Recent quotes:

'Goldilocks' neurons promote REM sleep -- ScienceDaily

This is the first time that an area of the brain has been found to control REM sleep as a function of room temperature. "Our discovery of these neurons has major implications for the control of REM sleep," says Schmidt. "It shows that the amount and timing of REM sleep are finely tuned with our immediate environment when we do not need to thermoregulate. It also con-firms how dream sleep and the loss of thermoregulation are tightly integrated." REM sleep is known to play an important role in many brain functions such as memory consolidation. REM sleep comprises approximately one quarter of our total sleep time. "These new data suggest that the function of REM sleep is to activate important brain functions specifically at times when we do not need to expend energy on thermoregulation, thus optimizing use of energy resources," says Schmidt.

Exercise benefits brains, changes blood flow in older adults, study finds: Exercise can impact biomarkers of brain function in a way that might prevent or postpone the onset of dementia -- ScienceDaily

A control group of cognitively healthy older adults without mild cognitive impairment also underwent the exercise training program, consisting of four 30-minute sessions of moderate-intensity treadmill walking per week. But the program yielded different responses from each group. Unlike the group with MCI, whose exercise training decreased cerebral blood flow, the exercise training increased cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex in the healthy group after 12 weeks. Their performance on the cognitive tests also significantly improved, as was observed the MCI group. For this study, changes in cerebral blood flow were measured in specific brain regions that are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, including the insula (involved in perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning), the anterior cingulate cortex (involved in decision making , anticipation, impulse control and emotion) and the inferior frontal gyrus (involved in language processing and speech).

What makes you happy

As a rule of thumb, your happiness will adjust back to anything that is stable and certain like your income, the size of your house, or the quality of your TV. These things do not change day to day so you can expect your happiness level to fade. On the other hand, infrequent or uncertain positive events, like quality time with friends or an exciting road trip, occur too sporadically to get used to. Inserting more of these hard-to-adapt-to experiences in your life will create longer lasting happiness.