Stimulating this part of the brain causes ‘uncontrollable urge to laugh’

Interestingly, electrically stimulating the cingulum bundle also seems to reduce anxiety.

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  • In a study of epilepsy patients undergoing electrical stimulation brain mapping, scientists discovered that the stimulation of the cingulum bundle reliably produced laughter, smiles and calm feelings.
  • The findings could someday help scientists develop better treatments for anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
  • One obstacle preventing this kind of treatment from becoming accessible is that it requires invasive surgery, though improved technology could someday change that.
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How antibiotics used in factory farming destroy our microbiomes

Good bacteria are our friends. We need to protect them.

  • More and more research nowadays links good gut flora to several health benefits, such as the inhibition of Alzheimer's to a fast metabolism.
  • Since we're over prescribed antibiotics, and because much of the meat we consume comes from animals that were fed antibiotics, we are destroying much of the good bacteria, and often at the risk — because of our diets — of replenishing them.
  • A well-rounded diet that's light in animal protein, high in macronutrients, and supplemented with a good intake of prebiotics can ensure we're keeping probiotics flourishing.

'Disturbing' music influences us to take fewer financial risks, Israeli researchers find

Want to make safer investments? Pay attention to the music playing in the background.

Photo credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Firefly
  • A recent study examined the different ways fast/arousing and slow/calming music affects the ways people make financial decisions.
  • The results show that people made safer investments while listening to fast/arousing music, a finding that might be explained by the fact that people tend to be more risk averse when their working memory becomes overloaded.
  • Although everyone experiences music differently, it's worth keeping in mind that subtle situational factors can influence the ways we make important decisions.
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3 of the most speculative benefits of the keto diet

Can the keto diet really help people combat acne, cancer and "brain fog"?

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  • The keto diet is generally an effective method for weight loss.
  • Still, many of the diet's other supposed health benefits aren't as well supported by the research.
  • Claims that the keto diet can help with acne, cancer and mental clarity are speculative, but there's reason to suggest they're worth investigating.
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  • The body influences the mind: physical activity changes our brain chemistry.
  • More activity in the body, and therefore in the brain, reorients us toward happiness, purpose, and meaning.
  • Neuroplasticity suggests we can program ourselves to be more optimistic and hopeful.
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