A newly published study suggests that a “Western-style” diet reduces a person’s likelihood of achieving older ages in good health, finding that avoidance of the “Western-type foods” might actually improve the possibility of achieving older ages free of chronic diseases and remaining highly functional. Continue reading
When it comes to making decisions, it seems that the conscious mind is the last to know.….electrical activity in the supplementary motor area, involved in initiating movement, and in the anterior cingulate cortex, which controls attention and motivation, appeared up to 5 seconds before a volunteer was aware of deciding to press the button. This backed up earlier fMRI studies…that had traced the origins of decisions to the prefrontal cortex a whopping 10 seconds before awareness Continue reading
First hominid’s rewired brain
A computer-generated cast of the inner surface of a 7-million-year-old cranium, which bears impressions once made by brain features, suggests that hominid evolution kicked off with big neural changes. The skull, unearthed in Africa in 2001, belongs to Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a species controversially proposed as the earliest known member of the human evolutionary family.
X-rays enabled a research team to see through Sahelanthropus’ rock-filled cranium and reconstruct its brain surface. That 3-D reconstruction of the ancient creature’s brain terrain reveals a hominidlike setup, said Thibaut Bienvenu of the University of Poitiers, France, on April 12. Shapes of the front and back of Sahelanthropus’ brain, as well as the tilt of its brain stem, matched corresponding brain measures for 2- to 4-million-year-old hominids and modern humans.
An upright posture and two-legged gait stimulated neural reworking in Sahelanthropus, Bienvenu speculated, even though the hominid’s brain was about one-quarter the size of people’s brains today.
Trauma, especially in childhood is permanent brain damage. Treatment is improving – cures? Not yet.