Summary of “The rapper Dessa scanned her brain to fall out of love”

Scientists like Fisher have used brain scans to find the so-called neural correlates of love or the places in the brain where the love “Lives.” The experiment that followed would mark her foray into science and influence her new album Chime, which comes out today.
She began a study of one, to see if brain imaging and a technique called neurofeedback could help her, finally, fall out of love.
Cheryl Olman, a professor and brain imaging expert at the university, agreed to wheel Dessa inside a huge machine that uses magnetic fields to measure blood flow in different parts of the brain and show them in pictures.
You could think about a brain scan like a playlist of music, one where the activated regions, or brain waves, represent the songs and moods you play over and over.
If brain scans function like a visual playlist, explains Gracefire, the specific shape of these waves tell you whether your brain is always playing the blues station or a hyper-neurotic dubstep channel.
To get rid of something like obsessive love, where the brain is stuck in a loop, you have to train the brain to work differently.
There, Gracefire took EEG readings of the rapper’s brain and compared them to existing studies showing the typical range of brain activity involved in the cognitive and emotional parts of romantic love.
“To be able to 3D-print the structure of my brain responsible for these feelings for the past 10 years and hold it in my hand” – Dessa holds her left hand up in front of her, palm out – “Well, what a different kind of investigation to feel like than any I’d been able to do before,” she says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Where Do You Go When You Die? The Increasing Signs That Human Consciousness Remains After Death”

Clinically, we understand death to mean the state that takes hold after our hearts stop beating.
Philosophically our definition of death hinges on something else: the point past which we’re no longer able to return.
“What’s fascinating is that there is a time, only after you and I die, that the cells inside our bodies start to gradually go toward their own process of death,” Dr. Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at New York University Langone Medical Center, told Newsweek.
Scientists working on human cadavers have from time to time observed genes that are active after death, according to University of Washington microbiology professor Peter Noble.
Quite a few of these are developmental genes, Noble said, raising the fascinating and slightly disturbing possibility that in the period immediately following death, our bodies start reverting to the cellular conditions that were present when we were embryos.
Exactly why some cells are more resilient to death than others can’t yet be said.
Parnia’s research has shown that people who survive medical death frequently report experiences that share similar themes: bright lights; benevolent guiding figures; relief from physical pain and a deeply felt sensation of peace.
How these patients were able to describe objective events that took place while they were dead, we’re not exactly sure, just as we’re not exactly sure why certain parts of us appear to withstand death even as it takes hold of everything else.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s not just in the genes: the foods that can help and harm your brain”

Our diet has a huge effect on our brain and our mental wellbeing, even protecting against dementia.
The foods we eat are broken down into nutrients, taken into the bloodstream and carried up into the brain.
Next-generation medical imaging and genomic sequencing studies, including work from my lab at the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, have helped us understand that some foods play a neuro-protective role, shielding the brain from harm.
It’s no surprise that, conversely, other foods are harmful for the brain, slowing us down and increasing the risk of cognitive decline.
A specific kind of fats called polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids, such as the famous omega-3s. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, is the best natural source of the only kind of fat the brain needs throughout a lifetime.
Glucose is the only energy source for the brain, so it’s crucial that the brain gets enough of it.
Dementia risk was further reduced by taking vitamin E in combination with vitamin C. Both these vitamins protect brain cells from the harmful effects of toxins and free radicals, while vitamin E has the added benefit of increasing oxygen delivery to the brain.
Beyond thoughts, moods and memory, diet plays a clear and determinant role in brain ageing and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, which affects 46 million people worldwide.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind.”

I had never watched a full game of football in my life, but still believed the stereotypes: Players were tough and abrasive.
His benefits were listed as “Degenerative,” which establishes that his “Disability arises out of league football activities” and had manifested within 15 years of his last season.
It wasn’t until I joined a private Facebook group of more than 2,400 women, all connected in some way to current or former N.F.L. players, that I realized I wasn’t alone.
These problems become apparent sometimes years or even decades after a player hangs up his helmet.
There are likely to be hundreds of wives and partners of football players, maybe more, who live a life like mine.
These men chose football, but they didn’t choose brain damage.
I used to read all the articles about C.T.E., all the stories about football players committing suicide.
I’d skim the comments to see remarks like: “They know what they signed up for” and “Of course football is bad for the brain, everyone knows that.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Does It Mean to Die?”

A nurse wrote in her medical records that she encouraged Jahi to “Relax and not cough if possible.” By nine that night, the bandages packing Jahi’s nose had become bloody, too.
Nailah’s younger brother, Omari Sealey, began sleeping in a chair next to Jahi’s hospital bed, to make sure no one could “Kill her off.” He said, “I just felt her life wasn’t worth that much in their eyes. It was like they were trying to shoo us away.” A former baseball star at San Diego State University, he had a large following on social media, and on Instagram and Facebook he announced that the hospital was rushing them to unplug Jahi’s ventilator.
A month after Jahi’s discharge, the International Brain Research Foundation, a neuroscience think tank that supports novel research, helped pay for Jahi to have MRI scans at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
Three days after the scans, Dolan submitted a report by Machado to the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau and asked it to rescind Jahi’s death certificate, so that Nailah could return to California and have Jahi treated there.
Dolan submitted video recordings of Jahi and declarations from Machado, three New Jersey doctors who had examined her, and Shewmon, who concluded that Jahi had fulfilled the requirements of brain death at the time of her diagnosis but no longer did.
Sanford Schneider, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, referred to Jahi as a “Corpse,” and told the court that she “Cannot respond to verbal commands, because she has no cerebral mechanism to hear sound,” a conclusion based on a test that measured Jahi’s brain-wave activity in response to different noises.
Last summer, a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court rejected the hospital’s argument that the brain-death exam from 2013 “Must be accorded finality for any and all other purposes.” He ruled that “a triable issue of fact exists as to whether Jahi currently satisfies the statutory definition of ‘dead.'” In a trial expected to last a month, a jury will decide if Jahi is alive.
Jahi’s case has sparked what Thaddeus Pope, a bioethicist at Mitchell Hamline University School of Law, calls the “Jahi McMath shadow effect”: a rise in the number of families, many of them ethnic or racial minorities, going to court to prevent hospitals from unplugging their loved ones from ventilators.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Your Eyes Move, So Do Your Eardrums”

Keep flicking your eyes back and forth, left and right.
As your eyes flitted right, both eardrums bulged to the left, one inward and one outward.
These wobbles happen every time you move your eyes, whether or not there’s external noise.
Groh has long been interested in how the brain connects information from our eyes and ears.
That’s easier said than done, because our ears are obviously fixed on our heads but our eyes are constantly moving.
They also found that the eardrums start to wobble about 10 milliseconds before the eyes.
Instead, Groh says, “The brain is saying: I am about to move the eyes; ears, get ready.”
Still, it’s clear that something is happening to the ears, and it’s intimately connected to what the eyes are doing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “CTE: Repeated hits, not concussions, behind neurodegenerative disease”

“Now we have both the scientific proof, the pathologies to support it, and all the evidence to show that concussion is not linked to long-term neurological disease,” said Dr. Lee Goldstein, one of the authors on the study, published in the journal Brain.
In all four brains, there were already changes to the brain that could be indicators of CTE, including leaky blood vessels and abnormal buildups of the protein tau.
The four specimens were compared to brains from four other athletes of similar age who had not experienced any recent head trauma before death.
To try and understand the source of the changes, Goldstein and his colleagues mimicked the experiences of the human brains in mouse models, by exposing mice to repeated head trauma, like that in football, and single blast head trauma, similar to military combat.
Not everyone experiences these symptoms, and so “By looking at concussion, it’s not telling you anything about the brain or CTE,” he added.
Using animal models and computer modeling, Goldstein and his partners were able to see progression of the disease, finding that as tau built up, it began to work its way through the brain.
There is a potential bias, as many of the studied brains came from players who experienced clinical CTE symptoms when living, such as memory loss, rage and mood swings.
While it’s not clear how common CTE is, Goldstein said the brains examined in the new study are a warning.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Evolution of Pleasure and Pain”

The nervous systems are in constant interaction and cooperation with the rest of the organism.
The reason why nervous systems exist in the first place is to assist the rest of the organism.
Organisms with nervous systems can image these states.
It’s important to understand that nervous systems serve the organism and not the other way around.
Once organisms got to the point of being so complex that they had an endocrine system, immune system, circulation, and central metabolism, they needed a device to coordinate all that activity.
Now, in the process of doing that, over millions of years, we have developed nervous systems that do plenty of other things that do not necessarily result in coordination of the organism’s interior, but happen to be very good at coordinating the internal world in relation to the outside world.
You do not invent a moral system or a government system alone or for yourself alone.
When the natural systems do not succeed at improved regulation, guess what? They are weeded out by evolution because they promote illness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Creative thought has a pattern of its own, brain activity scans reveal”

In new research, scientists report signature patterns of neural activity that mark out those who are most creative.
“We have identified a pattern of brain connectivity that varies across people, but is associated with the ability to come up with creative ideas,” said Roger Beaty, a psychologist at Harvard University.
Creative thinking is one of the primary drivers of cultural and technological change, but the brain activity that underpins original thought has been hard to pin down.
The scientists asked the volunteers to perform a creative thinking task as they lay inside a brain scanner.
Reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study found distinct patterns of brain activity in the most and least creative people.
The scans suggest that more creative people can better engage both networks at once.
Now, Beaty wants to look at brain activity in different creative pursuits, such as the arts and sciences, and investigate whether training helps boost creative powers.
“A critical open question, for future research, is whether this ability to put the brain in creative mode transfers across tasks,” he said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How To Teach Your Brain Something It Won’t Forget A Week Later”

Well, because that’s not how your brain likes to absorb information.
As brain scientists have dug into how learning really works, they’ve discovered that massed practice only leads to remembering things over the short term.
It’s a fine strategy for when you’re learning something you don’t really care about.
With a little more planning and foresight, you can tap into that cognitive phenomenon to take better advantage of how your brain actually works.
“We measure experiment participants’ brain activity while they’re learning, trying to take in the information, and then ask them to rest,” Davachi says of her research.
“We see there is a footprint of what was happening during the learning; the brain continues to rehearse the prior information.” Davachi has found that participants whose brains show more replay during that rest period do better on recall tests later.
“Your brain is doing your work for you while you’re doing other tasks,” she adds.
The good news is that your brain is already built to acquire and store information that way, just as long you space out the learning process from the outset.

The orginal article.