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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: National Eye Institute

This video from the National Eye Institute features Chris Thomas answering children's questions about how you can become a scientist and the variety of jobs they do.

Source: Society for Neuroscience

30,000 scientists will convene today in Washington, DC, for the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. Watch last year’s Dialogues lecture.

Source: Science Friday
Why some tunes lodge in our brains isn’t so clear. Here are a few theories.

Neuroscience in News

Source: USA Today
Date: 3 Feb 2015
Inducing coma is a common approach to treating someone who has been deprived of oxygen.
Source: FOX News
Date: 27 Jan 2015
Less invasive brain surgery isn't common but surgeons are working out different ways to get to tumors, aneurysms and other problems without as much trauma in hopes that patients recover faster.
Source: The Guardian
Date: 22 Jan 2015

Contraceptive use is very common, and brain tumors are very rare, so when a study finds an association between the two, understanding the risk is key.

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