Neuroscience

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  • The Republican’s Greatest Hoax? [Greg Laden's Blog]

    ScienceBlogs
    Greg Laden
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:10 pm
    My friend Paul was on the Ed Show. A few classic lines:
  • Does High IQ Increase the Risk of Depression and Mental Disorders?

    Brain Blogger
    Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD
    18 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Blame it on movies or books, but we have fallen into the habit of stereotyping. Popular culture portrays highly intelligent men and women as moody, secretive people who have so much going on in their minds that they are mentally always on the edge. There is probably a point here because psychiatrists are tinkering with the idea of a connection between high intelligence and depression and mental illness. The super-brainy computer programmer, the scientist, or the nerdy professor is supposed to be a social misfit. He turns up at parties with unkempt hair and disheveled attire and spends the…
  • My top 5 brain health stories for 2014.

    Your Brain Health
    Sarah McKay
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:07 pm
    As 2014 draws to a close I’ve crunched the numbers and come up with the the top 5 most popular blog posts I’ve written this year. To everyone who has read, commented, shared or liked – THANK-YOU!!! Here are the top 5 most-read posts for 2014 (in descending order, just to keep the suspense!!).  Enjoy, and see […] The post My top 5 brain health stories for 2014. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain

    MIT News - Neuroscience
    Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:00 am
    For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists has found that one of the latest generation of these so-called “deep neural networks” matches the primate brain. Because these networks are based on neuroscientists’ current understanding of how the brain performs object recognition, the…
  • Brain overclaim syndrome: Can I convince you I know something by citing neuroscience?

    Brains On Purpose™
    StephanieWestAllen
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:12 pm
    Are so many mediators citing neuroscience these days because it is cool? Hot? Fashionable? I don't know. That the science being cited is often either inaccurate or not helpful to conflict resolution is sometimes a tad disturbing. Even though I have blogged about it before, I had forgotten about the phrase "brain overclaim syndrome" until reading this book review from...
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    Brains On Purpose™

  • Brain overclaim syndrome: Can I convince you I know something by citing neuroscience?

    StephanieWestAllen
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:12 pm
    Are so many mediators citing neuroscience these days because it is cool? Hot? Fashionable? I don't know. That the science being cited is often either inaccurate or not helpful to conflict resolution is sometimes a tad disturbing. Even though I have blogged about it before, I had forgotten about the phrase "brain overclaim syndrome" until reading this book review from...
  • Are you sure that's what happened? Most conflicts are part fiction, part distortion, part dead

    StephanieWestAllen
    5 Dec 2014 | 6:29 am
    When we recall something that occurred in the past, our recollection is not accurate like a video camera. Some if not much of our memory is fabricated. Our fuzzy, faulty memory has been covered before both at this blog and in many books and articles: the memory's shiftiness is by now notorious. So why I am writing about it again?...
  • My absence from posting here will be over soon: Why I have been gone

    StephanieWestAllen
    3 Aug 2014 | 2:25 pm
    Due to a death in my family, I have not been an active blogger here or at idealawg. I plan to come back to posting in the very near future.
  • Adding "neuro" to a word supposedly adds credibility but often signals neurohype

    StephanieWestAllen
    23 Jul 2014 | 11:19 am
    Listen to Christian Jarrett, neuroscientist turned science writer, describing the many myths about the brain covered in today's media (kuow.org). The interview of Jarrett is less than 10 minutes long and worth a few minutes of your time. Jarrett has a new book coming out in the fall titled Great Myths of the Brain. I am looking forward to the...
  • Seven challenges when using the neuroscience lens to see the world

    StephanieWestAllen
    10 Jun 2014 | 9:06 am
    Over the years, I have learned that people reading this blog come from a wide range of belief systems, including atheist, agnostic, and those involved to large or small degree in various spiritual and religious practices. Although this blog post to which I am linking today is written by a Christian and part of the post is from a Christian...
 
 
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    Neuroscience News -- ScienceDaily

  • Early exposure to antidepressants affects adult anxiety, serotonin transmission

    19 Dec 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Early developmental exposure to two different antidepressants, Prozac and Lexapro, has been studied by researchers in a mouse model that mimics human third trimester medication exposure. They found that, although these serotonin-selective reuptake inhibiting antidepressants were thought to work the same way, they did not produce the same long-term changes in anxiety behavior in the adult mice. About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants.
  • Gene critical for proper brain development discovered

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:41 am
    A genetic pathway has been found that accounts for the extraordinary size of the human brain. The research team has identified a gene, KATNB1, as an essential component in a genetic pathway responsible for central nervous system development in humans and other animals.
  • Neuroscientists identify brain mechanisms that predict generosity in children

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:39 am
    Developmental neuroscientists have found specific brain markers that predict generosity in children. Those neural markers appear to be linked to both social and moral evaluation processes. Although young children are natural helpers, their perspective on sharing resources tends to be selfish.
  • OCD patients' brains light up to reveal how compulsive habits develop

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:51 am
    Misfiring of the brain's control system might underpin compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to researchers.
  • Ability to balance on one leg may reflect brain health, stroke risk

    18 Dec 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Struggling to stand on one leg for less than 20 seconds was linked to an increased risk for stroke, small blood vessel damage in the brain, and reduced cognitive function in otherwise healthy people, a study has shown. One-legged standing time may be a simple test used to measure early signs of abnormalities in the brain associated with cognitive decline, cerebral small vessel disease and stroke.
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    MIT News - Neuroscience

  • In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain

    Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:00 am
    For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists has found that one of the latest generation of these so-called “deep neural networks” matches the primate brain. Because these networks are based on neuroscientists’ current understanding of how the brain performs object recognition, the…
  • Picower neuroscientists reveal fundamental discovery about cortical neurons

    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    11 Dec 2014 | 7:15 am
    The two major types of neuron in the brain’s cerebral cortex are connected by intricate cortical circuits that process information. Excitatory neurons, which comprise 80 percent of all neurons in this region, increase activity in target cells. The other 20 percent of neurons are inhibitory, producing the opposite effect. Inhibitory neurons (interneurons) have long been recognized as critical to understanding distinct kinds of information processing. Specific subtypes of interneurons can regulate response gain (the extent of reaction to stimuli) in excitatory neurons or shape response…
  • Mark Bear receives Inscopix DECODE Award

    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    19 Nov 2014 | 12:48 pm
    The Picower Institute congratulates Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and other awardees selected to receive one of 10 Deciphering Circuit Basis of Disease (DECODE) two-year grants. Given to what National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas Insel called the “best and brightest scientists,” the grants were announced on Nov. 18 at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. In addition to Bear, awardees included Alex Kwan of Yale University; Amar Sahay of Harvard University and…
  • MIT researchers to receive awards from the Society for Neuroscience

    Julie Pryor | McGovern Institute for Brain Research
    10 Nov 2014 | 9:23 am
    Three neuroscientists at MIT have been selected to receive awards from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).   Tomaso Poggio, a founding member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, will receive the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience; Feng Zhang, a member of the McGovern Institute and an assistant professor in the departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering, will receive the Young Investigator Award; and Sung-Yon Kim, a Simons postdoctoral fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation at MIT, will receive the Donald B.
  • Striking the cord: Optical control of motor functions

    Denis Paiste | Materials Processing Center
    7 Nov 2014 | 9:58 am
    MIT researchers have demonstrated a highly flexible neural probe made entirely of polymers that can both optically stimulate and record neural activity in a mouse spinal cord — a step toward developing prosthetic devices that can restore functionality to damaged nerves. "Our goal was to create a tool that would enable neuroscientists and physicians to investigate spinal-cord function on both cellular and systems levels with minimal impact on the tissue integrity," notes Polina Anikeeva, the AMAX Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering and a senior author of the paper…
 
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    ScienceBlogs

  • Bringing opinions on climate change closer to reality: Peter Doran [Greg Laden's Blog]

    Greg Laden
    20 Dec 2014 | 9:40 am
    Enough! That’s Peter Doran’s opinion on the “debate” about a scientific consensus on climate change. There clearly is one — a strong one. So why do the public and the politicians think otherwise? Why the big disconnect between what the vast majority of scientists know to be fact, and what the public thinks. Dr. Doran blames the way media reports on science, and he blames a few of the loud voices on the right. He presents an idea to change a lot of the minds of people who deny the scientific consensus on climate change which will hopefully lead politicians to…
  • Advent Calendar of Science Stories 20: Dot Physics 1976 [Uncertain Principles]

    Chad Orzel
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:53 am
    We’re going to depart from the chronological ordering again, because it’s the weekend and I have to do a bunch of stuff with the kids. Which means I’m in search of a story I can outsource… In this case, I’m outsourcing to myself– this is a genuine out-take from Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist, specifically Chapter 2, which tells two stories from the career of Luis Alvarez, who I’ve talked about before in the context of his experiment to x-ray one of the pyramids at Giza, and the time I wrote him a letter when I was nine about his theory that…
  • The Republican’s Greatest Hoax? [Greg Laden's Blog]

    Greg Laden
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:10 pm
    My friend Paul was on the Ed Show. A few classic lines:
  • Ask Ethan #67: Dark Matter vs. Dark Energy (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

    Ethan
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:28 pm
    “We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposed to rob us of their companionship.” -James Harvey Robinson The Universe seems to be full of contradictions. On one hand, everywhere we look — in all directions and at all locations — we find that it’s full of stars, galaxies and clusters. There are regions pretty much everywhere where, in the great cosmic struggle between all the pulls and pushes, gravitation has won. Image credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, UCO/Lick Observatory and…
  • Not an “accident”: Gary Keenen, 26, and Kelsey Bellah, 27 suffer fatal work-related injuries near Colgate, OK [The Pump Handle]

    Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:49 am
    Gary Keenen, 26, and Kelsey Bellah, 27 suffered fatal traumatic injuries on Friday, December 19 while working on a drilling rig two miles west of Colgate, OK. News reports provide some initial information on the workers’ deaths: The explosion and fire occurred at a rig owned by Pablo Energy. A representative of the State Fire Marshall’s office indicated that three other workers were injured. “Two were transported to trauma centers in critical condition, while another sustained burns to his hands.” Current reporting does not indicate whether the deceased and injured victims worked…
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    Deric's MindBlog

  • How to bridge the respective bubbles of our ideological tribes?

    19 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    A number of recent mindblog posts have engaged the issue of the individual versus the collective good (for example, here, here, and here), a creative tension that has been central in human evolution. This has led me to mull a bit about the current apparent drift in the direction of more extreme individualism and rejection of the state’s concern for common interests.I sometimes feel guilty for not being more evangelistic about promoting a rational scientific ideology that encompasses creationists, conservatives, and libertarians in a more broad evolutionary view, I wonder how it might be…
  • Critique of the Nature paper on dishonest bankers,

    18 Dec 2014 | 11:31 am
    I wanted to pass on to MindBlog readers this item analyzing the paper noted in my recent post "Banking - a culture of dishonesty", Statistician Salil Mehta argues that the article is misleading, missing data, and mathematically inaccurate.
  • Several nuggets on the individual vs. the collective.

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    Following yesterday's post on the evolution of prosocial religions, I pass on a random set of links to articles also relevant to the individual and the collective.Terrell notes that the current political schism between Republicans and Democrats has a foundation in different views about the whether an individual's primary purpose is to look out for communal or self interests. ...modern evolutionary research, anthropology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience have come down on the side of the philosophers who have argued that the basic unit of human social life is not and never has been the…
  • The Cultural Evolution of Prosocial Religions

    17 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    Having been an author in an issue of "Behavioral and Brain Biology" published by Cambridge University Press, I receive notice of forthcoming articles inviting reviewers comments. The articles are then published with the reviewer's comments and authors' responses to the comments. As a followup to my recent MindBlog post on E.O. Wilson's new book, I am passing on this interesting abstract of such a forthcoming article by Norenzayan et al.  (Motivated readers can email me if they wish to obtain a PDF of this article.) We develop a cultural evolutionary theory of the origins of prosocial…
  • The new surveillance state and our robotic future.

    16 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    Isreal et al. examine one of the many uses to which individual credit scores are being put - to determine our cardiovascular risk (useful information for health insurance companies). They also note that credit scores are also used by employers, utility companies, and automobile insurers to index high-risk behavior; and by life insurance companies that incorporate credit scores into actuarial models.) Here is the abstract: Credit scores are the most widely used instruments to assess whether or not a person is a financial risk. Credit scoring has been so successful that it has expanded beyond…
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    Brain Blogger

  • Humans of The Future

    Lorena Nessi, PhD, MA
    20 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    A look into the future evolution of human beings is rather speculative, even when it’s dedicated scientists doing the looking. The psychological, social and physical changes humans will experience in the coming thousands of years are simply unknown to us. However, we know that human beings are still evolving, that change is imminent, and that the circumstances we are adapting to live in are changing faster than ever. Those dedicated to thinking profoundly on this topic come from a variety of different scientific, artistic and social science backgrounds, with similarly varied ideas on…
  • Does High IQ Increase the Risk of Depression and Mental Disorders?

    Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD
    18 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Blame it on movies or books, but we have fallen into the habit of stereotyping. Popular culture portrays highly intelligent men and women as moody, secretive people who have so much going on in their minds that they are mentally always on the edge. There is probably a point here because psychiatrists are tinkering with the idea of a connection between high intelligence and depression and mental illness. The super-brainy computer programmer, the scientist, or the nerdy professor is supposed to be a social misfit. He turns up at parties with unkempt hair and disheveled attire and spends the…
  • Predicting Seizures Amid the Chaos

    Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    We are one step closer to predicting the unpredictable. Robin Gras, PhD, an associate professor in the School of Computer Science and Canada Research Chair in Learning and Simulation for Theoretical Biology, and his PhD student Abbas Golestani have developed novel methods for long-term time series forecasting. In a Scientific Reports article, Gras and Golestanti demonstrate their software’s accuracy with the prediction of earthquakes, financial markets, and epileptic seizures. By applying their algorithm to the EEGs of 21 patients, they were able to predict seizures 17 minutes before…
  • The Concept of Race in Science – A Debate

    Lorena Nessi, PhD, MA
    16 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Race is a label. Race does not exist. Race is still an issue. These are some of the apparently contradictory statements that we can find in the debate, a subject with renewed tension in the US after a series of shootings of unarmed “black” men in the US by “white” policemen. Race is a slippery concept, and an uncomfortable one, because it is related to the marking of differences and divisions among human beings in a society that is supposed to be advanced enough to acknowledge the importance of equality. Its use is an act of classification that immediately sets boundaries between…
  • Perception Is the Opposite of Reality

    Jennifer Gibson, PharmD
    15 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Do you ever feel like you are actually doing, seeing, or experiencing the things in your daydreams? Perhaps the warm sand beneath your toes while you relax on the beach; the wind rushing through your hair while you drive a fancy sports car; the smooth finish of that fine wine you have been wanting to try. Even if you have never experienced these things before, your brain is recalling sensory information stored in your brain and processing it as abstract thoughts. But how does it do this? Neuroscientists have long studied how information travels through the brain, but the complex and intricate…
 
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    Mind Hacks

  • Spike activity 19-12-2014

    vaughanbell
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:11 am
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: MIT Tech Review has an interesting piece about ‘troll hunters’ – a new wave of internet abuse vigilantes. ABC All in the Mind has a good edition asking whether mirror neurons have been oversold. Spoiler alert: yes, they have. The New York Magazine’s Science of Us section has an interesting piece on whether terrorists can be rehabilitated. The LSE has an excellent interview with Nikolas Rose on the social implications of the Human Brain Project. A new study covered by Neuroskeptic finds that head motion biases yet…
  • Economics against sexual violence

    vaughanbell
    20 Dec 2014 | 4:26 am
    PBS has an article on ‘How economic theory can help stop sexual assault’ which despite its unappealing title is actually a genuinely thought-provoking piece on how game theory and social norms marketing could help prosecute and prevent sexual violence. Both approaches look at how people’s behaviour is shaped by their perception of other people’s beliefs and behaviour. People are less likely to report rape when they think they’re going to have to do it alone and people are more likely to intervene to prevent violence if they believe other people will also…
  • The celebrity analysis that killed celebrity analysis

    vaughanbell
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:01 pm
    Most ‘psy’ professionals are banned by their codes of conduct from conducting ‘celebrity analysis’ and commenting on the mental state of specific individuals in the media. This is a sensible guideline but I didn’t realise it was triggered by a specific event. Publicly commenting on a celebrity’s psychological state is bad form. If you’ve worked with them professionally, you’re likely bound by confidentiality, if you’ve not, you probably don’t know what you’re talking about and doing so in the media is likely to do them harm.
  • Towards a nuanced view of mental distress

    vaughanbell
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:06 am
    In the latest edition of The Psychologist I’m involved in a debate with John Cromby about whether our understanding of mental illness is mired in the past. He thinks it is, I think it isn’t, and we kick off from there. The article is readable online with a free registration but I’ve put the unrestricted version online as a pdf if you want to read it straight away. Much of the debate is over the role of biological explanations in understanding mental distress which I think is widely understood by many. Hopefully, amid the knockabout, the debate gets to clarify some of that.
  • Spike activity 12-12-2014

    vaughanbell
    13 Dec 2014 | 4:16 am
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The new trailer for upcoming Pixar movie Inside Out is very funny and has a remarkably accurate depiction of brain function. Neurocritic covers hipster neuroscience. Is the ‘bilingual advantage’ in cognitive performance a result of publication bias? Maybe, suggests the Science of Us. The Economist asks whether behavioural economics could be a tool to tackle global poverty. Why do friendly people usually lead happier lives? asks BPS Research Digest. Fastcompany has an interesting piece on the curious results from an online…
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    Neuroethics & Law Blog

  • "Detecting Knowledge of Incidentally Acquired, Real-World Memories Using a P300-Based Concealed-Information Test"

    NELB Staff
    20 Dec 2014 | 11:07 am
    Recently published in SSRN (and recently published in Psychological Science, Vol. 25, No. 11, 2014): "Detecting Knowledge of Incidentally Acquired, Real-World Memories Using a P300-Based Concealed-Information Test" JOHN B. MEIXNER, Northwestern University J. PETER ROSENFELD, Northwestern University Autobiographical memory for...
  • "The Importance of Being Earnest: Two Notions of Internalization"

    NELB Staff
    20 Dec 2014 | 5:04 am
    Recently published in SSRN (and forthcoming in University of Toronto Law Journal (2015)): "The Importance of Being Earnest: Two Notions of Internalization" DAPHNA LEWINSOHN-ZAMIR, Hebrew University - Faculty of Law Through its use of sanctions and rewards, the law can...
  • "What to Enhance: Behaviour, Emotion or Disposition?"

    NELB Staff
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    "What to Enhance: Behavior, Emotion, or Disposition?" by Karim Jebari has been published in the most recent issue of Neuroethics: Abstract As we learn more about the human brain, novel biotechnological means to modulate human behaviour and emotional dispositions become...
  • PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): A Crowd Of Scientists Finds A Better Way To Predict Seizures, NPR Shots Blog In The Popular Press: Study to Examine Effects of Artificial Intelligence, New York Times Why Your Brain is So Bad at...
  • 14 Dec 2014 | 2:27 am

    Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov
    14 Dec 2014 | 2:27 am
    'Minds, Brains and Law: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Law and Neuroscience.' Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, Swansea University Neurolaw is a burgeoning field. This Swansea University College of Law conference brought many controversies to the fore. Reductionism was a major bone of contention....
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    Neuromarketing

  • Blueprint to Explode Your Niche Site’s Traffic, More – Roger’s Picks

    Roger Dooley
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:32 am
    Do you need a blueprint for driving mega-traffic to your niche site? Real-world examples of effective use of social proof? How about a product/pricing strategy that seems illogical but drives sales? That, and lots more, is in this week's picks post. The post Blueprint to Explode Your Niche Site’s Traffic, More – Roger’s Picks appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • 3 Ways to Convert Your Visitors with Targeted Copy

    Jennifer Havice
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:06 am
    How do you write more targeted messages that will persuade your prospects to buy into what you’re selling? An important part of making more sales or getting more leads has everything to do with copy that not only connects with visitors, but connects immediately. The post 3 Ways to Convert Your Visitors with Targeted Copy appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • Dan Pink Persuasion, Tom Peters Wisdom, More – Roger’s Picks

    Roger Dooley
    12 Dec 2014 | 4:31 am
    Here’s your reading list, not to mention a few options for listening and viewing! My Stuff Have you ever started playing a video game and gotten so sucked into the action that you ended up playing for hours? Zane Claes [...] The post Dan Pink Persuasion, Tom Peters Wisdom, More – Roger’s Picks appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • Still More Brainfluence: 10 New Podcasts

    Roger Dooley
    11 Dec 2014 | 3:03 am
    It seems like no time at all since we did the last podcast wrapup… but here we are with 10 more episodes of The Brainfluence Podcast. Each podcast has a full text transcript, too, in case you prefer to read [...] The post Still More Brainfluence: 10 New Podcasts appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • 3 Neuromarketing Lessons from Video Games

    Zane Claes
    9 Dec 2014 | 5:52 am
    Games are uniquely adept at leveraging human psychology to motivate behavior. We play them for hours on end and enter into a state of flow with an ease not found in other fields. This is no accident: during my time studying game design and working in the field, neurological language like “dopamine hits” and “social proof” were commonplace. In this post, I’ll examine some of the common tools used by video game designers in order ensure engagement and ultimately drive sales. The post 3 Neuromarketing Lessons from Video Games appeared first on Neuromarketing.
 
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    SharpBrains

  • Amazon #1 Bestseller in Preventive Medicine: The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness

    SharpBrains
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:37 am
    We are proud to share that The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness remains as the #1 Bestseller in Amazon’s Preventive Medicine list. It’s been a Top 10 for over a year now! This has been possible thanks to many excellent reader reviews, such as the one below left by Rick Bruce in California a month ago. Dear readers, and everyone else: Happy Holidays, and Happy (and very brain-fit) 2015! There is no magic pill, but there is a pathway to brain health. The sooner you start, the better. November 17, 2014 By Rick Bruce (CAMBRIA, CA, US) “This is a very approachable exploration of the…
  • Top 14 Brain Fitness News in 2014: Research, Assessments and Training

    Alvaro Fernandez
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:13 am
    Unless you live in a cave, you are well aware of all the growing interest in–and controversies around–the topics of brain fitness and brain training. A little perspective may help separate the signal from the noise. Take a minute to think about the early years of the physical fitness movement. It took decades of conflicting research and confusing media coverage to finally spread the idea that daily life activities are far from sufficient to keep us physically fit. And, at the same time, to develop the exercise protocols, the validated assessments, the professional standards and…
  • 127 scientists challenge the purported brain training “consensus” released by the Stanford Center for Longevity

    SharpBrains
    17 Dec 2014 | 9:55 am
    Scientists to Stanford: Research Shows Brain Exercises Can Work (Press release): “A group of 127 scientists sent an “open letter” to the Stanford Center for Longevity, today, in reaction to a recent statement by the center that was highly critical of the emerging science of brain training and derogated the efficacy of all brain exercises…The letter is signed by 127 doctors and scientists, many of whom are luminaries in the field of neuroplasticity – the discipline that examines the brain’s ability to change. Signatories include members of the National Academy of Sciences, members…
  • Apple names brain training apps “Best of 2014″ in 20+ countries

    SharpBrains
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    Brain training is going mobile, and global. Not only did Apple name one brain training app (Elevate) “Best App of the Year” in the US, across all categories, but it handpicked another brain training app (Peak) as one of the top apps in 20+ countries. In the UK: “Apple named video editor Replay as its best iPhone app, ahead of self-improvement app Peak – Brain Training.” In Spain: “App y juego finalistas a lo mejor del año 2014: Peak – Brain Training Una app que nos ayuda a mejorar nuestra memoria, concentración, resolución de problemas, agilidad mental y lenguaje a través de…
  • Study finds large gaps between research and practice in ADHD diagnosis and treatment

    Dr. David Rabiner
    16 Dec 2014 | 11:20 am
    Most children with ADHD receive their care from community-based pediatricians. Given the large number of school-age children who require evaluation and treatment services for ADHD, and the adverse impact that poor quality care can have on children’s development, it is important for children to routinely receive care in the community that is consistent with best-practice guidelines. The American Academy of Pediatrics has clearly recognized this and published guidelines for the evaluation of ADHD back in 2000; this was followed by a set of treatment guidelines in 2001. Based on data collected…
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    BSP Show Notes - Brain Science Podcast

  • "Neuroplasticity and Healing" (BSP 113)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    1 Dec 2014 | 9:29 am
    Click to play BSP 113 The Dalai Lama's first visit to Alabama included several large public gatherings but I was invited to attend "Neuroplasticity and Healing," which was the scientific symposium he hosted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The featured neuroscientists were Dr. Edward Taub and Dr. Michael Merzenich. The moderator was Dr. Norman Doidge.The Dalai Lama has a long-standing interest in science and he told the rapt audience that his four areas of interest are cosmology, physics, neurobiology, and psychology.He is very interested in neuroplasticity and his visit to…
  • The Dalai Lama explores Neuroplasticity (BSP 113)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:06 pm
    The scientific highlight of the Dalai Lama's first visit to Alabama was an invitation-only event called "Neuroplasticity and Healing," which was held at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). BSP 113 features exclusive coverage of that event.Click here to play the audio. Right click to download the mp3 file. The episode transcript and full show notes will be posted next week.
  • What Do Mirror Neurons Really Do? (BSP 112)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:11 am
    Greg Hickok, PhD (Click on photo to hear his interview) Ever since their chance discovery back in 1992 mirror neurons have captured the imagination of both scientists and nonscientists, but their actual role remains mostly speculative. In The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition Dr. Gregory Hickok (UC-Irvine) explains why the most popular theory is probably wrong. He also provides a fascinating account of how science is really done and the sobering lesson that scientists can fall prey to the same cognitive biases (and tendencies toward laziness)…
  • Exercise Promotes Brain Plasticity (BSP 111)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    2 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    John Ratey, MDClick picture to hear interview According to psychiatrist Dr. John Ratey the best way to improve brain plasticity is by exercise.  I spoke to him shortly after he published his best-seller Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2008). He commented that even compared to drugs "Exercise is the champ."Download BSP 111 Since then Dr. Ratey has been traveling the world promoting the value of exercise for people of all ages, but his main focus has been on young people and on trying to restore and invigorate physical education programs in the schools. In…
  • "Neurobiology for Dummies" (BSP 110)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    26 Jul 2014 | 11:09 am
    Frank Amthor, PhD: Click image to play BSP 110 Frank Amthor's latest book Neurobiology for Dummies isn't just for readers who are new to neuroscience. In this excellent follow-up to his Neuroscience for Dummies Dr. Amthor discusses a wide variety of brain-related topics. Since I have known Frank for several years it was a special treat to interview him for BSP 110. We talked about a wide variety of ideas ranging from what makes neurons special to how brains differ from current computers.  How to get this episode:FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)Buy…
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    Neuronarrative

  • Are You Vulnerable to the Hipster Effect?

    David DiSalvo
    2 Dec 2014 | 8:48 pm
    There is a group-sense inherent in human nature that lines us up favorably with birds and bees and ants and fish, though with us the dynamic is less reactive. Rather than reacting to an immediate cause, our patterns emerge in the form of social conformity. The irony is that we (particularly in Western cultures) pride ourselves on our alleged individuality.read more
  • How Your Eyes Give You Away

    David DiSalvo
    12 Nov 2014 | 8:44 pm
    If you’ve ever wondered how skilled sales professionals seem to know exactly when to turn on the turbo boosters to get you to make the deal – take a good long look in the mirror. Those two orbs staring back at you show your cards.read more
  • The Surprising, Infuriating Power of Overconfidence

    David DiSalvo
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:27 am
    Belief sells, whether it’s true or not. In the case of overconfidence, the belief in one’s ability—however out of proportion to reality—generates its own infectious energy. Self-deception is a potent means of convincing the world to see things your way.read more
  • Gut Feeling: How Bacteria Manipulates Your Brain

    David DiSalvo
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:40 pm
    The next time you can’t figure out why you’re suddenly craving a huge slab of ultra-decadent chocolate cake—consider the possibility that it’s not just you doing the craving. New research suggests that the armies of bacteria living in our guts can pull the strings in our brains to get what they want.read more
  • The Happiness Equation

    David DiSalvo
    22 Aug 2014 | 8:01 pm
    I can’t pretend to understand how the researchers developed the equation, but one word in their lengthy explanation resonates with my math-addled brain: expectations. After all the complex analyses, it really all comes down to what we expect and how strongly we expect it.read more
 
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    NeuroLogica Blog

  • Universal Medicine Uses Google To Silence Critics

    Steven Novella
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:31 am
    An Australian based company called Universal Medicine (UM) has been criticized by various skeptical blogs and groups as being a new age alternative medicine cult. Looking through their website, this seems like a reasonable observation. (The term “cult” is fuzzy, but many of the features seem to be present.) In response to this criticism, UM has apparently issued many complaints to Google, claiming defamation. According to the site Chilling Effect, Google has responded at least in some cases by removing the sites from Google searches, effectively censoring those websites. Doubtful…
  • Egnor Doubles Down on Incoherent Nonsense

    Steven Novella
    18 Dec 2014 | 5:46 am
    Egnor continues his dualist neuroscience denial in two follow up posts, mostly responding to PZ Myers’ take down of his original post. Egnor has also been writing separately about computers, arguing that they have no memory and will never be intelligent (have agency). In all of these posts Egnor is following the same basic intellectual strategies – use words in a vague and confusing way to befuddle your reader, and assume your conclusion (dualism). Ironically, he writes: The contemporary criticism of such phrases as “memory is stored in the brain” and “the brain…
  • Neurosurgeon Thinks the Brain Doesn’t Store Memories

    Steven Novella
    16 Dec 2014 | 4:40 am
    It has been six years since I have written a blog post deconstructing the nonsense of our favorite creationist neurosurgeon, Michael Egnor. In case you have forgotten, he is a dualist writing for the intelligent design propaganda blog, Evolution News and Views. He delights in ridiculing what he calls “materialist metaphysics,” or what scientists call, “science.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he has managed to outdo his prior incoherent ramblings. In a recent blog post he claims that it is impossible for the brain to store memories, an idea he ridicules as…
  • The Mound Builder Conspiracy

    Steven Novella
    15 Dec 2014 | 6:27 am
    Even after a couple of decades as a skeptical activist I can still encounter new dark recesses festering with pseudoscience. The human capacity for nonsense seems endless. A report in an alternative news outlet from the American Institution of Alternative Archeology (AIAA – the tag “alternative” is a huge red flag) claims that the Smithsonian Institution “destroyed thousands of giant human remains during the early 1900′s.” Why would they do this? The AIAA has an unconventional view of human history. Apparently based on mention in the bible that giants once…
  • The Future Threat of AI

    Steven Novella
    12 Dec 2014 | 5:28 am
    Occasional warnings about artificially intelligent robots taking over the world convulse through the media. There is currently a ripple involving prior interviews with Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. Their names attract attention, and so the issue will provide a media distraction for a day or two. In an interview with the BBC, Hawking said: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” “It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t…
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    WordPress Tag: Neuroscience

  • Feature: Post Traumatic Stres Disorder PTSD: A Growing Epidemic / Neuroscience and PTSD Treatments

    supportouramericanwarheroes.wordpress.com
    15 Dec 2014 | 9:03 pm
    Feature: Post Traumatic Stres Disorder PTSD: A Growing Epidemic / Neuroscience and PTSD Treatments via Feature: Post Traumatic Stres Disorder PTSD: A Growing Epidemic / Neuroscience and PTSD Treatments. via Feature: Post Traumatic Stres Disorder PTSD: A Growing Epidemic / Neuroscience and PTSD Treatments.
  • The neuroscience of meditation

    Ha-Vinh
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:45 pm
    Life is a permanent flow: one has to let go the past and present in order to authorize freely the next event of one’s life to happen. If not, a damp will interrupt the flow, which is not a good thing from a sound and balanced living perspective. One has to live a life which is intrinsically ever changing, and thus which is anxiety provoking. The only thing that is permanent is one’s awareness of being present in the present moment, which by itself is a blessing one should be grateful for . At that point meditation, wether by focusing on an action like breathing or walking or by…
  • Coluracetam’s Pharmacological Mechanisms: A Perspective Piece

    graphthemoment
    15 Dec 2014 | 6:48 pm
    Reference: ___________________________________________________________________________ IUPAC: N-(2,3-dimethyl-5,6,7,8- tetrahydrofuro[2,3-b] quinolin-4-yl)-2- (2-oxopyrrolidin-1-yl)acetamide Molecular Formula: C19H23N3O3 Aliases: BCI-540; MKC-231  ___________________________________________________________________________   Background: Coluracetam, initially synthesized in Japan, was first introduced to the scientific research community in 1993 as a choline uptake enhancer that selectively affected memory-related mechanisms23. Coluracetam’s mechanisms of action and specific behavioral…
  • The Smell of Green Thunder: How Does Synesthesia Differ from...

    scientiflix
    15 Dec 2014 | 4:25 pm
    The Smell of Green Thunder: How Does Synesthesia Differ from Hallucination? In a condition called synesthesia, the signals between the senses are often crossed. It manifests itself in a variety of fashions and in varying intensities. Synesthetes often report hearing colors or smelling sounds, which to some is an infinite source of amusement, and for others, a source of annoyance. But are these experiences hallucinations? Or are they just as real as the rest of the world around them? By: World Science Festival.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Do-It-Yourself Brain Stimulation

    jakejordan416
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:49 pm
    This post is from the first issue of Substrates, a neuroscience magazine from the CUNY Neuroscience Collaborative. The first issue will be online in late January. Up-to-date info can be found at our Facebook or Twitter pages. Enjoy! By Miguel Briones Scientific advancement is known to spill over into the general public, but in today’s internet driven media culture, it’s easier than ever for the people to pick up on a scientific trend. Take, for example, the emergence of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a way to improve cognitive abilities. tDCS is a form of…
 
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    Journal of Neuroscience current issue

  • Dopamine Modulates the Neural Representation of Subjective Value of Food in Hungry Subjects

    Medic, N., Ziauddeen, H., Vestergaard, M. D., Henning, E., Schultz, W., Farooqi, I. S., Fletcher, P. C.
    10 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Although there is a rich literature on the role of dopamine in value learning, much less is known about its role in using established value estimations to shape decision-making. Here we investigated the effect of dopaminergic modulation on value-based decision-making for food items in fasted healthy human participants. The Becker-deGroot-Marschak auction, which assesses subjective value, was examined in conjunction with pharmacological fMRI using a dopaminergic agonist and an antagonist. We found that dopamine enhanced the neural response to value in the inferior parietal gyrus/intraparietal…
  • A Tribute to the Outgoing Editor-in-Chief

    Mason, C. A.
    10 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
  • Hippocampal Metaplasticity Is Required for the Formation of Temporal Associative Memories

    Xu, J., Antion, M. D., Nomura, T., Kraniotis, S., Zhu, Y., Contractor, A.
    10 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Metaplasticity regulates the threshold for modification of synaptic strength and is an important regulator of learning rules; however, it is not known whether these cellular mechanisms for homeostatic regulation of synapses contribute to particular forms of learning. Conditional ablation of mGluR5 in CA1 pyramidal neurons resulted in the inability of low-frequency trains of afferent activation to prime synapses for subsequent theta burst potentiation. Priming-induced metaplasticity requires mGluR5-mediated mobilization of endocannabinoids during the priming train to induce long-term…
  • A Role for Orbitofrontal Cortex in Reward-Modulated Conflict Adaptation

    Aben, B., Desender, K.
    10 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
  • GLOBIN-5-Dependent O2 Responses Are Regulated by PDL-1/PrBP That Targets Prenylated Soluble Guanylate Cyclases to Dendritic Endings

    Gross, E., Soltesz, Z., Oda, S., Zelmanovich, V., Abergel, Z., de Bono, M.
    10 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Aerobic animals constantly monitor and adapt to changes in O2 levels. The molecular mechanisms involved in sensing O2 are, however, incompletely understood. Previous studies showed that a hexacoordinated globin called GLB-5 tunes the dynamic range of O2-sensing neurons in natural C. elegans isolates, but is defective in the N2 lab reference strain (McGrath et al., 2009; Persson et al., 2009). GLB-5 enables a sharp behavioral switch when O2 changes between 21 and 17%. Here, we show that GLB-5 also confers rapid behavioral and cellular recovery from exposure to hypoxia. Hypoxia reconfigures…
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    Sports Are 80 Percent Mental

  • How Video Games Can Improve Your Kids' Hand-Eye Coordination

    14 Dec 2014 | 7:45 pm
    Well, there goes that golden piece of parental logic.  For years, we’ve been arguing, imploring and threatening our kids to get off their Xbox, PS4 or even Wiis (are those still around?) and get outside for some fresh air and reality.  It isn’t healthy, we argued, to sit in front of that TV and play video games for hours.  While we still have the cardiovascular argument in our corner, new research just confirmed that gaming actually improves our kids’ ability to learn new sensorimotor skills.Playing “first person” games, like Call of Duty or Madden, drops the user…
  • Kids Who Move Can Grow Their Brain

    6 Dec 2014 | 5:51 pm
    If there is one thing that Charles Hillman wants parents and teachers to understand, it is the power of aerobic activity to improve the brains of young children.  From his Neurocognitive Kinesiology Lab at the University of Illinois, Professor Hillman has produced study after study showing not only cognitive improvement in the classroom but also the brain’s physical changes that occur when kids become more fit.  His latest research, in collaboration with postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman and Arthur Kramer, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, reveals more compact…
  • Maybe Your Kids Inherited Your Couch Potato Genes

    26 Aug 2014 | 8:26 am
    On the road to sports success, young athletes need two ingredients, innate skills and the willingness and determination to get better.  We all know boys and girls who showed early promise that got them noticed but then didn’t have the drive to practice every day to develop that talent.  Often labeled lazy or unmotivated, the assumption was that they chose their own path by not working hard.  However, new research shows evidence that genetics may play a role not only in the natural abilities of a developing superstar but also in their practice persistence and…
  • See The Game Through The Eyes Of The Quarterback

    6 Aug 2014 | 1:57 pm
    Going into the start of football season, there is plenty of expert commentary on what makes up the “right stuff” when evaluating quarterbacks. Everything from arm strength to height to foot skills to the size of their hands was measured and dissected to find the magic combination of variables. While the body mechanics of delivering a football on target are vital, QBs rely even more on their vision both before and after the ball is snapped.It’s not just knowing where and when to look at an opposing defense but also understanding what to look for across the line. Defensive players are…
  • How To Train The Runner's Brain - An Interview With Jason Fitzgerald

    5 Jun 2014 | 10:49 am
    As productive human athletes, we just assume that we can knock down any walls put in front of us and conquer new feats of greatness if "we just put our mind to it."  Our conscious brain sets goals, gives pep talks and convinces us that with the right training plan, we can finish a race of any distance. But, when we're stretching our training run farther than ever before, the little voice in our head pops up to try to talk some sense into us; "that's enough for today" or "there's a lot of pain happening right now, time to quit."  As I discussed in last week's post about the…
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    The Brain Understanding Itself

  • Psychoacoustic Music

    Alex Doman
    4 Dec 2014 | 8:23 am
    Alex Doman:I found this to be an interesting and in-depth review of our Sleep Genius mobile apps which emphasizes the strength of the collaboration between the creators of our novel sleep technology. Originally posted on thedeadscientificwriterssocietyreviews: by: Wan It’s not hard to miss the days when we get to wake up whenever we want, refreshed and relaxed in bed while a warm and soft blanket covers you. Nowadays, the first thing that greets us when we wake is our own blaring alarm, reminding us to get ready to go to school or work, and we would get up, stumbling and staggering about,…
  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

    Alex Doman
    24 Nov 2014 | 2:27 pm
    As a parent to 3 boys, two of whom are adolescents, I’m equally fascinated and perplexed by the inner workings of their minds. To help unravel the mysteries of the teenage brain I’ve invited New York Times Bestselling Author and renowned neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel, M.D. for an interview on The Listening Program® Radio to explore the teenage brain. According to Dr. Siegel if parents and teens can work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the tumult, they will be able to turn conflict into connection and form a deeper understanding of one…
  • Alive Inside: The Story of Music and Memory

    Alex Doman
    1 Oct 2014 | 2:09 pm
    Perhaps you saw the viral video that was going around in the summer of 2012. It featured an elderly gentleman in a nursing home, coming alive through listening to music from his era as if it was manna from heaven. I posted about Henry’s Music back then not knowing that two years later a social worker named Dan Cohen, the man responsible for giving the gift of music to Henry would be my guest on The Listening Program® Radio. That video was a clip from the production of Alive Inside, the 2014 Sundance Audience Award winning documentary, which brings attention to the work of nonprofit Music…
  • The Irlen Method Explained

    Alex Doman
    19 Aug 2014 | 12:08 pm
      Earlier this summer I had the good fortune of attending the Advanced Clinical Summit with my friends and colleagues at EEG Info in Southern California.  My wife and I were there together speaking with many of the leading Neurofeedback practitioners from around the world. During the course of that weekend I noticed a familiar face in the room. That familiar face was Helen Irlen, creator of the Irlen Method. Helen’s name has come up often with our network of providers who offer The Listening Program® and inTime™ music listening therapy methods. Many of whom combine our brain…
  • Full Access to inTime Video Series

    Alex Doman
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:58 pm
    During the launch of inTime earlier this year we were very honored to have The Rockefeller University host us in their Science and Lecture Series for inTime: Intercultural Rhythms, Music, Sound and Science. The event was a panel discussion with fellow inTime producers Sheila Allen, Nacho Arimany and me, moderated by neuroscientist Dr. Kamran Fallahpour. Following the panel inTime music composer and multi-instrumentalist Nacho Arimany treated us to an incredible concert of his original world-music compositions. Why am I sharing this with you now? Well, our friends at Ferro Productions and…
 
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    Brain Posts

  • Who is Getting High in Europe (and Where)?

    15 Dec 2014 | 5:42 am
    My research training is in psychiatric epidemiology. Alcohol and drug dependence have been two of my topic areas of research.So I found a recent novel study of the epidemiology of illicit drug use in Europe intriguing.Typical methods of looking for the prevalence of drug use in populations are direct diagnostic interviews and studies of emergency room attendees or autopsy cases with medical complications of drug use.However, Christopher Ort from Switzerland along with a host of European colleagues took an interesting approach to studying illicit drug use in European populations.They…
  • Prescription Opiate Abuse: High-Risk Populations

    10 Dec 2014 | 8:46 am
    Prescription opiate abuse is a significant problem in the United States.I have previously written about this issue in several previous posts.One important factor for clinicians and patients is the need to identify high-risk populations that may be more vulnerable to opiate abuse and dependence.One obvious group would be those with alcohol or another non-opiate abuse diagnosis. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders are associated with increased risk for substance abuse including opiate abuse.Given these high-risk markers, it would be encouraging if there would be evidence prescription…
  • Incentives in the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence

    9 Dec 2014 | 9:23 am
    Relapse rates are high in treatment samples of adults with cocaine dependence.Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common standard of care for cocaine dependence.A recent clinical trial from Switzerland examined the use of financial prize incentives to augment standard CBT in the treatment of cocaine dependence.Sixty subjects participated in this trial with the following inclusion criteria: least 18 years of age, had a DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence with at least one positive cocaine urine drug screen at baselineExclusion criteria included: current psychotic…
  • Common Genes in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    1 Dec 2014 | 9:09 am
    Finding a specific genes linked to specific neuropsychiatric disorders has been a key research strategy.However, this strategy has not been entirely successful.One problem with this unitary approach is the diagnostic overlap and comorbidity common to neuropsychiatric disorders such as mood disorders and autism.A promising alternative strategy is to focus on genes that share risk with more than one neuropsychiatric condition.Amit Lotan from Israel along with colleagues from the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S. recently published a study of common and distinct genetic components in six major…
  • Treatment Resistance in Eating Disorders

    26 Nov 2014 | 8:06 am
    Clinicians treating patients with eating disorders find the challenge great with many treatment-resistant cases.To some extent, this is true of any clinical disorder. Outpatient treatment rolls and inpatient samples are over-represented by those failing to respond to initial interventions.A medical example is helpful here. Endocrinologists specializing in diabetes see more complicated cases where glucose control is difficult and diabetic complications are common.Diabetics with easy glucose control and no complications do not need to see an endocrinologists. To an endocrinologist, clinical…
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    Psychology Headlines Around the World

  • Ability to Balance on One Leg May Reflect Brain Health, Stroke Risk

    ScienceDaily
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:38 am
    Source: ScienceDailyStruggling to stand on one leg for less than 20 seconds was linked to an increased risk for stroke, small blood vessel damage in the brain, and reduced cognitive function in otherwise healthy people, a study has shown. One-legged standing time may be a simple test used to measure early signs of abnormalities in the brain associated with cognitive decline, cerebral small vessel disease and stroke.
  • China Rules Against "Gay Therapy"

    BBC News - Top Headlines
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:38 am
    Source: BBC News - Top HeadlinesChina orders a psychological clinic to pay compensation to a gay man who was given electric shocks in an attempt to make him heterosexual.
  • Loss of Teeth Linked to Physical, Mental Decline

    U.S. News and World Report
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:38 am
    Source: U.S. News and World ReportResearchers say association was strongest among 60- to 74-year-olds.
  • The Jigsaw Classroom Goes Mobile with New Website

    Social Psychology Network News
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:16 pm
    Source: Social Psychology Network NewsSocial Psychology Network has released a new-and-improved website on the jigsaw classroom, a cooperative learning technique used by thousands of classrooms to reduce racial conflict and increase positive educational outcomes such as improved test performance, reduced absenteeism, and greater liking for school.
  • How Parents Can Help Shy Children

    Yahoo News - Science
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:16 pm
    Source: Yahoo News - ScienceShy babies and toddlers are at greater risk of developing anxiety later in life, compared with outgoing kids. In fact, shyness and withdrawal from new situations is linked to later anxiety only in babies and toddlers without a secure attachment to their caregivers, according to new research published today (Dec. 18) in the journal Child Development. A secure attachment is a warm, nurturing relationship in which kids feel confident to explore...
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    The Neurocritic

  • Hipster Neuroscience

    8 Dec 2014 | 4:59 am
    According to Urban Dictionary,Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.  ...  Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses.by Trey Parasuco November 22, 2007  Makes them sound so cool. But we all know that everyone…
  • The Humanities Are Ruining Neuroscience

    24 Nov 2014 | 4:23 am
    Photo illustration by Andrea Levy for The Chronicle ReviewInflammatory title, isn't it. Puzzled by how it could possibly happen? Then read on!A few days ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a piece called Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities. You can find it in a Google search and at reddit, among other places. The url is http://chronicle.com/article/Neuroscience-Is-Ruining-the/150141/ {notice the “Neuroscience-Is-Ruining” part.}Oh wait. Here's a tweet.Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities http://t.co/OtimMp7rHI— Chronicle (@chronicle) November 21, 2014At some point along…
  • Public Health Relevance Statements vs. Actual Translational Potential

    12 Nov 2014 | 12:26 am
    “Research on the brain is surging,” declared the New York Times the other day:Yet the growing body of data — maps, atlases and so-called connectomes that show linkages between cells and regions of the brain — represents a paradox of progress, with the advances also highlighting great gaps in understanding.So many large and small questions remain unanswered. How is information encoded and transferred from cell to cell or from network to network of cells? Science found a genetic code but there is no brain-wide neural code; no electrical or chemical alphabet exists that can be recombined…
  • Fright Week: Fear of Mirrors

    1 Nov 2014 | 2:06 am
    When I was a kid, I watched this scary TV show called One Step Beyond. It was kind of like The Twilight Zone, except the stories were more haunting and supernatural.An especially frightening episode was called The Clown. Everyone loves the circus. Everyone loves a clown.1John Newland, the show's narrator: "Laughter is an international language, and the clown, the prince of laughter.""Look, a clown!"A jealous husband behaves in a physically and verbally abusive fashion towards his young wife any time she's near another man. Why, he's even jealous of Pippo the Clown, a simple and silent…
  • Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:38 am
    In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. The role requires her to dance the part of the innocent White Swan (for which she is well-suited), as well as her evil twin the Black Swan — which is initially outside the scope of her personality and technical abilities. Another dancer is favored for the role…
 
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    The Neurocritic

  • Hipster Neuroscience

    The Neurocritic
    8 Dec 2014 | 4:59 am
    According to Urban Dictionary,Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.  ...  Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses.by Trey Parasuco November 22, 2007  Makes them sound so cool. But we all know that everyone…
  • The Humanities Are Ruining Neuroscience

    The Neurocritic
    24 Nov 2014 | 4:23 am
    Photo illustration by Andrea Levy for The Chronicle ReviewInflammatory title, isn't it. Puzzled by how it could possibly happen? Then read on!A few days ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a piece called Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities. You can find it in a Google search and at reddit, among other places. The url is http://chronicle.com/article/Neuroscience-Is-Ruining-the/150141/ {notice the “Neuroscience-Is-Ruining” part.}Oh wait. Here's a tweet.Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities http://t.co/OtimMp7rHI— Chronicle (@chronicle) November 21, 2014At some point along…
  • Public Health Relevance Statements vs. Actual Translational Potential

    The Neurocritic
    12 Nov 2014 | 12:26 am
    “Research on the brain is surging,” declared the New York Times the other day:Yet the growing body of data — maps, atlases and so-called connectomes that show linkages between cells and regions of the brain — represents a paradox of progress, with the advances also highlighting great gaps in understanding.So many large and small questions remain unanswered. How is information encoded and transferred from cell to cell or from network to network of cells? Science found a genetic code but there is no brain-wide neural code; no electrical or chemical alphabet exists that can be recombined…
  • Fright Week: Fear of Mirrors

    The Neurocritic
    1 Nov 2014 | 2:06 am
    When I was a kid, I watched this scary TV show called One Step Beyond. It was kind of like The Twilight Zone, except the stories were more haunting and supernatural.An especially frightening episode was called The Clown. Everyone loves the circus. Everyone loves a clown.1John Newland, the show's narrator: "Laughter is an international language, and the clown, the prince of laughter.""Look, a clown!"A jealous husband behaves in a physically and verbally abusive fashion towards his young wife any time she's near another man. Why, he's even jealous of Pippo the Clown, a simple and silent…
  • Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror

    The Neurocritic
    30 Oct 2014 | 4:38 am
    In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. The role requires her to dance the part of the innocent White Swan (for which she is well-suited), as well as her evil twin the Black Swan — which is initially outside the scope of her personality and technical abilities. Another dancer is favored for the role…
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    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level

  • The Infinitely Large, Infinitely Small, and Infinitely Complex

    Bruno Dubuc
    16 Dec 2014 | 1:26 pm
    This week, we’re going to talk about nothing less than the place that the human brain occupies in the known universe. Let’s begin by recalling that, as stated often elsewhere on The Brain from Top to Bottom, the brain that each of us possesses is one of the most complex objects in that universe, which is already saying a lot. The complexity of the human brain is one of the reasons that this website is organized the way it is. First of all, it offers explanations at three levels of difficulty—Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced—though even the Advanced level scarcely begins to…
  • Persistence of social signatures in human communication

    Bruno Dubuc
    24 Nov 2014 | 12:12 pm
    No need to be impressed anymore by people who have 600 or 1400 “friends” on Facebook. Just like you and I, they are not really discussing their true feelings or anything else important with more than one or two dozen people at most. And for every individual, the size of this limited “hard core” of relationships seems to persist over time, even though the friends who compose it may change. These fascinating cognitive data come from a study entitled “Persistence of social signatures in human communication”, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy…
  • A Brain Circuit That Links Two Events in Time

    Bruno Dubuc
    5 Nov 2014 | 12:47 pm
    If you’re out in a storm and you see a bolt of lightning streak across the sky, you tend to pull your head down between your shoulders for the next few seconds, fearing the big thunderclap that you expect to come next. This kind of association between a stimulus and a potential danger is something that the human brain retains easily, because it has always had an obvious importance for our survival. A study co-ordinated by MIT professor Susumu Tonegawa and published in the journal Science in January 2014 reveals the neuronal bases of this association between a stimulus and the timing of a…
  • Reading Novels Increases Connectivity of Areas in the Brain

    Bruno Dubuc
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Immersing yourself in reading a good novel is an excellent way to take a break from the stresses of daily life. By seeing things from the protagonists’ point of view while you are reading those few hundred pages, not only do you feel as if you have access to another world, but you may also continue to have this feeling for some time, or even for your entire life, if the book has really made an impression on you. The neurobiological bases of this phenomenon would appear to have been discovered in a study that Gregory S. Berns and his colleagues published in the journal Brain Connectivity in…
  • Poverty Imposes a Cognitive Burden on the Brain

    Bruno Dubuc
    6 Oct 2014 | 11:47 am
    Neuroscience is providing growing evidence that poverty can have serious consequences not only for the health of people who are “struggling to make both ends meet” (something that has been known for a long time), but also on their cognitive abilities. The most recent of these studies looking specifically at this aspect of poverty was published in the journal Science in August 2013 by economist Anandi Mani and her colleagues. Using two different approaches, this research team reached the same conclusion: for people at the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum, everyday life requires so…
 
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    Your Brain Health

  • My top 5 brain health stories for 2014.

    Sarah McKay
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:07 pm
    As 2014 draws to a close I’ve crunched the numbers and come up with the the top 5 most popular blog posts I’ve written this year. To everyone who has read, commented, shared or liked – THANK-YOU!!! Here are the top 5 most-read posts for 2014 (in descending order, just to keep the suspense!!).  Enjoy, and see […] The post My top 5 brain health stories for 2014. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them?

    Sarah McKay
    6 Dec 2014 | 6:11 pm
    I think the placebo effect, the power of belief, and the mind-body relationship is fascinating. In fact, a desire to understand the mind-body connection was one of the reasons I originally studied neuroscience. I’ve been wanting to write about the placebo effect for a while. But it is a huge topic (hello mind-body medicine) so thought […] The post Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Global impact of dementia 2013-2050 [infographic]

    Sarah McKay
    27 Nov 2014 | 2:24 am
    Infographic thanks to Alzheimer’s Disease International (2013) . The post Global impact of dementia 2013-2050 [infographic] appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Does CBT teach your prefrontal cortex to keep emotions in check?

    Sarah McKay
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:00 am
    In an open-access edition of Nature magazine this week (‘The Great Depression’) science journalist Emily Anthes took a look at the current state of research into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Depression: a change of mind. Here are a few of the highlights: Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) lifts depression CBT aims to help people to identify and change negative, […] The post Does CBT teach your prefrontal cortex to keep emotions in check? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Why facing death makes us want to live

    Sarah McKay
    13 Nov 2014 | 2:49 am
    This weeks fabulous and thought-provoking guest blog post comes from Mandy Hu (aka Xian Hu) who studied Neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam and majored in Science Communication. Who she is? A writer, a traveller and a dreamer. She is still searching for her voice in science writing, but to get an idea of her writing style you […] The post Why facing death makes us want to live appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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