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Brain & Behavior

  • 13 May 1998

    Researchers have the first strong evidence that a brain chemical called serotonin plays an important role in drug addiction.

  • 8 May 1998

    By outfitting a PET scanner with a virtual reality world, researchers have mapped brain regions as a person navigates through an environment.

  • 7 May 1998

    The mental centers for speech and writing, long thought to be in the same side of the brain, can reside in different hemispheres.

  • 15 Apr 1998

    Air traffic controllers and emergency dispatchers must make critical decisions while being deluged with information. Now researchers have devised a test that accurately measures the cool, quick judgment needed to perform well under stress.

  • 14 Apr 1998

    SAN FRANCISCO--Forget the clever mnemonics and untie that string around your finger. If you really need to learn something, get a good night's sleep.

  • 10 Apr 1998

    SAN FRANCISCO--Ever wonder why your dreams can be so freakish? It's because your thought patterns are also bizarre in never-never land. Researchers have shown that concepts are more disjointed during REM sleep, in which dreaming occurs, than at other times.

  • 3 Apr 1998

    Thick fog poses an obvious traffic hazard--you can't see very far. Now scientists have identified a surprising danger of driving in pea soup: The lack of contrast makes high speeds seem slow.

  • 23 Mar 1998

    Ending a 2-year search, German scientists have uncovered a piece of science history: brain samples from Auguste D., the first Alzheimer's patient ever to be described in medical literature.

  • 5 Mar 1998

    The young brain is a sponge for knowledge, primed to soak up skills and information with an ease that it will never match again.

  • 20 Feb 1998

    Put on glasses that distort the world, and your brain quickly adapts so that you can still find objects correctly.

  • 28 Jan 1998

    A protein famous for anchoring cells and helping them communicate is also crucial to the short-term memory of fruit flies.

  • 22 Jan 1998

    The common fly is a miracle of miniaturization, a tiny flying machine capable of split-second zigzags--and of outmaneuvering most humans. Now a group of scientists has peered at the pilot's brain and found that it too has some fancy moves.

  • 9 Jan 1998

    Some blind people read Braille by running a single finger, like a record stylus, over the stipples representing the alphabet. Others use three fingers, like three styluses playing adjacent grooves.

  • 23 Dec 1997

    To the victims of Pfiesteria, a toxic marine microorganism that has killed scads of fish and sickened some people from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico, add laboratory rats.

  • 21 Nov 1997

    Vietnam veterans who endured heavy combat and were later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) are significantly more likely than other vets to suffer from a variety of chronic diseases 15 to 20 years later.

  • 20 Nov 1997

    Anyone who's ever crammed just before an exam knows that you can't fit many facts into short-term memory. In fact, the space limit seems to be about seven words or digits--the length of a telephone number. But what about images?

  • 17 Nov 1997

    What does a horseshoe crab look for in a mate? The right moves, according to a computer model that simulates how neurons in the crab eye respond to different objects.

  • 23 Oct 1997

    Knowing whether a baseball is headed for the strike zone--or wide outside--is no easy task. Now scientists have found the brain region that allows everyone from schoolchildren to major leaguers to track objects, even though the eyes themselves are moving.

  • 16 Oct 1997

    A pavlovian learning experiment in lowly sea slugs has provided new clues to how we remember our childhood.

  • 3 Oct 1997

    An enthusiastic teaching style is more important to students than what's taught, according to a recent study at Cornell University.

  • 1 Oct 1997

    The battle between the sexes in human society may pale in comparison to the one raging among wasps, according to a study in tomorrow's issue of Nature.

  • 25 Sep 1997

    Researchers have for the first time watched what happens in the human brain as an addictive drug--cocaine--creates first its "high" and then intense cravings for more of the drug.

  • 24 Sep 1997

    Today is the birthday of Ivar Pavlov, a Russian physiologist born in 1849 who is best known for his studies of the conditioning of dogs. Between 1890 and 1900, Pavlov investigated the secretory mechanisms of digestion in animals.

  • 24 Sep 1997

    In 1988, a 27-year-old man identified as CK sustained head injuries in an auto accident that left him with a strange impairment: He has normal eyesight and cognition, but he can't recognize objects.

  • 11 Sep 1997

    Baby rats who get extra attention from their mothers cope better with stress later in life, according to a paper published in tomorrow's issue of Science.

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