Versus Brain Blast | April 2019

We may have fallen for a few April 1st pranks, but we're no fools! Over the last month, we've been busy finding all the latest developments in the world of neuroscience to share with you. Read our favorite stories, studies, and more here!

Access Granted: Bringing Social Media to More

Social media apps on iPhone.
Researchers at the University of Valladolid are using EEG technology to make social media more accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. This research team created a computer system which can use an individual’s EEG signals to interpret and complete their desired action on social media.

Magic Eraser: Learning to Forget Memories

Story via New York Times

By measuring their brain activity, researchers found that subjects who engaged with their memories at a moderate level were the most successful at forgetting them. They hope to use neurofeedback to help individuals dull traumatic memories by encouraging them to enter a moderately engaged brain state.

Sixth Sense: Magnetoreception in Humans

Story via Caltech

The human brain may be able to sense changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. In a recent study, the magnetic field in a sealed room was adjusted to mirror that of the Earth. When this occurred, many study participants had a spike in brain activity not seen when other types of magnetic fields were introduced.

Heartbreaker: The Brain’s Effect on the Body

Story via New York Times

Following extreme stress or trauma, some individuals experience a sudden swelling and weakening of their heart, a condition aptly named “broken-heart syndrome”. Sufferers have been found to have an underactive parasympathetic nervous system, which is meant to calm the body following stressful events.

Mind Games: Sports + Children's Brains

After comparing the brain scans of children aged 9 to 11, investigators concluded that those who were involved in sports had a greater volume in their hippocampus. Interestingly, while this was associated with reduced depression in young boys, this association was not applicable in young girls.

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