New findings on brain functional connectivity may lend insights into mental disorders

Ongoing advances in understanding the functional connections within the brain are producing exciting insights into how the brain circuits function together to support human behavior — and may lead to new discoveries in the development and treatment of psychiatric disorders, according to a review.

Yawning: Why is it so contagious and why should it matter?

Feeling tired? Even if we aren’t tired, why do we yawn if someone else does? Experts have published research that suggests the human propensity for contagious yawning is triggered automatically by primitive reflexes in the primary motor cortex — an area of the brain responsible for motor function. Their study is another stage in their research into the underlying biology of neuropsychiatric disorders and their search for new methods of treatment.

Scents and social preference: Neuroscientists ID the roots of attraction

Culminating a series of studies stretching back eight years, biologists have identified the cellular and molecular basis for social preference, known in the animal kingdom as ‘imprinting.’ Through in vivo experiments, the researchers found the neurological roots of kinship attraction and aversion. They also employed genetics screening to find the regulators controlling this behavior. The study carries implications for understanding social attraction and aversion in a range of animals and humans.