Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “For Your Brain’s Sake, Keep Moving”

Last year, in an important study published in NeuroImage, the researchers found for the first time that young brain cells in adult mice that spent a month with running wheels in their cages did seem to be different from those in animals that did not run.
For the experiment, the scientists injected a modified rabies vaccine into the animals, where it entered the nervous system and brain.
When the scientists then microscopically examined brain tissue, they found that the runners’ brains, as expected, teemed with far more new neurons than did the brains of the sedentary animals, even though the runners had been exercising for only a week.
In effect, the young neurons in the runners’ brains appeared to be more mature after only a week of exercise than brain cells from inactive animals.
These young cells were better integrated into the overall brain circuitry, too, with more connections into portions of the brain involved in spatial and other types of memory.
The current study “Provides more pieces of evidence that brain cells produced under running conditions are not just quantitatively but qualitatively different” than other neurons, she says, “And these differences are evident very soon” after exercise begins.
Perhaps most important, the new brain cells in the runners tended to integrate into and bulk up portions of the brain that, if damaged by disease, are associated with early memory loss and dementia, she adds.
Still, she says, “I think it is a very good idea for the sake of the brain to be moving and active.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Vision and Hearing Loss Are Tied to Cognitive Decline”

Where there is stronger evidence that hearing loss can speed cognitive decline.
A study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging should show in five years whether using hearing aids can help preserve brain function in people with hearing loss as they age.
A prospective study of 1,984 older adults directed by Dr. Lin found that those who initially had hearing loss were 24 percent more likely than their age-mates with normal hearing to experience cognitive decline within six years.
The more severe their hearing loss at the start of the study, the greater their cognitive loss over time.
Another mechanism may be that people who can’t hear well tend to become socially isolated, which results in diminished cognitive stimulation and cognitive loss.
Perhaps most important is a third possible explanation involving brain structure; hearing loss results in a faster rate of brain atrophy mostly over the hearing portion of the brain, which is also involved in functions like memory, learning and thinking.
“Even in young adults with clinically normal hearing,” Dr. Peelle said, “Just a small decline in how well they hear engages more of their frontal cortex.” When hearing loss is advanced, studies have shown that the auditory cortex shrinks, which may diminish the brain’s ability to perform tasks other than hearing, he said.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends a hearing test “At least every decade through age 50 and every three years thereafter.” As Dr. Lin explained, hearing loss can occur so gradually that people don’t recognize the problem until it is well advanced.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Motivates Employees More: Rewards or Punishments?”

The brain’s limbic system, which is important for emotion and motivation, projects to the rest of the brain, influencing every aspect of our being, from our ability to learn, to the people we befriend, to the decisions we make.
Positive feedback triggers a reward signal in the brain, reinforcing the action that caused it, and making it more likely to be repeated in the future.
So our brain has evolved to accommodate an environment in which often the best way to gain rewards is to take action.
So our brain has evolved to accommodate an environment in which often the best way to not get hurt is to avoid action altogether.
Other work demonstrates how we are biologically wired such that anticipating rewards elicits action.
While we should be cautious translating such basic research to real-world situations, it would seem that creating positive anticipation in others may be more effective at motivating action than threatening poor performance with a demotion or pay cut.
In line with this notion, studies have shown that giving people small monetary rewards for exercising or eating healthily was more effective at changing behavior than warning of obesity and disease.
What the research here suggests is that we need to consciously overcome our habit of trying to scare people into action, and instead highlight the rewards that come with reaching our goals.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How We Make Up Our Minds”

His book is peppered with brief stories and artistic allusions, and it moves quickly from idea to idea, study to study.
Readers of science books are interested in the concrete details of how it all gets done as well as what it really means.
In 2014, three more students killed themselves in a similar way.
Research by sociologists, economists and psychologists has established that imitation and other mechanisms of social transmission cause norms, behaviors and moods to spread from person to person, without those people necessarily being aware of how they had been influenced or by whom.
Sharot, a London neuroscientist, covers the topic more fully and more authoritatively in a book whose title gives appropriately equal billing to thought, behavior and neurons.
A study found that putting them under webcam surveillance didn’t improve things, but adding a continuous digital display of the number of people following the rules brought compliance up to 90 percent.
Her book is a witty survey of techniques to influence and guide human behavior.
There is still a lot more to be learned about how to best apply cognitive science to our everyday problems.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Playing Tackle Football Before 12 Is Tied to Brain Problems Later”

“The brain is going through this incredible time of growth between the years of 10 and 12, and if you subject that developing brain to repetitive head impacts, it may cause problems later in life,” Robert Stern, one of the authors of the study, said of the findings.
That research found that retirees who started playing before 12 years old had diminished mental flexibility compared to those who began playing tackle football at 12 or older.
A growing number of scientists argue that because the human brain develops rapidly at young ages, especially between 10 and 12, children should not play tackle football until their teenage years.
Last year, doctors at Wake Forest School of Medicine used advanced magnetic resonance imaging technology to find that boys between the ages of 8 and 13 who played just one season of tackle football had diminished brain function in parts of their brains.
Participation in tackle football by boys ages 6 to 12 has fallen by nearly 20 percent since 2009, though it rose 1.2 percent, to 1.23 million, in 2015, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.
Schools across the country have shut their tackle football programs because of safety concerns and a shortage of players.
USA Football, the governing body for the sport, is introducing a 7-on-7 version of football that includes measures, like players starting in a two-point stance, designed to reduce the risk of head hits.
Other groups, like Practice Like the Pros, suggest that only flag football be played through the sixth grade and a limited version of tackle football in 7th and 8th grades.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Refresh Your Brain to Restore High-Level Thinking”

Your brain assumes “Diffuse” mode when you are relaxed, taking a walk, or day dreaming.
Studies have shown that activity in many regions of the brain increases when your minds wander.
According to engineering professor Barbara Oakley, author of “A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science,” in addition to this “Focused mode” - which relies on your brain’s prefrontal cortex - we also learn through a “Diffuse mode,” rooted in the operations of a variety of different brain regions.
The brain switches back and forth between these modes regularly.
Your brain needs downtime to remain industrious and generate better ideas.
Your brain needs downtime to remain creative and generate its most innovative ideas.
Idleness is not a vice, it is indispensable for making those unexpected connections in the brain you crave and necessary to getting creative work done.
A few minutes stroll can increase blood flow to the brain, which can boost creative thought.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Neurological Link Between Motherhood and Creativity”

Neuroscientists do not yet understand what impact pregnancy and childbirth might have on the processes of creativity in the human maternal brain.
Science shows us that rat moms are inventive, dauntless, resourceful-essential ingredients for creativity.
With a single social-media post, Koh had become fodder for another round of debates over whether motherhood curtails careers, ambitions, and creativity.
Professionally, there is an undeniable tension between creativity and motherhood, but “There is nothing biologically to suggest that women are less creative than men,” said Anna Abraham, a professor at Leeds Beckett University who studies the neuroscience of creativity.
Rex Jung, a neuropsychologist at the University of New Mexico who studies creativity and the brain, takes that definition a few steps further.
Creativity takes time and periods of reflection, and a willingness to let go of ideas that don’t quite work to move on to better ones, Jung said.
Identity is far more complex than that, and like creativity, it exists in a state of revision and flow.
My own creativity these days may come out in a thought tapped and autocorrected on my phone at 2 a.m., or it could come out in a method of bathing three small kids without anyone drowning.

The orginal article.