This word is used to describe things related to the sense of touch. The skin is full of receptors that send different types of haptic information — such as texture or pressure — to the brain. Smartphones and game controllers offer haptic feedback to users through vibrations. Future haptic devices could use sound waves we can’t hear to make users feel objects that aren’t there.
When the word is the plural “haptics,” it becomes a noun. That word can have one of two meanings. First, it is the area of science that studies touch. Second, it is the use of technology to add touch sensations to interactions with machines. For instance, in the haptics settings on a smartphone, users can turn vibrations on or off. Haptics researchers are trying to add tactile experiences to virtual reality. That could make virtual worlds more immersive.
In a sentence
A new haptic device brings the feeling of distant objects right to a user’s fingertips.
Marijuana use between ages 14 and 19 was linked to faster thinning of brain regions important in decision-making.
Smoking pot as a teen likely affects the still-developing brain, a new study finds. The region most at risk helps guide decision-making.
Matthew Albaugh is a psychologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington. He was part of a team that scanned teens’ brains with an MRI machine before and after they started to use marijuana (also called cannabis or pot). The study included 799 teens in Germany, France, Ireland and England.
Participants had their first scan at age 14. None reported using marijuana at this point. Five years later, the teens returned for a second scan. Now 369 of the adolescents (46 percent) reported they had tried cannabis. About three-quarters of these said they had done so at least 10 times.
One part of the brain changed more in cannabis users than non-users. Called the prefrontal cortex, it sits right behind the forehead and above the eyes. This region is involved in decision-making and other tasks. It tends to thin during adolescence to help the brain work more efficiently. But that thinning sped up in teens who reported cannabis use. The more drug the teens used, the faster the prefrontal cortex thinned, Albaugh’s team now reports.
That may sound like a good thing, like the brain is maturing more quickly on pot. But researchers don’t view it that way. Notes Albaugh, exposing young animals to pot causes their brain to thin too early. That can lead to long-lasting problems with behavior and memory.
The teen study does not prove that cannabis caused the faster thinning. But it adds to growing evidence that early cannabis use may affect brain development.
Albaugh’s group described its findings June 16 in JAMA Psychiatry.
Brain ‘pruning’ and cannabis
Jacqueline-Marie Ferland is a brain researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. The prefrontal cortex is “the adult in the room,” she says. One of its jobs is to combine different pieces of information as we make decisions. A mature prefrontal cortex, she says, controls behavior by toning down emotions. It also tamps down impulsive actions.
Teens often take more risks than children and adults. The reason? Different parts of the teen brain mature at different rates. Greater risk-taking often promises greater rewards. The prefrontal cortex that guides rational behavior matures more slowly than do parts of the brain that control our emotional response to rewards. In fact, the prefrontal cortex is the last brain region to fully mature. It’s not complete until around age 25. Thinning is an important part of that process.
Janna Cousijn is a psychologist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She compares a young child’s brain to a very thick forest. “As we grow up, we often decide to take similar paths within that forest,” she says. That means some frequently traveled paths — connections among brain cells — start to emerge.
Favored paths become better established as we age. This lets brain signals pass down them faster. Rarely or never-used paths disappear. Thinning of the prefrontal cortex is part of this “pruning.”
The active chemical in cannabis is called THC. It speeds up thinning of a rat’s version of the prefrontal cortex. THC binds to docking stations in brain cells. Those docking stations are called CB1 receptors. That CB is short for cannabinoid (Kah-NAA-bin-oid), meaning these receptors are ideally structured to respond to cannabis compounds known as cannabinoids. These include THC.
Rats given THC during adolescence lose some brain connections that would otherwise stick around into adulthood. This can alter the rodents’ behavior and memory. How much depends on the amount of THC and the animal’s age.
Researchers cannot study a direct link between THC and prefrontal-cortex thinning in people. But Albaugh’s colleagues found more CB1 receptors, on average, in the prefrontal cortex of 21 adult men than in other brain regions. (The imaging method uses a radioactive material, so this could not ethically be confirmed in teens.)
It is notable that the CB1-rich part in adult brains overlaps with the area that thins faster in cannabis-using teens. The overlap does not prove that cannabis causes the change. It does, however, add to evidence that it may.
A window of vulnerability
Cannabis has medical benefits for some people. Adults can legally use it in some U.S. states and countries. But that, says Albaugh, does not mean cannabis is harmless for young users. “Brain areas that change the most during adolescence may be especially vulnerable to cannabis exposure,” he says.
To learn if the thinning persists into adulthood, he is now analyzing the same people’s brain scans at age 23. He will also test if the brain changes his group has recorded relate to unwanted adult outcomes. This may include lower graduation rates, delayed graduation or more mental health disorders.
“It is critical to know if teen cannabis use may change how you function as an adult,” says Ferland. Until more is known, many researchers recommend postponing any cannabis use until adulthood. They also suggest limiting its frequency and using only low-potency products.
One last thing to note: Alcohol is the most common drug of adolescence in many countries. And researchers have found that alcohol and cigarettes often do more damage to the brain than cannabis. (The amount used matters greatly for all three.) But even smaller brain changes from regular use can lead to addiction. “And developing any addiction is damaging to yourself and others,” says Cousijn. Adds Ferland, “starting to use drugs as a teen greatly increases the risk of addiction later in life.”
(TAIPEI, Taiwan) — Children as young as 3 will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in China, where 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated and authorities are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks. Local city and provincial level governments in at least five provinces issued notices in recent days announcing that children ages 3-11 will be required to get their vaccinations. The expansion of the vaccination...
THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA VENEZUELA: The United Statesof the Venezuelan government, Alex Saab, on Saturday to face money laundering charges. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro responded by suspending negotiations with the opposition that were meant to resume on Sunday. Saab is more than $350 million in corrupt government contracts through the U.S. banking system, including a scheme that defrauded a state-run food subsidy program. He was arrested in Cape Verde in June of 2020 while stopping to refuel his plane en route to Iran on an alleged diplomatic mission for the Venezuelan government. The Venezuelan government has called Saab’s arrest a “kidnapping,” and retaliated by detaining eight...
African aviation is going through a period of notable transition. With this shift, analysts have been looking at the market’s pricing. As a result, a report has shown that in Africa, Kenya Airways charges the most for its tickets. The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) is one of the authorities that took part in the study. Photo: Getty Images.The top of the crop The African Competition Forum (ACF) has shared a report that studied the aviation industries of 24 countries in Africa. The study looked at which airlines charged the highest average fares on domestic and international operations....
Before science gave us a better understanding of what happens during conception, pregnancy, and birth, there were many old wives’ tales and myths. Most of these tales were trying to make sense of why bad things like birth defects, congenital problems, or stillbirths happened. One of the earliest beliefs was the theory of maternal impression. This was the idea that if the mother received a bad fright, had some other strong emotion, or saw something horrible, that the experience would impress itself on the baby. A common version of this belief was that if a baby was born with a cleft lip, it meant that the mother had seen or been startled by the sight of a rabbit or hare. This is why an old name for a cleft lip was “hare lip.” Even if the mother didn’t remember having...
Where To Meet Younger Women In Person & Hookup With Them Easier Than Ever Before–No Swiping Necessary… I’m guessing you’ve got at least a handful of friends who met their sweeties online. Maybe you and your friends use online dating for casual hookups. Or maybe you even know someone who tied the knot with someone they met online! Of course, online dating is hugely popular. What used to be a little bit taboo, especially for young people, is now extremely commonplace. In fact, you might suspect that apps like Tinder make it harder to hit on someone in person! After all, it’s easier to make an advance, and deal with rejection, if it’s happening online instead of in line, say, at the supermarket....
Rockies Fantasy Camp is taking place this week in Scottsdale. (Rockies Photo Blog photo) shared a gallery of great images from Day 1 of Rockies Fantasy Camp:ROCKIES FANTASY CAMP 2018: DAY 1Dan Altavilla joined Mariners Caravan and spoke with the Mariners reliever:Catching up on the Caravan: Dan Altavilla continues their depth chart series with the look at the team’s outfield situations in 2018:Rays Depth Chart for 2018: OutfieldWant to know more about the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame class? put together some interesting factoids on this summer’s inductees:Fun Facts About the 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees writes about Chief Wahoo from the perspective of a fan who grew up with the symbol:Wahoo
Daniel’s birth certificate is marked “female.” But Daniel does not identify as exclusively male nor female. Daniel is nonbinary. “I’m masculine leaning,” the 18-year-old says. Daniel knew they were not a girl by about age 4. But the disconnect between Daniel’s body and gender identity became unbearable during puberty. “I hated showers because I didn’t like looking at my body,” Daniel says. “I just felt really uncomfortable with the idea of being female.” At age 13, Daniel came out to their mother as transgender. Someone who is transgender has a gender identity that does not match the sex assigned to them at birth. After coming out, Daniel started seeing a therapist who specialized in gender. The next year, they were referred to a doctor who prescribed testosterone. This hormone...
Today the CBD market stands as one of the most interesting investment opportunities out there. Whether you are looking for stocks to buy or considering starting your own business, there are some very good reasons to place CBD and its related products on your investment shortlist. In this article we are going to discuss some of those reasons. 1 – Market variety If you have researched CBD or visited the site of a weed delivery Canada recently, you likely noticed just how diverse this market is. CBD is used in everything from food items to pills, oils, cosmetic products, and more. There are even companies making CBD-infused clothes out there. All of this variety helps ensure that the demand for CBD will keep growing, which is good to know...
Homemade urad dal flour is so handy during festival season like Diwali. Urad dal flour can be easily made at home and lets how to make it in this post. Homemade urad dal flour for snacksUrad dal flour is available commercially at shops. But you can make your own with these easy steps. Though I have shared this in other recipes on this site, as part of a recipe, wanted to share it as individual post. This may be handy as many of you must be gearing up for Diwali snacks preparation. [feast_advanced_jump_to] Ingredients To make homemade urad dal flour, use the skinless dal (white urad dal / de-husked Black gram). I like to use whole urad dal and recommend the same.