The Neuroscience of Mindfulness: What Happens When We Meditate?

By Joseph Holloway Edited by Jonathan and Rachael Joe is a guest writer for The Brain Domain, and is currently pursuing an MSc in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches, as well as an MA in 18th Century Literary Studies, at the University of Exeter. ‘Mindfulness’ is a word that has gathered momentum over the last…

The indirect applications of leisure technology

As grant applications within science become increasingly competitive, the pressure grows to highlight the direct benefits of one’s research to human health and prosperity. These are the impact statements–is your research going to directly contribute to the “cure”? Unfortunately, this attitude obscures a very important source of new knowledge and tools–simple curiosity and ‘play’. It…

Perceptions of mental illness: Do biological explanations reduce stigma?

(If you haven’t already, read my related article ‘Perceptions of mental illness: The media and mental health’.) Written by Rae  Edited by Jonathan   Over the last few years there has been a drive in mental health research to find biological explanations for mental illnesses, both to better understand the disorders themselves and to counteract the associated…

♥ Achy-breaky heart? Try touchy-feely brain! ♥

Written by Laura Smith As today is Valentine’s day, let’s get a bit touchy-feely. Whether you’re looking forward to a date with your significant other; planning to profess your feelings to a special someone; or hoping your soulmate will sweep you off your feet, you’d probably like to share a romantic caress. But what happens…

Whatever you end up doing this Valentine’s day, we hope you enjoy this cathartic moan about your very closest companion, your brain. This poem is inspired by one from this film, but I didn’t have to tell you that, did I?  Please follow the links (underlined text) in the poem to learn more about the…

Perceptions of mental illness: The media and mental health.

Written by Rae  Edited by Jonathan You wouldn’t blame someone with breast cancer or cystic fibrosis for their disease, would you? We know they are caused by impaired biological mechanisms. Lifestyle choices can exacerbate risk but there is less stigma associated with suffering from a ‘physical’ rather than mental illness.  With both types of illness stigma stems…

Things that look like your brain but actually aren’t

When you’re drunk and merry celebrating Christmas today, remember to watch out for the brain imposters! The Brain Domain team have put together a list of some of the most convincing brain imposters – things that look like your brain but actually aren’t!                        …

Sport on the brain; when do the risks outweigh the benefits?

Written by Catherine Foster Edited by Jonathan and Rachael  You’re likely to have come across articles citing evidence that physical fitness and sport participation benefits cardiovascular and brain health1. Active lifestyles reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and stroke. Physical activity has also been shown to reduce inflammation, depression, cerebral…

Who the hell is MEG, and how can she help us understand the brain?

Let me tell you about a MEG who doesn’t get her fair share of the limelight. MEG uses her SQUIDs to catch your brain activity, after it has left your head. She’s quite a fast mover, and can do this at a millisecond rate! Strangely though, she’s kept locked in a room with really thick walls….

Happy Halloween!

I know you were wondering this today, and yes, there is a subset of genes named “Halloween genes”. In line with a long standing tradition of naming biological units after silly things, the halloween gene family includes spook, spookier, phantom (phm), disembodied (dib), shadow (sad), and shade. These genes were first identified in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit…

Lecture Summary: Dopamine Neuron Regulation & Its Implications for Schizophrenia

Speaker: Professor Anthony Grace, University of Pittsburg Date/Time: 13 October 2016, 4-6pm Venue: Lecture Theatre, Hadyn Ellis Building, Cardiff University Lecture Summary: Dopamine Neuron Regulation & its Implications for the Treatment and Prevention of Schizophrenia      Most drug treatments for schizophrenia target the dopaminergic system, but many gene variants linked to schizophrenia (and subsequently targeted for research) are relevant…