Midnight In The Desert — brain scans

Man's 'Missing' Brain Was Actually a Large Air Pocket Inside His Head

Posted by K R on

Man's 'Missing' Brain Was Actually a Large Air Pocket Inside His Head

Falls are a common problem among older adults, but for one 84-year-old man in Northern Ireland, a brain scan revealed a highly uncommon cause for his falls: A part of his brain appeared to be missing. The stunning scan revealed a large, black space behind his forehead, where the front of his brain should have been. His physician, Dr. Finlay Brown, a general practitioner in Belfast, first reviewed the brain scan while waiting to hear back from radiologists. (Typically, radiologists provide a report that accompanies a scan, detailing what the image shows.) "Immediately, I could see the abnormality and wondered...

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Brain Stimulation Is All the Rage--but It May Not Stimulate the Brain

Posted by K R on

Brain Stimulation Is All the Rage--but It May Not Stimulate the Brain

Noninvasive brain stimulation is having its heyday, as scientists and hobbyists alike look for ways to change the activity of neurons without cutting into the brain and implanting electrodes. One popular set of techniques, called transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), delivers electrical current via electrodes stuck to the scalp, typically above the target brain area. In recent years a number of studies have attributed wide-ranging benefits to TES including enhancing memory, improving math skills, alleviating depression and even speeding recovery from stroke. Such results have also spawned a cottage industry providing commercial TES kits for DIY brain hackers seeking to boost...

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Can Brain Scans Reveal Who Your Friends Are?

Posted by K R on

Can Brain Scans Reveal Who Your Friends Are?

You and your friends likely share similar interests. But did you know you could also have similar patterns of brain activity? Dartmouth College researchers assessed the friendships or social ties within a group of nearly 280 graduate students. Brain scans revealed that friends had the most similar brain-pattern responses to videos. And friends of friends had more similar brain activity than friends of friends-of-friends. "Our results suggest that friends process the world around them in exceptionally similar ways," lead author Carolyn Parkinson said in a college news release. She was a postdoctoral fellow in psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth...

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