On the Brain: Slicing mice, charting Alzheimer's
December 29th, 2010
05:30 PM ET

On the Brain: Slicing mice, charting Alzheimer's

Here's your last roundup of psychology and brain news of 2010:

Slicing the brain: A team of scientists is looking a mouse brains, sliver by sliver, to gain insights into how the mind works. The New York Times reports.

Waste processing: The Wall Street Journal has this nifty diagram to explain the research suggesting that Alzheimer's disease has to do with in inability of brain cells to discard waste. This could lead to new treatments.

Deep-set political views:
The Telegraph reports a study that looked at the brains of people with different political ideologies, and found that conservatives tended to have larger amygdalas. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure associated with fear, memory and emotion.

A brain for social networking: Speaking of the amygdala, CNN reported earlier this week that people with larger amygdalas also tend to have larger social networks, according to a separate study.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. fateh f sawiris

    i get lot of inf & benefit from cnn

    December 29, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Dizzle

    Thats funny, conservatives use a lot of fear, memories and emotions in every campaign.

    December 29, 2010 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rodeoguy

      Really, like, telling old people that they are going to take away there social security?

      December 30, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • Dais

      That's true and it's so funny how Republicans keep saying that Democrats are "afraid" of Sarah Palin, and the Dems' reaction is "huh??" and "Ha Ha we think she's the best thing that's happened to us because we know we can beat her" and "What's to be afraid of, she's a lightweight!" I always thought they were projecting their own fearfulness onto others since it wasn't based on anything rational, and it turns out that's probably true!

      December 30, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      I forgot what the topic was?

      December 30, 2010 at 23:26 | Report abuse |
  3. DogFacedBoy

    The "Waste Processing" article is black text on a black background.

    On my computer anyway.

    December 29, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      You computer is having problems with waste processing, Mr. Bow Wow.

      December 31, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
  4. historian

    Looks like the disease just claimed Dizzle.

    December 30, 2010 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. JulieCA

    Wow....science can now explain the reason why the GOP and Fox "News" use fear to get followers! I figured there had to be some reason that was hard wired in to these folks since they stand so staunchly behind their beliefs and the fact that not even education can budge them.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mabel floyd

      good post–it is spot on!!

      December 30, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
  6. historian

    Alzheimer's and Liberalism have the same effect on people.

    December 30, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Am I misunderstanding you, or is that the cruelest, least sensitive remark I've heard from anyone in a long time? Having had a beloved family member die after a decade of suffering Alzheimer's disease, I cannot imagine having the maliciousness necessary to say that. I shall retain my humanity and not wish that you learn this for yourself. I can't wish that kind of hell on anyone.

      December 30, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • rose

      So TRUE!!!

      December 30, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
  7. historian

    I would say your misunderstanding is obvious.

    December 30, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • unretired05

      What is obvious is that the larger amygdalas are full of the waste that couldn't be discarded. Even though the conservatives try to spread their waste around in the form of death panels and trickle down economics ( tax breaks for the rich.)

      December 30, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
  8. dbezan

    This finding probably means something, but I wouldn't make too much of it. Self-identified "conservatives" are a big tent - they include principled people who care about the future of our society, and also people who care about nothing other than lowering their taxes. Also religious nuts. They don't have the same motivation and probably don't have the same amygdala, either.

    December 30, 2010 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. historian

    Already memory of our best economy due to supply side economics has faded. And anyone who can think clearly would know that Obamacare's health rationing would mean that a group of bureaucrats (panel) would decide who gets care or not (death) Look at the European systems falling apart. Why would anyone want to copy that?

    December 30, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rose

      I agree with "historian". Why are we copying something that does NOT work? The bureaucrats will decide if you can have the operation or not... remember this!!!!

      December 30, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • D. Bunker

      "Supply side economics" is a cult. It has no basis in reality and I noticed you didn't cite any specific period in history. The European healthcare systems are also fine, and doing a far better job than the US system, where the "death panels" are run by insurance company bureaucrats. I guess you must be allergic to facts.

      December 30, 2010 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  10. th

    Rose you are a moron. The government will not decide what and how you will get treated for whatever ails you. Stop listening to the Palins of the world and do your research

    December 30, 2010 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. She Who Must Be Obeyed

    Mrs. Rumpole says the jury is still out on this, but "Rose" will never get it!

    December 30, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Elizabeth

    My goodness, how ugly we get when disagreeing about politics. Historian, there is nothing obvious about my "misunderstanding," what is obvious is your lack of ability to have discourse with any kind of civility whatsoever. This is theoretically a discussion of brain issues; politics was injected into this discussion. What is wrong with people that we resort to callous remarks and outright insults so quickly? I disagree with Rose but would not call her or anyone else a moron. Best of luck and Happy New Year to you all.

    December 30, 2010 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      I agree, let's agree to disagree and continue to be polite to each other.

      December 30, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
  13. rrock

    GW used fear and anger after 9/11 to get elected.

    December 30, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KRoak

      How's that hope & change working out for ya.........

      December 30, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  14. LaBella

    My father has the early stage and I won't wish this on anyone. I don't think this is something to joke about. My dad is only 70 yrs of age and that may seem old for young people but its not. My dad is a strong person and I would rather him die a quick death instead of years with this. It will be hard to live with seeing him this way. Happy New Year!

    December 31, 2010 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      I wish you the best of luck, LaBella. My mother-in-law was diagnosed at 63 and seemed to go down hill very quickly and then just stay the same, unable to speak, recognize loved ones, or care for herself for a very long time. Alzheimer's takes away your loved one and just keeps taking. My wish for the new year is that research for treatment and prevention of this disease continues and becomes more and more successful. Happy New Year!

      December 31, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
  15. Lolita

    What the study tells me is that (seriously) those individuals with large amygdalas are less evolved

    December 31, 2010 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Gary Felkner

    Doing so will make sure you pay full attention to what they say. The difference is minute in your eyes, but the subconscious effect it has is massive! People will feel it and will love to talk to you, because you make them feel like they matter. Which is one of the most sought after feelings in the world.


    December 6, 2018 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.