The Science of EducationInforming Teaching and Learning through the Brain Sciences
Discoveries about how the brain learns are fueling interest in applying neuroscience in the classroom. In the new field of neuroeducation, scientists and educators should join forces to develop goals for learning-related research, the authors argue.
Wired for Hunger: The Brain and Obesity
Because food is not always plentiful, humans have evolved to eat whenever it is available. Researchers are starting to tease out the brain circuits that elicit this “eat” message, a network that may contribute to today’s widespread obesity. Effective obesity treatment likely will involve combination of drugs, in addition to psychological approaches and exercise—not just a single pill.
Updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
How the foremost clinical manual for psychiatric disorders guides doctors to diagnoses has long been controversial. Now, during the early stages of the manual’s revision, complementary articles—one by four scientists involved in the process, the other by a psychiatrist looking in from the outside—address how to make psychiatric diagnosis both more certain and more flexible.
Using Deep Brain Stimulation on the Mind: Handle with Care
The success of deep brain stimulation in treating movement disorders has led to investigations of its use for psychiatric illnesses. While the technique shows early promise in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Dr. Mahlon DeLong, M.D., a pioneer in the field, cautions both doctors and patients to be aware of the risks in using this yet unproven method.
Why So Many Seniors Get SwindledBrain Anomalies and Poor Decision-making in Older Adults
The elderly often fall victim to scams, but is it more than aged neurons causing the problem? One expert argues that such slips result from gene-based abnormalities in the brain’s emotional processing rather than the normal deterioration that goes with aging.
Video Games Affect the Brain—for Better and Worse
Headlines about how video games affect the brain range from upbeat to dire. Psychologist Douglas A. Gentile asserts that although violent games in particular can have negative consequences, well-designed games can teach positive skills. He proposes five attributes of video game design that can help explain findings and guide future research.
Neuroimaging: Separating the Promise from the Pipe Dreams
Neuroimaging can reveal a great deal about the brain, but scientists and the science-savvy must be careful lest we read too much into imaging findings. Russell A. Poldrack, Ph.D., a leading theorist on how to interpret certain neuroimaging results, explains the limits of this promising technology and the caveats we should keep in mind when we hear of a “breakthrough.”