In this week’s issue of the journal Nature, a research team led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has taken an important step toward understanding just how this kickoff occurs by beginning to dissect the neural circuitry of fear. In their paper, these scientists—led by David J. Anderson, the Benzer Professor of Biology at Caltech and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator—describe a microcircuit in the amygdala that controls, or “gates,” the outflow of fear from that region of the brain.
A recommendation letter could be the chute in a woman’s career ladder, according to ongoing research at Rice University. The comprehensive study shows that qualities mentioned in recommendation letters for women differ sharply from those for men, and those differences may be costing women jobs and promotions in academia and medicine.
Researchers recently mapped the complete structure of a glutamate receptor, a key communications port in brain cells. Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland pieced together the three-dimensional image of the protein by bombarding it with X-rays, a technology called X-ray crystallography. Knowledge about the receptor’s form is expected to yield insights into its function in the nervous system.
A study published online this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry in advance of print publication in February 2011 showed no difference in nonsuicide mortality between people taking ziprasidone and another second-generation anti-psychotic in real-world use.
Many imminent problems facing the world today, such as deforestation, overfishing, or climate change, can be described as commons problems. The solution to these problems requires cooperation from hundreds and thousands of people. Such large scale cooperation, however, is plagued by the infamous cooperation dilemma. According to the standard prediction, in which each individual follows only his own interests, large-scale cooperation is impossible because free riders enjoy common benefits without bearing the cost of their provision.
They show that one of those genes in particular has a long evolutionary history, as evidenced by the fact that it plays a role in pain sensing in flies, mice and humans. At least in mice, the newly described gene is also linked to a condition known in humans as synesthesia, in which one sensory experience triggers the perception of another sense.
People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects’ thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives.
Some scholars estimate that presenteeism, a relatively recent buzzword that applies to people who are less productive at work because of health issues, costs employers as much as three times the dollar amount as absenteeism in terms of lost productivity. A new opinion paper suggests that the tools for measuring and quantifying hours of lost productivity and translating those hours to dollars are unreliable and don’t capture the entire presenteeism picture, said Susan Hagen, an analyst from the U-M School of Kinesiology Health Management Research Center (HMRC).
Irregular work schedules appear harmful to the well-being of cohabiting parents, a growing segment of the U.S. population, a study by Michigan State University researchers finds. Working nights, weekends and other nonstandard schedules is increasingly common as the United States moves toward a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week economy, according to the study, which appears in the journal Social Science Research.
A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Engineering have found that an early part of the brain’s visual system rewires itself when people are trained to perceive patterns, and have shown for the first time that this neural learning appears to be independent of higher order conscious visual processing.
People aren’t very accurate at predicting how good or bad they’ll feel after an event — such as watching their team lose the big game or getting a flat-screen TV. But afterwards, they “misremember” what they predicted, revising their prognostications after the fact to match how they actually feel, according to new research.
Young children who don’t like school are more likely to be involved in underage drinking and sexual activity. A study reported in BioMed Central’s open access journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy, has found that pupils’ general wellbeing and specific satisfaction with school were both associated with the incidence of risky behaviors.