Thirty years of fast food: Greater variety, but more salt, larger portions, and added calories

Despite the addition of some healthful menu items, fast food is even more unhealthy for you than it was 30 years ago. An analysis of the offerings at 10 of the most popular US fast-food restaurants in 1986, 1991, and 2016, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, demonstrates that fast-food entrees, sides, and desserts increased […]

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A tradeoff in the neural code: The price we pay for our advanced brains may be a greater tendency to disorders

Prof. Rony Paz of the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that our brains are like modern washing machines — evolved to have the latest sophisticated programming, but more vulnerable to breakdown and prone to develop costly disorders. He and a group of researchers recently conducted experiments comparing the efficiency of the neural code in non-human and human primates, and found […]

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Teen brain volume changes with small amount of cannabis use, study finds

At a time when several states are moving to legalize recreational use of marijuana, new research shows that concerns about the drug’s impact on teens may be warranted. The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, shows that even a small amount of cannabis use by teenagers is linked to differences in their brains. Senior author and University of Vermont […]

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Great apes and ravens plan without thinking

Planning and self control in animals do not require human-like mental capacities, according to a study from Stockholm University. Newly developed learning models, similar to models within artificial intelligence research, show how planning in ravens and great apes can develop through prior experiences without any need of thinking. Researchers have previously suggested that ravens can plan better than four-year-old children. […]

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Owls help scientists unlock secret of how the brain pays attention

By studying barn owls, scientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they’ve taken an important step toward solving the longstanding mystery of how the brain chooses what most deserves attention. The finding, the cover article in the latest issue of the journal Cell Reports, likely applies to all animals, including humans, and offers new insight into what goes wrong in the […]

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