Why does the brain use so much energy?

You may have heard that the brain uses 20% of the body’s overall energy. Previously, scientists thought it might be because our synapses are firing, and we are thinking, feeling, imagining—and that took a lot of energy. But the brains in people in comas use similar amounts of energy. So, what is going on? Find […]

Sleep apnea and memory

It has become clear that good quality sleep is very important for cognitive health and function. Sleep apnea can affect that, with research showing a 26% increase in the rate of cognitive impairment among people who have sleep apnea. But a new study shows that treating sleep apnea can improve memory in people with mild […]

Get your walk on

A new study from Colorado State University showed that older people who walked briskly for 40 minutes three times a week didn’t just experience a physical boost—they also boosted their brains. Not only did their performance on memory tests improve, brain scans showed their white matter was more robust compared to people who did stretching […]

When two brains work together

There is some fascinating new research on how two brains interact—actually change—when collaborating with one another. In one set of work, scientists have found that when two people cooperate on a task (such as when a pilot and co-pilot land a plane together) their neural oscillations (electrical frequencies) align. Other researchers have found that when two birds sing a duet, […]

Can Dogs “See” With Their Noses?

We all know that dogs have an incredible sense of smell—much better than that of humans. Now, new research shows an extensive “information highway” between the visual and olfactory system in dogs, indicating a degree of integration between sight and smell that is unheard of in humans. Does that mean dogs can “see” what they […]

The latest in brain food: Cranberries

Cranberries are rich in two types of flavonoids—plant compounds that studies have shown might deliver brain benefits. That’s why scientists in the UK decided to study whether a daily intake of cranberries (in this case a powder equal to about a cup of cranberries) could improve cognitive function. They found that the group of study […]

Rudeness is contagious

Over the great expanse of evolution, our brains developed to respond to threats in a way that would protect ourselves. In our current world, we can interpret someone being very rude about our beliefs or practices as a “threat,” which can put our brains on high alert. In response, we often get more stubborn, defend […]

Hate some sounds? Here’s why

“Misophonia” is the feeling some people get when they respond very negatively to certain sounds, such as chewing or breathing. At its worst, it can be a very intense reaction that is difficult for the person to endure. This may sound extreme—but research suggests that between 6% and 20% of people experience some degree of […]

The Teen Brain: 7 things to know

Did you know that big and important changes are happening in the brain during adolescence? Here are 7 things to know about the teen brain: The brain reaches its biggest size in early adolescence. For girls, the brain reaches its biggest size around 11 years old. For boys, the brain reaches its biggest size around age 14. But this difference […]