ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Maximize Your Run
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
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
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
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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