Dopamine, serotonin involved in sub-second perception, cognition — ScienceDaily

In first-of-their-kind observations in the human brain, an international team of researchers has revealed two well-known neurochemicals — dopamine and serotonin — are at work at sub-second speeds to shape how people perceive the world and take action based on their perception.

The discovery shows researchers can continually and simultaneously measure the activity of both dopamine and serotonin — whose receptor and uptake sites are therapeutic targets for disorders ranging from depression to Parkinson’s disease — in the human brain.

Furthermore, the neurochemicals appear to integrate people’s perceptions of the world with their actions, indicating dopamine and serotonin have far more expansive roles in the human nervous system than previously known.

Known as neuromodulators, dopamine and serotonin have traditionally been linked to reward processing — how good or how bad people perceive an outcome to be after taking an action.

The study online today in the journal Neuron opens the

Read More

Screen time can change visual perception — and that’s not necessarily bad — ScienceDaily

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted many of our interactions online, with Zoom video calls replacing in-person classes, work meetings, conferences and other events. Will all that screen time damage our vision?

Maybe not. It turns out that our visual perception is highly adaptable, according to research from Psychology Professor and Cognitive and Brain Sciences Coordinator Peter Gerhardstein’s lab at Binghamton University.

Gerhardstein, Daniel Hipp and Sara Olsen — his former doctoral students — will publish “Mind-Craft: Exploring the Effect of Digital Visual Experience on Changes in Orientation Sensitivity in Visual Contour Perception,” in an upcoming issue of the academic journal Perception. Hipp, the lead author and main originator of the research, is now at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System’s Laboratory for Clinical and Translational Research. Olsen, who designed stimuli for the research and aided in the analysis of the results, is now at the University of Minnesota’s

Read More

Women who have had repeated and unexplained pregnancy loss have an altered perception and brain response to men’s body odor — ScienceDaily

Women who have suffered unexplained repeated pregnancy loss (uRPL) have altered perceptions and brain responses to male body odours, in comparison to those with no history of uRPL, suggests a new study published today in eLife.

The results could lead to urgently needed answers for many women who experience repeat miscarriage with no clear underlying explanation.

Around 50% of human conceptions and 15% of human pregnancies result in miscarriage, but only a limited number of these can be explained. Body odour has been linked to many aspects of healthy human reproduction — such as synchrony of menstruation between women who live together, and the influence of body odours of breast-feeding women on the timing of ovulation and menstruation in others.

“Given that sense of smell is associated with human reproduction, we hypothesised that it may also be related to disorders of human reproduction,” explains lead author Liron Rozenkrantz, who

Read More