Us and Them: Neurobiology of Intergroup Differences and Conflict

Image by John Hain from Pixabay Written by Brett Weiss December 2019 Biology reveals that humans are animals-- Old World primates, also referred to as apes (Sapolsky, 2018).  Humans have innate needs and desires to belong to groups, and with these needs comes potential for differences and conflict between groups.  Countless examples throughout human history …

Sex Differences in the Brain

Written by Brett Weiss October 2019 Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay Biological differences clearly exist between males and females.  Major biological differences that distinguish the sexes relate to brain structure and hormonal regulation of brain activity, which result in differences in behavior.  Defining these differences has proven difficult and very complex.  The following will present …

Mapping the ‘Self’ in the Brain

Written by Brett Weiss September 2019 Image by holdentrils from Pixabay What if the synchronous activation of a network of brain regions accounts for each individual’s sense of ‘self?’  Neuroscientists have identified such a network which activates both during ‘mind wandering’ and ‘unconstrained self-referential thought.’  Termed the ‘default mode network,’ this network of brain regions …

How Stress Affects Neuro-immune Function

Written by Brett Weiss September 2019 Image by VSRao from Pixabay Stress causes an immune system response, which affects the brain as well.  Hence, stress causes “neuroimmune” responses whereby long-term changes in the brain can occur.  Stressful experiences include minor daily events or hassles that can perpetuate and culminate into more chronic periods of distress.  …

Stress: Involved Brain Systems and Counteractive Measures

Written by Brett Weiss August 2019 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay The conventional definition of ‘stress’ entails the process of evaluating real or perceived demands from the environment which get appraised as benign or threatening.  The brain constitutes the principle organ involved in the appraisal of stressful situations, which get judged based on resources …