Not just mood swings but premenstrual depression: Serotonin transporter in the brain increased

Scientists led by Julia Sacher from MPI CBS and Osama Sabri from the Leipzig University Hospital have discovered in an elaborate patient study that the transport of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain increases in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) shortly before menstruation. Their findings provide the basis for a more targeted therapy of this specific mood disorder, in which patients only have to take antidepressants for a few days.
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Brain stimulation improves athletic performance

Is it possible to enhance athletic performance using brain stimulation? In a recent study in the journal Brain Stimulation, researchers at MPI CBS in Leipzig, in collaboration with Leipzig University and the EuroMov research center at the University of Montpellier, explored this question. The results point to performance-enhancing effects when certain areas of the brain are stimulated in competitive athletes.

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AI detects rare forms of dementia

Researchers at MPI CBS and University of Leipzig Medical Center have used new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques to detect rare forms of dementia on MRI images. In their study, the researchers show that AI can automatically recognize patterns in patient imaging data that are specific to rare forms of dementia, enabling early diagnosis. They included Alzheimer's disease with memory impairment as well as many other diseases that may be characterized by changes in language, personality or motor function.
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The power of lines and strokes - how our brain recognises line drawings

How is it possible for the brain to recognise drawn objects as houses or animals? In a recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, in collaboration with the Freie Universität Berlin and Justus Liebig University Giessen, investigated how our perception of line drawings differs from natural images. The researchers show that the perception of objects is particularly robust to changes in our environment.

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Babies form a memory for grammatical relationships - even without sleep

From an early age, children learn to name things and events, but also how to combine words according to the rules of their language. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) Leipzig and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have now found that even six-month-old babies store relationships between speech elements in memory.
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Why the child's brain learns grammar effortlessly

Anyone who has ever learned a foreign language knows how laborious it is to acquire vocabulary and grammar. In contrast, children acquire their first language seemingly effortlessly. By the age of four, many children are already speaking without errors and can draw on a large vocabulary. But how can the brain accomplish this? In a study published in the journal "Cerebral Cortex", scientists from MPI CBS now describe that the development of language ability in three to four year olds is accompanied by the maturation of brain areas within the same language network that is also responsible for understanding and producing language in adults.
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With constructive feedback our brain learns the perfect timing

It's very important in sports, and in interpersonal relationships, too - perfect timing. But how does our brain learn to estimate when events might occur and react accordingly? Scientists at MPI CBS in Leipzig together with colleagues from the Kavli Institute at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim were able to demonstrate in an MRI study that our brain learns best in connection with constructive feedback.
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How the mother's mood influences her baby's ability to speak

Communicating with babies in infant-directed-speech is considered an essential prerequisite for successful language development of the little ones. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have now investigated how the mood of mothers in the postpartum period affects their child’s development. They found that even children whose mothers suffer from mild depressive mood that do not yet require medical treatment show early signs of delayed language development. The reason for this could be the way the women talk to the newborns. The findings could help prevent potential deficits early on. more

Show me your brain scan and I'll tell you how old you really are

The biological age of a person can be accurately determined from brain images using the latest AI technology, so-called artificial neural networks. Until now, however, it was unclear which features these networks used to infer age. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have now developed an algorithm that reveals: Age estimation goes back to a whole range of features in the brain, providing general information about a person's state of health. The algorithm could thus help to detect tumours or Alzheimer's disease more quickly and allows conclusions to be drawn about the neurological consequences of diseases such as diabetes. more

The hemispheres are not equal: How the brain is not symmetrical

Although the brain is divided into two halves, it is not exactly a mirror image. Some functions are processed more on the left side, others more on the right. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) and Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ), together with an international team of neuroscientists, have now discovered heritable underpinnings of brain asymmetry—and—how much we share with monkeys. more

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