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Brain responds to poetry like music

A new research has shown that the brain responds to poetry like music. Scientists at the University of Exeter used state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which allows them to visualise which parts of the brain are activated to process various activities.

No one had previously looked specifically at the differing responses in the brain to poetry and prose. In the research, the team found activity in a “reading network” of brain areas which was activated in response to any written material.

But they also found that more emotionally charged writing aroused several of the regions in the brain which respond to music.

These areas, predominantly on the right side of the brain, had previously been shown as to give rise to the “shivers down the spine” caused by an emotional reaction to music.
When volunteers read one of their favourite passages of poetry, the team found that areas of the brain associated with memory were stimulated more strongly than “reading areas”, indicating that reading a favourite passage  is a kind of recollection.

Soon, pill to cure Alzheimer’s

Scientists have discovered the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease, which has been hailed as an exciting and historic moment in medical research.

Researchers, now, claim that a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases, the BBC reported.

The University of Leicester discovery showed all brain cell death from prion disease in mice could be prevented.

The research team at the university’s Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit focused on the natural defence mechanisms built into brain cells.

When a virus hijacks a brain cell it leads to a build-up of viral proteins. Cells respond by shutting down nearly all protein production in order to halt the virus’s spread. However, many neurodegenerative diseases involve the production of faulty or “misfolded” proteins.

Chimps choose pals based on similarity of personality

A new study has revealed that chimpanzees choose their friends as to be similar in personality. Cognitive Biologist Jorg Massen from University of Vienna and Sonja Koski from University of Zurich, together measured chimpanzee personality in two zoos with behavioural experiments and years of observations of chimpanzee behaviour. They also carefully logged which chimpanzee sat in body contact with whom most.

Subsequently, the researchers tested, if those chimpanzees who sit together frequently have similar or different personality types.

"We found that, especially among unrelated friends, the most sociable and bold individuals preferred the company of other highly sociable and bold individuals, whereas shy and less sociable ones spent time with other similarly aloof and shy chimpanzees", says the researcher.

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