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Neuroscience

  1. Science

    Apps That “Train Your Brain” Work, but Only Make You Better at Playing Them

    Games like Nintendo's Big Brain Academy and apps like Lumosity promise to help you train your brain, but a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience says such brain training activities only work at improving your ability to do the activities themselves.

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  2. Science

    Researchers Grow Tiny Human Brains In Lab

    Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have done the impossible -- or at least the creepy and ill-advised -- and grown tiny miniature models of the human brain in a lab from stem cells. Don't worry, though. They haven't been networked together into a terrifying living computer. Y'know, yet.

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  3. Science

    It’s Not All Miss Utah’s Fault That Her Response Was So Ridiculous — Some of It’s Biology

    I caught just enough of the Miss USA pageant this weekend to be weirded out by Nick Jonas and Mo Rocca existing in the same space, but not enough to see the unfortunate answer that Miss Utah contestant Marissa Powell gave to NeNe Leake's question about gender and income equality. The Internet has been tearing into Ms. Powell since, but I firmly believe that we should cut her a little slack. Yes, her response was cringeworthy, confusing, and nonsensical, but a lot of that can be chalked up to an intense case of stage fright. After all, how are you supposed to keep cool in front of millions of people and a Jonas Brother?

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  4. Tech

    You Can Kickstart a Project to Bring Cyborg Cockroaches Into Your Home!

    We've reported here before about electronically enslaved enhanced insects that researchers can control with the push of a button. Now, the folks at Backyard Brains want to bring that creep-inducing tech into your home with RoboRoach, a do-it-yourself kit that will let anyone turn a simple everyday cockroach into a terrifying remote-controlled cyborg bug. 

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  5. Science

    Want to Be Better at Math? A Jolt of Electricity to the Brain Might Do the Trick

    If you're not great at doing math in your head, you're in pretty good company around these parts. In general, too -- an estimated 20% of otherwise healthy adults regularly struggle to do basic arithmetic without showing their work. Don't give up hope, though! A new treatment being studied at Oxford University could make you better at doing math in your head for up to six months at a time -- and all you have to do is put on what looks like a steampunk gimp mask and let someone deliver electrical shocks to your brain!

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  6. Science

    OK, But Why? Phantom Limb Sensation Induced in People With All Their Limbs [Video]

    Today in Scientific Studies Sure To Make You Go 'Huh' we bring you the latest news from researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, who have succeeded in inducing phantom limb sensations that can make people feel like they have a third arm. After just a few minutes being exposed to an illusion -- having their own arm, which they can't see be stroked with a paintbrush while the air in front of them is stroked similarly -- participants in the experiment were so invested in their new limb that their stress levels jumped when the fake hand was threatened with a very real knife. Which is just silly -- everyone knows you can't stab a phantom hand with a regular knife. You need a +1 or better weapon for that!

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  7. Science

    Computers Can Read Your Dreams, Can’t Explain Your Clown Nightmares Just Yet

    Machines may be replacing us slowly, one human at a time, but at least we've still got our dignity, right? We've still got our dreams. Well, maybe not! Sure, computers can't take away your waking aspirations but now they are beginning to detect the dreams we have while sleeping. Worse, humans -- neuroscientists, of course -- are teaching them to do it! Even dreamland isn't safe anymore, but wait, maybe some good can still come from this.

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  8. Science

    Brain Scans Used to Predict Reoffending Criminals, Reality Edges Closer to Minority Report

    Neuroscience just sounds like villainy. See, where physicists tamper with the fabric of the universe and try to rip a hole into another, potentially monster-filled, dimension, neuroscientists study your mind. They want to peer into the center of your being and all that makes you, well, you. In this particular instance, neuroscientists are using brain scans to predict which criminals are most likely to commit crimes again. Fighting crime with science seems like a pretty good idea to me.

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  9. Science

    Wired Telepathy: Neural Implants Let Two Rats Share One Thought

    Researchers at Duke University have successfully wired together the brains of two rats, allowing the animals to share a response to a stimulus -- hitting a switch when a light flashes, for example -- even when only one of them is actually exposed to it. And the connection isn't just for deliberate decision making --after a prolonged period of connection, rats were even able to feel and respond to researchers stroking the whiskers of the rat they are brain linked to.

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  10. Science

    Can You Feel It? Neuroscientists Turn Off Ability to Feel Cold in Lab Mice

    For many of us, Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the one we love. For others among us... well, we mostly just try not to hate all you cute couples too much and get through the day without feeling too many feelings.  For those of us who would rather shut down our perceptions today, there's a far-off glimmer of hope -- researchers at the University of Southern California have succeeded in turning off the ability of mice to feel. Well, to feel the sensation of cold, anyway, though we're hopeful that turning off the ability to feel the bitter sting of disappointment or the dull, lasting ache of loneliness is just down the road.

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  11. Science

    AsapSCIENCE Explains Everything You Need To Know About Love (Probably Not)

    Speaking from a purely hard science point of view, we don't get what makes that special someone so special... but we're getting closer to understanding it. AsapSCIENCE is back with its latest installment just in time for Valentine's Day, and they're taking a look at the science behind that crazy little thing called love. Sit back and enjoy it by yourself or with that special someone -- you might even learn a thing or two.

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  12. Science

    AsapSCIENCE Wants to Teach Your Old Brain New Tricks

    Sometimes, the best way to find out how a thing works is to break it first. Now, these interesting brain tricks from the folks at AsapSCIENCE won't necessarily break your brain... but they will give you enough of a pause that you have to put in some real thought about how your mind works, and the occasionally competing forces at play in your head. If you're not one for introspection, though, that's okay, too -- you can put some of these to good use confusing your friends for fun and profit! Everyone's a winner!

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  13. Science

    Nerve Cells That Make Petting Feel Good Discovered, Learn More While You Watch People Pet Cute Animals [Video]

    Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology didn't know what to expect when they started researching a new type of skin cell they discovered in 2007, but what they may have found is impressive and adorable -- skin cells in furry animals that are specially designed to register the sensation of petting or stroking. These new cells could expand our entire understanding of petting animals, and redefine cuddling as we know it. Keep reading to learn more about the cells and see video of them in action on all sorts of animals.

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  14. Science

    Thinking About Doing Something is Pretty Much the Same as Doing It [Video]

    Ready for a strange and uncomfortable fact to start your Friday morning? Sure you are, and here it is, courtesy of the fine cartoonists and deep thinkers over at AsapSCIENCE: when you think deeply about a thing -- seeing the letter 'B,' for example, or fixing a sandwich -- the same parts of your brain involved in performing that action light up. Some studies even suggest that you can improve your piano skills just by thinking diligently about playing while not actually touching a piano. Check out AsapSCIENCE's latest video below and learn more about how your brain is just weird sometimes.

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  15. Science

    We Knew It! Doing Math Can Literally Hurt Your Brain

    Warning: do not look at the image above if you have math anxiety. A new study by researchers at the University of Chicago has found that for people who get anxious at the idea of doing mathematics, just preparing to do a math problem can trigger activity in a part of your brain that registers physical pain.

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