Chapter 19. Language and Lateralization

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By Chris Buckley and Gardiner Harris BEIJING — An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba. The State Department warning, issued through the United States Consulate in Guangzhou, a city in southern China, advised American citizens in China to seek medical help if they felt similar symptoms. But it said that no other cases had been reported. “A U.S. government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” the health alert said. “We do not currently know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside of the diplomatic community.” The employee was working in Guangzhou, and “reported experiencing a variety of physical symptoms” from late 2017 until April, Jinnie Lee, a spokeswoman for the United States Embassy in Beijing, said in an emailed response to questions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that medical teams were heading to Guangzhou to address the issue. “The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba,” he said. The embassy was told on Friday “that the clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury,” according to Ms. Lee, who said she could not reveal any more details to protect the employee’s privacy. Mild traumatic brain injury can show up as headache, dizziness, nausea, poor memory and a general foggy sensation. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately answer faxed questions about the ill American, but Mr. Pompeo said the Trump administration had asked the Chinese government for assistance in an investigation, “and they have committed to honoring their commitments under the Vienna convention.” The Vienna convention requires that countries protect diplomats stationed in their nations. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Brain Injury/Concussion; Hearing
Link ID: 25017 - Posted: 05.24.2018

Anya Kamenetz "I want The Three Bears!" These days parents, caregivers and teachers have lots of options when it comes to fulfilling that request. You can read a picture book, put on a cartoon, play an audiobook, or even ask Alexa. A newly published study gives some insight into what may be happening inside young children's brains in each of those situations. And, says lead author Dr. John Hutton, there is an apparent "Goldilocks effect" — some kinds of storytelling may be "too cold" for children, while others are "too hot." And, of course, some are "just right." Hutton is a researcher and pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with a special interest in "emergent literacy" — the process of learning to read. For the study, 27 children around age 4 went into an FMRI machine. They were presented with stories in three conditions: audio only; the illustrated pages of a storybook with an audio voiceover; and an animated cartoon. All three versions came from the Web site of Canadian author Robert Munsch. While the children paid attention to the stories, the MRI, the machine scanned for activation within certain brain networks, and connectivity between the networks. "We went into it with an idea in mind of what brain networks were likely to be influenced by the story," Hutton explains. One was language. One was visual perception. The third is called visual imagery. The fourth was the default mode network, which Hutton calls, "the seat of the soul, internal reflection — how something matters to you." The default mode network includes regions of the brain that appear more active when someone is not actively concentrating on a designated mental task involving the outside world. In terms of Hutton's "Goldilocks effect," here's what the researchers found: © 2018 npr

Keyword: Language; Development of the Brain
Link ID: 25016 - Posted: 05.24.2018

Jon Hamilton For the first time, the U.S. military is speaking publicly about what it's doing to address potential health risks to troops who operate certain powerful shoulder-mounted weapons. These bazooka-like weapons produce forceful explosions just inches from the operator's head. Though several scientific reports over the past year have noted the possible risk, until now military officials have been reluctant to speak publicly about whether repeated exposure to these blasts might result in injury to a shooter's brain. Tracie Lattimore, who directs the Army's traumatic brain injury program, agreed to an interview with NPR to talk about steps the military is taking. "We are leaning in and trying to do everything in our power to protect soldiers and service members while they continue to get their job done," says Lattimore, who works in the Office of the Army Surgeon General. She describes a wide-ranging effort that's already begun and includes scientific research on troops' exposure to blast during weapons training, enforcing limits on the firing of certain weapons, and even looking into whether special helmets could help stop blast waves. The Army also has plans to monitor service members' total blast exposure during their military careers, Lattimore says. And even as the Army starts to take preventive measures, some basic questions still need answers. © 2018 npr

Keyword: Brain Injury/Concussion
Link ID: 24998 - Posted: 05.19.2018

Bruce Bower Language learning isn’t kid stuff anymore. In fact, it never was, a provocative new study concludes. A crucial period for learning the rules and structure of a language lasts up to around age 17 or 18, say psychologist Joshua Hartshorne of MIT and colleagues. Previous research had suggested that grammar-learning ability flourished in early childhood before hitting a dead end around age 5. If that were true, people who move to another country and try to learn a second language after the first few years of life should have a hard time achieving the fluency of native speakers. But that’s not so, Hartshorne’s team reports online May 2 in Cognition. In an online sample of unprecedented size, people who started learning English as a second language in an English-speaking country by age 10 to 12 ultimately mastered the new tongue as well as folks who had learned English and another language simultaneously from birth, the researchers say. Both groups, however, fell somewhat short of the grammatical fluency displayed by English-only speakers. After ages 10 to 12, new-to-English learners reached lower levels of fluency than those who started learning English at younger ages because time ran out when their grammar-absorbing ability plummeted starting around age 17. In another surprise, modest amounts of English learning among native and second-language speakers continued until around age 30, the investigators found, although most learning happened in the first 10 to 20 years of life. |© Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2018

Keyword: Language; Development of the Brain
Link ID: 24967 - Posted: 05.12.2018

by Lindsey Bever For years, Kendra Jackson battled an incessantly runny nose — sniffling and sneezing, blowing and losing sleep each night. Jackson said she initially thought she was getting a cold, then, as her symptoms persisted, doctors suggested it was likely seasonal allergies, putting her among the more than 50 million Americans who struggle with them each year. But the symptoms never cleared up, and, as the years went by, Jackson started to worry that it might be something worse. She told ABC affiliate KETV this week her nose ran “like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat.” “Everywhere I went,” she added, “I always had a box of Puffs, always stuffed in my pocket.” She had frequent headaches. And she could rarely sleep. Doctors at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha recently diagnosed Jackson with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, a condition in which the watery liquid surrounding the brain spills out through a hole or tear in the skull and then drains into the ears or the nose, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The doctors told Jackson that she was losing an estimated half-pint of the fluid per day through her nose, according to KETV. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Keyword: Pain & Touch; Brain Injury/Concussion
Link ID: 24953 - Posted: 05.09.2018

By Dana G. Smith The older you get the more difficult it is to learn to speak French like a Parisian. But no one knows exactly what the cutoff point is—at what age it becomes harder, for instance, to pick up noun-verb agreements in a new language. In one of the largest linguistics studies ever conducted—a viral internet survey that drew two thirds of a million respondents—researchers from three Boston-based universities showed children are proficient at learning a second language up until the age of 18, roughly 10 years later than earlier estimates. But the study also showed that it is best to start by age 10 if you want to achieve the grammatical fluency of a native speaker. To parse this problem, the research team, which included psychologist Steven Pinker, collected data on a person’s current age, language proficiency and time studying English. The investigators calculated they needed more than half a million people to make a fair estimate of when the “critical period” for achieving the highest levels of grammatical fluency ends. So they turned to the world’s greatest experimental subject pool: the internet. They created a short online grammar quiz called Which English? that tested noun–verb agreement, pronouns, prepositions and relative clauses, among other linguistic elements. From the responses, an algorithm predicted the tester’s native language and which dialect of English (that is, Canadian, Irish, Australian) they spoke. For example, some of the questions included phrases a Chicagoan would deem grammatically incorrect but a Manitoban would think is perfectly acceptable English. © 2018 Scientific American

Keyword: Language; Development of the Brain
Link ID: 24938 - Posted: 05.05.2018

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Taking saunas may reduce the risk for stroke. Researchers studied 1,628 men and women aged 53 to 74, free of stroke at the start. They had data on body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking, blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and other health and behavioral characteristics that affect cardiovascular health. The participants reported how often they took traditional Finnish saunas and how long they stayed in the sauna, and the researchers followed them for an average of 15 years. There were 155 strokes over the period. The study is in the journal Neurology. After adjusting for other variables, they found that compared with people who took saunas once a week, those who took them two to three times weekly were 12 percent less likely to have a stroke. People who took saunas four to seven times a week reduced their risk for stroke by 62 percent. Although the researchers found a strong effect independent of other variables, the study was observational and cannot prove causality. Still, there are plausible reasons saunas might be protective. “Temperature increases, even of 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, can limit inflammatory processes in the body and reduce arterial stiffness,” said the senior author, Dr. Jari A. Laukkanen, a professor of medicine at the University of Eastern Finland. “It’s possible that steam rooms or hot tubs could produce similar results.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Stroke
Link ID: 24934 - Posted: 05.03.2018

Jon Hamilton Military personnel may be endangering their own brains when they operate certain shoulder-fired weapons, according to an Army-commissioned report released Monday. The report, from the Center for a New American Security, says these bazooka-like weapons pose a hazard because they are powered by an explosion just inches from the operator's head. "When you fire it, the pressure wave feels like getting hit in the face," says Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger who directs the technology and national security program at the Center. Scharre is a co-author of the center's report: Protecting Warfighters from Blast Injury. The report looks at a range of injuries caused by blast waves — pulses of high pressure air that emanate from an explosion and travel faster than the speed of sound. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military officials recognized that the blast wave from a roadside bomb could damage a person's brain without leaving any visible sign of injury. And in 2010, the Pentagon issued a memo outlining steps to improve care of troops exposed to these explosions. Since then, there's been growing evidence that blasts from weapons like the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle and the AT4 anti-tank weapon can also affect the brain. S © 2018 npr

Keyword: Brain Injury/Concussion
Link ID: 24924 - Posted: 04.30.2018

By Catherine Matacic Four years after Frank Seifart started documenting endangered dialects in Colombia, the guerillas came. In 2004, soldiers from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia swept past the Amazonian village where he did most of his fieldwork. The linguist reluctantly left for another village, south of the Peruvian border. When he got there, the chief was away. In the central roundhouse, an old man beat out a rhythm on two enormous drums: “A stranger has arrived. Come home.” And the chief did. It was the first time Seifart, now at the University of Cologne and the French National Center for Scientific Research in Lyon, had heard the traditional drums not just making music, but sending a message. Now, he and his colleagues have published the first in-depth study of how the drummers do it: Tiny variations in the time between beats match how words in the spoken language are vocalized. The finding, reported today in the Royal Society Open Science, reveals how the group known as the Bora can create complex drummed messages. It may also help explain how the rest of us “get” what others are saying at loud cocktail parties, by detecting those tiny variations in time even when other sounds are drowned out. “It is quite innovative,” says descriptive linguist Katarzyna Wojtylak, a postdoctoral research fellow at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, who has studied the language and drumming systems of the Witoto, a related group. “Nobody has ever done such an extensive and detailed analysis of rhythm in a drummed language.” © 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Keyword: Language
Link ID: 24900 - Posted: 04.25.2018

Bruce Bower Ancient surgeons may have practiced dangerous skull-opening procedures on cows before operating on people. A previously excavated cow skull from a roughly 5,400- to 5,000-year-old settlement in France contains a surgically created hole on the right side, a new study finds. No signs of bone healing, which start several days after an injury, appear around the opening. One or more people may have rehearsed surgical techniques on a dead cow, or may have tried unsuccessfully to save a sick cow’s life in what would be the oldest known case of veterinary surgery, researchers conclude online April 19 in Scientific Reports. Evidence of skull surgery on humans, whether for medical or ritual reasons, goes back about 11,000 years (SN: 5/28/16, p. 12). Ancient surgeons needed to know how and where to scrape away bone without harming brain tissue and blood vessels. So practicing bone removal on cows or other animals is plausible. The ancient cow’s skull opening, shaped almost in a square and framed by scrape marks, resembles two instances of human skull surgery from around the same time in France, say biological anthropologists Fernando Ramirez Rozzi of CNRS in Montrouge, France, and Alain Froment of IRD-Museum of Man in Paris. Microscopic and X-ray analyses found no fractures or splintered bone that would have resulted from goring by another cow’s horn. No damage typical of someone having struck the cow’s head with a club or other weapon appeared, either. |© Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2018. All

Keyword: Brain Injury/Concussion
Link ID: 24883 - Posted: 04.21.2018

Jon Hamilton The words "dog" and "fog" sound pretty similar. Yet even a preschooler knows whether you're talking about a puppy or the weather. Now scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., have identified a two-step process that helps our brains learn to first recognize, then categorize new sounds even when the differences are subtle. And it turns out the process is very similar to the way the human brain categorizes visual information, the Georgetown team reports Wednesday in the journal Neuron. "That's very exciting because it suggests there are general principles at work here of how the brain makes sense of the world," says Maximilian Riesenhuber, an author of the study and a professor in Georgetown University School of Medicine's Department of Neuroscience. The finding also could help explain what goes wrong in disorders like dyslexia, which can impair the brain's ability to make sense of what it sees and hears, Riesenhuber says. The research began as an effort to understand how the brain is able to accomplish feats like recognizing a familiar word, even when it's spoken with an accent or unusual pronunciation. "You hear my voice," says Riesenhuber, who has a slight German accent. "You've probably never heard me before. But you can hopefully recognize what I'm saying." © 2018 npr

Keyword: Animal Communication; Hearing
Link ID: 24882 - Posted: 04.19.2018

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR A traumatic brain injury, even a mild concussion, increases the risk for Parkinson’s disease, a new study reports. Researchers identified all patients diagnosed with T.B.I. in a Veterans Health Administration database — 162,935 men and women — and matched them with the same number of people with similar health and behavioral characteristics but who had not had a brain injury. The study is in Neurology. Of the T.B.I. cases, half were mild, involving a blow to the head with some subsequent symptoms but with little or no unconsciousness. The rest were moderate to severe, involving extended unconsciousness or long-term symptoms. After controlling for age, race, income and many medical and psychiatric diseases, they found that compared with those who had had no T.B.I., those with a mild T.B.I. had a 56 percent increased risk for Parkinson’s disease; those with moderate to severe T.B.I. had an 83 percent increased risk. “We don’t have brain biopsies, so we don’t know what the underlying biology is,” said the lead author, Dr. Raquel C. Gardner, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. “But in Parkinson’s you see abnormal protein accumulation, and there’s some evidence that T.B.I. is linked to deposits of these abnormal proteins.” In any case, she said, “This study provides the most definitive evidence that there is this association.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Brain Injury/Concussion; Parkinsons
Link ID: 24878 - Posted: 04.19.2018

By NATALIE ANGIER A friend will help you move, goes an old saying, while a good friend will help you move a body. And why not? Moral qualms aside, that good friend would likely agree the victim was an intolerable jerk who had it coming and, jeez, you shouldn’t have done this but where do you keep the shovel? Researchers have long known that people choose friends who are much like themselves in a wide array of characteristics: of a similar age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, educational level, political leaning, pulchritude rating, even handgrip strength. The impulse toward homophily, toward bonding with others who are the least other possible, is found among traditional hunter-gatherer groups and advanced capitalist societies alike. New research suggests the roots of friendship roots extend even deeper than previously suspected. Scientists have found that the brains of close friends respond in remarkably similar ways as they view a series of short videos: the same ebbs and swells of attention and distraction, the same peaking of reward processing here, boredom alerts there. The neural response patterns evoked by the videos — on subjects as diverse as the dangers of college football, the behavior of water in outer space, and Liam Neeson trying his hand at improv comedy — proved so congruent among friends, compared to patterns seen among people who were not friends, that the researchers could predict the strength of two people’s social bond based on their brain scans alone. “I was struck by the exceptional magnitude of similarity among friends,” said Carolyn Parkinson, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. The results “were more persuasive than I would have thought.” Dr. Parkinson and her colleagues, Thalia Wheatley and Adam M. Kleinbaum of Dartmouth College, reported their results in Nature Communications. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Keyword: Emotions
Link ID: 24871 - Posted: 04.16.2018

Nicola Davis A man who took part in a chilli pepper eating contest ended up with more than he bargained for when he took on the hottest pepper in the world. After eating a Carolina Reaper pepper, the 34-year-old started dry heaving before developing a pain in his neck that turned into a series of thunderclap headaches: sudden and severe episodes of excruciating pain that peak within a minute. Scoville scale: The hottest chillies in the world– in pictures The Carolina Reaper, which can top 2.2m on the Scoville heat scale, was the world’s hottest pepper at the time of the incident in 2016 – although new breeds called Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath have since reportedly surpassed it. The details, published in the journal BMJ Case Reports, reveal the pain was so terrible the man went to the emergency room at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, a village in New York State. “[A thunderclap headache] lasts for a few minutes and it might be associated with dry-heaving, nausea, vomiting – and then it gets better on its own. But it keeps coming back,” said Dr Kulothungan Gunasekaran of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, a co-author of the report, adding that thunderclap headaches can be caused by a number of problems including bleeding inside the brain or blood clots. CT and MRI scans of the man’s brain were taken but showed nothing out of the ordinary. What’s more, the man did not report having any speech or vision problems. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Keyword: Pain & Touch; Stroke
Link ID: 24849 - Posted: 04.11.2018

By Alex Therrien Health reporter, BBC News People who suffer brain injuries are at increased risk of dementia later in life, a large study suggests. An analysis of 2.8 million people found those who had one or more traumatic brain injuries were 24% more likely to get dementia than those who had not. The risk was greatest in people who had the injuries in their 20s, who were 63% more likely to get the condition at some point in their life. But independent experts said other lifestyle factors were more important. Dementia, a category of brain diseases that includes Alzheimer's, affects some 47 million people worldwide - a number expected to double in the next 20 years. Previous research has suggested a link between brain injuries - leading causes of which include falls, motor vehicle accidents, and assaults - and subsequent dementia, but evidence has been mixed. This new study, which followed people in Denmark over a 36-year period, found those who had experienced even one mild TBI (concussion) were 17% more likely to get dementia, with the risk increasing with the number of TBIs and the severity of injury. Sustaining the injury at a younger age appeared to further increase the risk of getting the condition, the research found. Those who suffered a TBI in their 30s were 37% more likely to develop dementia later in life, while those who had the injury in their 50s were only 2% more likely to get the condition. © 2018 BBC

Keyword: Brain Injury/Concussion; Alzheimers
Link ID: 24847 - Posted: 04.11.2018

by Kevin Sheth Recently, I cared for an 82-year-old grandfather who was having some trouble opening a jar of jelly. Twenty minutes later, the fork he was using fell out of his hand. Feeling tired, he laid down, and on waking four hours later, he and his wife discovered that his arm was flaccid. That’s when they called 911 and he was taken to a local hospital. The hospital wasn’t a specialized stroke center and transferred him to Yale New Haven Hospital, where I work and where he arrived two hours after his original emergency response call — and almost seven hours from when his symptoms first started. That was too late to prevent permanent disability. As a neurologist, every single day I am left unable to help victims of stroke, despite an effective treatment in hand, simply because they arrived too late. The blood clots in the brain that cause strokes irreversibly change who we are and burden our families. Strokes strike nearly 800,000 Americans each year, killing 140,000 and at a cost to society of $34 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For over two decades, neurologists and emergency providers have had a drug available that can restore blood flow to the brain, limiting damage, but only 4 percent of stroke patients receive the medication. The drug, known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is a potent blood thinner and was approved as an effective clot-busting treatment by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996. The rub is that patients must receive the medication in the first few hours after experiencing a stroke for it to work. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Keyword: Stroke
Link ID: 24841 - Posted: 04.09.2018

By Julie Hecht I’m right handed. Utensils, pens, pencils, and of course my toothbrush are all operated by my right hand. Like roughly 90% of people, my left hand simply isn’t cut out for much on its own. Dogs, outfitted with paws not hands, also appear to prefer one paw over the other. In dogs, paw laterality — or paw preference — is explored not with forks or pencils, but with more dog-appropriate motor tasks. Studies have asked which paw dogs use to reach toward food or which paw they use to remove something from their body, like a blanket. Researchers have even checked which paw dogs first lift to walk down a step and which paw they “give” when asked to “give” paw. To date, it has been assumed that, like us, dogs have a “hand” preference. But Deborah Wells, a longtime laterality researcher, wondered if something was missing. Studies of paw preference typically use only one test to investigate paw preference. As a result, it is unclear whether “dogs harbour consistent paw preferences” or, on the other hand (ha!), whether paw preference instead might be task-specific. Maybe a dog consistently reaches for food with the right paw, but is more likely to lift the left front paw to walk down a step. Wells and colleagues at the Animal Behaviour Center, Queen’s University, Belfast, took the natural next step (ha again!). They tested 32 pet dogs on four different paw preference tests to see whether dog paw preference was consistent across tests. To check preferences over time, a subset was tested 6 months later. This research was recently published in Behavioural Processes. © 2018 Scientific American

Keyword: Laterality
Link ID: 24837 - Posted: 04.09.2018

By Melissa Healy Despite years of effort, researchers have so far failed to find a pill you could take or a food you could eat to harden your brain against the injury that could be caused by a stroke. But new research offers the prospect of limiting a stroke's long-term damage in a different way: with a drug that enhances the brain's ability to rewire itself and promote recovery in the weeks and months after injury. In experiments, both mice and macaque monkeys that suffered strokes regained more movement and dexterity when their rehabilitative regimen included an experimental medication called edonerpic maleate. The drug, which has already run a gauntlet of safety trials as a possible medication for Alzheimer's disease, appears to have enhanced the effectiveness of rehab by strengthening the connections between brain cells and nourishing the chemical soup in which those cells forge those new connections. A report on the experiments appears in Friday's edition of the journal Science. The work was conducted by researchers at Yokohama City University School of Medicine and employees of Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., a Japanese pharmaceutical firm that owns intellectual property rights to edonerpic maleate. Toyama provided funding for Yokohama City University to study the drug in macaque monkeys. The findings from the mice shed important light on how edonerpic maleate may work in an injured brain.

Keyword: Stroke; Learning & Memory
Link ID: 24835 - Posted: 04.07.2018

Agence France-Presse How do bowhead whales in the unbroken darkness of the Arctic’s polar winter keep busy during breeding season? They sing, of course. From late autumn to early spring, off the east coast of Greenland, some 200 bowheads, hunted to the edge of extinction, serenade each other with compositions from a vast repertoire of song, according to a study published on Wednesday. “It was astonishing,” said the lead author, Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Seattle, who eavesdropped on these subaquatic concerts. “Bowhead whales were singing loudly, from November until April” – non-stop, 24/7 – “and they were singing many, many different songs.” Stafford and three colleagues counted 184 distinct melodies over a three-year period, which may make bowheads one of the most prolific composers in the animal kingdom. “The diversity and inter-annual variability in songs of bowhead whales in this study are rivalled only by a few species of songbirds,” the study found. Unlike mating calls, songs are complex musical phrases that are not genetically hard-wired but must be learned. Only a handful of mammals – some bats and a family of apes called gibbons, for example – vocalise in ways akin to bird song, and when they do it is quite repetitive. The only other whale that produces elaborate songs is the humpback, which has been extensively studied in its breeding grounds near Hawaii and off the coast of Mexico. The humpback’s melody is shared among a given population over a period of a year, and gives way to a new tune each spring. Bowhead whales, it turns out, are far more versatile and would appear to improvise new songs all the time. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Keyword: Animal Communication; Language
Link ID: 24819 - Posted: 04.04.2018

Scott Simon One spring morning in 2015, Barbara Lipska got up as usual, dyed her hair and went for a jog in her suburban Virginia neighborhood. But when she returned from a much longer than expected run, her husband Mirek was completely taken aback. "I was lost in my own neighborhood," Lipska says. "The hair dye that I put in my hair that morning dripped down my neck. I looked like a monster when I came back home." Although she now lucidly recalls that moment, at the time she was oblivious to her unusual appearance and behavior. Lipska studies the neuroscience of mental illness and brain development at the National Institute of Mental Health. In her work she's examined the molecular structure of the brains of people who were so afflicted with schizophrenia or other disorders that they took their own lives. And for two months in 2015, she developed similar symptoms of dementia and schizophrenia — only to learn they were the effects of cancerous tumors, growing in her brain. © 2018 npr

Keyword: Miscellaneous
Link ID: 24808 - Posted: 04.02.2018