Unraveling the link between brain and lymphatic system

Lymphatic vessels are found in the central nervous system where they were not known to exist. The meningeal linings of brain have a lymphatic vessel network that has direct connections to the systemic lymphatic network elsewhere in the body.

Tony Delroy's Night Life August 14 – story links

Communities with beautiful scenery, weather have lower rates of religious affiliation

Counties in the United States with more beautiful weather and scenery have lower rates of membership and affiliation with religious organizations, according to a Baylor University study. "Beautiful weather, mountains and waterfronts can serve as conduits to the sacred, just like traditional religious congregations," said lead author Todd W. Ferguson, a doctoral candidate in sociology in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.

What we've been getting wrong about choosing gifts

Buying a gift can feel like a test. You want the gift to show how thoughtful you've been, and how you've taken the recipient's interests and personality into account. Yet according to the authors of a new psychology paper, this isn't the optimal approach. You and the recipient will likely feel closer to one another if you buy them a gift that says something about you, not them

Artificial intelligence improves fine wine price prediction

The price fluctuation of fine wines can now be predicted more accurately using a novel artificial intelligence approach developed by researchers at UCL. The method could be used to help fine wine investors make more informed decisions about their portfolios and encourage non-wine investors to start looking at wine in this manner and hence increase the net trade of wine.

Waiting for pleasure

96742_webResearchers at McGill have clearly identified, for the first time, the specific parts of the brain involved in decisions that call for delayed gratification. In a paper recently published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, they demonstrated that the hippocampus (associated with memory) and the nucleus accumbens (associated with pleasure) work together in making critical decisions of this type, where time plays a role. The researchers showed that when these two structures were effectively ‘disconnected’ in the brain, there is a disruption of decisions related to delayed gratification.

read more

How to trust what your customers say about your brand

selection in a supermarket

In their paper, “From ‘Where’ to ‘What’: Distributed Representations of Brand Associations in the Human Brain (Journal of Marketing Research: August 2015, Vol. 52, No. 4), co-authors Ming Hsu and Leif Nelson, Berkeley-Haas marketing professors, and Yu-Ping Chen, Berkeley-Haas Ph.D., used fMRI to test a classic marketing proposition that consumers associate human-like characteristics to brands. The authors say the results provide marketers with a rigorous method that they can potentially use to verify core customer insights.

read more

Yoga eases back pain in largest US yoga study to date

Yoga study leader Dr. Karen Sherman is a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. CREDIT Group Health Research Institute

Yoga study leader Dr. Karen Sherman is a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Group Health Research Institute

Yoga classes were linked to better back-related function and diminished symptoms from chronic low back pain in the largest U.S. randomized controlled trial of yoga to date, published by the Archives of Internal Medicine. But so were intensive stretching classes.

“We found yoga classes more effective than a self-care book–but no more effective than stretching classes,” said study leader Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Back-related function was better and symptoms were diminished with yoga at 12 weeks; and clinically important benefits, including less use of pain medications, lasted at least six months for both yoga and stretching, with thorough follow-up of more than nine in 10 participants.

read more