in order to form a fully functional organism. Yet how does a nerve cell know where it should grow and which cells to contact? Scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have now shown that growing nerve cells realise when they’ve reached their target area in the fly brain thanks to the interaction of two genes.

Young children choose to share prizes after working together

Grownups have a good sense of what’s fair. Research now shows that this is true for young children, too. In a study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, three-year-old children shared with a peer after they worked together to earn a reward, even in situations where it would be easy for one child to keep all of the spoils for himself.

JPEG for the mind: How the brain compresses visual information

Most of us are familiar with the idea of image compression in computers. File extensions like .jpg or .png signify that millions of pixel values have been compressed into a more efficient format, reducing file size by a factor of 10 or more with little or no apparent change in image quality. The full set of original pixel values would occupy too much space in computer memory and take too long to transmit across networks.