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BrainFacts.org

Introduction

The study of the brain and nervous system is applicable to many facets of daily life, from decisions we make about spending money to the way we view ourselves and others. Scientists, educators, economists, and lawyers are now recognizing the impact of brain function on learning, decision-making, planning and criminal behavior. Collaborations between these individuals could one day guide efforts to improve teaching methods and curricula, and identify people with an inclination toward high-risk behaviors such as suicide or drug use. Advances in brain scanning technology and genetics are enabling scientists to predict behavior, personality, and disease with increasing accuracy. For instance, brain imaging studies of teenagers helped scientists better understand their tendency toward thrill-seeking behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse. Additionally, researchers are exploring how imaging technology might be used to detect mental illness, lies or hint at a person’s susceptibility to committing criminal actions. This information could guide early intervention and prevention efforts, but it also raises important ethical questions.

Discoveries

Source: Dana Foundation
How tightly is violence tied to mental illness? Not as tight as US journalism makes it appear, researchers say.
Source: Society for Neuroscience
Where in the brain does creativity come from?
Source: Dana Foundation
Want to travel to Mars? Bring empathy, communication skills; expect trouble with seeing, thinking — and keeping food down.

Neuroscience in News

Source: CNN
Date: 24 Oct 2016

An article in the journal Nature Neuroscience says that a decreased amygdala response may help explain the "slippery slope" of lying.

Source: The Guardian
Date: 18 Sept 2016

When oxygen is limited the brain sends a message to the legs to stop working – which may explain Hillary Clinton’s stumble.

Source: MSN
Date: 1 Aug 2016

Elan Barenholtz, PhD, an associate professor in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University, explains how games like Pokemon Go become addictions.

Read more about neuroscience core concepts for the U. S. National Science Education Standards.