Neuroscience

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Cognitive dysfunction in depression: are important symptoms of depression going unnoticed and untreated?

    Neurology / Neuroscience News From Medical News Today
    4 Sep 2015 | 8:00 am
    Results from a new survey found that almost all people diagnosed with depression (99%) have experienced at least one symptom of cognitive dysfunction during an episode of depression.
  • Girls, boys with autism differ in behavior, brain structure

    Neuroscience News -- ScienceDaily
    3 Sep 2015 | 7:32 pm
    A study of about 800 children with autism found gender differences in a core feature of the disorder, as well as in the youngsters' brain structures. Girls with autism display less repetitive and restricted behavior than boys do, according to the study.
  • Spike activity 04-09-2015

    Mind Hacks
    vaughanbell
    4 Sep 2015 | 12:08 pm
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Go get your gramophonic digital podcast player and listen to this amazing BBC Radio 4 programme on how the social discussion of dreams has changed through history. The Atlantic on what Google’s trippy neural network-generated images tell us about the human mind. Ignore the fact that this is yet another article on mental health that says this particular condition is much more common than you think, and you’ll find an interesting piece on depersonalisation in The Guardian. Nature has a tribute and article collection in memory of…
  • Drug successfully reverses effects of Alzheimer's in rats

    Neurology / Neuroscience News From Medical News Today
    5 Sep 2015 | 1:00 am
    While approved treatments for Alzheimer's disease only mask the symptoms, researchers have successfully reversed the effects of the condition in rats using a drug called IRL-1620.
  • Common Antidepressant Appears to Alter Brain Structure Differently in Depressed and Non-Depressed People

    Neuroscience RSS Feeds - Neuroscience News Updates
    Neuroscience News
    4 Sep 2015 | 11:52 am
    A new study reports Zoloft, a commonly prescribed antidepressant alters brain structure differently in those who are depressed and those who aren't.
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    Brains On Purpose™

  • The role of the conflict professional's self-reflection in effective conflict resolution

    StephanieWestAllen
    15 Aug 2015 | 6:22 am
    What is the role of self-awareness and self-reflection in effective conflict resolution? To hear a teleconference on that topic, click here. The title of the teleconference is "Inside Out: How Conflict Professionals Can Use Self-Reflection to Help Their Clients" and it features long-time mediator and lawyer Gary Friedman.
  • 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...
 
 
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    MIT News - Neuroscience

  • Wired for habit

    Elizabeth Dougherty | McGovern Institute for Brain Research
    19 Aug 2015 | 9:00 am
    We are creatures of habit, nearly mindlessly executing routine after routine. Some habits we feel good about; others, less so. Habits are, after all, thought to be driven by reward-seeking mechanisms that are built into the brain. It turns out, however, that the brain’s habit-forming circuits may also be wired for efficiency. New research from MIT shows that habit formation, at least in primates, is driven by neurons that represent the cost of a habit, as well as the reward. “The brain seems to be wired to seek some near optimality of cost and benefit,” says Ann Graybiel, an Institute…
  • Toward smarter selection of therapy for psychiatric disorders

    Elizabeth Dougherty | McGovern Institute for Brain Research
    11 Aug 2015 | 1:00 am
    For patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD), current behavioral and pharmaceutical treatments work about half the time. After weeks of investment in therapy, about half of patients will likely still suffer with symptoms of anxiety, and have little choice but to try again with something else. This trial-and-error process — inevitable due to an absence of tools to guide treatment selection — is time-consuming and expensive, and some patients eventually just give up. But new MIT research suggests that it may be possible to do better than a coin toss when choosing psychiatric therapies…
  • George Adelman, noted neuroscience editor, dies at 89

    David Cohen | Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory
    31 Jul 2015 | 1:37 pm
    George Adelman, noted neuroscience editor, died June 26 due to complications of an injury after a fall. He was 89 years old. Adelman joined MIT in 1963 as the managing editor for the Neurosciences Research Program (NRP), developed by MIT professor of biology Francis Schmitt, bringing together the top scientists in related fields to focus on the new discipline of neuroscience. The new organization, a kind of think tank of resident and visiting scientists, had as its core 36 associates, world-class scientists representing the life sciences as well as physics, mathematics,…
  • MRIs for a more peaceful world

    Liz Karagianis | MIT Spectrum
    9 Jul 2015 | 2:14 pm
    An MRI scanner is an unusual tool for resolving war and conflict, but an MIT collaboration now underway is deploying MRIs as an instrument for peace. The goal of the collaboration — among the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab; the Department of Political Science; and Beyond Conflict, an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to global challenges to peace and reconciliation — is to use knowledge of neuroscience to develop innovative, more effective conflict-resolution strategies. Already the groups are putting into practice what they are learning in instances of extreme…
  • Uncovering the mechanism of our oldest anesthetic

    News Office
    5 Jul 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” has been used in anesthesiology practice since the 1800s, but the way it works to create altered states is not well understood. In a study published this week in Clinical Neurophysiology, MIT researchers reveal some key brainwave changes among patients receiving the drug. For a period of about three minutes after the administration of nitrous oxide at anesthetic doses, electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings show large-amplitude slow-delta waves, a powerful pattern of electrical firing that sweeps across the front of the brain as slowly as…
 
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    ScienceBlogs

  • 004/366: Tech Support [Uncertain Principles]

    Chad Orzel
    4 Sep 2015 | 5:06 pm
    It’s Labor Day weekend here in the US, so we’ve come down to my parents’ for an end-of-summer weekend. The kids are, of course, thrilled to be visiting Grandma and Grandpa’s house where they can bask in the warmth of… Transformers cartoons on Grandma and Grandpa’s Netflix subscription. (I’d say “Kids these days,” but if I’m totally honest, I would have to admit that getting to watch WPIX was a highlight of visits to my grandmother on Long Island back when I was their age…) Anyway, a lot of the pictures I end up taking look…
  • Ask Ethan #104: What if we grew a fourth spatial dimension? (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

    Ethan
    4 Sep 2015 | 3:19 pm
    “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.” –Rod Serling Of course, despite our best theoretical hopes, we know only of four dimensions — three space and one time — that exist in our Universe. But what if there not only were a fourth spatial dimension, but it presented itself to us by growing from a microscopic, undetectable state, and then shrank back into one on an annual basis? Image credit: Paul…
  • Judge greenlights class action suit, dismantles Uber’s employee classification arguments [The Pump Handle]

    Kim Krisberg
    4 Sep 2015 | 11:54 am
    The ride-hailing mobile app Uber is desperate to prove it’s nothing more than a technology platform that connects drivers and passengers. As long as it can classify its workers as independent contractors, it can sidestep a whole host of labor and wage laws. But a court ruling issued earlier this week could open the door to change all that. On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco granted class action status to a lawsuit challenging Uber’s classification of workers as independent contractors. The decision doesn’t rule on the question of whether Uber drivers should be classified as…
  • Friday Cephalopod: Canned [Pharyngula]

    PZ Myers
    4 Sep 2015 | 7:50 am
    Underwater Macro Photographers
  • FS608R Digital Camera Binoculars FHD 1080P: Review [Greg Laden's Blog]

    Greg Laden
    4 Sep 2015 | 7:04 am
    The FS608R Digital Camera Binoculars FHD 1080P from Gear Best is a low-end binocular with a built in camera that takes up to 2592 x 1944 (defaults to 2,048 x 1,536, and can go lower) pixel photos or avi movies (no sound). Really good binoculars cost hundreds of dollars, but there is a range of inexpensive binoculars that everybody who uses binoculars (especially bird watchers) and/or has kids owns a few of. This is the extra set of binocs you keep in your car, near back yard window, let your kids play around with, or if you are a biology teacher, bring to school for the trip down to the…
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    Deric's MindBlog

  • Bioethics - Doing more harm than good?

    4 Sep 2015 | 1:00 am
    Steven Pinker recently ignited a small firestorm with his piece in the Boston Globe arguing that bioethical issues that slow down research have a massive human cost. "Even a one-year delay in implementing an effective treatment could spell death, suffering, or disability for millions of people." Below are some clips from his piece, and rebuttals to Pinker's points can be found in this Nature article: Biomedical research, then, promises vast increases in life, health, and flourishing. Just imagine how much happier you would be if a prematurely deceased loved one were alive, or a debilitated…
  • Oxytocin - more sophisticated views of its functions

    3 Sep 2015 | 1:00 am
    Helen Shen offers a review of studies on oxytocin, the “hug hormone,” which influences maternal behavior and social attachment in various species. She notes research showing that oxytocin acts on inhibitory interneurons in a way that quiets background chatter within neuronal circuits, and thus may help social interaction and recognition is by enhancing the brain's response to socially relevant sights, sounds or other stimuli. MindBlog has done posts on experiments showing that oxytocin, delivered through an intranasal spray, can promote various aspects of social behavior in healthy…
  • Birth of the moralizing gods.

    2 Sep 2015 | 1:00 am
    Lizzie Wade offers two interesting summaries of work on the evolution of religion that suggest that as societies grew bigger, so did their gods. She describes the efforts of Anders Petersen, who is asking religious studies scholars to contribute his "Database of Religious History" project by answering a series of questions about the ancient religions in which each of them specialize. This kind of survey can help in testing a “big gods” hypothesis: "Did moralizing gods, community-wide rituals, and supernatural punishment emerge before or after societies became politically complex? Has any…
  • The benefits of reading to children.

    1 Sep 2015 | 1:00 am
    Two items...First, from Montag et al.: Young children learn language from the speech they hear. Previous work suggests that greater statistical diversity of words and of linguistic contexts is associated with better language outcomes. One potential source of lexical diversity is the text of picture books that caregivers read aloud to children. Many parents begin reading to their children shortly after birth, so this is potentially an important source of linguistic input for many children. We constructed a corpus of 100 children’s picture books and compared word type and token counts in that…
  • Self-policing by psychologists - many prominent experiments fail replication tests

    31 Aug 2015 | 7:22 am
    Benedict Carey offers context, summary, and reactions to the recent Science article reporting work of a consortium of 270 scientists on five continents led by psychologist Brian Nosek at the University of Virginia. (Other commentaries on this work are offered by Bohannon and by The Guardian.) The bottom line is that only 36 percent of the findings from almost 100 studies in the top three psychology journals held up when the original experiments were rigorously redone. This work was an 'inside job,' with psychologists doing the replication attempts communicating with cooperative original…
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    Brain Blogger

  • Repressed Memories – Fact or Fiction?

    Carla Clark, PhD
    25 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    Repressed memories are one of those things that we don’t have solid proof of existing, yet typically believe to be real without question. There was hardly a media outcry at the presentation of repressed memories in movies like Shutter Island or The Hulk, yet lawsuits involving repressed memories are a minefield, and reportedly, regularly dismissed. Meanwhile, scientists are fervently comparing the facts to get to the crux of the matter: Are repressed memories fact or fiction? As found in an article in the American Psychology journal, repressed memories can be considered as: “… so…
  • Hope on the Horizon For Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis

    Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD
    23 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    Right now, there is only symptomatic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which does not stall the progress of the disease. Nor does this approach provide insights on the causes. But if findings from recent research studies are to be weighed upon, this is about to change. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a curse, both for the person who has been afflicted with the condition and his loved ones. AD affects millions of elderly individuals all over the world and the number of cases is on the rise, as the quality of healthcare services improves, life expectancy increases and our population ages.
  • Best And Worst in Psychology & Psychiatry – July 2015

    Carla Clark, PhD
    21 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    Pre-1970s was an exceptionally dark time for the chronically ill, where the mental wellbeing of terminally ill patients was treated as taboo. In this month’s roundup, there are some far reaching implications from the psychological-side of thanatology research (the scientific study of death). Recently, we’ve celebrated the birth, on July 8, 1926, of the journalist and psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, whose development of the five stages of grief model (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) marked the turning point in improving care. As Kubler-Ross reminds us in her…
  • The Brain-Gut Axis, Part 3 – The Gut Microbiota In Disease

    Sara Adaes, PhD (c)
    20 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    In Part 2 of the brain-gut axis article series, I explained how the brain and the gut microbiota communicate. I will now talk about how this interaction can impact our health and risk of disease, based on what research has already unveiled. So far, most microbiota-brain research has been carried out in mice. Studies on germ-free animals have shown that an adequate bacterial colonization of the gut is crucial to the proper development and maturation of both the enteric nervous system (ENS) and central nervous system (CNS). The absence of gut microbes leads to altered production of…
  • The Brain-Gut Axis, Part 2 – Brain-Gut-Microbiota Communication

    Sara Adaes, PhD (c)
    19 Aug 2015 | 8:00 am
    Research has been showing that the gut microbiota can strongly influence our overall health and disease, including our brain’s health, as well as our mood and behavior. This article in the brain-gut axis series aims to explain how the brain and the gut interact, which means they have to communicate, and what research has uncovered so far. Being such an immense ecosystem with which we live in a healthy symbiosis, it seems obvious that there has to be a way for gut microbiota to interact with our brain to let it know if everything is all right. Because we do need our gut’s microbes just as…
 
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    Mind Hacks

  • Spike activity 04-09-2015

    vaughanbell
    4 Sep 2015 | 12:08 pm
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Go get your gramophonic digital podcast player and listen to this amazing BBC Radio 4 programme on how the social discussion of dreams has changed through history. The Atlantic on what Google’s trippy neural network-generated images tell us about the human mind. Ignore the fact that this is yet another article on mental health that says this particular condition is much more common than you think, and you’ll find an interesting piece on depersonalisation in The Guardian. Nature has a tribute and article collection in memory of…
  • Oliver Sacks has left the building

    vaughanbell
    30 Aug 2015 | 5:17 am
    Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks has died at the age of 82. It’s hard to fully comprehend the enormous impact of Oliver Sacks on the public’s understanding of the brain, its disorders and our diversity as humans. Sacks wrote what he called ‘romantic science’. Not romantic in the sense of romantic love, but romantic in the sense of the romantic poets, who used narrative to describe the subtleties of human nature, often in contrast to the enlightenment values of quantification and rationalism. In this light, romantic science would seem to be a contradiction, but Sacks…
  • Spike activity 28-08-2015

    vaughanbell
    29 Aug 2015 | 8:02 am
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Vice has an excellent documentary about how skater Paul Alexander was affected by mental illness as he was turning pro. The US Navy is working on AI that can predict a pirate attacks reports Science News. Apparently it uses Arrrrgh-tificial intelligence. I’m here all week folks. The New York Times has a good piece on the case for teaching ignorance to help frame our understanding of science. Yes, Men’s and Women’s Brains Do Function Differently — But The Difference is Small. Interesting piece on The Science of US. Lots of junk…
  • Don’t call it a comeback

    vaughanbell
    28 Aug 2015 | 2:49 am
    The Reproducibility Project, the giant study to re-run experiments reported in three top psychology journals, has just published its results and its either a disaster, a triumph or both for psychology. You can’t do better than the coverage in The Atlantic, not least as it’s written by Ed Yong, the science journalist who has been key in reporting on, and occasionally appearing in, psychology’s great replication debates. Two important things have come out of the Reproducibility Project. The first is that psychologist, project leader and now experienced cat-herder Brian Nosek…
  • The reproducibility of psychological science

    tomstafford
    27 Aug 2015 | 11:00 pm
    The Reproducibility Project results have just been published in Science, a massive, collaborative, ‘Open Science’ attempt to replicate 100 psychology experiments published in leading psychology journals. The results are sure to be widely debated – the biggest result being that many published results were not replicated. There’s an article in the New York Times about the study here: Many Psychology Findings Not as Strong as Claimed, Study Says This is a landmark in meta-science : researchers collaborating to inspect how psychological science is carried out, how reliable…
 
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    SharpBrains

  • Would Warren Buffet be a highly viable Presidential candidate?

    Alvaro Fernandez
    4 Sep 2015 | 12:17 pm
    My colleague Dr. Murali Doraiswamy just wrote an excellent opinion piece for The New York Times: With Age Comes Wisdom, and Some Concerns For Candidates. He ends it up saying that, “As Henry Ford noted, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” We should shift the debate away from worrying about the age of our candidates and focus instead on their cognitive skill set and practical wisdom.” I couldn’t agree more with those wise words. But, I do disagree with the words just preceding them: “Warren Buffet, at the age of 85, would…
  • 3-Minute Tutorial about the 2015 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Mon­i­tor­ing & Enhanc­ing Brain Health in the Per­va­sive Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Era

    SharpBrains
    3 Sep 2015 | 7:42 am
    To learn more and reserve your spot, visit the 2015 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Monitoring & Enhancing Brain Health in the Pervasive Neurotechnology Era (November 17-19th, 2015) (10%-off promo code: sharp2015) “The SharpBrains Summit is unique in its impressive ability to unite a diverse collection of cutting-edge thinkers in a virtual conference that is shared globally without a hitch.” — Dr. Adam Gazzaley, Director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF. Kudos for such a fan­tas­tic con­fer­ence. The dis­cus­sion about human vs. arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and…
  • Study: Brain imaging not accurate or sensitive enough (yet) to detect Alzheimer’s disease in primary care settings

    SharpBrains
    2 Sep 2015 | 1:59 pm
    Accuracy of dementia brain imaging must improve (University of East Anglia release): “A report published today in The Lancet Neurology evaluates for the first time how well different types of brain imaging tests work to detect Alzheimer’s and predict how the disease will progress. The results show that the accuracy of brain imaging must be improved before it can be rolled out on a scale that could be useful to healthcare providers and patients. The number of new diagnostic and prognostic tools for dementia is steadily increasing and here are a lot of different scanning techniques…
  • Challenge: How to spur meaningful, targeted & safe adoption of emerging neurotechnologies

    SharpBrains
    1 Sep 2015 | 9:32 am
    A cap that treats depression? Check the science before getting excited (The Guardian): “Yesterday, an article in the Entrepreneurs section of the Guardian purported to reveal a “cloth cap that could help treat depression”. This claim has caused some alarm in the neuroscience and mental health fields, so it’s important to look a little more closely at what the manufacturers are actually claiming. The piece in question concerns a product from Neuroelectrics: a soft helmet containing electrodes and sensors. According to the company’s website, it can be used to monitor brain activity…
  • Report: Revolutions in neurotechnology will soon influence every aspect of human life

    SharpBrains
    31 Aug 2015 | 7:23 am
    Center for Neurotechnology Studies Announces Release of Trends in Neurotechnology August 2015 (Potomac Institute for Policy Studies): “Revolutions in neurotechnology will soon influence every aspect of human life. Neurotechnology can be used to further understand the natural processes of the brain, study and treat neurological disorders and injuries, and enhance neural capabilities, resulting in increased human intelligence and efficiency. Outside of the realm of health, it can be used in social contexts to improve overall quality of life.” To learn more: Download 28-page report Here…
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    BSP Show Notes - Brain Science Podcast

  • Summer Announcements about Brain Science Podcast

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    30 Aug 2015 | 3:06 pm
    Dennis Smith and Ginger Campbell (taken ~2000) Because of my husband's recent unexpected death, I will not be posting a new episode of the Brain Science Podcast until sometime next month. However, I have posted a brief audio announcement. This includes the content of Books and Ideas #58, which shares some memories of our life together. Right Click to download mp3 to play later.Announcements New logo for Brain Science with Ginger Campbell, MD Donations in honor of Dennis G Smith (1946-2015) are going to German Shepherd Rescue of Central Alabama.BSP 121 had some regrettable sound quality…
  • "How Do you Feel?" with Dr. Bud Craig

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    28 Jul 2015 | 1:00 am
    AD (Bud) Craig (click photo to play interview) Dr. AD (Bud) Craig has spent his career as a functional neuroanatomist tracing the path of the interoceptive (homeostatic) signals from both the skin and deep tissues to the insular cortex. After over 30 years in the field he has published a comprehensive description of his work called  How Do You Feel?: An Interoceptive Moment with Your Neurobiological Self. In BSP 121 we talk about some of his key discoveries. Although the book is must-read for students and scientists, the goal of our discussion was to make this material accessible to…
  • More on CI Therapy with Ed Taub (BSP 120)

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    2 Jul 2015 | 4:25 pm
    Ed Taub, PhD: Click image to play interview I have just posted the second half of my recent interview with Dr. Ed Taub the pioneer of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CI Therapy), which is a revolutionary approach to rehabilitation for stroke and other central nervous system injuries. In BSP 119 Dr. Taub explained the principles behind CI Therapy, which is probably the first rehab technique that explicitly harnesses brain plasticity. In BSP 120 we explore the crucial role of learned non-use (lose it or lose it) and how CI Therapy overcomes this obstacle to recovery.We also talked about…
  • 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…
 
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    NeuroLogica Blog

  • Mixed Messages on Psychic Detectives

    Steven Novella
    4 Sep 2015 | 4:52 am
    UK’s College of Policing has released their draft Authorised Professional Practice on missing persons investigations (there is a public comment period open until October 9). This might not seem that interesting, but it is getting some attention because of their recommendations regarding the use of psychics. Here is the entire section under “Psychics:” High-profile missing person investigations nearly always attract the interest of psychics and others, such as witches and clairvoyants, stating that they possess extrasensory perception. Any information received from psychics…
  • Thinking Style and Paranormal Belief

    Steven Novella
    3 Sep 2015 | 5:10 am
    One burning question that comes up in skeptical circles is whether or not people who believe in the paranormal, are highly religious, or are enamored of conspiracy theories think differently than skeptics. Obviously they have different beliefs, but the question is whether or not their brains function differently in some respects from people who are more rational and scientific. It certainly seems as if this is the case, but being skeptics we understand the irony of relying on intuition to conclude that other people rely more on intuition. Fortunately we have some psychological research to…
  • Sleep and Health

    Steven Novella
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:40 am
    Getting sufficient sleep is very important to overall health. It is an often overlooked aspect of health. I frequently have patients with multiple complaints who inform me, only when asked, that they have terrible sleep. They did not make the connection between their sleep and their symptoms, however. Good sleep has been tied to longevity. A review of studies found that getting <6 hours of sleep on average per night was associated with a 12% increased risk of death. The same review found that getting >9 hours of sleep a night was associated with a 30% increased risk of death. It is…
  • The Reproducibility Problem

    Steven Novella
    31 Aug 2015 | 5:02 am
    A recent massive study attempting to replicate 100 published studies in psychology has been getting a lot of attention, deservedly so. Much of the coverage has been fairly good, actually – probably because the results are rather wonky. Many have been quick to point out that “science isn’t broken” while others ask, “is science broken?” While many, including the authors, express surprise at the results of the study, I was not surprised at all. The results support what I have been saying in this blog and at SBM for years – we need to take replication…
  • French Court Awards Disability for Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

    Steven Novella
    28 Aug 2015 | 5:05 am
    A French court recently awarded a disability allowance ($912 per month for three years) to Marine Richard based upon her claim that she has EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity). This is a concerning development because EHS is likely not a real disease. The situation, however, is a bit more nuanced than it may at first appear. EHS and Non-Specific Symptoms First for some background on EHS (or Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields, IEI-EMF, as it is now called in the scientific literature) - sufferers claim that they are sensitive to electromagnetic…
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    WordPress Tag: Neuroscience

  • Research on human consciousness.

    franzmesmer
    5 Sep 2015 | 4:54 am
    Miroslaw Magola alias Mind Force asks whether consciousness could all be an illusion. The fundamental nature of reality is actually consciousness. In his documentary Magola explores the reasons why consciousness may be the fundamental essence of the Universe. Do people really use just 10 percent of their brains? Miroslaw Magola has provided a variety of media presentations that cause us to question the limitations of our knowledge, giving us impetus to find an explanation. “Anytime we gain new knowledge, our perceptions expand.” Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness,…
  • Researchers identify specific neuron-type responsible for alcoholism.

    Healthinnovations
    4 Sep 2015 | 2:38 pm
    For several decades, addiction has come to be viewed as a disorder of the dopamine neurotransmitter
  • Neurosciency Friday: The silver lining of neurosis, Tetris health benefits, "no mobile phone" phobia, and more

    neurosciency
    4 Sep 2015 | 1:19 pm
    It has been a while since I last wrote a post for Neurosciency Friday (not that Fridays have stopped being neurosciency).  Anyway, let’s get to the science news: – The LA Times discusses the silver lining of neurosis and research at the University of Utah which seeks to understand the neural underpinnings of religious experiences. – Science magazine reports the results of a group of researchers who sought to replicate the results of 100 psychology studies.  The researchers found that over half of the studies were not replicable, casting doubt on the…
  • That New 8-Hour Sleep Album—Explained

    tanyabasutime
    4 Sep 2015 | 11:31 am
    British composer Max Richter hopes you are snoring before you finish his latest release. Sleep, an 8-hour classical piece released Friday, features gentle strings and peaceful piano. He has called it a “personal lullaby for a frenetic world. A manifesto for a slower pace of existence.” Richter says sleep is an integral part of his creative process. “Sleeping has always been one of my favorite activities,” Richter told TIME. He’s also aware that most of us aren’t getting enough of it. Recent research shows that high school students, air traffic controllers…
  • Chris Brauer on the future of AI and what that means for brands and marketing

    gdotlewis
    4 Sep 2015 | 9:56 am
    From Contageous: There’s been a lot of discussion around machines passing the Turing test. Is that actually important? The Turing test asks whether you can tell the difference between the machine and a human. You are using your VA precisely because it is a machine and has all of the capabilities that a machine can bring and a human being can’t. You will retain for yourself the parts of your life that are the domain of the human being – our free will and our decision-making. Superior VAs are so near to entering the marketplace and will become the dominant platform for accessing knowledge…
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    Journal of Neuroscience current issue

  • Inflammatory Pain Promotes Increased Opioid Self-Administration: Role of Dysregulated Ventral Tegmental Area {mu} Opioid Receptors

    Hipolito, L., Wilson-Poe, A., Campos-Jurado, Y., Zhong, E., Gonzalez-Romero, J., Virag, L., Whittington, R., Comer, S. D., Carlton, S. M., Walker, B. M., Bruchas, M. R., Moron, J. A.
    2 Sep 2015 | 9:04 am
    Pain management in opioid abusers engenders ethical and practical difficulties for clinicians, often resulting in pain mismanagement. Although chronic opioid administration may alter pain states, the presence of pain itself may alter the propensity to self-administer opioids, and previous history of drug abuse comorbid with chronic pain promotes higher rates of opioid misuse. Here, we tested the hypothesis that inflammatory pain leads to increased heroin self-administration resulting from altered mu opioid receptor (MOR) regulation of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) transmission. To this end, the…
  • Non-Ionotropic NMDA Receptor Signaling Drives Activity-Induced Dendritic Spine Shrinkage

    Stein, I. S., Gray, J. A., Zito, K.
    2 Sep 2015 | 9:04 am
    The elimination of dendritic spine synapses is a critical step in the refinement of neuronal circuits during development of the cerebral cortex. Several studies have shown that activity-induced shrinkage and retraction of dendritic spines depend on activation of the NMDA-type glutamate receptor (NMDAR), which leads to influx of extracellular calcium ions and activation of calcium-dependent phosphatases that modify regulators of the spine cytoskeleton, suggesting that influx of extracellular calcium ions drives spine shrinkage. Intriguingly, a recent report revealed a novel non-ionotropic…
  • Neural Mechanisms for Undoing the "Curse of Dimensionality"

    Vaidya, A. R.
    2 Sep 2015 | 9:04 am
  • Cholinergic Modulation of Stimulus-Specific Adaptation in the Inferior Colliculus

    Ayala, Y. A., Malmierca, M. S.
    2 Sep 2015 | 9:04 am
    Neural encoding of an ever-changing acoustic environment is a complex and demanding process that depends on modulation by neuroactive substances. Some neurons of the inferior colliculus (IC) exhibit "stimulus-specific adaptation" (SSA), i.e., a decrease in their response to a repetitive sound, but not to a rare one. Previous studies have demonstrated that acetylcholine (ACh) alters the frequency response areas of auditory neurons and therefore is important in the encoding of spectral information. Here, we address how microiontophoretic application of ACh modulates SSA in the IC of the…
  • The Temporal Dynamics of Motor Memory across Wake and Sleep

    Cellini, N., McDevitt, E. A.
    2 Sep 2015 | 9:04 am
 
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    Sports Are 80 Percent Mental

  • Did Pete Rose's Competitive Spirit Drive Him To Gamble?

    21 Aug 2015 | 7:45 pm
    For many young baseball fans, Pete Rose is a name that is better known for being a baseball player banned from the game for gambling rather than the all-time leader in hits, not to mention games played, at-bats and singles.  In 1989, Major League Baseball banned him from the game due to accusations, which Rose later admitted to, of betting on baseball games including on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, as a player and a manager. While Rose contends that he never bet on the Reds to lose, which would be a conflict of interest, MLB still suspended him indefinitely. This month, Rose could…
  • 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,…
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    Alex Doman

  • Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love, and Work

    Alex Doman
    1 Sep 2015 | 11:06 am
    Several years ago I had the good fortune of meeting one of the brightest, most creative individuals I’ve ever crossed paths with, award-winning film producer and creativity expert, Barnet Bain. I had been acquainted with his work through the powerful Oscar winning film What Dreams May Come starring Robin Williams, which Barnet produced. It was a bit surreal sitting  at a dinner table for hours with Barnet, his lovely wife Sandi, and other brilliant friends at The Ivy in Santa Monica. The evening was spontaneous and  very reminiscent of a dinner scene in Steve Martin’s LA Story.
  • Can Structure and Creativity Coexist?

    Alex Doman
    30 Jul 2015 | 9:54 am
    Innovation surrounds us, and we can each be engaged in creative expression within organizations, bolstered by rather than being crushed by structure and systems. Being given the freedom to ideate, try new ideas, and fail within a safe and flexible system fosters an environment built for innovation. People will unleash their creativity when empowered to do so. Can structure and creativity coexist? Workfront asked me and 10 marketing thought leaders this question.  See what I say…  Can Structure and Creativity Coexist? And, check out Chris Brogan, Rachel Herrscher, Ted Rubin and the…
  • Music Does Profound Things to Your Brain

    Alex Doman
    29 Jul 2015 | 10:35 am
    My friend Max Lugavere joined us in Utah this past weekend to speak about brain health and his film BREADHEAD at The Listening Program® Conference 2015. We had a few minutes to film a quick chat about the power of music to change your brain. In the interview I introduce Max to inTime and our Waves multisensory headphone system where he experiences bone conducted listening for the first time. I loved his reaction! And be sure to listen to podcast we did on The Listening Program Radio & Podcast a while back.Filed under: Interviews Tagged: Alex Doman, bone conduction, brain, headphones,…
  • Bloom, Brain-Based Parenting

    Alex Doman
    30 Jun 2015 | 8:48 am
    I’ve come to know some truly exceptional people via social media over the years and Dr. Lynne Kenney is one of the stand outs. A mother of two, practicing pediatric psychologist, and the author of The  Family Coach Method, Dr.Kenney has just published the first multi-media book on parenting. Taking its lead from neuroscience and best practices in early childhood mental health, Bloom, the latest book from Dr. Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young offers parents, teachers and care providers the words, thoughts and actions to raise calm, confident children, while reducing the need for consequences…
  • 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…
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    Brain Posts

  • Football and Brain Injury: Weekend Reading List

    4 Sep 2015 | 7:46 am
    Here is a list of a few abstracts that caught my eye on the topic of football and brain injury risk.I will be reviewing some of these in more detail for further discussion next week.Clicking on the title will take you to the PubMed abstract. Selected abstracts have links to full text manuscripts.This topic is an emerging area of interest and a easy summary of the state-of-the-art is "We have many unanswered questions".Research is needed across many scientific domains including epidemiology, risk factors, detection, brain imaging and brain trauma biomarkers, genetics and treatment…
  • Brain Imaging in Football-Related Brain Injury

    3 Sep 2015 | 9:00 am
    The scope and mechanism of significant brain injury in football and other sports is unclear.One research challenge is the identification of early signals indicated risk for remote cognitive decline and dementia.For example, repeated concussions at age 20 with brain injury may not produce clinical cognitive deficits for 20 or 30 years. Early identification of risk and counseling of individuals may reduce trauma exposure and cognitive decline.There are no valid tests of brain imaging in high-risk populations for trauma-related cognitive decline. PET or positron emission tomography of the…
  • Managing Fatigue in Match-Play Tennis

    2 Sep 2015 | 9:48 am
    The 2015 U.S. Tennis Open is in full swing and I ran into an interesting recent manuscript summarizing fatigue in tennis.Fatigue has multiple elements including changes in muscle performance, blood markers of lactic acid and other compounds as well as brain central perception factors.Long multi-set matches can last four or five hours. Obviously, at the end of this type of exertion, players have had to adjust to effects of significant fatigue.Reid and Duffield review the key elements of fatigue in match-play tennis. Their review highlights the significant lack of data to understand fatigue in…
  • Mediterranean Diet and Alzheimer's Disease Prevention

    21 Jul 2015 | 9:29 am
    There is an urgent need to identify strategies to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.The role of diet as a prevention strategy is controversial. Some research evidence supports a role for a Mediterranean diet in cognitive health and dementia prevention.A recent brain imaging study adds to this evidence. Dr. Lisa Mosconi and colleagues at New York University School of Medicine completed a cross-sectional study of brain magnetic resonance imaging and diet was completed in 52 older cognitively normal individuals.The key elements of the design of this…
  • Fitness Linked to Brain White Matter Integrity in Aging

    15 Jul 2015 | 9:32 am
    Cardiovascular fitness has been correlated with a variety of beneficial effects on brain structure and cognition.These correlations have not proven causality but they do support continued imaging and brain function studies.Scott Hayes from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston School of Medicine recently published an information study on this topic.Brain white matter integrity is now open for study using diffusion tensor imaging, available from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).In the current study, the research team used the following key elements in their study…
 
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    Psychology Headlines Around the World

  • Don't Delay, Get Procrastination Problem Under Control

    CBS News - Healthwatch
    3 Sep 2015 | 2:33 am
    Source: CBS News - HealthwatchSocial psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson said one simple trick can make it three times as likely to get tasks off your to-do list.
  • Sex-Trafficking Survivors Use New Ink to Reclaim Lives

    CNN - Top Stories
    3 Sep 2015 | 2:33 am
    Source: CNN - Top StoriesJennifer Kempton is a strong woman. She's seen -- and experienced -- the worst of people and broken free from a life of sexual slavery and addiction.
  • U.S. Targets Health Care Bias Against Transgender People

    Yahoo News - Health
    3 Sep 2015 | 2:33 am
    Source: Yahoo News - HealthThe Obama administration says it wants to end discrimination against transgender people throughout the health care system.
  • "Mixed Depression," Agitation May Signal Suicide Risk

    Yahoo News - Health
    3 Sep 2015 | 2:32 am
    Source: Yahoo News - HealthCertain behavior patterns often precede suicide attempts by people with major depression, suggesting signs that doctors can and should watch out for, a large study suggests. The hallmarks of suicide risk may include risky behavior, agitated behavior, impulsivity and the presence of “depressive mixed states” that include both depression and mania symptoms, the investigators say. “The results of this study are important because they may...
  • California Report Outlines Racial Disparities in Arrests, Deaths

    CBS News - U.S. News
    3 Sep 2015 | 2:31 am
    Source: CBS News - U.S. NewsJust 6 percent of Californians are African American, yet they are involved in 17 percent of all arrests in the state and a quarter of in-custody deaths, according to what officials called a nationally unprecedented release of data Wednesday.
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    The Neurocritic

  • Cats on Treadmills (and the plasticity of biological motion perception)

    31 Aug 2015 | 1:15 am
    Cats on a treadmill. From Treadmill Kittens.It's been an eventful week. The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The 10th Anniversary of Optogenetics (with commentary from the neuroscience community and from the inventors). The Reproducibility Project's efforts to replicate 100 studies in cognitive and social psychology (published in Science). And the passing of the great writer and neurologist, Oliver Sacks. Oh, and Wes Craven just died too...I'm not blogging about any of these events. Many many others have already written about them (see selected reading list below). And The Neurocritic…
  • Will machine learning create new diagnostic categories, or just refine the ones we already have?

    9 Aug 2015 | 11:07 pm
    How do we classify and diagnose mental disorders?In the coming era of Precision Medicine, we'll all want customized treatments that “take into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles.” To do this, we'll need precise diagnostic tools to identify the specific disease process in each individual. Although focused on cancer in the near-term, the longer-term goal of the White House initiative is to apply Precision Medicine to all areas of health. This presumably includes psychiatry, but the links between Precision Medicine, the BRAIN initiative, and…
  • The Idiosyncratic Side of Diagnosis by Brain Scan and Machine Learning

    1 Aug 2015 | 4:53 pm
    R2D3R2D3 recently had a fantastic Visual Introduction to Machine Learning, using the classification of homes in San Francisco vs. New York as their example. As they explain quite simply: In machine learning, computers apply statistical learning techniques to automatically identify patterns in data. These techniques can be used to make highly accurate predictions. You should really head over there right now to view it, because it's very impressive.Computational neuroscience types are using machine learning algorithms to classify all sorts of brain states, and diagnose brain disorders, in…
  • Scary Brains and the Garden of Earthly Deep Dreams

    19 Jul 2015 | 2:38 pm
    In case you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, Google's foray into artificial neural networks has yielded hundreds of thousands of phantasmagoric images. The company has an obvious interest in image classification, and here's how they explain the DeepDream process in their Research Blog:Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks . . .We train an artificial neural network by showing it millions of training examples [of dogs and eyes and pagodas, let's say] and gradually adjusting the network parameters until it gives the classifications we want. The network typically consists…
  • Can Tetris Reduce Intrusive Memories of a Trauma Film?

    14 Jul 2015 | 5:23 pm
    For some inexplicable reason, you watched the torture gore horror film Hostel over the weekend. On Monday, you're having trouble concentrating at work. Images of severed limbs and bludgeoned heads keep intruding on your attempts to code or write a paper. So you decide to read about the making of Hostel.You end up seeing pictures of the most horrifying scenes from the movie. It's all way too way much to simply shake off so then you decide to play Tetris. But a funny thing happens. The unwelcome images start to become less frequent. By Friday, the gory mental snapshots are no longer forcing…
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    The Beautiful Brain

  • How Creativity Works in the Brain

    Ben Ehrlich
    3 Sep 2015 | 9:51 am
    Powerhouse intellect Arne Dietrich, of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, has published a new book, How Creativity Works in the Brain (Palgrave Macmillan) that will be sure to shake up your ideas about the mind and brain. A dedicated mechanist, Dietrich devotes himself to dispelling bogus ideas in psychology, such as right brains, divergent thinking, defocused attention, low arousal, alpha enhancement, dream states, or unconscious processes. “Current experimental work on the neural basis of creativity satisfies the criteria of phrenology,” Dietrich damningly writes,…
  • The Lost Dream Journals of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

    Ben Ehrlich
    21 Aug 2015 | 8:49 am
    Federica Bordoni for Nautilus Magazine When I was in Spain, last spring, I visited the National Library in Madrid, where original manuscripts of Don Quixote and other classics are preserved. I searched for every single book about Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Throughout my research, I had already seen most of them. But I hadn’t seen Los Sueños de Santiago Ramón y Cajal, published earlier that year. I took the book to the central reading room and could not believe my eyes. The father of modern neuroscience kept a dream diary from 1918 until 1934, when he died. He wanted to disprove the…
  • A Review of Inside Out

    Ben Ehrlich
    19 Jul 2015 | 8:01 am
    via Forbes The Los Angeles Review of Books has a terrific short review of the new Pixar film Inside Out by Yale Professor of English and American Studies Wai Chee Dimock. Dimock points out that although the film employs the “greatest hits of mind theory,” according to the producer, it leaves thinking out. Berkeley professor of psychology Dacher Keltner, who was consulted on the film, argues that emotions are important for our evolution. The film tries to leave us with empathy for the confusion and anxiety within our own heads and the heads of others, that which thought can…
  • The Science Delusion

    Ben Ehrlich
    11 Jul 2015 | 5:11 am
    Tricycle Magazine: The Buddhist Review offers wisdom, meditation, and practices from an ancient tradition for contemporary life. In Spring 2014, it featured an interview with the cultural critic Curtis White, whose book The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers, a follow-up to his 2003 international bestseller The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think For Themselves, attacks the ideology of scientism, or “the claim that science has got the world nailed down (or soon will, anyway), that the answer to all of our human problems lies in the…
  • Neuroscience in Photography

    Ben Ehrlich
    2 Jul 2015 | 10:53 pm
    “Empire Falling.” Copyright Elena Dorfman. Over at Nautilus, there is a long piece by Jonathon Keats titled “When Photographers are Neuroscientists.” Keats, the experimental philosopher and conceptual artist, author of the book Forged: Why the Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age, tells the story of the photographers Elena Dorfman, David Hockney, and Weegee, whose work illustrates contradiction and uncertainty in how the brain handles visual information. Citing an influential 2004 neuroaesthetics paper by Semir Zeki, which defines the experience of ambiguity in the…
 
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    The Neurocritic

  • Cats on Treadmills (and the plasticity of biological motion perception)

    The Neurocritic
    31 Aug 2015 | 1:15 am
    Cats on a treadmill. From Treadmill Kittens.It's been an eventful week. The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The 10th Anniversary of Optogenetics (with commentary from the neuroscience community and from the inventors). The Reproducibility Project's efforts to replicate 100 studies in cognitive and social psychology (published in Science). And the passing of the great writer and neurologist, Oliver Sacks. Oh, and Wes Craven just died too...I'm not blogging about any of these events. Many many others have already written about them (see selected reading list below). And The Neurocritic…
  • Will machine learning create new diagnostic categories, or just refine the ones we already have?

    The Neurocritic
    9 Aug 2015 | 11:07 pm
    How do we classify and diagnose mental disorders?In the coming era of Precision Medicine, we'll all want customized treatments that “take into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles.” To do this, we'll need precise diagnostic tools to identify the specific disease process in each individual. Although focused on cancer in the near-term, the longer-term goal of the White House initiative is to apply Precision Medicine to all areas of health. This presumably includes psychiatry, but the links between Precision Medicine, the BRAIN initiative, and…
  • The Idiosyncratic Side of Diagnosis by Brain Scan and Machine Learning

    The Neurocritic
    1 Aug 2015 | 4:53 pm
    R2D3R2D3 recently had a fantastic Visual Introduction to Machine Learning, using the classification of homes in San Francisco vs. New York as their example. As they explain quite simply: In machine learning, computers apply statistical learning techniques to automatically identify patterns in data. These techniques can be used to make highly accurate predictions. You should really head over there right now to view it, because it's very impressive.Computational neuroscience types are using machine learning algorithms to classify all sorts of brain states, and diagnose brain disorders, in…
  • Scary Brains and the Garden of Earthly Deep Dreams

    The Neurocritic
    19 Jul 2015 | 2:38 pm
    In case you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, Google's foray into artificial neural networks has yielded hundreds of thousands of phantasmagoric images. The company has an obvious interest in image classification, and here's how they explain the DeepDream process in their Research Blog:Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks . . .We train an artificial neural network by showing it millions of training examples [of dogs and eyes and pagodas, let's say] and gradually adjusting the network parameters until it gives the classifications we want. The network typically consists…
  • Can Tetris Reduce Intrusive Memories of a Trauma Film?

    The Neurocritic
    14 Jul 2015 | 5:23 pm
    For some inexplicable reason, you watched the torture gore horror film Hostel over the weekend. On Monday, you're having trouble concentrating at work. Images of severed limbs and bludgeoned heads keep intruding on your attempts to code or write a paper. So you decide to read about the making of Hostel.You end up seeing pictures of the most horrifying scenes from the movie. It's all way too way much to simply shake off so then you decide to play Tetris. But a funny thing happens. The unwelcome images start to become less frequent. By Friday, the gory mental snapshots are no longer forcing…
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    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level

  • Memory Loss in Alzheimer’s Reduced for the First Time

    Bruno Dubuc
    1 Sep 2015 | 12:34 pm
    On November 4, 1906, German neurologist Alois Alzheimer first described the “particular malady of the cerebral cortex” of his patient Auguste D. Over a century later, this “particular malady” that now bears his name still resists every medication developed so far to treat it: none has yet succeeded in halting the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, or even in slowing it down. At best, some medications reduce some of the disease’s symptoms. In the past decade alone, an estimated $1 billion has been swallowed up by clinical trials of new Alzheimer’s medications, with almost nothing…
  • What’s running our show?

    Bruno Dubuc
    10 Aug 2015 | 8:51 am
    Deric Bownds, director of the Biology of Mind program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently gave a lecture at this institution’s seminar series on chaos and complexity. The lecture was entitled “Upstairs/Downstairs in our brains – What’s running our show?” (You can find the full text by following the link at the bottom of this post.) Its subject was the increasingly common distinction, in the literature on the brain, between bottom-up and top-down control. This literature also employs other metaphors for opposing processes in the brain, such as the famous…
  • Microscopic Synapses and Giant Microscopes

    Bruno Dubuc
    18 Jul 2015 | 8:36 am
    More and more courses are being offered for free online by prestigious universities. Many of these courses deal with various aspects of the cognitive sciences. One such course is “The Fundamentals of Neuroscience”, from Harvard University (see first link below). This course includes various multimedia features, including an excellent 30-minute documentary video entitled “Connectomics: Big Microscopes & Tiny Synapses” (second link below). This video presents the research being done by Professor Jeff Lichtman and his colleagues in his laboratory, who are using images of real human…
  • The Physiology of Expanded Consciousness

    Bruno Dubuc
    30 Jun 2015 | 1:02 pm
    The results of some studies are exactly what you would have predicted, but that doesn’t make them any less interesting. For example, the study reported in the link below found that taking psilocybin (the psychoactive substance in “magic mushrooms”) puts the brain in a state that is conducive to freer associations, somewhat as in dreams. So no big surprise there. But the researchers still had to use some ingenious methods to demonstrate this finding: a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging with an original technique for measuring entropy in the activity of various networks…
  • The McGurk Effect: An Auditory Illusion

    Bruno Dubuc
    9 Jun 2015 | 8:51 am
    This week’s post will be brief, so that you can get out and enjoy the start of summer and the restoratjve effects of nature, but the subject is very intriguing. Have you ever heard of the McGurk effect? It’s an auditory illusion that shows just how much our brains construct our auditory perceptions not only from what we hear but also from what we see. In the case of spoken words, what we see is the mouth of the person who is talking to us. If you watch a video where, on the audio track, someone is actually saying “ba”, but in the image, their mouth is pronouncing the sound “fa”,…
 
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    Synaesthesia Discovery

  • The Days of the Week Synaesthesia

    Spring
    24 Aug 2015 | 5:54 am
    After more than a year’s break from writing my blog Synaesthesia Discovery, I feel that the temptation of re-starting my blog is rising. The year has been hectic. I have been fully occupied by a large program at work. One day, waking up at the news that the program would no longer continue due to the downturn of the economy, I could not help but re-assessing my life priority. Children have grown so much taller last 12 months. Skye is now above 170cm and is proud of being taller than his mum. Thomas is close to 145cm in height. The two brothers still have the ‘love and hate’…
  • Timeline – Growing Up in Australia

    Spring
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:38 am
    Growing Up in Australia is a long term study, conducted in partnership between the Department of Social Services, the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The study follows the development of 10,000 children and families across Australia. It tries to identify key contributors, such as social, economic and cultural environment, to children’s cognitive development and wellbeing. Since its inception of 2004, Growing Up in Australia has provided policy makers and researchers some very valuable statistics which further influenced government’s…
  • Synaesthesia Marches into the Soccer World Cup

    Spring
    7 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    The early exit of Australian socceroos at FIFA World Cup 2014 has not dampened the nation’s enthusiasm in soccer. Soccer is on the rise to become more and more popular in Australia. Both Skye and Thomas participate in soccer training and soccer games at school. Before the end of last term, Skye’s team represented his school to compete at a regional tournament. Skye’s interest in soccer was developed through his love of an iPad game called Head Soccer. The game involves players from many countries. His synaesthesia very quickly made him see country flags in synaesthetic…
  • Does Synaesthesia Provide Benefits at a Workplace?

    Spring
    24 Jun 2014 | 6:40 am
    Synaesthesia has been commonly recognised as an asset for musicians and writers, but does synaesthesia provide benefits to ordinary people like myself at a workplace? I have been wondering about this question for a while. My work is hectic. Every day, I rush from one meeting to another. Five to six meetings a day is normal. 5pm is the time that I can finally sit at my desk, and start doing my work without much interruption. In the old days, I used to notice my colleagues taking their notepads to meetings, and writing down meeting notes page after page. I felt embarrassed that I hardly ever…
  • Holograms – Smell to Vision and Vision to Smell Synaesthesia

    Spring
    10 Jun 2014 | 5:27 am
    “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” ― Jonathan Swift Synaesthetic vision is holographic like vision, according to Skye. Images are multidimensional which can be seen clearly, but are not touchable. While Skye was learning aboriginal history, he always saw a synaesthetic boomerang going around him. It did distract him a bit as he was too busy looking at the boomerang rather than his classroom teacher. On the weekends, children like coming to our bed after they wake up. The smell of our bed triggers off a lime green colour for Thomas. It makes Skye see fire on the bed like…
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    Your Brain Health

  • The Neuroscience Academy – enrolling students for September founding class.

    Sarah McKay
    2 Sep 2015 | 3:24 am
      I’m thrilled to share some long-awaited news with you today, especially if you’re a health or wellness professional, coach, therapist, social worker, health educator or similar. Drum roll please …. The doors are now OPEN for you to register as a student in The Neuroscience Academy! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. The Neuroscience Academy […] The post The Neuroscience Academy – enrolling students for September founding class. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Nurture your mind and it will nurture your body.

    Sarah McKay
    27 Aug 2015 | 1:56 pm
    Today’s blog post ‘The Body Whisper’ comes from the wise and super smart Xian Hu, a.k.a. Mandy, 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 […] The post Nurture your mind and it will nurture your body. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Fearful memories reinforced by the stress hormone cortisol.

    Sarah McKay
    3 Aug 2015 | 12:17 am
    We’re all more likely to remember events that have great emotional significance: the birth of a child or the first time you met the love of your life. But bad memories seem to stick more than good. Memories of emotional experiences usually fade over time Strong memories of stressful experiences tend to decline over time. But […] The post Fearful memories reinforced by the stress hormone cortisol. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • How to: Scientist to Communicator

    Sarah McKay
    11 Jul 2015 | 10:44 pm
    Ready to hang up your lab coat and enter the world of science, health and medical communications? But not really sure what the options are and what steps you should take next? I’m thrilled to offer my one-to-one ‘Scientist to Communicator’ training days for scientists, academics, PhDs, postdocs or health professionals interested in a career in health, medical or science […] The post How to: Scientist to Communicator appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Smartphone app shows a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

    Sarah McKay
    2 Jul 2015 | 1:00 pm
    An intriguing paper called ‘A wandering mind is an unhappy mind,’ was published in the journal Science a couple of years ago, and I stumbled upon it this week. It describes a smartphone app that samples people’s ongoing thoughts, feelings, and actions during the course of the day. If you’re curious how an app can be used […] The post Smartphone app shows a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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    Brain Protips

  • Adrafinil For Sale

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    1 Sep 2015 | 7:26 pm
    Where is Adrafinil available for sale online? There are numerous vendors that offer Adrafinil powder for sale, but prices and quality very widely. Because adrafinil is sold as a dietary supplement, quality control is probably less stringent than for prescription drugs like Modafinil. The adrafinil sold on the internet usually has the appearance of a […] The post Adrafinil For Sale appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • Adrafinil vs Modafinil

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    1 Sep 2015 | 7:04 pm
    Chemical Differences Between Adrafinil vs Modafinil In terms of chemical structure, adrafinil is modafinil with a single modification: a hydroxyl group (circled in red below) is added to the amine (the functional group containing nitrogen). In the GI tract (due to stomach acidity), the hydroxyl group is protonated and reduced to the amine to form modafinil. […] The post Adrafinil vs Modafinil appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • Adrafinil Half-Life

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:22 am
    The Half-Life of Adrafinil A study conducted in rats found that the half-life of adrafinil is about 4.95 hours1)Rao RN, Shinde DD, Talluri MV, Agawane SB. LC-ESI-MS determination and pharmacokinetics of adrafinil in rats. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2008;873(1):119-23.. The 4.95 hour half-life for adrafinil is misleading, however. The therapeutic effects […] The post Adrafinil Half-Life appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • Adrafinil vs Adderall

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:06 am
    Adrafinil and Adderall are chemically unrelated substances. Adrafinil is a novel wakefulness enhancer, whereas Adderall is one the classic psychostimulants (others include ritalin and cocaine). However, both drugs are increasingly used by healthy individuals to facilitate productivity in the workplace. Adrafinil promotes wakefulness and vigilance, whereas Adderall improves concentration, task salience (how rewarding you perceive […] The post Adrafinil vs Adderall appeared first on Brain Protips.
  • Adrafinil Side Effects

    brainprotips@gmail.com
    1 Sep 2015 | 1:16 am
    The side effects of adrafinil largely mimic the side effects of modafinil. The two drugs have essentially identical side effects because adrafinil is converted to modafinil in the body. Adrafinil is not in itself biologically active in the brain; modafinil is the active metabolite. Table of Adrafinil Side Effects The post Adrafinil Side Effects appeared first on Brain Protips.
 
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