The Treatment of Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by symptoms such as continuous low mood, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, changes in sleep pattern and many more. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2020 depression will be the second most common cause of disability [1]. This is most concerning. Not only can depression dramatically diminish quality […]

I Can’t Believe My Eyes: Life With Bonnet Syndrome

Hallucinations, therefore moments of perception of stimuli that are not present at the given situation, can have multiple causes. From use of addictive substances such as hallucinogens or other psychoactive substances across hypnotic suggestions to extreme physical or mental exhaustion of an organism, experienced for example by endurance racers or ultra-marathon runners. In all cases, […]

Stimulants: How can something so popular be so damaging?

In recent years drugs like Adderall, used in the treatment of ADHD, have become familiar to university students across the US and UK. Many students have abused prescription stimulants like Adderall in the belief that it will enhance their ability to focus. The term ‘cognitive enhancement’ has been popularised by the media, with frequent debates […]

A Genetic Link Between Autism and Cognitive Abilities Has Been Found

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia have found a genetic link between the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cognitive ability. [1] ASD is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurodevelopment disorders. It is commonly characterised by social impairments, communication deficits, and other limited, […]

Your Brain on LSD

The whole concept behind recreational drugs is the search of an altered but pleasant reality, but LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) or ‘acid’, takes this one step further as it creates very powerful hallucinations, producing a distortion of one’s reality, including images and sounds that do not really exist. It is traditionally classed as a hallucinogen along […]

Social Learning – a Real Chimp off the Old Block!

Concern for the well-being of others is arguably one of the most fundamental and inherent human characteristics. Prosocial behaviours which benefit others are widespread (although displaying cultural variation) amongst humans and demonstrate extreme levels of selflessness. By contrast, previous influential work in this field which has studied our closest relative, chimpanzees, has failed to establish a […]

Specialist Neurons Detect Different Tastes

Have you ever wondered how you are able to distinguish between two different flavours? Or how your brain can detect that one single taste that you dislike in a bowl full of food that you do like? Well a group of researchers from Columbia University in New York, USA, has the answers. For years it was […]

Breakthrough for Communicating with Dementia Patients

New dementia research from the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews has given new insights into communicating with patients suffering from this pathology.[1] The research suggests that non-verbal communication methods may aid both patients and carers in forming and maintaining emotional connections. The research team, led by Dr Maggie Ellis […]

Halloween Science: Why do we fear spiders in the UK?

If, like me, you cannot function with a money spider in the room and feel the urge to burn down any shed with a dark, unexplored corner, you will understand the fear that arachnid and cobweb themed decorations bring at Halloween. Recent stories about ‘invasions’ of ‘aggressive’, ‘monster’ spiders in Britain only add to these […]

New Insights into Treatment Methods for Dyslexia

New research from the University of Oxford and the University of Barcelona has revealed profound differences in the way dyslexics distribute their attention resources.[1] This may pave the way for new dyslexic teaching methods, which aim to understand the underlying mechanisms to improve the literacy skills of sufferers. Their research has suggested that video games that test the speed […]

Copyright Sci@StAnd 2013