ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
More Educated Choose Healthier Foods, But Pay More
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
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Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together

(HealthDay News) -- New research provides insight into how the brain resolve such dilemmas as whether you should drop a plate that's burning your fingers or keep holding it to keep the food off the floor.

In a study in the October issue of Emotion, scientists say that the human mind acts as way station for requests from different parts of the body. In some cases, you're only aware of some of the urges that the body sends to the brain.

"If the brain is like a set of computers that control different tasks, consciousness is the Wi-Fi network that allows different parts of the brain to talk to each other and decide which action 'wins' and is carried out," the study's lead author, Ezequiel Morsella, a San Francisco State University assistant professor of psychology, said in a news release from the university.

According to the researchers, the brain only tells the conscious self about some of the competing messages it gets from muscles in the body. They say they confirmed this by studying people as they made choices about movements.

The findings support Morsella's theory that consciousness serves primarily to process demands from skeletal muscle, the researchers concluded. The theory also states that consciousness helps people adapt; for example, using an oven mitt the next time you have to carry a hot plate.

"Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that when you prepare to perform two competing actions, you prime the same areas of the brain associated with carrying out that same action," Morsella said.

In a previous study, Morsella used brain scans to find regions of the brain where changes in awareness related to conflicting urges are found.

SOURCES: San Francisco State University, news release, Sept. 30, 2009