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Mental rest and reflection boost learning, study suggests

Mental rest and reflection boost learning, study suggests

A new study, which may have implications for approaches to education, finds that brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they’ve learned before, may boost later learning. Scientists have already established that resting the mind, as in daydreaming, helps strengthen memories of events and retention of information. In a new twist, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have shown that the right kind of mental rest, which strengthens and consolidates memories from recent learning tasks, helps boost future learning. Continue reading

Mental rest and reflection boost learning, study suggests

Mental rest and reflection boost learning, study suggests

A new study, which may have implications for approaches to education, finds that brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they’ve learned before, may boost later learning. Continue reading

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Continue reading

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Their work addresses the properties of melanopsin, a light-sensitive protein in the eye that establishes the rhythm of our day-night cycle and the familiar constriction of the pupil to bright light. Continue reading

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears. By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging. In a new paper in the online journal eLife , the team from the University of Michigan Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and Harvard University report the results of their work to understand NT3′s role in the inner ear, and the impact of increased NT3 production on hearing after a noise exposure. Continue reading

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice, pointing way to new therapies

Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears. By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging Continue reading

Gene duplications associated with autism evolved recently in human history

Gene duplications associated with autism evolved recently in human history

Human geneticists have discovered that a region of the genome associated with autism contains genetic variation that evolved in the last 250,000 years, after the divergence of humans from ancient hominids, and likely plays an important role in disease. Their findings were presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed the genomes of 2,551 humans, 86 apes, one Neanderthal, and one Denisovan Continue reading

YouTube as peer support for severe mental illness

YouTube as peer support for severe mental illness

People with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder use a popular social media website like YouTube to provide and receive naturally occurring peer support, Dartmouth researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE. “What we found most surprising about our findings was that people with severe mental illness were so open about their illness experiences on a public social media website like YouTube,” said lead author John Naslund, A PhD student in health policy at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. “We saw that people with severe mental illness did not appear to be concerned about the risks of openly sharing their personal illness experiences because they really wanted to help others with similar mental health problems.” Naslund and colleagues found that people with severe mental illness used YouTube to feel less alone and to find hope, to support and to defend each other, and to share personal stories and strategies for coping with day-to-day challenges Continue reading

YouTube as peer support for severe mental illness

YouTube as peer support for severe mental illness

People with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder use a popular social media website like YouTube to provide and receive naturally occurring peer support, Dartmouth researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE. Continue reading

Using feminist theory to understand male rape

Using feminist theory to understand male rape

Decades of feminist research have framed rape and sexual assault as a ‘women’s issue’, leaving little room for the experiences of male victims. But a new study published in the Journal of Gender Studies suggests that feminist theory, with its focus on the gendered nature of rape, can also help us understand the stigmas, social constructions and realities associated with male rape Continue reading