Epigenetic effects on genetic diseases

This 2017 review provided evidence for epigenetic effects on a disease widely considered to be of genetic origins: “..for a T1D [type 1 diabetes] identical twin the concordance rate (both twins affected)..is consistently less than 100%, which implies a non-genetically determined effect. However, the concordance rate declines with age at diagnosis of the index twin, … Continue reading Epigenetic effects on genetic diseases

A human study of pain avoidance

This 2016 UK human study found: “People differ in how they learn to avoid pain, with some individuals refraining from actions that resulted in painful outcomes, whereas others favor actions that helped prevent pain. Learning in our task was best explained as driven by an outcome prediction error that reflects the difference between expected and … Continue reading A human study of pain avoidance

Observing pain in others had long-lasting brain effects

This 2016 Israeli human study used whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study pain perception in military veterans: “Our findings demonstrate alterations in pain perception following extreme pain exposure, chart the sequence from automatic to evaluative pain processing, and emphasize the importance of considering past experiences in studying the neural response to others’ states. Differences in brain … Continue reading Observing pain in others had long-lasting brain effects

Empathy, value, pain, control: Psychological functions of the human striatum

This 2016 US human study found: “A link between existing data on the anatomical and physiological characteristics of striatal regions and psychological functions. Because we did not limit our metaanalysis to studies that specifically targeted striatal function, our results extend previous knowledge of the involvement of the striatum in reward-related decision-making tasks, and provide a … Continue reading Empathy, value, pain, control: Psychological functions of the human striatum

What is the purpose of music? A review of evolutionary and pleasurable research findings

Ever wonder what happens in your brain and body when you get chills from a musical performance? This 2013 summary review of 126 studies provided details of brain areas that contribute to our enjoyment of music. Much of the review addressed Darwin’s observation that music had no readily apparent functional consequence and no clear-cut adaptive … Continue reading What is the purpose of music? A review of evolutionary and pleasurable research findings

Who benefits when research with no practical application becomes a politically correct meme?

Do you take a risk, as this 2013 University of Texas/Yale study concluded, because you don’t foresee how you can avoid the risk? By making this finding, the study essentially assigned the bases of a person’s risky decisions to their cerebrum. I wasn’t persuaded. The conclusion was reached because the study’s design only engaged the … Continue reading Who benefits when research with no practical application becomes a politically correct meme?