Grey matter matters when measuring our tolerance of risk

There is a link between our brain structure and our tolerance of risk, new research suggests.

Dr Agnieszka Tymula, an economist at the University of Sydney, is one of the lead authors of a new study that identifies what might be considered the first stable ‘biomarker’ for financial risk-attitudes.

Using a whole-brain analysis, Dr Tymula and international collaborators found that the grey matter volume of a region in the right posterior parietal cortex was significantly predictive of individual risk attitudes. Men and women with higher grey matter volume in this region exhibited less risk aversion.

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Tony Delroy’s Nightlife stories for September 12

Researchers demonstrate direct brain-to-brain communication in human subjects

Motherboard brainIn a first-of-its-kind study, an international team of neuroscientists and robotics engineers have demonstrated the viability of direct brain-to-brain communication in humans. Recently published in PLOS ONE the highly novel findings describe the successful transmission of information via the internet between the intact scalps of two human subjects – located 5,000 miles apart.

“We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways,” explains coauthor Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “One such pathway is, of course, the internet, so our question became, ‘Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects located far away from each other in India and France ?'”

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Social groups alleviate depression

Building a strong connection to a social group helps clinically depressed patients recover and helps prevent relapse, according to a new study.