neurosciencestuff
neurosciencestuff:

The brain’s reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria
The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time in the open-access journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.
Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused.
Previous studies have shown that, in heterosexual women, the brain region that responds most to androstadienone is the hypothalamus, which lies just above the brainstem and links the nervous system to the hormonal system. In men with gender dysphoria (formerly called gender identity disorder) – who are born as males, but behave as and identify with women, and want to change sex – the hypothalamus also reacts strongly to its odor. In contrast, the hypothalamus of heterosexual men hardly responds to it.
Girls without gender dysphoria before puberty already show a stronger reaction in the hypothalamus to androstadienone than boys, finds a new study by Sarah Burke and colleagues from the VU University Medical Center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Liège, Belgium.
The researchers used neuroimaging to also show for the first time that in prepubescent children with gender dysphoria, the hypothalamus reacts to the smell of androstadienone in a way typical of their biological sex. Around puberty, its response shifts, and becomes typical of their experienced gender.
The reaction to the smell of androstadienone in the hypothalamus of 154 children and adolescents, including girls and boys, both before (7 to 11-year-old) and after puberty (15 to 16-year-old), of whom 74 had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
Results showed that the hypothalamus was more responsive to androstadienone in 7 to 11-year-old girls than in boys, both without gender dysphoria, although not yet as much as in adolescent girls. This means that the greater receptiveness of women to its odor already exists before puberty, either as an inborn difference or one that arises during early childhood.
Before puberty, the hypothalamus of boys with gender dysphoria hardly reacted to the odor, just as in other boys. But this changed in the 15 to 16-year-olds: the hypothalamus of adolescent boys with gender dysphoria now lit up as much as in heterosexual women, while the other adolescent boys still did not show any reaction. Adolescent girls with gender dysphoria showed the same reaction to androstadienone in their hypothalamus as is typical for heterosexual men.
These results suggest that as children with gender dysphoria grow up, their brain naturally undergoes a partial rewiring, to become more similar to the brain of the opposite sex – so corresponding to their experienced gender.

neurosciencestuff:

The brain’s reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria

The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time in the open-access journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.

Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused.

Previous studies have shown that, in heterosexual women, the brain region that responds most to androstadienone is the hypothalamus, which lies just above the brainstem and links the nervous system to the hormonal system. In men with gender dysphoria (formerly called gender identity disorder) – who are born as males, but behave as and identify with women, and want to change sex – the hypothalamus also reacts strongly to its odor. In contrast, the hypothalamus of heterosexual men hardly responds to it.

Girls without gender dysphoria before puberty already show a stronger reaction in the hypothalamus to androstadienone than boys, finds a new study by Sarah Burke and colleagues from the VU University Medical Center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the University of Liège, Belgium.

The researchers used neuroimaging to also show for the first time that in prepubescent children with gender dysphoria, the hypothalamus reacts to the smell of androstadienone in a way typical of their biological sex. Around puberty, its response shifts, and becomes typical of their experienced gender.

The reaction to the smell of androstadienone in the hypothalamus of 154 children and adolescents, including girls and boys, both before (7 to 11-year-old) and after puberty (15 to 16-year-old), of whom 74 had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Results showed that the hypothalamus was more responsive to androstadienone in 7 to 11-year-old girls than in boys, both without gender dysphoria, although not yet as much as in adolescent girls. This means that the greater receptiveness of women to its odor already exists before puberty, either as an inborn difference or one that arises during early childhood.

Before puberty, the hypothalamus of boys with gender dysphoria hardly reacted to the odor, just as in other boys. But this changed in the 15 to 16-year-olds: the hypothalamus of adolescent boys with gender dysphoria now lit up as much as in heterosexual women, while the other adolescent boys still did not show any reaction. Adolescent girls with gender dysphoria showed the same reaction to androstadienone in their hypothalamus as is typical for heterosexual men.

These results suggest that as children with gender dysphoria grow up, their brain naturally undergoes a partial rewiring, to become more similar to the brain of the opposite sex – so corresponding to their experienced gender.

wildcat2030
wildcat2030:

The Moon is Now a Wi-Fi Hotspot - Complimentary Wi-Fi is so commonplace that a business advertising its “hotspot” in the window seems somewhat passé. But a new hotspot location should impress even the most jaded among us: For the first time, scientists have demonstrated it’s possible to beam a wireless Internet signal across the 238,900 miles separating Earth from the moon. The demonstration, done by researchers at NASA and MIT, means that future moon explorers could theoretically check in at Mare Imbrium and post lunar selfies with greater speed than you do from your home network. The team will present its findings June 9 at the CLEO laser technology conference in California. (via The Moon is Now a Wi-Fi Hotspot - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com)

wildcat2030:

The Moon is Now a Wi-Fi Hotspot
-
Complimentary Wi-Fi is so commonplace that a business advertising its “hotspot” in the window seems somewhat passé. But a new hotspot location should impress even the most jaded among us: For the first time, scientists have demonstrated it’s possible to beam a wireless Internet signal across the 238,900 miles separating Earth from the moon. The demonstration, done by researchers at NASA and MIT, means that future moon explorers could theoretically check in at Mare Imbrium and post lunar selfies with greater speed than you do from your home network. The team will present its findings June 9 at the CLEO laser technology conference in California. (via The Moon is Now a Wi-Fi Hotspot - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com)

wildcat2030

wildcat2030:

Second Livestock – virtual reality for chickens
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Battery hens live pretty grim lives – but what if their lot could be improved with the use of virtual reality? Second Livestock is a project that envisions caged hens being fitted with VR goggles, microphones and movement sensors to give them the impression that they’re out in the barnyard doing … whatever it is chickens prefer to do all day. If the chickens themselves believe they’re free and happy, does that mean they should get the free range stamp, even though they’re cooped up? Is this the real world? Is this just fantasy? Art is meant to start conversations – and this piece has certainly started one around the Gizmag offices. Second Livestock is a conceptual art project that sees battery hens strapped over exercise balls and fitted with virtual reality goggles intended to convince these captive animals that they’re out in the barnyard having the time of their lives. (via Second Livestock – virtual reality for chickens)

neurosciencestuff

neurosciencestuff:

When emotions are processed in a negatively biased manner in the brain, an individual is at risk to develop depression. Psilocybin, the bioactive component of the Mexican magic mushroom, seems to intervene positively in the emotion-processing mechanism. Even a small amount of the natural…

techstuffhsw
emergentfutures:

Devices That Know How We Really Feel
Admit it: Sometimes you just want to punch your PC, or slap your smartphone, or knock your notebook.
We all get riled by technology once in a while, with all those feeble batteries, endless updates and spinning wheels of death.
But what if our devices could see it coming? What if they could pick up the tics and tells of our brewing anger — or, for that matter, any other emotion — and respond accordingly?
It’s not as crazy as it sounds. To hear experts tell it, this is where technology is going. Researchers and companies are already starting to employ sensors that try to read and respond to our feelings.
Full Story: New York Times

emergentfutures:

Devices That Know How We Really Feel

Admit it: Sometimes you just want to punch your PC, or slap your smartphone, or knock your notebook.

We all get riled by technology once in a while, with all those feeble batteries, endless updates and spinning wheels of death.

But what if our devices could see it coming? What if they could pick up the tics and tells of our brewing anger — or, for that matter, any other emotion — and respond accordingly?

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. To hear experts tell it, this is where technology is going. Researchers and companies are already starting to employ sensors that try to read and respond to our feelings.

Full Story: New York Times

theatlantic
theatlantic:

Scientists Think Your Body Clock Was Set Before You Were Born

There’s a tiny but critical collection of neurons in your brain that tells you what to do and when to do it. 
It’s only the size of a mustard seed, but the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, regulates when you eat, when you sleep, when you feel thirsty, along with a litany of functions related to social and sexual behaviors. 
This little mustard seed is the master clock that keeps your brain and your body synced up. It’s what what makes one person a night owl and the next a morning lark. And those characteristics appear to be genetic, decided before you were even born, says Seth Blackshaw, an associate professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins.
Blackshaw is the author of a new study about the development of the SCN, and his team’s findings represent a major step toward better treatments for sleep disorders, even jetlag.
Sleep problems are considered a “public health epidemic,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And people’s sleeping habits change as they age, a fact that’s well established but little understood.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

Scientists Think Your Body Clock Was Set Before You Were Born

There’s a tiny but critical collection of neurons in your brain that tells you what to do and when to do it. 

It’s only the size of a mustard seed, but the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, regulates when you eat, when you sleep, when you feel thirsty, along with a litany of functions related to social and sexual behaviors. 

This little mustard seed is the master clock that keeps your brain and your body synced up. It’s what what makes one person a night owl and the next a morning lark. And those characteristics appear to be genetic, decided before you were even born, says Seth Blackshaw, an associate professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins.

Blackshaw is the author of a new study about the development of the SCN, and his team’s findings represent a major step toward better treatments for sleep disorders, even jetlag.

Sleep problems are considered a “public health epidemic,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And people’s sleeping habits change as they age, a fact that’s well established but little understood.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]