February 7, 2017
Frontal Lobe

Mirror Neurons: The Great Connector

An emerging area of study spiking interest across the globe is the brain and how it constructs reality. How does the brain, essentially a lump of tissue in the body, construct meaning, ponder the wonders of the universe, learn, manage the functions of the body and communicate with the world around us? Some time ago, researchers in Italy discovered a group of neurons in the frontal lobe called mirror neurons. As research advances in this area, the discovery is shedding light on how skills are developed and how empathy works on a neuronal level. Mirror neurons are essentially a subset […]
February 2, 2017
multitasking

Multitasking: Is It Really More Efficient?

Some of us know the chances of carrying on a phone call and getting an email out are fairly slim, let alone likely to be coherent. Others of us feel we were given the multitasking gene, born to be damn good at doing several things at once. Not only good at multitasking, but the more tasks we multiply the better our performance gets. Well as turns out, there’s no such thing as being good at multitasking. Even for those people who think they’ve got it in the bag. People who believe they are very good at multitasking do worse than […]
January 31, 2017

How Is The Amount Of Television You Watch Linked To Your Self-Esteem?

We all have those days where we size up our reflection in the mirror, sucking in our bellies and pulling back our shoulders to improve the way we look. But a recent study has shown that they way we feel about ourselves doesn’t have much to do with the mirror at all. Instead, it’s all about our level of life satisfaction. In a recent study published in the journal Body Image1, researchers surveyed 1200 participants about their beliefs on self-esteem, television viewing, personal characteristics and romantic relationships. For women, satisfaction with their overall appearance was the third strongest predictor of […]
January 31, 2017

New Study Reveals Impact of Spinal Manipulation on Cortical Drive to Limb Muscles

The team at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic have done it again! A new study looking at whether chiropractic adjustments lead to changes in the way the brain controls muscles was recently accepted for publication in the Journal ‘Brain Sciences.’ The study was made possible by funding from the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, the Hamblin Chiropractic Research Fund Trust, the New Zealand College of Chiropractic and Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. This latest piece adds to an important body of evidence surrounding chiropractic care, and examines whether changes in muscle drive occurred at a brain or spinal cord level. […]
January 26, 2017

An Apple A Day May Make Your Baby Smarter

We’ve all heard the saying about apples but there may be more truth in the expression than first suspected. Women who eat fruit during their pregnancy have been shown to have smarter kids. Who knew by scoffing back a few extra bananas you could have such a positive affect? The study recently published in the journal EbioMedicine has found that mothers who eat more fruit give birth to children who perform better on developmental testing at one years old. Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Alberta, Piush Mandhane, found the link by reviewing the data from the Canadian […]
January 24, 2017
Coffee

Addicted to Coffee?  New Study Shows It May Be In Your Genes.

Coffee, why is it that some people can take it or leave it? And others couldn’t imagine the start of their day without it? That ubiquitous, espresso brew has people world over obsessed with it. As it turns out, it may not simply be a love affair of the heart; it may be in your genes. Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Trieste, from the Burlo Garofolo Paediatric Institute in Italy1 have made an interesting discovery. It’s called the PDSS2 gene. People with a DNA variation in this gene tend to drink fewer cups of coffee. The researchers looked […]
January 24, 2017
Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science Can Tell Us Why We Repeat Mistakes

“If you want to avoid repeating history, its best not to try and learn from it [1].” That might seem like a counterintuitive statement, but as researchers look into the cognitive science behind why we repeat mistakes, it seems to be the conclusion they are arriving at. There appears to be three key elements that play into the repetition of mistakes: post error slowing, mistake pathways in the brain, and the old feel-good hormone dopamine. The latter is an easy correlation to explain: if there was an element of reward or enjoyment tied up with your mistake, then it’s likely […]
January 19, 2017

Crushed Garlic, Good For Your Heart

Garlic, love it or hate it, has been around since the dawn of time. People have been using it in varying capacities, from warding off Vampires to adding it to Nona’s spaghetti sauce.  First found in the Egyptian Pyramids and later Greek Temples, garlic has been a source of both medicinal and culinary use. In terms of scientific research however, garlic has long been known for it’s anti-oxidant properties. That is its ability to provide protection against free radical damage in the body. In a study1, a team of researchers from the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the University of Connecticut […]
January 19, 2017

The Neuroscience Behind Carrying Babies Keeps Them Calm

Countless tired parents across the globe know the story. Walking around for hours on end, patting their over tired baby, trying to get them off to sleep. Then ever so gently lowering them into the cot only for them to open their eyes, wide-awake to start crying again! Ahh the sheer frustration! What researchers1 have discovered is that your little one may not be some devious wee creature with aims to take over the whole household. Instead it’s a biological and physical response to being carried. When they’re carried they fall asleep and when you stop walking with them, well, […]
January 17, 2017

Depression Theory Faces Scrutiny: Could It Be An Immune System Issue?

For a long time, the prevailing theory regarding depression held that it was a brain issue to do with serotonin. The treatment – SSRI medication (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Yet this theory is facing increasing scrutiny with experts such as New York Psychiatrist and author, Dr Kelly Brogan, proposing that it may instead be an immune system issue. Dr Kelly Brogan takes a critical look at the theories, causes and scientific evidence surrounding depression in her recently published book A Mind of Your Own [1]. Brogan, a board-certified psychiatrist with a degree in cognitive neuroscience from […]
January 12, 2017

New Study Shows Selfies Make You Happier

You only have to open Facebook or jump onto Instagram to see how prolific the culture of ‘me’ has become. From people photographing the food they are about to eat, to taking posed photos of themselves smiling into the camera; it would appear that narcissism is alive and well. We are regaled almost every day about the evils of social media, of overusing our phones, of the deleterious effects of too much screen time for kids. The advances in technology have come with an almost Amish level of moral judgment and servitudes. But what are we to do? We love […]
January 12, 2017

What If We Don’t Have Enough Dopamine? Part 2

In our last article we looked at the two neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. We also looked at the different types of depression that manifest when one is depleted in one or the other.We also had a look at the nature of substances of addiction and how they interact and interfere with the regulation of dopamine in your brain. You can read Part 1 of the article here. In this article we’re going to have a look at what happens to your mind, mood and body when you’re depleted in dopamine. In essence, what does it look like if you’re low in […]
January 10, 2017

Chronic Pain: Is It Body Or Brain?

It will come as no surprise to chiropractors (or indeed any health-care practitioner) that an alarming number of adults in the western world are chronic pain sufferers. It’s a problem that comes in many forms, from tangible disorders like back pain to more mysterious issues like fibromyalgia, but it usually results in a couple of predictable things: painkillers, and frustration as many chronic pain sufferers are told ‘its all in your head.’ The painkiller ‘solution’ is not without a significant amount of risk, albeit risk most sufferers are happy to take in order to reduce their suffering. Yet some are […]
January 5, 2017

Neuroscientists Ask Does Your Dog Love Praise or Food More?

We’ve all secretly wondered if Rover loved us for the patting and the praise or if he was just after that juicy bone we keep in the fridge. Since Pavlov first started tinkering around in the canine brain there’s been a group of neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who have pretty much been hell bent on working out what goes on behind their furry craniums. The question du jour is do dogs prefer praise or a hot dinner? A new study recently published in Oxford University Press1 is one of the first to combine brain-imaging data with behavioural […]
January 5, 2017

Bone Broth – The New Super Food to Heal Gut Issues

There’s always some new fad that seems to hit our shelves. Bone broth has been the hipster drink de jour for the last couple of years. Given up caffeine? Bone broth. Trying to get healthy? Bone broth. The Brooklyn hipsters have been carrying around this meaty bone soup in lieu of a super sized Starbucks coffee like it’s going out of fashion. Except it isn’t. Going out of fashion that is. Instead, this age old recipe is going mainstream. And much like encouraging people to exercise more or get a good nights sleep, this wonder liquid may well be the […]
January 3, 2017

What If We Don’t Have Enough Dopamine?

  People suffering from anxiety and depression have become well versed in the affects of serotonin on the brain. We are all familiar with this neurotransmitter that is affectionately referred to as the happy hormone. Anti-depressant drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). These drugs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. It does this by by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin, so that more serotonin is available. It’s a clever little trick. In fact it’s the same trick we use by consuming substances of addiction. What we don’t hear a lot about is dopamine. Research has found […]
December 16, 2016

Latest Research: Toxic input from the meninges primes the brain for migraines

Story at a Glance. Negative input from the dura primes the brain to be too sensitive to triggers that are normally not a problem. It appears that nociceptive input from the meninges causes sensitisation of the dural nociceptive system, and that this dura-nociceptive input and sensitisation causes neuroplasticity and may contribute to migraines. This brings relevance to chiropractic techniques that assess and affect the meninges, and their effect on the brain and its neuroplasticity. Abstract – Migraine is one of the most common and most disabling disorders. Between attacks, migraine patients are otherwise normal but are sensitized to nonnoxious events […]
December 15, 2016

Spinal Research Board Announces New Appointments

Spinal Research is proud to announce three new appointees to our Board following last month’s Annual General Meeting. The names are likely to be familiar to you, as all are passionate voices for chiropractic, renowned international speakers and long-term friends of the Foundation. Chiropractic trainer and leadership coach Brandi MacDonald joins chiropractic champions Dr’s Gilles LaMarche and Shawn Dill to add their voices to our Foundation. Board President Dr. Craig Foote welcomes the appointments, stating, “This is an opportunity for Spinal Research to further advance our research agenda by adding three strong, international voices to an already outstanding group. Our […]