Some sense in sensory deprivation

How would you cope if you couldn’t hear, see or feel anything? How do sensory systems react when they have no information to process? Such questions may seem rather bizarre, but they are in fact the topic of sensory deprivation research. Sensory deprivation involves systematically preventing information from reaching one or more sensory modalities. As […]

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The painful truth: Magnetic bracelets, the placebo effect & analgesia

Despite the widespread availability of evidence-based medicine in the western world, ‘alternative medicines’ are still commonly used. Such medicines are usually inspired by  pre-scientific medical practices; those which have been passed down through generations. However many established medical treatments also arise from traditional medical practices. For example the use of aspirin as an analgesic (pain […]

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A matter of inheritance

The age-old ‘nature-nurture’ debate revolves around understanding to what extent various traits within a population are determined by biological or environmental factors. In this context ‘traits’ can include not only aspects of personality, but also physical differences (e.g. eye colour) and differences in the vulnerability to disease. Investigating the nature-nurture question is important because it […]

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Scientists discover bees that can reverse brain aging

By Maria Panagiotidi Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that older honey bees can reverse brain aging when they take on nest responsibilities typically handled by much younger bees. This finding could provide alternative interventions for the treatment of age-related dementia. Current research focuses mainly on potential new drug treatments. The study was published in […]

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Anxiety enhances sense of smell

By Maria Panagiotidi Anxious people have a heightened sense of smell, when it comes to sniffing out a threat, according to a new study by Elizabeth Krusemark and Wen Li from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. The results of their study will be published online in the journal Chemosensory Perception. The sense of […]

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