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Archive of Latest Brain Sciences News

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Tuning the brain: how piano tuning may cause changes to brain structure

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Piano tuner (from seljes)

Wellcome Trust-funded scientists at UCL have shown that working as a piano tuner may lead to changes in the structure of the memory and navigation areas of the brain. The study, published today in the Journal of Neuroscience, shows that these structural differences correlate with the number of years of experience a piano tuner has accumulated.

Study reveals human drive for fairness

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Handshake from Flikr

People will reject an offer of water, even when they are severely thirsty, if they think the offer is unfair, according to a new study by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL. The findings have important implications for understanding how we make decisions that need to balance fairness and self-interest.

Confirmation and Clearing 2012

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Confirmation and Clearing 2012

UCL is pleased to announce that it has filled all its places for 2012 entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Black belts’ white matter shows how a powerful punch comes from the brain

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Karate expert

Brain scans have revealed distinctive features in the brain structure of karate experts, which could be linked to their ability to punch powerfully from close range.

Cause of Alternating Hemiplegia identified

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An international consortium of scientists, led jointly by researchers at UCL’s Institute of Neurology and Duke University, USA, has identified the specific genetic mutation that causes Alternating Hemiplegia, a rare neurological condition affecting an estimated one child in every million. Using the newest genetic technology, next-generation sequencing, the study published in Nature Genetics, showed that de novo mutations in the gene ATP1A3 cause the condition (de novo mutations are genetic mutations not present in the parents’ genes).

Funding secured for continued tinnitus research

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The British Tinnitus Association has been able to commit to funding a second year of research work at the pioneering UCL Ear Institute, thanks to the many generous donations of our members and supporters and a grant of £54,728 from healthcare provider, Simplyhealth. Read more: BTA website

'Inattention blindness' due to brain load

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"When we focus intently on one task, we often fail to see other things in plain sight - a phenomenon known as ‘inattention blindness’. Scientists already know that performing a task involving high information load - a ‘high load’ task - reduces our visual cortex response to incoming stimuli. Now researchers from UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience have examined the brain mechanisms behind this, further explaining why our brain becomes ‘blind’ under high load." Read more: Medical Express

Ecstasy tablets are far more harmful than previously thought - and taking just ten can cause brain damage

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Professor Val Curran (UCL Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology) said that any effects on memory are likely to be small and transient. ”The general agreement that is emerging about ecstasy is that while you are using the drug, you might expect a very subtle memory impairment but it’s probably not significant in the real world,” she said. Read: Daily Mail More: Times of India

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