Childhood maltreatment may change brain's response to threat


Neural activity associated with defensive responses in humans shifts between two brain regions depending on the proximity of a threat, suggests neuroimaging data from two independent samples of adults in the Netherlands. In one sample, the findings suggest that emotional abuse during childhood may shift the balance of activity between these regions.

Tiny molecule has big effect on brain's ability to learn


Prenatal brain development is a crucial period, and as new research has found, even small alterations to the way brain cells develop can have significant effects later in life. Scientists have shed light on the role that small molecules called microRNAs play in early brain development. The research found a close link between early brain developmental events and changes in cognitive function in adulthood.

In witnessing the brain's 'aha!' moment, scientists shed light on biology of consciousness


Scientists have identified the brain’s ‘aha!’ moment — that flash in time when you suddenly know the answer to a difficult question. Today’s findings in humans, combined with previous research, provide compelling evidence that this moment — this feeling of having decided — pierces consciousness when information being collected by the brain reaches a critical level. Importantly, this study offers new hope that the biological foundations of consciousness may well be within our grasp.