'Waves' of fluid clear the brain of toxins during sleep, say researchers

The finding represents one of the first times we have observed how the human brain clears out its waste products

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  • Evidence has been mounting that one of the major functions of sleep is to clear out metabolic waste products like beta-amyloids and tau proteins.
  • These waste products tend to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, implying that they play some part in neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Now, researchers from Boston University have discovered that these toxic byproducts are flushed out in waves by cerebrospinal fluid during the slow-wave sleep phase.
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Is creativity actually just a brain malfunction?

A new study says curiosity and creativity are computational errors.

Image source: 童 彤/Unsplash
  • If the job of the brain is to find the safest decision, why do creative people come up with the most interesting ones instead?
  • Scans show that the brain silently registers such "non-greedy" decisions as errors.
  • The experiments suggests we're not curious or creative, just fallible.
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Scientists teach birds new songs by implanting them with false memories

Groundbreaking neurological research on songbirds provides insight on human learned behavior and speech.

Photo credit: AlexandraPhotos / Moment via Getty Images
  • Scientists recently implanted a false memory into the brains of young zebra finches, teaching them a melody they had never heard before.
  • By stimulating certain neural circuits in the male birds' brains, researchers taught them courtship songs bypassing the lessons of an adult tutor.
  • Scientists hope this research expands our knowledge of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
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On writing: What illuminates a story?

Don't be afraid to have the very experiences you aspire to write about — they will help you write more vividly, and from a genuine place of wonder.

  • When it comes to writing a story, it's important to find a way to have an experience that will illuminate the narrative for readers — that is, an experience that fills you, the writer, with wonder and gives you a fresh take on things.
  • A good way to make a nonfiction story rich is by tackling the subject with different lenses, by circling it from different points of views.
  • Good storytelling is about taking readers on a journey. This said, instead of leading with your conclusion, begin from the time when you were naive about the subject at hand, and, as you relay the different things you learn, you will help your readers, in a down-to-earth way, move toward knowing more, too.
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Science explains why we love being scared

Psychologists discover why people participate in scary attractions.

  • Psychologists link anxiety from ambiguity to why we find some people or situations creepy.
  • A study showed that people who go to scary attractions find their moods improving and stress levels lowered.
  • Scary situations can produce a euphoria and a sense of achievement.
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