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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Latest Prefrontal cortex Stories

2010-06-11 01:21:24

Sex "addiction" is a concept that has had particularly high visibility recently with the publicity associated with Tiger Woods. Persons with addictive or compulsive disorders frequently display an inability to inhibit behaviors once they become maladaptive, despite adverse consequences of their behavior. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is a brain region involved in decision-making and behavioral flexibility, and it has been identified as a potential mediator of behavioral inhibition. In a...

2010-05-04 14:04:35

The ability to infer what another person is thinking is an essential tool for social interaction and is known by neuroscientists as "Theory of Mind" (ToM), but how does the brain actually allow us to do this? We are able to rationally infer what someone knows, thinks, or intends, but we are also able to "slip into their shoes" and infer how they feel, and it seems that the brain processes these different types of information in different ways, as confirmed by a new report in the June 2010...

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2010-04-26 15:41:40

Brain scans show persistent motivation regardless of payoff Whether it's for money, marbles or chalk, the brains of reward-driven people keep their game faces on, helping them win at every step of the way. Surprisingly, they win most often when there is no reward. That's the finding of neuroscientists at Washington University in St. Louis, who tested 31 randomly selected subjects with word games, some of which had monetary rewards of either 25 or 75 cents per correct answer, others of which...

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2010-03-31 14:49:51

Like patients, engineered mice falter at working memory tasks The strongest known recurrent genetic cause of schizophrenia impairs communications between the brain's decision-making and memory hubs, resulting in working memory deficits, according to a study in mice. "For the first time, we have a powerful animal model that shows us how genetics affects brain circuitry, at the level of single neurons, to produce a learning and memory deficit linked to schizophrenia," explained Thomas R. Insel,...

2010-03-31 13:42:22

NEW YORK, NY "“ In what may provide the most compelling evidence to date, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have illuminated how a genetic variant may lead to schizophrenia by causing a disruption in communication between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex regions of the brain, areas believed to be responsible for carrying out working memory. Findings are published in the current online edition of Nature. This discovery coincides with the 15th anniversary of the first...

2010-03-24 16:14:36

New research provides insight into the region of the brain that underlies our tendency to condemn failed attempts to harm and forgive harms that are accidental. The study, published by Cell Press in the March 25 issue of the journal Neuron, underscores the importance of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC) for making moral judgments about harmful intent. Previous neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies implicated the VMPC in emotional responses to harmful actions, where the actor...

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2010-03-11 12:24:54

Reading this story requires you to willfully pay attention to the sentences and to tune out nearby conversations, the radio and other distractions. But if a fire alarm sounded, your attention would be involuntarily snatched away from the story to the blaring sound. New research from Vanderbilt University reveals for the first time how our brains coordinate these two types of attention and why we may be temporarily blinded by surprises. The research was published March 7, 2010, in Nature...

2010-03-09 14:58:11

Activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex is an indicator emotion regulation in day-to-day life Common wisdom tells us that for a successful relationship partners shouldn't go to bed angry. But new research from a psychologist at Harvard University suggests that brain activity"”specifically in the region called the lateral prefrontal cortex"”is a far better indicator of how someone will feel in the days following a fight with his or her partner. Individuals who show more neural...

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2010-02-24 15:04:41

Brain images during money-transfer experiments show "rich" participants prefer to see others get financial windfall The human brain is a big believer in equality"”and a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, has become the first to gather the images to prove it. Specifically, the team found that the reward centers in the human brain respond more strongly when a poor person receives a financial reward than when a...

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2010-01-27 14:41:56

Draw a map of the brain when fear and anxiety are involved, and the amygdala"”the brain's almond-shaped center for panic and fight-or-flight responses"”looms large. But the amygdala doesn't do its job alone. Scientists at Emory University have recently built upon work from others, extending the fear map to part of the brain known as the prelimbic cortex. Researchers led by Kerry Ressler, MD, PhD, found that mice lacking a critical growth factor in the prelimbic cortex have trouble...