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Neuroeconomics: Money and the Brain

In good times and bad, people face important economic decisions. Scientists in a field called neuroeconomics study how the brain assesses economic information and weighs financial risks.

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Group Think: The Science of the Social Brain

Social neuroscience is helping shed light on the powerful link between biology and behavior.

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The Brain on Trial

Three experts discuss how advances in neuroscience pose new challenges for the judicial system and the use of therapeutic solutions for reforming criminals.

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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

Cities and Their Psychology: How Neuroscience Affects Urban Planning

Source: The Guardian
The study of metropolitan areas and how their inhabitants interact with them is key to planning our future as a species.

The Truth About Lies: The Science of Deception

Source: Society for Neuroscience

Scientists want to understand the changes that take place in the brain when we deceive. What they find could one day have important moral and legal implications.

Neuroscience in News

Portrait of a Dyslexic Artist, Who Transforms Neurons into ‘Butterflies’

Source: PBS
Date: 16 April 2014
After completing a fellowship at NIH, artist Rebecca Kamen has transformed her discussions with neuroscientists into abstract sculptures.

Here’s How Neuroscientists in the 1800s Studied Blood Flow in the Brain

Source: Smithsonian
Date: 7 April 2014
New translations of early neuroscience reveal how in 1882 one Italian physiologist was able to measure blood flow changes in the brain.

Neurological Institute Finds Worrisome Drop in Basic Research

Source: Science
Date: 1 April 2014
For years, some biomedical researchers have worried that a push for more bench-to-bedside studies has meant less support for basic research.