MRI SCAN OF A PATIENT FROM HEAD TO FEET
Happy Birthday, Pavlov!
People with psychopathic tendencies have an impaired sense of smell, which points to inefficient processing in the front part of the brain. Psychopathy is a broad term that covers a severe personality disorder characterized by callousness, manipulation, sensation-seeking and antisocial behaviors, traits which may also be found in otherwise healthy and functional people. Studies have shown that people with psychopathic traits have impaired functioning in the front part of the brain - the area largely responsible for functions such as planning, impulse control and acting in accordance with social norms. In addition, a dysfunction in these areas in the front part of the brain is linked to an impaired sense of smell.
The researchers found that those individuals who scored highly on psychopathic traits were more likely to struggle to both identify smells and tell the difference between smells, even though they knew they were smelling something. These results show that brain areas controlling olfactory processes are less efficient in individuals with psychopathic tendencies. The authors conclude: ” Our findings provide support for the premise that deficits in the front part of the brain may be a characteristic of non-criminal psychopaths. Olfactory measures represent a potentially interesting marker for psychopathic traits, because performance expectancies are unclear in odor tests and may therefore be less susceptible to attempts to fake good or bad responses.”"
The best science-nerd Twitter of 2012?
30 Neuroscientists To Follow On Twitter
How does the brain work? What explains love—and hate? Is free will an illusion?
If these sorts of questions interest you, HuffPost Science would like to introduce you to a a few folks—renowned experts in neuroscience whose tweets can help keep you abreast of the latest findings and continuing controversies in the realm of the brain and mind.
Can Positive Thinking Really Improve Health?
The power of positive thinking movement is the cornerstone upon which countless American self-help empires have been built. But does it really have the power it so often promises?
Hamlet may have been able to see through a fake smile, but it’s hard for most of us. People smile out of politeness, awkwardness or frustration, so how can we tell if a smile is real?
One project at MIT’s celebrated Media Lab aims to do just that. It began by trying to “zoom into different kinds of smiles and deconstruct them into low level facial features, and then we wondered whether it’s possible to train a computer to recognize some of the smiles automatically,” said M. Ehsan Hoque, a research assistant at the lab.
Tetris May Help Treat PTSD
A seemingly trivial task – playing a particular video game – may lessen flashbacks and other psychological symptoms following a traumatic event, according to research presented here at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference.
More here: http://huff.to/Ic4UnH
In the studio: Arianna interviews Susan Cain on her book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts”
The Mind Of A Mass Murderer: Charles Whitman, Brain Damage, And Violence (VIDEO)
HuffPost Science’s Cara Santa Maria explores the link between brain damage and violence in the case of the UT Sniper. More here.
HuffPost Science blogger Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman stopped by the office today!