Neuroscience

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  • Master gene regulator could be new target for schizophrenia treatment

    MIT News - Neuroscience
    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    25 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have identified a master genetic regulator that could account for faulty brain functions that contribute to schizophrenia. The work, reported May 25 in the advance online publication of Nature Neuroscience, may one day lead to new strategies for treating schizophrenia and other diseases caused by malfunctioning synapses, the connections among neurons, said co-author Li-Huei Tsai, director of the Picower Institute and the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT. Messenger RNA (mRNA) translates DNA’s genetic information into…
  • Using Optogenetics to Switch Off Tactile Sensation

    Neuroscience RSS Feeds - Neuroscience News Updates
    Neuroscience News
    21 May 2015 | 4:24 pm
    According to a new study, researchers use optogenetic technology to manipulate neural circuitry and leave mice unable to sense rough or smooth surfaces.
  • Mapping Motor Areas Improves Prognosis of Patients With Malignant Brain Tumors

    Neuroscience RSS Feeds - Neuroscience News Updates
    Neuroscience News
    21 May 2015 | 4:34 pm
    Researchers report preoperative nTMS analysis of motor areas improves patient prognosis for malignant brain tumors.
  • Seeking deeper understanding of how the brain works

    MIT News - Neuroscience
    Helen Knight | MIT News correspondent
    21 May 2015 | 8:59 pm
    How is the mind formed, and what does it mean to be human? These are the questions that intrigue Edward Boyden, an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT. To answer them, we will need a much deeper understanding of how the brain works, according to Boyden, who leads the synthetic neurobiology research group at the MIT Media Laboratory and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. “If we understand how the circuitry of the brain computes things like thoughts and emotions, it could help us to know more about what it means to be human,”…
  • Preserving Our Bodies and Minds from the Ills of Civilization

    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level
    Bruno Dubuc
    13 May 2015 | 6:22 am
    For several hundreds of thousands of years, human beings lived and evolved in small groups of hunter-gatherers whose environment was the natural world. It is only for the past 10,000 years or so that we have lived first in villages, and then in cities. Today, a large proportion of us live in megalopolises and work in factories or offices where we have little contact with nature. And what is worse, our contacts with one another are becoming more and more virtual, and our emotional bonds weaker and weaker. Thus, over what is a very short timespan from an evolutionary standpoint, the human body…
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    Brains On Purpose™

  • Current edition of MINDFULNESS RESEARCH MONTHLY is now available

    StephanieWestAllen
    6 May 2015 | 4:32 pm
    May's edition of Mindfulness Research Monthly includes 19 Interventions 14 Associations 11 Methods 8 Reviews 2 Trials. Click to read the new edition.
  • That's not how it happened! Let me tell you the true story

    StephanieWestAllen
    6 Mar 2015 | 6:52 am
    How can two or more people sincerely, earnestly, and confidently have such widely divergent versions of events? As mediators, we often have heard stories from parties in which the facts are conflicting and yet no one seems to be deliberately deceiving. Research continues to show us our memories are malleable and pliant so we are not surprised at the inconsistency....
  • Newest edition of MINDFULNESS RESEARCH MONTHLY now available

    StephanieWestAllen
    4 Mar 2015 | 9:24 am
    The March edition of Mindfulness Research Monthly is now posted for your reading pleasure. It includes 50 new cites: 15 Interventions 15 Associations 9 Methods 11 Reviews.
  • Are you or your clients remembering that story accurately? Some ways to check

    StephanieWestAllen
    11 Feb 2015 | 6:41 am
    I recommend to you this excellent article written by the authors of The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us. They offer 10 ways to check the accuracy of our very malleable and faulty memory. Journalists know that when they hear something from one source, they should corroborate it with independent sources before reporting it. The science of memory has...
  • New edition of MINDFULNESS RESEARCH MONTHLY now available

    StephanieWestAllen
    13 Jan 2015 | 2:44 pm
    The January issue offers 12 Interventions 17 Associations 7 Methods 13 Reviews 1 Trial
 
 
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    Neuroscience News -- ScienceDaily

  • Patterns of brain activity reorganize visual perception during eye movements

    25 May 2015 | 10:23 am
    Oscillations of activity observed in the brain could have a role in resetting the sensitivity of neurons after eye movements. Further results suggest these waves could also have a role in supporting the brain's representation of space.
  • Special fats proven essential for brain growth

    25 May 2015 | 9:04 am
    Certain special fats found in blood are essential for human brain growth and function, new research suggests. New published studies show that mutations in the protein Mfsd2a causes impaired brain development in humans. Mfsd2a is the transporter in the brain for a special type of fat called lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) -- composed of essential fatty acids like omega-3.
  • Nano-capsules designed for diagnosing malignant tumors

    25 May 2015 | 7:21 am
    Researchers have developed adaptable nano-capsules that can help in the diagnosis of glioblastoma cells -- a highly invasive form of brain tumor.
  • Can you see what I hear? Blind human echolocators use visual areas of the brain

    25 May 2015 | 5:11 am
    Certain blind individuals have the ability to use echoes from tongue or finger clicks to recognize objects in the distance, and use echolocation as a replacement for vision. Research shows echolocation in blind individuals is a full form of sensory substitution, and that blind echolocation experts recruit regions of the brain normally associated with visual perception when making echo-based assessments of objects.
  • Earthquakes prove to be an unexpected help in interpreting brain activity of very premature babies

    25 May 2015 | 5:11 am
    Researchers have created a "brainstorm barometer" that allows computers to calculate the brain functions of very premature babies during their first hours of life. The new research method is based on the hypothesis that the brainstorms generated by the billions of neurons inside a baby's head are governed by the same rules as other massive natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, forest fires or snow avalanches.
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    MIT News - Neuroscience

  • Master gene regulator could be new target for schizophrenia treatment

    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    25 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have identified a master genetic regulator that could account for faulty brain functions that contribute to schizophrenia. The work, reported May 25 in the advance online publication of Nature Neuroscience, may one day lead to new strategies for treating schizophrenia and other diseases caused by malfunctioning synapses, the connections among neurons, said co-author Li-Huei Tsai, director of the Picower Institute and the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT. Messenger RNA (mRNA) translates DNA’s genetic information into…
  • Seeking deeper understanding of how the brain works

    Helen Knight | MIT News correspondent
    21 May 2015 | 8:59 pm
    How is the mind formed, and what does it mean to be human? These are the questions that intrigue Edward Boyden, an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT. To answer them, we will need a much deeper understanding of how the brain works, according to Boyden, who leads the synthetic neurobiology research group at the MIT Media Laboratory and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. “If we understand how the circuitry of the brain computes things like thoughts and emotions, it could help us to know more about what it means to be human,”…
  • Seeing gender

    Rob Matheson | MIT News Office
    8 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    How do primates, including humans, tell faces apart? Scientists have long attributed this ability to so-called “face-detector” (FD) neurons, thought to be responsible for distinguishing faces, among other objects. But no direct evidence has supported this claim. Now, using optogenetics, a technique that controls neural activity with light, MIT researchers have provided the first evidence that directly links FD neurons to face-discrimination in primates — specifically, differentiating between males and females. Working with macaque monkeys trained to correctly identify images of…
  • How the brain tells good from bad

    Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
    29 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    Eating a slice of chocolate cake or spending time with a friend usually stimulates positive feelings, while getting in a car accident or anticipating a difficult exam is more likely to generate a fearful or anxious response. An almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is believed to be responsible for assigning these emotional reactions. Neuroscientists from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have now identified two populations of neurons in the amygdala that process positive and negative emotions. These neurons then relay the information to other brain regions that…
  • Picower researchers ID brain mechanisms underlying alertness and attentiveness

    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    27 Apr 2015 | 2:45 pm
    Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have shown for the first time that a common neurotransmitter acts via a single type of neuron to enable the brain to process information more effectively. The study appears in the April 27 advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience. A fundamental feature of the awake, alert brain is the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh). By zeroing in on a specific cortical circuit driven by a single cell type, “this paper shows that a crucial function of ACh is to enhance…
 
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    ScienceBlogs

  • 2013 August Krogh lecture on comparative physiology [Life Lines]

    Dr. Dolittle
    25 May 2015 | 3:54 pm
    Dr. Stan Lindstedt, Northern Arizona University Recipient of the 2013 August Krogh lectureship, American Physiological Society, Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology section I am thrilled to see Dr. Stan Lindstedt’s review article published in the April 2015 issue of American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology from his 2013 August Krogh lectureship at the annual Experimental Biology conference. My original blog from the lecture can be found here. Dr. Lindstedt and co-author Dr. Niisa Nishikawa (Northern Arizona University), describe the…
  • Bad beekeeping, 2015 [Stoat]

    William M. Connolley
    25 May 2015 | 2:08 pm
    At this time of the year, as I cycle past the rape fields (this isn’t a reference to some Balkan horror, just the plant), I take note of the dying of the yellow, for it signifies that the spring recolte is once again due. I measure my life by the passing of such seasons: the winter league; tideway, the summer bumps; and the honey harvest. Today was a bank holiday, so after coxing the dev IV and playing at pairs with Paul, I had time for some beekeeping, and planting a magnolia. Here are the pre-harvest hives. This underplays the degree of weed; task number one was to hack them out of…
  • Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Sawing [Pharyngula]

    PZ Myers
    25 May 2015 | 9:17 am
    HHMI
  • The cruel sham that is “right to try” continues to spread [Respectful Insolence]

    Orac
    25 May 2015 | 7:40 am
    Last year, I did several posts on what I consider to be a profoundly misguided and potentially harmful type of law known as “right-to-try.” Beginning about a year and a half ago, promoted by the libertarian think tank known as the Goldwater Institute, right-to-try laws began popping up in state legislatures. I wrote about how these laws are far more likely to do harm than good, and that is a position that I maintain today. The idea behind these laws is to give terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs—in some cases drugs that have only passed phase I testing—that…
  • Mostly Mute Monday: The Largest Eruption In The Known Universe (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

    Ethan
    25 May 2015 | 5:27 am
    “The world exploded into billions of atoms, and when it rearranged itself, it may have looked the same, but really, it was a Whole New World.” –Claire LaZebnik At the center of almost every galaxy is a supermassive black hole (SMBH); at the center of almost every cluster is a supermassive galaxy with some of the largest SMBHs in the Universe. And every once in a while, a galactocentric black hole will become active, emitting tremendous amounts of radiation out into the Universe as it devours matter. Image credit: NASA/CXC/Ohio U./B.McNamara, via…
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    Deric's MindBlog

  • How alarm amplifies through social networks.

    25 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    We've all probably played the parlor game with 10 or more people sitting in a circle, with one whispering a word into the ear of the person to their right, continuing to pass the word by whispering to the right until it comes back to the originator, frequently altered from its original form. Moussaïd et al. do a version of this routine in an experiment on how risk perception of hazardous events such as contagious outbreaks, terrorist attacks, and climate change spread through social networks. They find that although the content of a message is gradually lost over repeated social…
  • Modulating movement intention and the extended present with tDCS.

    22 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    Douglas et al. do a fascinating bit of work on the 'extended present' in which our brains function, during which our experienced intention to make a movement actually comes ~200 milliseconds after motor cortex signals initiating the movement (the famous Libet experiment showing we are 'late to action'). Conscious intention, or volition, provides the foundation for our attributing agency to ourselves, and for society attributing responsibility to an individual. A distorted sense of volition is a hallmark of many neurological and psychiatric illnesses such as alien hand syndrome, psychogenic…
  • Brain correlates of loving kindness meditation.

    21 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    Garrison and collaborators extend their work on brain correlates of meditation practice, noting again a central role for the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (for previous posts in this thread, enter "Garrison" in the MindBlog search box in the left column). Loving kindness is a form of meditation involving directed well-wishing, typically supported by the silent repetition of phrases such as “may all beings be happy,” to foster a feeling of selfless love. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural substrate of loving kindness meditation in experienced…
  • Essentialism

    20 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    I pass on some clips from Richard Dawkins' brief essay, and suggest you also take a look at Lisa Barrett's comments on essentialist views of the mind: Essentialism—what I’ve called "the tyranny of the discontinuous mind"—stems from Plato, with his characteristically Greek geometer’s view of things. For Plato, a circle, or a right triangle, were ideal forms, definable mathematically but never realised in practice. A circle drawn in the sand was an imperfect approximation to the ideal Platonic circle hanging in some abstract space. That works for geometric shapes like circles, but…
  • What to do with brain markers that predict future behaviors?

    19 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    An interesting review from Gabrieli et al. suggesting how predicting individual futures with neuromarkers might make a pragmatic contribution to human welfare. Neuroimaging has greatly enhanced the cognitive neuroscience understanding of the human brain and its variation across individuals (neurodiversity) in both health and disease. Such progress has not yet, however, propelled changes in educational or medical practices that improve people’s lives. We review neuroimaging findings in which initial brain measures (neuromarkers) are correlated with or predict future education, learning, and…
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    Brain Blogger

  • Cartoon – Head Lice in School Children

    Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS
    23 May 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Reference Devore CD, Schutze GE, & COUNCIL ON SCHOOL HEALTH AND COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES (2015). Head lice. Pediatrics, 135 (5) PMID: 25917986 Image created by Jerry King for Brain Blogger.
  • Generation Z – Replacing the Millennials

    Lorena Nessi, PhD, MA
    23 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    The Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are often described as a generation of sociable, multi-tasking and confident people. They are team-oriented, have an advanced use of technology and they are one of the four work forces that collide together with their different ideas, values and behaviors. There have been a number of labels used to describe different generations based on collections of loose generalizations. According to some authors, the Traditionalists were born in the 20s up to the early 40s, and some of their characteristics include a tendency towards conformity,…
  • Genetic Basis to ALS – Interview with Robert Baloh of Cedars-Sinai

    Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS
    22 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no real disease-modifying therapy. Only until recently did we attribute a small portion of individuals with ALS with a genetic basis. Research from Robert Baloh, MD, PhD, Director of Neuromuscular Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, discovered the much larger role of genetics in ALS. Here, I interview Baloh on his findings. Shaheen Lakhan: Can you provide us with an overview of ALS? Robert Baloh: ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neuromuscular disorder: It…
  • Are We All Schizophrenic? Part II – Hallucinations

    Carla Clark, PhD
    22 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    In the last installment of the series, we discovered that delusional thinking is a part of normal life, with an estimate of 1-3% of non-schizophrenic individuals having severe delusional thinking on par with schizophrenia. You might think that hallucinations – the arguably more extreme schizophrenia symptom – would be rarer? You’d be wrong! Have you ever heard, seen, smelt, felt or tasted something that wasn’t actually there? If you have, you are probably like the overwhelming majority of the world’s population, schizophrenia and psychosis free. Hallucinations, despite…
  • Dissociation and Psychosis

    Ann Reitan, PsyD
    21 May 2015 | 5:00 am
    Dissociation represents a condition of disconnection from events and states that are usually integrated. These include many conditions of consciousness, such as memory, identity and perception. For the purposes of this article, there is a focus on depersonalization and derealization. Depersonalization is a sense of existence in which one inhabits a consciousness that allows for the feeling that one is not in her own body. In this feeling-state, the individual’s body is perceived as disconnected from one’s sense of self. This state typically results from physical or sexual abuse or…
 
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    Mind Hacks

  • John Nash has left the building

    vaughanbell
    25 May 2015 | 2:42 am
    So goodbye John Nash, brilliant mathematician and beautiful mind, who has sadly just passed away after being involved in a taxi crash with his wife. Nash was famous for many things, but was probably most well-known for being the subject of the biopic A Beautiful Mind – an Oscar-winning production that sugar-coated the details although mainly stayed true to spirit of Nash’s remarkable story. Outside of the mainstream media Nash is best known for his work on partial differential equations and game theory – and it is this latter development which has had the biggest impact on…
  • Spike activity 12-05-2015

    vaughanbell
    23 May 2015 | 1:33 am
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: No, there is no evidence for a link between video games and Alzheimer’s disease, reports HeadQuarters after recent media bungles. We’re still waiting to hear on SimCity and Parkinson’s disease though. The American Psychiatric Association has a new corporate video that looks like a Viagra advert. BPS Research Digest reports on a fascinating study that gives a preliminary taxonomy of the voices inside your head. What does fMRI measure? Essential piece from the Brain Box blog that gives an excellent guide to fMRI. New Republic…
  • Irregularities in Science

    tomstafford
    20 May 2015 | 1:02 am
    A paper in the high-profile journal Science has been alleged to be based on fraudulent data, with the PI calling for it to be retracted. The original paper purported to use survey data to show that people being asked about gay marriage changed their attitudes if they were asked the survey questions by someone who was gay themselves. That may still be true, but the work of a team that set out to replicate the original study seems to show that the data reported in that paper was never collected in the way reported, and at least partly fabricated. The document containing these accusations is…
  • In the mind of a drone

    vaughanbell
    17 May 2015 | 11:53 am
    Longreads has an excellent article on the psychology of drone warfare that looks at this particularly modern form of air-to-ground combat from many, thought-provoking angles. These include the effect of humanless warfare, how suicide bombers are being dronified, how reducing the risk to soldiers might make civilians a more inviting target, whether remote-drone-pilot PTSD is convenient myth, and most interesting, the reliance of ‘Pattern-of-Life Analysis’ on which to base strikes. Apart from these “personal strikes,” there are also “signature strikes,” here meaning strikes…
  • Spike activity 15-05-2015

    vaughanbell
    17 May 2015 | 7:07 am
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: What does fMRI measure? Excellent fMRI primer on the Brain Box blog. The Wall Street Journal has an excellent profile of neuroscientist Sophie Scott and her research understanding laughter. Time has a piece on how rappers are de-stigmatising mental illness. A brilliant review of neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s book ‘Do No Harm’ from The New Yorker also works as a wonderful stand-alone article. APA Monitor has a great interview with cognitive psychology pioneer Jerome Bruner as he approaches his 100th birthday. The Brighter…
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    Neuroethics & Law Blog

  • PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    21 May 2015 | 11:41 am
    Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): Say What? How the Brain Separates Our Ability to Talk and Write, Science Daily In The Popular Press: Fruit Flies Are Shown to Enter a Fearlike State, NY Times The Database of All Things Brainy,...
  • "Brain Science and the Theory of Juvenile Mens Rea"

    NELB Staff
    18 May 2015 | 11:51 am
    Recently published in SSRN (and forthcoming in North Carolina Law Review): "Brain Science and the Theory of Juvenile Mens Rea" JENNY E. CARROLL, University of Alabama - School of Law The law has long recognized the distinction between adults and...
  • On "The Limited Right to Alter Memory"

    Adam Kolber
    18 May 2015 | 1:53 am
    At the Legal Theory Blog, Larry Solum recommends my "The Limited Right to Alter Memory," (Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 40, p. 658 (2014)) recently posted to SSRN. Here's the free link and here's the abstract: We like to think...
  • "Custodians of the Game: Ethical Considerations for Football Governing Bodies in Regulating Concussion Management"

    NELB Staff
    18 May 2015 | 12:10 am
    "Custodians of the Game: Ethical Considerations for Football Governing Bodies in Regulating Concussion Management" by Annette Greenhow and Jocelyn East has been published in the most recent issue in Neuroethics: Abstract Concussion in professional football is a topic that has...
  • "Traumatic Brain Injury, Neuroscience, and the Legal System"

    NELB Staff
    15 May 2015 | 9:08 am
    "Traumatic Brain Injury, Neuroscience, and the Legal System" by Valerie Gray Hardcastle has been published in the most recent issue in Neuroethics: Abstract This essay addresses the question: What is the probative value of including neuroscience data in court cases...
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    Neuromarketing

  • Dan Ariely’s Irrationally Yours: Predictably Amusing

    Roger Dooley
    21 May 2015 | 5:36 am
    Got problems? Author and behavior researcher Dan Ariely has answers. And, they are funny! His new book, Irrationally Yours, combines practical advice, behavior science, and humor.
  • How You Can Become A Thought Leader in 30 Days

    Roger Dooley
    20 May 2015 | 6:43 am
    Want to be Seth Godin in a month? It's not going to happen. But, you can become a recognized expert in a surprisingly short time by using this approach from author Dorie Clark.
  • An Unexpected Way to Look Smarter

    Roger Dooley
    13 May 2015 | 5:19 am
    Want to look smarter? You might think performing this simple action will make you look dumb, but the opposite is true according to a Harvard Business School study.
  • Free To-Do List Apps and Expert Habit Hacks

    Roger Dooley
    5 May 2015 | 10:55 am
    My favorite free to-do app, reviews of other apps, advice from habit experts, and a few brain-based to-do productivity boosters.
  • Microsoft Glasses Read Your Emotions

    Roger Dooley
    30 Apr 2015 | 6:04 am
    Software giant Microsoft has been granted a patent for glasses that, the patent claims, can measure human emotions. Of particular interest is that the glasses are intended to work in both directions: they measure both the emotional state of the [...]
 
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    SharpBrains

  • Medtronic ranked #3 Holder of Pervasive Neurotech Intellectual Property*

    SharpBrains
    22 May 2015 | 6:15 am
    One of the world’s largest medical technology companies, Medtronic manufactures devices to treat cardiovascular, diabetes, and musculoskeletal conditions, in addition to neurological conditions. Medtronic’s Neuromodulation business includes Deep Brain Stimulation, Spinal Cord Stimulation, Gastric Stimulation, and Sacral Stimulation divisions. Location: Minneapolis, MN Stock Ticker: NYSE: MDT Number of employees: 10,000+ Pervasive neurotech US patent grants: 80 Pervasive neurotech US pending applications: 85 *Medtronic ranks #3 in SharpBrains’ Pervasive Neurotech IP Strength Index,…
  • Study: To improve memory and thinking skills, try the Mediterranean diet with added olive oil and nuts

    SharpBrains
    21 May 2015 | 8:16 am
    Mediterranean diet may help counteract age-related declines in memory and thinking skills (Harvard Health Blog): “A new study in this week’s JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that eating a Mediterranean-style diet enhanced with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts is good for your mind as well as your heart. The participants were mostly in their 60s and 70s and were at risk for developing heart disease…They were divided into three groups: one followed a Mediterranean-type diet and also ate an extra ounce of mixed nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds) a day; another followed a…
  • In the news: How non-invasive neurotechnology will enhance work and life

    SharpBrains
    20 May 2015 | 8:34 am
    Our new report is making the media rounds… Reuters: Brain technology patents soar as companies get inside people’s heads From ways to eavesdrop on brains and learn what advertisements excite consumers, to devices that alleviate depression, the number of U.S. patents awarded for “neurotechnology” has soared since 2010, according to an analysis released on Wednesday. “Neurotech has gone well beyond medicine, with non-medical corporations, often under the radar, developing neurotechnologies to enhance work and life,” Alvaro Fernandez said. Network World: Brainwave-reading patents…
  • Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (St Jude Medical): #2 Holder of Pervasive Neurotech Intellectual Property*

    SharpBrains
    19 May 2015 | 7:04 am
    Founded in 1979, Advanced Neuromodulation Systems developed into a technology leader for implantable neuromodulation devices. ANS specializes in Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS), which can be used for chronic pain treatments. ANS holds patents for techniques to modulate neural activity via stimulation of various kinds. Since 2005 ANS has operated as a subsidiary of St. Jude Medical. Location: Plano, TX Stock Ticker: NYSE: STJ Number of employees: 100–999 Pervasive neurotech US patent grants: 31 Pervasive neurotech US pending applications: 24 *Advanced Neuromodulation Systems ranks #2 in…
  • Will consumer-led transcranial direct current stimulation revolutionize or hurt mental health?

    SharpBrains
    18 May 2015 | 7:57 am
    Therapy Borne on Electrical Currents (The New York Times): “…This is Thync, the latest in transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. The manufacturer says the device, to come out later this year, can alter the user’s mood in minutes via electric current…until recently, it was mostly hobbyists –nine-volt batteries stuck to their heads — who experimented with tDCS as a means of improving concentration, verbal and computation abilities, and creativity. But in the last few years, several companies have introduced slick consumer devices, among them Foc.us, whose headset and…
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    BSP Show Notes - Brain Science Podcast

  • Dr. Ed Taub revolutionizes Stroke Rehab (BSP 119)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    25 May 2015 | 2:51 pm
    Ginger Campbell, Md and Edward Taub, Phd (click image to play audio) I first talked with with Dr. Edward Taub the inventor of Constraint Induced (CI) Movement Therapy back in early 2008 (BSP 28). CI Therapy is a revolutionary rehabilitation method based on the principles of brain plasticity. Evidence supporting its effectiveness has mounted since we last talked. Unfortunately, because it is so different from traditional physical therapy, it requires special training and it is still not covered by many major insurance companies. The Veteran's Administration recognizes it as the preferred…
  • Brain Anatomy Revealed (BSP 118)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    28 Apr 2015 | 5:01 pm
    Episode 118 of the Brain Science Podcast gives listeners a worldwind tour of neuroanatomy based on Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain (2008) by David Bainbridge. The book is a wonderful introduction to brain anatomy that makes this challenging topic accessible to people of all backgrounds. If you are new to neuroanatomy it will give you a new appreciation of how the brain's structure helps us understand how it works. More experienced readers/listeners will enjoy this well-organized review that puts brain anatomy into its evolutionary context. How to get…
  • BSP 117: Michael Gazzaniga "Father"of Cognitive Neuroscience

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    22 Mar 2015 | 6:26 am
    Dr. Michael Gazzinga (click photo to listen to his interview) Pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Michael Gazzaniga has written many wonderful books that share neuroscience with a general audience. In his latest book Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience he looks back on his 50+ year career from a uniquely personally vantage point. He shares the people and collaborations that have enriched his life and when I interviewed him for BSP 117  he said “My pitch to the young person is that there is nothing on this planet that compares to the pleasures of…
  • BSP 116: Norman Doidge on Brain Plasticity

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    22 Feb 2015 | 4:30 pm
    This month psychiatrist Norman Doidge returns to the Brain Science Podcast to discuss his new book The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers, which is a follow-up to his best-seller The Brain That Changes Itself (BSP 26). In this interview Dr. Doidge and I focus on the underlying principles of brain plasticity and their clinical implications. Although brain plasticity is well-established in the research community it has not yet fully penetrated clinical medicine where old views, which seen the brain as largely fixed in adulthood, make…
  • BSP 115: Eastern Philosophy and Western Neuroscience

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:13 pm
    Scientific interest in the Mind and Consciousness is relatively new, but both Western and Eastern Philosophy have a long tradition of exploring these topics. In his new book Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy, Evan Thompson explores how these diverse traditions can inform and enrich one another.Thompson goes beyond a narrow view of consciousness, which focuses only on the waking state. Instead he considers how dreaming, lucid dreaming, and even near death experiences can advance our understanding of how our brain's…
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    Neuronarrative

  • Your Brain Never Stops Playing the Confidence Game

    David DiSalvo
    29 Apr 2015 | 5:39 pm
    We seem to be equipped with a way to detect the level of confidence embedded in others’ voices, and even a loud tone—if lacking the confidence intangible—isn’t likely to cause much more than irritation.
  • Simple Life Hacks to Lose Weight and Improve Your Health

    David DiSalvo
    24 Feb 2015 | 8:51 pm
    Much of the self-improvement industry is focused on ways to cattle prod our willpower into healthier habits. Behavioral psychologists, on the other hand, have conducted a wealth of research showing that skillful hacks to our homes and offices can produce results that tweaks to willpower, however forceful, rarely make stick.
  • Why Stress Can Make You Do Some Unusual Things

    David DiSalvo
    7 Feb 2015 | 11:36 am
    Researchers have shown that not only does stress predispose us to wanting pleasure, it makes our desire for it drastically out of proportion to our enjoyment. The reward never reaches the level of our want.
  • Why Happy People Often Seem Tone Deaf To Negative Emotions

    David DiSalvo
    31 Jan 2015 | 12:51 pm
    A new study finds that feeling positive doesn’t make you any better at empathy than others, and in some ways it’s a handicap.
  • Neuroscience Explains Why the Grinch Stole Christmas

    David DiSalvo
    21 Dec 2014 | 9:29 am
    If Cacioppo could persuade the Grinch to step into his fMRI, he'd likely observe a result consistent with those of a brain imaging study he conducted to identify differences in the neural mechanisms of lonely and nonlonely people.
 
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    NeuroLogica Blog

  • Creationist Talking Points

    Steven Novella
    22 May 2015 | 5:11 am
    Yesterday I wrote about our struggle to promote and defend the teaching of evolution, and good science in general, in the public school science classroom.  My overall point was that, while we are winning on the legal battleground, we are not making much headway in the broader cultural context, and perhaps we need to step back and think about our strategy. To my delight, Michael Egnor made an appearance in the comments, and it seemed he truly wanted to engage (at least for a while). Dr. Egnor, if you recall, is a neurosurgeon who rejects what he calls “Darwinism.” He blogs on his…
  • Creationism – Are We Winning The Battle and Losing The War?

    Steven Novella
    21 May 2015 | 5:08 am
    One of the major ambitions of my life is to promote science and critical thinking, which I do under the related banners of scientific skepticism and science-based medicine. This is a huge endeavor, with many layers of complexity. For that reason it is tempting to keep one’s head down, focus on small manageable problems and goals, and not worry too much about the big picture. Worrying about the big picture causes stress and anxiety. I have been doing this too long to keep my head down, however. I have to worry about the big picture: are we making progress, are we doing it right, how…
  • Federal Anti-SLAPP Statute Proposed

    Steven Novella
    19 May 2015 | 5:07 am
    Americans cherish our free speech, enshrined in the very first amendment to the Constitution. SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuit against public participation) are a serious threat to that freedom of speech. We desperately need libel reform in the form of effective anti-SLAPP laws. What I learned when I became the target of a SLAPP suit (that is still ongoing) is that anyone with money can take away your free speech at will. It works like this: if you express an opinion publicly that someone else doesn’t like because it is critical of them, their beliefs, their business, etc. then they can…
  • Ex Machina and AI

    Steven Novella
    18 May 2015 | 5:06 am
    I saw Ex Machina this weekend. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, mild spoiler alert – I will try to avoid any major reveals, but I will be discussing major aspects of the movie. First, it’s an excellent film. I highly recommend it. It was both entertaining and thought provoking. Writer/Director Alex Garland clearly understands the topic of artificial intelligence (AI), and is also a talented filmmaker. I was particularly impressed by how much he accomplished with such a sparse film. The majority of the film takes place in one location and with three characters, but he…
  • The Meddling Prince

    Steven Novella
    15 May 2015 | 4:49 am
    Context is important. If a celebrity promotes a good cause, such as Michael J. Fox raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease, then that is considered altruism and charity. If, however, they promote something with which you disagree, then they are exploiting their celebrity. I find this analogous to many legal and political claims. In the legal context, if you can’t win on the merits, then argue the law. In politics, if you oppose a law then you can challenge it based on state’s rights or as a constitutional purist. I am not opposed to these concepts – I just want to…
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    WordPress Tag: Neuroscience

  • Friday Paper Post - Posted Thursday May 21st

    nikonfgb
    21 May 2015 | 2:14 pm
    That time of the year again. The birthday of the man himself :   I’m very sorry I have fallen so far behind. I can’t believe this is my first paper post in 2015. Cheer up though, there are plenty of great papers to catch up on! Just a few from the pile. Since most are from much earlier in the year. You might remember seeing them when they came out, but now you can get around to reading them :) Let’s see how long it will take to catch back up to posting about the most current stuff… 1) Internal models direct dragonfly interception steering Matteo Mischiati,…
  • Productive Procrastination

    kbonnycastle
    21 May 2015 | 2:10 pm
    It was a very grey and rainy day here in Edinburgh. And just my luck, I left the key to my filing cabinet (that my precious hard drive was locked in) in my flat this morning, so I had to trek back through the Meadows to get it… 8-Month Report The 8-month report is the second important milestone of a PhD in Biomedical Science after the 10-week report which I discussed in my November blog post (Journal Club, 10-Week Report and Experiments… Oh My!). You are not a full-fledged PhD student until you have submitted your report and had a follow-up meeting with your PhD committee…
  • Event: Publishing Panel - Publishing Your Academic & Creative Work (05/27/15)

    uwintegratedsciences
    21 May 2015 | 12:14 pm
    PUBLISHING PANEL: Publishing Your Academic & Creative Work Wed, 5/27 3:30 – 5:20pm Odegaard 220 Free and open to everyone (Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/837239456313064/) Undergraduates of all majors: ever wondered why you would want to publish your work? Ever wondered how? Come hear a panel of speakers from a range of academic and creative publishing experiences speak to the process. They’ll share their tips and answer audience questions. University of Washington journals will be on site to help you get plugged into all of the great publishing…
  • 4-For-1 Stock Split for Your Thoughts

    mccoyote
    21 May 2015 | 10:37 am
    BBC, “Surge in US ‘brain-reading’ patents,” 7 May 2015: bbc.com/news/technology-32623063 Matt Wall, of the Centre for Imaging Science, at Hammersmith Hospital, said: “There probably are some decent companies doing work in that space, but there are a massive number of neuro-marketing companies that have sprung up in the last few years. “Because of the wide availability and low-cost of the EEG hardware these days, they all seek to define their [unique selling point] and intellectual property (ie patents) based on their fancy analysis techniques and claim to…
  • The Phantom Limb in Life

    iogbeide
    21 May 2015 | 10:36 am
    There’s this amputee, he sees his hand isn’t there anymore, but he feels and moves same amputated hand and it’s fingers. He knows his mind, or brain, is playing tricks on him, and that his eyes see correctly, but the feeling is too real to ignore or treat as false. So he writes this poem (with the one hand left): It isn’t there, though he feels it So that it’s like it’s there, but it isn’t  Neither a hope to grow back Nor a denial that it’s gone But vicarious experience through sticky recollection Of a natural perception with no basis for…
 
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    Journal of Neuroscience current issue

  • Relating Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Activity to the Timing and Amplitude of Conditioned Eyelid Responses

    Halverson, H. E., Khilkevich, A., Mauk, M. D.
    20 May 2015 | 9:01 am
    How Purkinje cell (PC) activity may be altered by learning is central to theories of the cerebellum. Pavlovian eyelid conditioning, because of how directly it engages the cerebellum, has helped reveal many aspects of cerebellar learning and the underlying mechanisms. Theories of cerebellar learning assert that climbing fiber inputs control plasticity at synapses onto PCs, and thus PCs control the expression of learned responses. We tested this assertion by recording 184 eyelid PCs and 240 non-eyelid PCs during the expression of conditioned eyelid responses (CRs) in well trained rabbits. By…
  • Activity of Somatosensory-Responsive Neurons in High Subdivisions of SI Cortex during Locomotion

    Favorov, O. V., Nilaweera, W. U., Miasnikov, A. A., Beloozerova, I. N.
    20 May 2015 | 9:01 am
    Responses of neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex during movements are poorly understood, even during such simple tasks as walking on a flat surface. In this study, we analyzed spike discharges of neurons in the rostral bank of the ansate sulcus (areas 1–2) in 2 cats while the cats walked on a flat surface or on a horizontal ladder, a complex task requiring accurate stepping. All neurons (n = 82) that had receptive fields (RFs) on the contralateral forelimb exhibited frequency modulation of their activity that was phase locked to the stride cycle during simple locomotion. Neurons…
  • Parsing and Predicting Increased Noise in Visual Cortex

    Fisher, T. G.
    20 May 2015 | 9:01 am
  • PKM{zeta}, But Not PKC{lambda}, Is Rapidly Synthesized and Degraded at the Neuronal Synapse

    Palida, S. F., Butko, M. T., Ngo, J. T., Mackey, M. R., Gross, L. A., Ellisman, M. H., Tsien, R. Y.
    20 May 2015 | 9:01 am
    Synthesizing, localizing, and stabilizing new protein copies at synapses are crucial factors in maintaining the synaptic changes required for storing long-term memories. PKM recently emerged as a molecule putatively responsible for maintaining encoded memories over time because its presence correlates with late LTP and because its inhibition disrupts LTP in vitro and long-term memory storage in vivo. Here we investigated PKM stability in rat neurons to better understand its role during information encoding and storage. We used TimeSTAMP reporters to track the synthesis and degradation of PKM…
  • Dynamic Network Mechanisms of Relational Integration

    Parkin, B. L., Hellyer, P. J., Leech, R., Hampshire, A.
    20 May 2015 | 9:01 am
    A prominent hypothesis states that specialized neural modules within the human lateral frontopolar cortices (LFPCs) support "relational integration" (RI), the solving of complex problems using inter-related rules. However, it has been proposed that LFPC activity during RI could reflect the recruitment of additional "domain-general" resources when processing more difficult problems in general as opposed to RI specifically. Moreover, theoretical research with computational models has demonstrated that RI may be supported by dynamic processes that occur throughout distributed networks of brain…
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    Sports Are 80 Percent Mental

  • Choose Your Words Carefully When Motivating Your Young Athletes

    21 May 2015 | 1:58 pm
    Your kids want you to be proud of them. This need for a parent’s approval can be a powerful or destructive force when it comes to youth sports. When we communicate goals for our budding superstars, the wording we choose can make all the difference.   New research out of Ithaca College shows the effect parents can have on their kids’ game-time anxiety, which can directly impact their performance and overall enjoyment of the game. Miranda Kaye, a professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at Ithaca, knew from previous research that a coach exerts the primary influence…
  • Just An Hour Per Day Of Play Can Boost Young Brains

    18 Mar 2015 | 12:18 pm
    Imagine an activity that your kids could do after school every day that would improve their brain’s ability to make better decisions and solve problems.  Online cognitive drills? Special tutors? Actually, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that just an hour of fun, active play not only gets kids in better shape but significantly improves their cognitive functioning.Plenty of previous studies have shown the link between fitness and better academic performance in the classroom but it wasn’t clear if this was a cause and effect relationship or just that smarter kids…
  • Training Your Eyes To Hit That Curveball

    17 Feb 2015 | 12:16 pm
    “Just keep your eye on the ball.”  Seems like simple enough advice for a young slugger at the plate.  That may work in the early years of Little League baseball when the pitches they see  have not yet cracked 50 mph.  But as the fastballs get faster and the change-ups get slower, having quick eyes and an even quicker perceptual brain is the only way hitters will be able to “hit it square” with a round bat and a round ball.   Which is exactly why psychology researchers at the University of California - Riverside (UCR) teamed up with the college’s varsity…
  • The Subliminal Power Of Positive Cheering

    3 Feb 2015 | 7:19 pm
    Young athletes often hear phrases of encouragement like, “dig a little deeper” or “you have to want it more than they do” or, ideally, “be mentally tough.”  For most kids, these words from a coach, a parent or a teammate go in one ear and out the other.  But, what if there was actually some scientific substance to the words?  Could the smiling, confident face of a coach delivering a pep talk actually have a subliminal effect on performance?  While the conscious brain may dismiss this positive talk, the subconscious mind may actually be putting it to work,…
  • Sleep - The Next Best Thing To Practice

    17 Jan 2015 | 3:44 pm
    As usual, Mom was right.  Her advice to get to bed early is being confirmed by human performance researchers, sleep specialists and sports medicine doctors. Kids, especially young athletes, need more sleep.  While common sense tells us that a lack of shut-eye will cause children to be grumpy from a lack of energy, new knowledge about the brain details how sleep affects not only their physiological functions but also their ability to learn new skills.The more well-known sleep state known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is the dreammaker that tries to put our day’s activities into the…
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    The Brain Understanding Itself

  • Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain- For Life

    Alex Doman
    5 May 2015 | 9:26 am
    Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome – the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells ten to one. What’s taking place in your intestines today is determining your risk for any number of brain-related conditions. In his latest…
  • Autism: Identifying the Biochemical Fingerprint

    Alex Doman
    31 Mar 2015 | 11:13 am
      A few years back I was introduced to a physician by a mutual friend, Kristin Selby Gonzales. Kristin is mom to Jaxson who is diagnosed with autism, and Chairman of Autism Hope Alliance , a non-profit doing great work in the field, and whose advisory board I proudly serve on. The three of us shared a panel discussion on autism treatment and recovery at the Natural Product Expo West. That doctor was Dan Rossignol, MD, FAAFP, FMAP. After hearing his personal story as a father with two children with autism, who switched from a family medical practice to biomedical research and treatment to…
  • BREAD HEAD: How do we prevent America’s most feared disease?

    Alex Doman
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:09 am
    Filmmaker and media personality Max Lugavere recently crushed his $75,000 goal on kickstarter, raising over $130,000 to produce a first of it’s kind documentary that explores the impact of our diets and lifestyles on brain health. Based on the results of his fundraising efforts with 1,748 backers including myself, I’d say people want to see BREAD HEAD: How do we prevent America’s most feared disease come to fruition. Because changes in the brain begin decades before Alzheimer’s symptoms, the absolute best way we can move the needle on this disease is through minimizing…
  • Neuroscience, Personalized Medicine and Faith

    Alex Doman
    18 Feb 2015 | 4:29 pm
    Did you catch my discussion with neurologist Jay Lombard on The Listening Program® Radio a couple weeks ago? It was a fascinating conversation. And, you can enjoy the podcast here. About the program Neuroscience provides amazing insights into the complex biology of the human brain, but can it do more? Is neuroscience also a gateway to inner being? And, can there be common ground between neuroscience and faith that are not mutually exclusive?  Both science and religion seek truth and meaning, and Dr. Jay Lombard postulates that science plus faith equals consciousness. In this episode of TLP…
  • Music, the Brain and Therapeutic Results

    Alex Doman
    6 Jan 2015 | 3:55 pm
      It’s a New Year and time for the first episode of The Listening Program® Radio for 2015! And, I’m elated to share that Dr. Concetta M. Tomaino will be my guest tomorrow, Wednesday, January 7th from 8:00-9:00 PM Eastern to discuss Music, the Brain and Therapeutic Results. Dr. Tomaino is executive director and co-founder of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function and is internationally known for her research in the clinical applications of music and neurologic rehabilitation including decades of clinical work with the acclaimed neurologist and best-selling author Dr. Oliver…
 
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    Brain Posts

  • Brain Imaging and Conduct Disorder: Temporal Lobe Abnormalities

    18 May 2015 | 7:43 am
    Conduct disorder is a complex behavioral disorder with significant risk for later adult psychopathology.There is increasing evidence for a biological basis for conduct disorder.Twin studies show a significant genetic contribution to the disorder.Brain imaging studies also point to biological factors in conduct disorder.Gregory Wallace and colleagues recently published a structural MRI study of conduct disorder in 22 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18. Conduct disorder subjects were compared to a group of 27 age-matched controls on imaging measures.This study focused on measures of…
  • Male Depression Risk Via Childhood Conduct Disorder

    14 May 2015 | 7:31 am
    Conduct disorder represents an important childhood-onset condition that commonly persists into adulthood.Adult antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse are known risks associated with conduct disorder.A recent study by Kenneth Kendler and Charles Gardner identified male conduct disorder as a risk factor for adult major depression.Their study using the Virginia Twin Registry examined 20 developmental risk factors in male and female twins for presence of recent adult major depression.A key finding in their study was gender specificity for several of the developmental risk factors.
  • Conduct Disorder Research Links: II

    13 May 2015 | 7:14 am
    Here are some additional links to important recent research in conduct disorder.Click on the title to be directed to the abstract. Many of the abstracts also have links to the free full-text manuscripts.Age of onset for CDThis twin study examined the correlates of childhood versus adolescent onset conduct disorder. Both types showed a strong genetic influence (62% and 65%). Childhood onset CD was strongly linked to adult antisocial behavior while adolescent onset CD was not. A specific genetic factor was felt to contribute to a combined CD/ADHD phenotype.Sex difference in pathway to major…
  • Conduct Disorder: Predictors, Gender and Genetics

    7 May 2015 | 7:30 am
    Genetic factors contribute to risk for many childhood mental disorders.Gender issues in childhood psychopathology are also important factors.Boys show higher rates for conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Nora Kerekes and colleagues in Sweden and Australia examined a large twin study of childhood behavioral and neurobehavioral disorders. The aims of this study were to better understand the developmental and genetic features with attention to gender issues.Key features of design of this study included:Twin status…
  • Bad Boy. Bad Boy. Is It Conduct Disorder?

    5 May 2015 | 8:12 am
    Defining the line between normal childhood behavior and more serious problems like conduct disorder (CD) is important.Conduct disorder is linked to a significant risk for a lifelong problem with aggression. Identifying CD early in life provides the hope that early intervention might reduce the later consequences of the disorder.The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has an excellent online resource center to understand conduct disorder. They note the condition is characterized by four key diagnostic features with onset in childhood:Aggression toward people and…
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    Psychology Headlines Around the World

  • John Nash, Expert on Mathematics of Decision-Making, Dies at 86

    China Daily
    25 May 2015 | 1:10 am
    Source: China DailyMathematician John Nash, a Nobel Prize winner whose longtime struggle with mental illness inspired the movie "A Beautiful Mind", was killed in a car crash along with his wife in New Jersey, state police said on Sunday.
  • Paralyzed Patient Controls Robotic Arm with Thoughts

    Google News - Health
    24 May 2015 | 10:13 am
    Source: Google News - HealthA patient has been able to control a robotic arm just by thought alone, researchers reported. Erik Sorto, a 34-year-old tetraplegic patient, could make a hand-shake gesture, grasp a beer, and play "rock, paper, scissors" with the help of neural implants placed in brain regions tied to intention rather than motor skills.
  • Ireland Is First Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Popular Vote

    L.A. Times - World News
    24 May 2015 | 10:13 am
    Source: L.A. Times - World NewsIreland has become the first country to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote, defying the Roman Catholic Church in a landslide referendum victory to change the constitution of the traditionally conservative nation.
  • Facebook Status Updates May Reveal Low Self-Esteem and Narcissism

    ScienceDaily
    24 May 2015 | 10:12 am
    Source: ScienceDailyPeople who post Facebook status updates about their romantic partner are more likely to have low self-esteem, while those who brag about diets, exercise, and accomplishments are typically narcissists, according to new research.
  • Secondhand Pot Smoke Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

    Yahoo News - Science
    24 May 2015 | 10:11 am
    Source: Yahoo News - SciencePeople who are exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke may feel a bit of the "high" that comes with using the drug, a new study finds. "If you're going to breathe in enough passive cannabis smoke to feel high and potentially be slightly impaired, you could fail a drug test," said Evan S. Herrmann, the study's lead author and postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Studies in the 1980s showed...
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    The Neurocritic

  • Shooting the Phantom Head (perceptual delusional bicephaly)

    16 May 2015 | 3:56 am
    I have two headsWhere's the man, he's late--Throwing Muses, Devil's Roof Medical journals are enlivened by case reports of bizarre and unusual syndromes. Although somaticdelusions are relatively common in schizophrenia, reports of hallucinations and delusions of bicephaly are rare. For a patient to attempt to remove a perceived second head by shooting and to survive the experience for more than two years may well be unique, and merits presentation. --David Ames, British Journal of Psychiatry (1984)In 1984, Dr. David Ames of Royal Melbourne Hospital published a truly bizarre case report about…
  • Tylenol Doesn't Really Blunt Your Emotions

    5 May 2015 | 2:25 am
    A new study has found that the pain reliever TYLENOL® (acetaminophen) not only dampens negative emotions, it blunts positive emotions too. Or does it?Durso and colleagues (2015) reckoned that if acetaminophen can lessen the sting of psychological pain (Dewall et al., 2010; Randles et al., 2013) — which is doubtful in my view then it might also lessen reactivity to positive stimuli. Evidence in favor of their hypothesis would support differential susceptibility, the notion that the same factors govern reactivity to positive and negative experiences.1 This outcome would also contradict…
  • FDA says no to marketing FDDNP for CTE

    26 Apr 2015 | 7:02 pm
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently admonished TauMark™, a brain diagnostics company, for advertising brain scans that can diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer's disease, and other types of dementia. The Los Angeles Times reported that the FDA ordered UCLA researcher Dr. Gary Small and his colleague/business partner Dr. Jorge Barrio to remove misleading information from their company website (example shown below).CTE has been in the news because the neurodegenerative condition has been linked to a rash of suicides in retired NFL players, based on post-mortem…
  • Trends in Cognitive, Computational, and Systems Neuroscience 2015

    15 Apr 2015 | 1:46 am
    What are the Hot Topics in cognitive neuroscience? We could ask these people, or we could take a more populist approach by looking at conference abstracts. I consulted the program for the recent Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting (CNS 2015) and made a word cloud using Wordle.1 For comparison, we'll examine the program for the most recent Computational and Systems Neuroscience meeting (Cosyne 2015).CNS is all about memory, people, and cognitive processing.Cosyne is about neurons, models, and neural activity.Word cloud for the 2015 CNS ProgramWord cloud for the 2015 Cosyne ProgramCosyne is…
  • Cognitive Neuroscience 2015: State of the Union

    6 Apr 2015 | 1:46 am
    What can we do to solve the mind/body problem once and for all? How do we cure devastating brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, and depression? I am steadfast in following the course of my 500 year plan that may eventually solve these pressing issues, to the benefit of all Americans!There's nothing like attending a conference in the midst of a serious family illness to make one take stock of what's important. My mind/brain has been elsewhere lately, along with my body in a different location. My blogging output has declined while I live in this alternate reality. But…
 
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    The Beautiful Brain

  • The Late Reverberant Sound

    Ben Ehrlich
    15 May 2015 | 11:30 am
    In the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC, there is a small concert hall, with a grand piano dormant on the shining wooden floor. There are about a hundred empty seats, with the front row almost hugged against the stage. The space was designed by renowned acoustic engineer Yasuhisa Toyota, whose Suntory Hall in Tokyo has been called “the jewel box of sound.” While the traditional “shoebox style” pits the orchestra at one end with an audience seated in rows, his “vineyard style” surrounded the orchestra on all sides with clusters of seats at…
  • A World Without Words

    Ben Ehrlich
    10 May 2015 | 2:04 pm
    Lotje Sodderland was a lovely, bright, talented, and sociable young woman living in London. In November 2011, she woke up in the middle of the night with an excruciating pain in her head. She was conscious, but she could not think. After stumbling to a hotel across the street, she collapsed on the bathroom floor. Two days later, she woke up from an induced coma. She had suffered a severe stroke (the result, she later learned, of a rare developmental malformation of blood vessels in her brain). Although her face and body are no different, she will never be the same. This is like…
  • Happy Birthday, Cajal!

    Ben Ehrlich
    1 May 2015 | 12:42 pm
    Happy Birthday to Santiago Ramón y Cajal, “the father of modern neuroscience,” who would be 163 today. Cajal was born in Petilla de Aragón, a tiny village high in the mountains of northern Spain. On this same date, when he turned 36, Cajal declared the independence of the nerve cell in his self-published journal Revista Trimestral de Histología normal y patológia. (Images courtesy of the Cajal Institute in Madrid.)
  • SciArt in America

    Ben Ehrlich
    27 Apr 2015 | 7:59 am
        For those of you who haven’t heard of SciArt in America, a new organization founded by Julia Buntaine, check it out! They have a magazine (submit to their Flash Fiction contest) and put on events based in New York City.
  • Book Spinal Nervous Systems

    Ben Ehrlich
    13 Mar 2015 | 10:20 am
              by the artist Barbara Wildenboer (via Paris Review Daily and Colossal)
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    The Neurocritic

  • Shooting the Phantom Head (perceptual delusional bicephaly)

    The Neurocritic
    16 May 2015 | 3:56 am
    I have two headsWhere's the man, he's late--Throwing Muses, Devil's Roof Medical journals are enlivened by case reports of bizarre and unusual syndromes. Although somaticdelusions are relatively common in schizophrenia, reports of hallucinations and delusions of bicephaly are rare. For a patient to attempt to remove a perceived second head by shooting and to survive the experience for more than two years may well be unique, and merits presentation. --David Ames, British Journal of Psychiatry (1984)In 1984, Dr. David Ames of Royal Melbourne Hospital published a truly bizarre case report about…
  • Tylenol Doesn't Really Blunt Your Emotions

    The Neurocritic
    5 May 2015 | 2:25 am
    A new study has found that the pain reliever TYLENOL® (acetaminophen) not only dampens negative emotions, it blunts positive emotions too. Or does it?Durso and colleagues (2015) reckoned that if acetaminophen can lessen the sting of psychological pain (Dewall et al., 2010; Randles et al., 2013) — which is doubtful in my view then it might also lessen reactivity to positive stimuli. Evidence in favor of their hypothesis would support differential susceptibility, the notion that the same factors govern reactivity to positive and negative experiences.1 This outcome would also contradict…
  • FDA says no to marketing FDDNP for CTE

    The Neurocritic
    26 Apr 2015 | 7:02 pm
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently admonished TauMark™, a brain diagnostics company, for advertising brain scans that can diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Alzheimer's disease, and other types of dementia. The Los Angeles Times reported that the FDA ordered UCLA researcher Dr. Gary Small and his colleague/business partner Dr. Jorge Barrio to remove misleading information from their company website (example shown below).CTE has been in the news because the neurodegenerative condition has been linked to a rash of suicides in retired NFL players, based on post-mortem…
  • Trends in Cognitive, Computational, and Systems Neuroscience 2015

    The Neurocritic
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:46 am
    What are the Hot Topics in cognitive neuroscience? We could ask these people, or we could take a more populist approach by looking at conference abstracts. I consulted the program for the recent Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting (CNS 2015) and made a word cloud using Wordle.1 For comparison, we'll examine the program for the most recent Computational and Systems Neuroscience meeting (Cosyne 2015).CNS is all about memory, people, and cognitive processing.Cosyne is about neurons, models, and neural activity.Word cloud for the 2015 CNS ProgramWord cloud for the 2015 Cosyne ProgramCosyne is…
  • Cognitive Neuroscience 2015: State of the Union

    The Neurocritic
    6 Apr 2015 | 1:46 am
    What can we do to solve the mind/body problem once and for all? How do we cure devastating brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, and depression? I am steadfast in following the course of my 500 year plan that may eventually solve these pressing issues, to the benefit of all Americans!There's nothing like attending a conference in the midst of a serious family illness to make one take stock of what's important. My mind/brain has been elsewhere lately, along with my body in a different location. My blogging output has declined while I live in this alternate reality. But…
 
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    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level

  • Preserving Our Bodies and Minds from the Ills of Civilization

    Bruno Dubuc
    13 May 2015 | 6:22 am
    For several hundreds of thousands of years, human beings lived and evolved in small groups of hunter-gatherers whose environment was the natural world. It is only for the past 10,000 years or so that we have lived first in villages, and then in cities. Today, a large proportion of us live in megalopolises and work in factories or offices where we have little contact with nature. And what is worse, our contacts with one another are becoming more and more virtual, and our emotional bonds weaker and weaker. Thus, over what is a very short timespan from an evolutionary standpoint, the human body…
  • The Impression of Déjà Vu.

    Bruno Dubuc
    27 Apr 2015 | 11:52 am
    This week we’d like to suggest some readings on a strange phenomenon that people may experience when travelling, among other occasions: the impression of déjà vu. The first link below describes just one example of this phenomenon: you are touring a castle in a country that you are visiting for the first time, when suddenly you have the impression that you have been there before. But after the tour, while visiting the castle’s gift shop, you see a postcard with a photo of the castle, and you realize that a movie that you saw several years ago was shot there. The two experiences seemed…
  • Recent Studies on the Role of Sleep

    Bruno Dubuc
    13 Apr 2015 | 8:06 am
    As Evan Thompson, a philosopher of biology and the mind, stated in a recent lecture, our Western way of life is so focused on productivity as a dominant value that when we go to bed, we are so exhausted that we literally “crash” into sleep. As a result, we very often do not even experience the special state of consciousness known as hypnagogia, which normally occurs during the first phase of falling asleep. When someone is in this state, they are still sensitive to sensory inputs from the outside world, but no longer entirely awake, and they are more likely to make all sorts of original…
  • Is There an Evolutionary Continuity between Spatial Navigation and Declarative Memory?

    Bruno Dubuc
    30 Mar 2015 | 12:52 pm
    Sometimes someone comes up with a hypothesis whose parts fit together so neatly that it seems amazing that no one has ever thought of it before. A good example is the hypothesis proposed by György Buzsáki and Edvard Moser in the January 2013 issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, where they propose that there is an evolutionary continuity between the cognitive processes that we use to orient ourselves in space and and the mechanisms that underlie our declarative memory. Central to this hypothesis is the hippocampus, a brain structure that has long been known to contribute to the storage…
  • The “Coming Out” of the Electrical Synapse

    Bruno Dubuc
    14 Mar 2015 | 2:17 pm
    The first living organisms composed of more than one cell first appeared on Earth slightly over 3 billion years ago. Once they did, the need arose for all of the cells in each organism to co-ordinate their efforts toward a single goal: the survival of the organism as a whole. To do so, these cells began secreting molecules that, by binding to the surface of other cells, informed them about what was happening elsewhere in the organism. That, in short, is the origin not only of the human hormonal system but also of human synapses: the connections between nerve cells. In general, when people…
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    Your Brain Health

  • No brain, no pain: it’s in the mind

    Sarah McKay
    30 Apr 2015 | 5:32 pm
    With thanks to The Conversation for publishing this fascinating article by Prof Moseley (and their creative commons license for allowing me to re-publish here in my blog). No brain, no pain: it is in the mind, so test results can make it worse by Prof Lorimer Moseley, University of South Australia Your pain is in […] The post No brain, no pain: it’s in the mind appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Brain-immune cross-talk may build resilience against stress.

    Sarah McKay
    23 Apr 2015 | 2:06 am
    We tend to assume our thoughts and feelings are controlled almost exclusively by our brains. But peripheral systems, such as our hormonal and immune systems also influence how we think, feel and behave. Communication between the brain and rest of the body goes both ways. Psychological stress and stress hormones alter the status of the immune system. In turn, an […] The post Brain-immune cross-talk may build resilience against stress. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • The Brain’s Way of Healing – April Walking Book Club

    Sarah McKay
    5 Apr 2015 | 4:38 am
    As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been reading Norman Doidge’s latest book ‘The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.‘ Doidge’s first book, The Brain That Change’s Itself, has become one of the most popular science books around describing the phenomenon of neuroplasticity, and was largely responsible […] The post The Brain’s Way of Healing – April Walking Book Club appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • What actually IS neuroplasticity?

    Sarah McKay
    28 Mar 2015 | 7:27 pm
    Last weekend I flew home to New Zealand for an old friend’s 40th birthday (life is too short not to celebrate, right?).  At Sydney airport I picked up Norman Doidge’s latest book ‘The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.‘ I’m reading it with my usual healthy dose of […] The post What actually IS neuroplasticity? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Gut-Brain Health – What Neuroscientists Are Calling “A Paradigm Shift”

    Sarah McKay
    5 Mar 2015 | 11:00 am
    The trillions of microbes that inhabit your body are collectively called the microbiome. They outnumber your own cells ten to one and weigh up to twice weight of the average human brain. Most of them live in your gut and intestines, where they help to digest food, synthesise vitamins and ward off infection. The microbiome has […] The post Gut-Brain Health – What Neuroscientists Are Calling “A Paradigm Shift” appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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    Brain Protips

  • Slow wave sleep integrity and cortical thickness are tightly linked

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    24 May 2015 | 9:01 am
    Earlier this week, Dr. Jonathan Dube of the University of Montreal led researchers to demonstrate an association between cortical thinning and a decrease in slow-wave sleep (SWS) spindle density and slow-wave amplitude [1] in a cohort of Canadian men. These findings strengthen the link between sleep robustness and cortical thickness in the brain. A bidirectional relationship? ... Read more The post Slow wave sleep integrity and cortical thickness are tightly linked appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • Infection inflicts a persistent decrease in IQ: a danish study with 180,000 participants

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    21 May 2015 | 10:59 am
    A recent danish study [1] showed that infections can impair cognitive ability. In fact, ensuing infections can affect cognitive performance (as measured by an IQ test), long after the infection has resolved. This effect persists more than 15 years after the most recent infection, and is dose-dependent such that cumulative number of infections correlates with IQ decrements. It ... Read more The post Infection inflicts a persistent decrease in IQ: a danish study with 180,000 participants appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • CDP-Choline plays a pivotal role in remyelination

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    18 May 2015 | 8:40 pm
    The authors of  Pivotal role of choline metabolites in remyelination (2015), published in the February edition of Brain, found that CDP-choline promoted myelin regeneration, exerted beneficial effects on oligodendrocytes and axons, and reversed motor coordination deficits in a cuprizone rodent model of demyelinating disease. Cuprizone is a copper chelating agent that kills oligodendrocytes (non-neuronal cells i The post CDP-Choline plays a pivotal role in remyelination appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • Don’t overthink it: is excess neural activity deleterious?

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    17 May 2015 | 8:29 pm
    For some time now it has been suspected that neural hyperactivity might be linked to Alzheimer’s pathology. PET neuroimaging studies [1] have revealed that amyloid deposits appear first in the default mode network (DMN), which is the most active neural network in the human brain at rest. Takeshi Iwatsubo of the University of Tokyo exploited ... Read more The post Don’t overthink it: is excess neural activity deleterious? appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • 8 Tactics to safely augment Racetams

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    14 May 2015 | 5:05 am
    The Janus-Faced Glutamate Receptors: NMDA, AMPA and Kainic Acid Receptors Racetams (such as the pre-eminent Piracetam) and their riskier counterparts–the ampakines–ultimately enhance cognition by modulating glutamatergic excitatory transmission in the brain. The “big three” glutamate receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) are as follows: the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolep The post 8 Tactics to safely augment Racetams appeared first on Brain Protips.
 
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