Neuroscience

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  • Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them?

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

    Deric's MindBlog
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Hudziak et al. have examined a database of MRI scans of 232 youths ranging from 6 to 18 years of age, obtained over a period of years. Their analysis revealed that music training was associated with an increased rate of cortical thickness maturation.  Clips from their discussion and a figure: Music training was associated with the rate of cortical thickness maturation in a number of brain areas distributed throughout the right premotor and primary cortices, the left primary and supplementary motor cortices, bilateral parietal cortices, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, as well as…
  • Opioids for Chronic Pain – An Interview with Dr. Webster, Pain Guru

    Brain Blogger
    Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    With chronic pain has come a debate on how to treat it, and some controversy on whether opioid use is effective or not. Lynn R. Webster, M.D., is one the nation’s leading researchers and experts in the field of chronic pain management. Dr. Webster is the Vice President of Scientific Affairs of PRA Health Sciences and immediate past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Practicing medicine for over three decades, Dr. Webster has authored Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain: A Guide for Practitioners. As developer of the Opioid Risk Tool (ORT), he is considered a world…
  • Music, the Brain and Therapeutic Results

    The Brain Understanding Itself
    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…
  • BSP 115: Eastern Philosophy and Western Neuroscience

    BSP Show Notes - Brain Science Podcast
    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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    Neuroscience News -- ScienceDaily

  • Fluorescent dyes 'light up' brain cancer cells

    30 Jan 2015 | 9:16 am
    Two new fluorescent dyes attracted to cancer cells may help neurosurgeons more accurately localize and completely resect brain tumors, suggests a new study. Removing all visible areas of cancer (gross total resection) significantly improves survival after brain cancer surgery.
  • Key discovery to preventing blindness, stroke devastation

    30 Jan 2015 | 7:26 am
    Gene interactions that determine whether cells live or die in such conditions as age-related macular degeneration and ischemic stroke have been discovered by researchers. These common molecular mechanisms in vision and brain integrity can prevent blindness and also promote recovery from a stroke.
  • Treating Cerebral Malaria: New Molecular Target Identified

    30 Jan 2015 | 5:21 am
    A drug already approved for treating other diseases may be useful as a treatment for cerebral malaria, according to researchers who discovered a novel link between food intake during the early stages of infection and the outcome of the disease, identifying two molecular pathways that could serve as new targets for treatment.
  • New technologies to help patients with Parkinson's disease

    30 Jan 2015 | 5:15 am
    New wearable sensor networks and mobile phone applications are being tested for their potential to monitor and manage patients with Parkinson’s disease. The research aim is the usage of low-cost wearable sensors that can continuously collect and process the accelerometry signals to automatically detect and quantify the symptoms of the patient. Once we this is done, the information is sent to hospital to generate a daily report that will alert the doctor in case of any outlier.
  • FDA approves first-of-kind device to treat obesity

    29 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Maestro Rechargeable System for certain obese adults, the first weight loss treatment device that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness.
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    MIT News - Neuroscience

  • Decoding sugar addiction

    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Together, obesity and Type 2 diabetes rank among our nation’s greatest health problem, and they largely result from what many call an “addiction” to sugar. But solving this problem is more complicated than solving drug addiction, because it requires reducing the drive to eat unhealthy foods without affecting the desire to eat healthy foods when hungry. In a new paper in Cell, neuroscientists at MIT have untangled these two processes in mice and shown that inhibiting a previously unknown brain circuit that regulates compulsive sugar consumption does not interfere with healthy eating.
  • MIT researchers find where visual memories are made

    Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
    20 Jan 2015 | 11:09 am
    In findings that may lead to new treatments for cognitive disorders, researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory zero in on how the brain forms memories of what has been seen. In a paper appearing this week in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience, a research team led by Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience, showed that dramatic changes occur in the primary visual cortex when mice learn to distinguish novel from familiar visual stimuli. Manipulations that prevented the changes in visual cortex also blocked memory formation. Impairments in detecting and…
  • New fibers can deliver many simultaneous stimuli

    David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
    19 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    The human brain’s complexity makes it extremely challenging to study — not only because of its sheer size, but also because of the variety of signaling methods it uses simultaneously. Conventional neural probes are designed to record a single type of signaling, limiting the information that can be derived from the brain at any point in time. Now researchers at MIT may have found a way to change that. By producing complex multimodal fibers that could be less than the width of a hair, they have created a system that could deliver optical signals and drugs directly into the brain, along with…
  • MIT team enlarges brain samples, making them easier to image

    Anne Trafton | MIT News Office
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:00 am
    Beginning with the invention of the first microscope in the late 1500s, scientists have been trying to peer into preserved cells and tissues with ever-greater magnification. The latest generation of so-called “super-resolution” microscopes can see inside cells with resolution better than 250 nanometers. A team of researchers from MIT has now taken a novel approach to gaining such high-resolution images: Instead of making their microscopes more powerful, they have discovered a method that enlarges tissue samples by embedding them in a polymer that swells when water is added. This allows…
  • A week at MIT

    Jessica Fujimori | MIT News correspondent
    13 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    The first week of the new year brought smatterings of undergraduates returning to the MIT campus after the holidays — and 54 new faces were among them. These students traveled from across the country to attend the annual Quantitative Methods Workshop, a weeklong event with lectures and classes for undergraduates from partner institutions including Howard University, Hunter College, and the University of Puerto Rico. The workshop, sponsored by the Department of Biology and the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines, focused on how computer programming can…
 
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    ScienceBlogs

  • Comments of the Week #46: from the Universe’s timeline to Pluto [Starts With A Bang]

    Ethan
    31 Jan 2015 | 7:33 am
    “Time is the longest distance between two places.” -Tennessee Williams I’m always stoked to give you weekly recaps at Starts With A Bang, just in case there’s anything you missed. We saw some fantastic posts this week, including two amazing contributions from Brian Koberlein and Amanda Yoho! Here’s what we saw: The timeline of the Universe (for Ask Ethan), Superman vs. Baseball (for our Weekend Diversion), The Cat’s-Eye Nebula (for Mostly Mute Monday), From Heaven to Earth, (a Jovian treat by Brian Koberlein) The Big Bang by Balloon, (a story of cosmic…
  • Ask Ethan #73: The Multiverse and you (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

    Ethan
    30 Jan 2015 | 3:26 pm
    “Go then, there are other worlds than these.” -Stephen King, The Dark Tower Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in our Universe. Image credit: Wikimedia commons user Christian Schirm. Then, along came cosmic inflation, teaching us that our observable Universe is just a tiny, tiny fraction of the matter-and-radiation filled space out there, with possibilities including Universes with…
  • Study: Building walkable communities can change behavior for the better [The Pump Handle]

    Kim Krisberg
    30 Jan 2015 | 2:19 pm
    It’s not unusual for studies on community walkability to face the perplexing question of self-selection. In other words, people who already like to walk end up moving to walkable communities and so those communities naturally have higher physical activity rates. In even simpler terms, it’s about the person, not the environment. However, a new study finds that walkable community design does influence healthy behavior — even among people with no preference for walking in the first place. Published in December in a supplement of the Preventive Medicine journal, the study examined changes…
  • Cephalopod meeting! [Pharyngula]

    PZ Myers
    30 Jan 2015 | 9:02 am
    CIAC Unfortunately, this event is not on my calendar: the Cephalopod International Advisory Council (CIAC) is meeting 8-14 November in Hakodate, Japan, to discuss recent advances in cephalopod science (pdf). It looks delightful. I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. But alas, all I can do is tell you you should go.
  • Friday Cephalopod: Big Government wants to use drones to probe your bedroom! [Pharyngula]

    PZ Myers
    30 Jan 2015 | 8:52 am
    How would you feel if NOAA sent a camera to snoop around your most intimate moments, huh?
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    Deric's MindBlog

  • Parallel brain systems regulate our pain.

    30 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Our subjective sensory experiences are regulated by defined brain areas subh visual cortex, auditory cortex,somatosensory cortex, etc., but there doesn't appear to be a "pain cortex" that directly codes our subjective perception of pain. Mano and Seymour, in a review of Woo et al., note the emerging concept that pain might emerge from the coordinated activity of an integrated brain network. Woo et al. provide evidence that distinct brain networks support the subjective changes in pain that result from nociceptive input and self-directed cognitive modulation. Their abstract, followed by a…
  • Power and your voice.

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Margaret Thatcher did it, and so can you. She went through voice training that permitted her to exude a more authoritative powerful persona. Her voice became higher in pitch and loudness variability but lower in pitch variability, like playing a piano with a smaller number of notes, but varying their volume more. Ko et al. report a similar transformation in the usual cadre of college undergraduates recruited for an experiment. Here is a description of the experiments provided by an APS summary: In the first experiment, they recorded 161 college students reading a passage aloud; this first…
  • Musical training accelerates cortical thickness maturation.

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Hudziak et al. have examined a database of MRI scans of 232 youths ranging from 6 to 18 years of age, obtained over a period of years. Their analysis revealed that music training was associated with an increased rate of cortical thickness maturation.  Clips from their discussion and a figure: Music training was associated with the rate of cortical thickness maturation in a number of brain areas distributed throughout the right premotor and primary cortices, the left primary and supplementary motor cortices, bilateral parietal cortices, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, as well as…
  • Judging and adapting to norm violations engage different brain regions.

    27 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Gu et al. find that our insula is critical for learning to adapt when reality deviates from norm expectations, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is important for valuation of fairness during social exchange. Social norms and their enforcement are fundamental to human societies. The ability to detect deviations from norms and to adapt to norms in a changing environment is therefore important to individuals' normal social functioning. Previous neuroimaging studies have highlighted the involvement of the insular and ventromedial prefrontal (vmPFC) cortices in representing norms. However,…
  • Subjective status shapes political preferences.

    26 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Brown-Iannuzzi et al. suggest that people's subjective perception of their socioeconomic status (SES) has a large influence on whether they support wealth redistribution as a remedy for increasing economic inequality in America. This is distinct from attitudes based on economic ideologies and economic self-interest. Here is their abstract, followed by their description of their studies: Economic inequality in America is at historically high levels. Although most Americans indicate that they would prefer greater equality, redistributive policies aimed at reducing inequality are frequently…
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    Brain Blogger

  • Opioids for Chronic Pain – An Interview with Dr. Webster, Pain Guru

    Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS
    30 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    With chronic pain has come a debate on how to treat it, and some controversy on whether opioid use is effective or not. Lynn R. Webster, M.D., is one the nation’s leading researchers and experts in the field of chronic pain management. Dr. Webster is the Vice President of Scientific Affairs of PRA Health Sciences and immediate past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Practicing medicine for over three decades, Dr. Webster has authored Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain: A Guide for Practitioners. As developer of the Opioid Risk Tool (ORT), he is considered a world…
  • Think Your Way to Health

    Anne Marie Ludovici, MS
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Our thoughts, and ways of thinking, wield a great deal of power to change our emotions, moods, and, ultimately, our behaviors. By heightening our awareness or mindfulness of our physical, mental and emotional states, and thoughts, as well as our reactions to our thoughts and states, we can empower ourselves to be better equipped to successfully navigate and manage situations and events. And, eventually we can succeed at changing our health behaviors. Thoughts Identifying our thoughts and restructuring them is the basis of many effective techniques frequently being utilized by health behavior…
  • Communicating with ALS One Blink at a Time

    Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MEd, MS
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    In their new book One Blink at a Time, Ismail and Cheryl Tsieprati share how they teamed up and overcame each and every challenge ALS placed before them. Ismail has lived with ALS for more than thirty years. His wife, Cheryl, has been challenged over the years to build, train and maintain a reliable and effective nursing team. In addition to Ismail and Cheryl’s inspiring story, the book contains practical advice from training caregivers, to preparing for emergencies, to surviving the hospital. Also included is an extensive glossary and helpful resources. Here, I interview both Cheryl and…
  • Feeling Sleepy? Take an App!

    Lorena Nessi, PhD, MA
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    A fascinating flurry of sleeping apps has hit the market this year. You might think that sleep is the one time you certainly don’t need to use your phone, but these app providers are daring to try to prove that perception wrong… and they’re doing a pretty good job. There are some pretty impressive sleep suite packages out there now. The best all-rounder I’ve seen on the market is Sleep Genius, which claims to be the world’s number one sleeping app. Based on sleep research designed to help NASA astronauts to get a good night, it contains some powerful features. First of all it…
  • Nurturing The Brain – Part I, Caffeine

    Sara Adaes, PhD (c)
    26 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Overall, more than 85% of children and adults consume caffeine regularly. But what does it do to the brain? Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. According to Euromonitor, the United States is the country with the highest amount of total coffee consumption (971 tons per year), closely followed by Brazil (969 tons). However, when analyzed per capita, coffee consumption is actually highest in northern Europe, with Finland taking the lead, followed by Norway and the Netherlands. According to the National Coffee Association of the US (NCA), 54% of Americans over the age of 18…
 
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    Mind Hacks

  • In the 21st Century, project management for parents

    vaughanbell
    31 Jan 2015 | 9:03 am
    I’ve just read an excellent book on the surprising anomaly of modern parenting called All Joy and No Fun. It’s by the writer Jennifer Senior who we’ve featured a few times on Mind Hacks for her insightful pieces on the social mind. In All Joy and No Fun she looks at how the modern model of childhood born after the Second World War – “long and sheltered, devoted almost entirely to education and emotional growth” – has begun to mutate in some quarters into an all consuming occupation of over-parenting that has meant childcare has been consistently rated…
  • Hard Problem defeats legendary playwright

    vaughanbell
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:47 am
    I’ve written a review of legendary playwright Tom Stoppard’s new play The Hard Problem at the National Theatre, where he tackles neuroscience and consciousness – or at least thinks he does. The review is in The Psychologist and covers the themes running through Stoppard’s new work and how they combine with the subtly misfiring conceptualisation of cognitive science: This is a typical and often pedantic criticism of plays about technical subjects but in Stoppard’s case, the work is primarily about what defines us as human, in light of the science of human nature, and…
  • A misdiagnosis of trauma in Ancient Babylon

    vaughanbell
    24 Jan 2015 | 11:24 am
    Despite the news reports, researchers probably haven’t discovered a mention of ‘PTSD’ from 1300BC Mesopotamia. The claim is likely due to a rather rough interpretation of Ancient Babylonian texts but it also reflects a curious interest in trying to find modern psychiatric diagnoses in the past, which tells us more about our own clinical insecurities than the psychology of the ancient world. The claim comes from a new article published in Early Science and Medicine and it turns out there’s a pdf of the article available online if you want to read it in full. The authors…
  • From the machine

    vaughanbell
    22 Jan 2015 | 12:50 pm
    A new film, Ex Machina, is released in the UK tomorrow and it is quite possibly one of the best sci-fi films of recent times and probably the best film about consciousness and artificial intelligence ever made. The movie revolves around startup geek turned tech corp billionaire Nathan who has created the artificially conscious android Ava. Nathan invites one of his corporate coders, Caleb, to help test whether Ava feels conscious. The film is near-future but in the tradition of sci-fi as a theatre in which to test ideas, it focuses on the stark and unexpected issues raised by self-conscious…
  • pwned by a self-learning AI

    vaughanbell
    21 Jan 2015 | 2:09 pm
    Backchannel has a fascinating profile of DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis which although an interesting read in itself, has a link to a brief, barely mentioned study which may herald a quiet revolution in artificial intelligence. The paper (available online as a pdf) is entitled “Playing Atari with Deep Reinforcement Learning” and describes an AI system which, without any prior training, learned to play a series of Atari 2600 games to the point of out-performing humans. The key here is ‘without any prior training’ as the system was not ‘told’ anything about…
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    Neuroethics & Law Blog

  • PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:54 pm
    Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): Writing Your Way to Happiness, New York Times In The Popular Press: Violent Psychopaths Don’t Register Punishment, Study Says, TIME Unconscious Thought Not So Smart After All, Nature News Neuroscience in the Courtroom: An Attempt...
  • PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    25 Jan 2015 | 6:12 pm
    Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): I Tried A Brain-Altering Wearable That Allows Users To Change Their Moods On Demand, Quartz In The Popular Press: Psychologists Seek Roots of Terror, Nature News How the Brain Stores Trivial Memories, Just in Case,...
  • "A Diet Enriched with Curcumin Impairs Newly Acquired and Reactivated Fear Memories"

    NELB Staff
    21 Jan 2015 | 3:05 pm
    "A Diet Enriched with Curcumin Impairs Newly Acquired and Reactivated Fear Memories" Monsey MS, Gerhard DM, et. al. Abstract Curcumin, a yellow-pigment compound found in the popular Indian spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), has been extensively investigated for its anti-inflammatory, chemopreventative,...
  • PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    18 Jan 2015 | 4:18 pm
    Last Edition's Most Popular Article(s): If You Want to Meet That Deadline, Play a Trick on Your Mind, New York Times In The Popular Press: The Woman Who Sees Like A Bat, Nature Audio I Tried A Brain-Altering Wearable That...
  • "The Ethics of Molecular Memory Modification"

    NELB Staff
    17 Jan 2015 | 4:19 pm
    Recently published in the Journal of Medical Ethics: "The Ethics of Molecular Memory Modification" Katrina Hui Carl E. Fisher Novel molecular interventions have recently shown the potential to erase, enhance and alter specific long-term memories. Unique features of this form...
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    Neuromarketing

  • Brainfluence Podcast – Episodes 31 to 40

    Roger Dooley
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:01 am
    Another couple of months and we’ve got ten more episodes of The Brainfluence Podcast with awesome guests like Paul Zak, Dan Pink, and Robin Dreeke, the FBI’s former top behaviorist! Here’s your chance to catch up on any you missed. [...] The post Brainfluence Podcast – Episodes 31 to 40 appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • Here’s Why Smart Marketers Use A/B Testing

    Roger Dooley
    27 Jan 2015 | 7:19 am
    How often are websites designed using “best practices” or by trusting the experience of a seasoned expert? The answer is, “all too frequently.” In every speech I give, I offer practical advice on how to get better marketing results by [...] The post Here’s Why Smart Marketers Use A/B Testing appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • Mega-Recap for Roger’s Picks

    Roger Dooley
    16 Jan 2015 | 5:05 am
    My “picks” went on vacation over the holidays, and then got off to a slow start in the new year. So, this edition is a big catch-up on my own content from here, Forbes, and my podcasts at RogerDooley.com, along [...] The post Mega-Recap for Roger’s Picks appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • Why Monkeys Are Smarter Shoppers Than Humans

    John Carvalho
    14 Jan 2015 | 6:10 am
    A new Yale study shows that capuchin monkeys, which respond like humans in many situations, are unlike humans when it comes to preferring more expensive treats. The post Why Monkeys Are Smarter Shoppers Than Humans appeared first on Neuromarketing.
  • Sensory Marketing in a Business Card

    Roger Dooley
    8 Jan 2015 | 5:44 am
    We think of print as primarily a visual medium and a challenge to use for sensory marketing. You generally can’t smell it, taste it, or hear it. But touch can come into play in many kinds of print media. Hence, [...] The post Sensory Marketing in a Business Card appeared first on Neuromarketing.
 
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    SharpBrains

  • Quick brain teasers to test your cognitive skills…and biases

    SharpBrains
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:08 am
    If you’re looking for some stimulating, quick mental exercise, try these Brain Teasers To Test Your Cognitive Skills…And Your Cognitive Biases over at The Creativity Post. Once you’re done, you may want to enjoy with these visual brain teasers, and also visit our brain twisters and brain games sec­tion, with plenty of fun (and free) mind games for teens, adults and seniors. Have a nice weekend!
  • January Update: The Federal Trade Commission orders Focus Education to stop making unsubstantiated brain training claims

    SharpBrains
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:47 am
    Time for Sharp­Brains’ Januarye-newsletter, fea­tur­ing a wealth of brain health insights, neu­ro­science research reports, a landmark action by the Federal Trade Commission…and some quick brain teasers. Enjoy! New research: Brain health research study by AARP: Consumers pursue brain training to support a more enjoyable, self-managed life Can self-monitoring help promote academic success, and reduce ADHD symptoms, in college students with ADHD Studies point toward clear benefits to cultivating mindfulness in the workplace In the New Year, toss a coin or trust Dr. Oz for medical…
  • New book on neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge: The Brain’s Way of Healing

    SharpBrains
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:40 am
    Rewired: Learning to tame a noisy brain. (Or, how you can use the power of neuroplasticity) (The Globe and Mail): “His first book popularized the idea that the brain is actually a dynamic, adaptive organ with incredible potential to change. Now, Dr. Norman Doidge is sharing incredible stories of recovery from the sci-fi-like frontier of energy-based therapies… It was Doidge, a psychiatrist and faculty member of both the University of Toronto and Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, who introduced the lay reader to the revolutionary idea that the brain…
  • Study: To help children with ADHD improve academic performance, combine medication AND behavioral treatment

    Dr. David Rabiner
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:19 am
    Academic problems are extremely common in children with ADHD and often the issue that leads to referral for an ADHD evaluation. Unfortunately, the significant academic struggles that many children with ADHD experience can undermine their long-term success in areas that extend far beyond formal schooling. Given these facts, an important question is whether long-term academic functioning in youth with ADHD improves with treatment? Because this is such a fundamentally important question, and ADHD is the most well-researched mental health condition in children, one might think that the answer is…
  • Trend: Mobile apps to improve vision via perceptual learning

    SharpBrains
    26 Jan 2015 | 7:14 am
    Vision training: Mobile app improved pilots’ vision (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association): “Military pilots (and other test subjects) have improved their vision after a few weeks of training with a new application for mobile devices—an application now available to the public. The technology has helped dedicated users reverse age-related vision loss, and to help younger people improve on 20/20. Their eyes—including lenses, muscles, and receptors that send signals to the optic nerve—are only incidentally involved: The real work is going on inside the brain… More specifically, the…
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    BSP Show Notes - Brain Science Podcast

  • 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…
  • Brain Science Podcast Celebrates 8 Years of Neuroscience

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    22 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    Ginger CampbeLL, host of the Brain Science Podcast  (L>R: Greta, Rusty, & Jake) The first episode of the Brain Science Podcast appeared on December 5, 2006, which makes it one of the longest running shows in any genre, not just science or medicine. I am especially proud of the fact that we have reached listeners in 219 different countries. BSP 114 is our 8th annual review episode and as a part of our year-end celebration all previous annual review episodes have been added to the FREE feed that also includes our most recent 25 episodes.The goal of our annual review episode is to…
  • "Neuroplasticity and Healing" (BSP 113)

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

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

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

  • The Gap Between Public and Scientific Opinion

    Steven Novella
    30 Jan 2015 | 5:08 am
    A recently published poll from the Pew Research center finds that there is a huge gap between public opinion and the opinion of scientists on many important scientific issues of the day. This is disappointing, but not surprising, for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, if the majority of scientists have the same opinion about a scientific question (especially relevant experts), then it is a good idea to take that majority opinion seriously. It does not have to be correct, but if you were playing the odds I would go with the experts. If public opinion differs from the opinion of…
  • Anti-Vaccine Tropes Stirring

    Steven Novella
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:05 am
    The Disneyland measles outbreak has the anti-vaccine movement on the ropes a bit. As I and pretty much all of my colleagues at Science-Based Medicine have predicted for years, once previously contained infectious illnesses start to seriously return, public opinion will shift against the anti-vaxxers. We are seeing more mainstream stories like this one, Mom: Family that refused vaccination put my baby in quarantine, from CNN, and this one, Vaccine deniers stick together. And now they’re ruining things for everyone, from the Washington Post. As I mentioned in my earlier post, The Onion also…
  • Disneyland Measles Outbreak Hubbub

    Steven Novella
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:25 am
    This is an ongoing story that isn’t over yet. As it has been raging for days now, most people have probably heard that there is a big measles outbreak starting in Disneyland in California. There are now 87 confirmed cases of measles, 50 of which can be directly linked to Disneyland. Of the 42 people so far whose vaccination status is known, 34 were unvaccinated, 3 were partially vaccinated, and 5 were fully vaccinated. Yes, this is caused by those who are not vaccinated One thing is absolutely certain from these numbers – this outbreak has largely been caused by those who are not…
  • The Brains of Lucid Dreamers

    Steven Novella
    26 Jan 2015 | 4:45 am
    Lucid dreaming is a very interesting phenomenon that perhaps gives us a peek into the inner workings of the human brain. I have had about a dozen lucid dreams in my life that I can remember. Normally while dreaming we are not aware of the fact that we are dreaming. Our dreaming selves accept the reality of the dream. During a lucid dream we become aware that we are dreaming, but we do not wake up. This state is inherently unstable and often results in actually waking up or dreaming that we wake up, which ends the lucidity. The phenomenon of lucid dreaming was originally known from self…
  • Phishing Techniques Studied

    Steven Novella
    23 Jan 2015 | 4:56 am
    Don’t click it. If you ever get e-mailed a link, no matter how authentic the e-mail looks or from whom it appears to be, don’t click it. If you feel you need to respond to the e-mail, then type the URL of the website directly into your browser. But never click it. As simple as that rule sounds, it’s difficult for everyone to remember the rule all the time. One lapse of attention, and you can find yourself the victim of identify theft, have your credit card numbers stolen, or even all your passwords. Unfortunately there is a lot of money to be made in identity theft and…
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    WordPress Tag: Neuroscience

  • The real-life Matrix: MIT researchers reveal interface that can allow a computer to plug into the brain

    alextorex
    26 Jan 2015 | 10:06 pm
    The real-life Matrix: MIT researchers reveal interface that can allow a computer to plug into the brain  | Daily Mail Online The new fibers are made of polymers that closely resemble the characteristics of neural tissues, Anikeeva says, allowing them to stay in the body much longer without harming the delicate tissues around them. To do that, her team made use of novel fiber-fabrication technology pioneered by MIT professor of materials science Yoel Fink and his team, for use in photonics and other applications. The result, Anikeeva explains, is the fabrication of polymer fibers…
  • the debate over consciousness (article)

    looking around
    26 Jan 2015 | 9:16 pm
    another article about consciousness. Scientists debate what makes it up, if it exists. It gets pretty trippy when they’re asking whether a computer (or a tree, for that matter) is conscious. I have to admit, it’s tickling my brain.
  • Our Most Common Denominator

    Jeanne
    26 Jan 2015 | 7:47 pm
    “Where are you?” My mom used to say that all the time.  “Where are you, Jeanne?”  I am frequently in La-La Land, I admit.  What can I say?  I love thinking.  And somewhere along the way, I fell in love with thinking about thinking.  The way our brains operate, you know, neuroscience (for the rest of us). I am an occupational therapist and I work primarily with kids.  A good healthy knowledge of the brain and its inner workings has made me a better therapist, a better mom and a better person.  We all have those gooey, wrinkled things in our heads.  But we lose…
  • Extra! Mainstream Media Downplays Hysteria!

    henry624
    26 Jan 2015 | 7:00 pm
    I was happily shocked to see yesterday’s cover story in Parade Magazine, “What Are We Afraid Of?” What surprised me was that a mainstream, read-by-millions, middle-of-the-road, USofA kinda magazine was talking Americans out of their panic room mentalities toward a crazy thesis: You’re pretty darn safe. Well, the article didn’t say that exactly, but nowadays we worry more about highly unlikely things like ebola and terrorism than real dangers (like texting while driving and the flu). People who should know better, like Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin…
  • Smell: Fact or Fiction Blind people gain an enhanced sense of...

    scientiflix
    26 Jan 2015 | 5:29 pm
    Smell: Fact or Fiction Blind people gain an enhanced sense of smell to compensate for the lost sense, right? Right? Wrong. It turns out that it’s a total myth. Avery Gilbert, a scent psychologist, takes a critical look at some of the widely circulated myths surrounding our less understood sense of smell. By: World Science Festival.
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    Journal of Neuroscience current issue

  • The Role of Telomerase Protein TERT in Alzheimer's Disease and in Tau-Related Pathology In Vitro

    Spilsbury, A., Miwa, S., Attems, J., Saretzki, G.
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:01 am
    The telomerase reverse transcriptase protein TERT has recently been demonstrated to have a variety of functions both in vitro and in vivo, which are distinct from its canonical role in telomere extension. In different cellular systems, TERT protein has been shown to be protective through its interaction with mitochondria. TERT has previously been found in rodent neurons, and we hypothesize that it might have a protective function in adult human brain. Here, we investigated the expression of TERT at different stages of Alzheimer's disease pathology (Braak Stages I-VI) in situ and the ability…
  • The Interaction of REM Sleep with Safety Learning in Humans: Could a Good Night's Sleep Alter a Traumatic Experience?

    Ogeil, R. P., Baker, K. D.
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:01 am
  • Dynamic Modulation of the Action Observation Network by Movement Familiarity

    Gardner, T., Goulden, N., Cross, E. S.
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:01 am
    When watching another person's actions, a network of sensorimotor brain regions, collectively termed the action observation network (AON), is engaged. Previous research suggests that the AON is more responsive when watching familiar compared with unfamiliar actions. However, most research into AON function is premised on comparisons of AON engagement during different types of task using univariate, magnitude-based approaches. To better understand the relationship between action familiarity and AON engagement, here we examine how observed movement familiarity modulates AON activity in humans…
  • A Role For Orbitofrontal Neurons in Risky Decisions

    Lak, A., Stauffer, W. R.
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:01 am
  • Recollection-Related Increases in Functional Connectivity Predict Individual Differences in Memory Accuracy

    King, D. R., de Chastelaine, M., Elward, R. L., Wang, T. H., Rugg, M. D.
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:01 am
    Recollection involves retrieving specific contextual details about a prior event. Functional neuroimaging studies have identified several brain regions that are consistently more active during successful versus failed recollection—the "core recollection network." In the present study, we investigated whether these regions demonstrate recollection-related increases not only in activity but also in functional connectivity in healthy human adults. We used fMRI to compare time-series correlations during successful versus unsuccessful recollection in three separate experiments, each using a…
 
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    Sports Are 80 Percent Mental

  • 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…
  • For Aaron Rodgers, Practice Makes Perfect Motor Skills

    1 Jan 2015 | 5:18 pm
    During a Green Bay Packers win over the Atlanta Falcons earlier this season, Peter King, the NFL's dean of sportswriters, found a new level of respect for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Here's how King described one particular third and two play late in the first quarter:"At the snap, Rodgers’ first look, a long one, was to the left for Nelson. Well covered. Quickly Rodgers turned to the right, to where Cobb was planting his foot in the ground three or four yards upfield and preparing to run a simple in-cut; at the same time, his cover man, cornerback Desmond Trufant, was going to…
  • How Video Games Can Improve Your Kids' Hand-Eye Coordination

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

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

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

  • 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…
  • Psychoacoustic Music

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

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

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

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

  • Obesity, Inflammation and Cognitive Decline

    26 Jan 2015 | 7:02 am
    The rate of cognitive decline with aging is quite variable. Identifying important components of this process is needed for developing interventions to reduce the burden of Alzheimer's and other dementias.Excess inflammation has been linked to obesity as well as aging-related cognitive decline.Archana Singh-Manoux and colleagues recently published a study of the association between blood markers of inflammation and cognitive decline.This study used data from the U.K. Whitehall II cohort, a group of men and women between the ages of 35-55 at intake.This cohort has now been studied over a…
  • Mediterranean Diet and Aging

    19 Jan 2015 | 7:09 am
    There is a growing research body of evidence to support beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet on brain health.In previous posts I have reviewed research on the Mediterranean diet and:Cognitive DeclineAlzheimer's Disease PreventionA recent study adds an important element in potential mechanisms for the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet.Marta Crous-Bou and colleauges from Harvard University and the University of Washington published a study of the Mediterranean diet and chromosome telomere length.This analysis used the large Nurses' Health Study cohort, blood samples and dietary…
  • Weight Loss Clinical Trials: Weekend Links

    17 Jan 2015 | 7:26 am
    Randomized clinical trials provide one of the best ways to test new obesity interventions.These types of trials can examine effects of specific diets, new pharmacological treatment and new surgical treatments.Here are some of the recent published trials that caught my attention in the last years.Clicking on the title will take you to the PubMed abstract for more information. Additionally, some of the abstracts will have links to full-text manuscripts.Lorcaserin: Safety and efficacyThis manuscript examined the results and safety of two previously published randomized trials of locarserin…
  • Obesity, Inflammation and the Brain

    14 Jan 2015 | 7:51 am
    Brain inflammation produces a variety of emotional, behavior and cognitive symptoms.I remember clearly a patient I cared for with central nervous system lupus erythrematosis (SLE). With SLE flairs she developed flagrant psychotic symptoms including hallucinations requiring inpatient psychiatric care.Between flares she had no significant psychiatric symptoms.Nicole Castanon and two colleagues from France have published a review of the role of obesity-associated inflammation and brain dysfunction.Obesity is linked to a variety of blood markers of inflammation including proinflammatory…
  • Dietary Grains and Heart/Stroke Mortality

    12 Jan 2015 | 7:56 am
    Dietary intake of whole grains and fiber shows consistent beneficial effects on a variety of health and mortality measures.In a post in 2011, I reviewed study results from the NIH-AARP cohort. That study reported reduced cardiovascular disease but not cancer in men and women with the highest fiber intake.A recent Harvard University study examined mortality risk in a group of U.S. health professionals grouped by level of whole grain intake.Participants in this study were over 118,000 men and women from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses' Health Study.Participants completed…
 
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    Psychology Headlines Around the World

  • Seeing Selves As Overweight May Be Self-Fulfilling Prophecy for Some Teens

    ScienceDaily
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:06 am
    Source: ScienceDailyTeens who mistakenly perceive themselves as overweight are actually at greater risk of obesity as adults, according to research findings.
  • It Really Does Get Better for Many LGBT and Questioning Youth

    Yahoo News - Health
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:05 am
    Source: Yahoo News - HealthIn a multi-year study of LGBTQ youth, researchers found that being the victim of bullying and other abuse was linked to psychological distress, but both distress and victimization decreased as the adolescents grew up. “I think we should be very happy that it does get better, but I think it’s important not to forget victimization is important and happens very early,” said Michelle Birkett, the study’s lead author. LGBT youth are at...
  • "Expensive" Placebo Beats "Cheap" One in Parkinson's Disease

    Yahoo News - Science
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:05 am
    Source: Yahoo News - ScienceWhen patients with Parkinson's disease received an injection described as an effective drug costing $1,500 per dose, their motor function improved significantly more than when they got one supposedly costing $100, scientists reported on Wednesday. The research, said an editorial in the journal Neurology, which published it, "takes the study of placebo effect to a new dimension." More and more studies have documented the power of placebos, in...
  • NFL Players Who Started Young Show More Thinking Problems

    U.S. News and World Report
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:04 am
    Source: U.S. News and World ReportA study published in the journal Neurology says NFL veterans who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 are more likely to have cognitive difficulties after their careers.
  • Concentrating on Word Sounds Helps Reading Instruction and Intervention

    ScienceDaily
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:04 am
    Source: ScienceDailyA neuroimaging study by psychologist suggests that phonics shouldn't be overlooked in favor of a whole-language technique, a finding that could help improve treatment and diagnosis of common reading disorders.
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    The Neurocritic

  • This Blog Is Brought to You by the Number 9 and the Letter K

    27 Jan 2015 | 11:57 pm
    The Neurocritic (the blog) began 9 years ago today.I've enjoyed the journey immensely and look forward to the years to come, by Nodes of Ranvier (the band — not the myelin sheath gaps).Node of RanvierAnd now a word from our sponsors,  Episode 3979 of Sesame Street...The Number 9The Letter kThank you for watching! (and reading).
  • Is it necessary to use brain imaging to understand teen girls' sexual decision making?

    26 Jan 2015 | 3:13 am
    “It is feasible to recruit and retain a cohort of female participants to perform a functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI] task focused on making decisions about sex, on the basis of varying levels of hypothetical sexual risk, and to complete longitudinal prospective diaries following this task. Preliminary evidence suggests that risk level differentially impacts brain activity related to sexual decision making in these women [i.e., girls aged 14-15 yrs], which may be related to past and future sexual behaviors.”-Hensel et al. (2015) Can the brain activity of adolescents predict…
  • Interfering With Traumatic Memories of the Boston Marathon Bombings

    18 Jan 2015 | 10:14 pm
    The Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013 killed three people and injured hundreds of others near the finish line of the iconic footrace. The oldest and most prominent marathon in the world, Boston attracts over 20,000 runners and 500,000 spectators. The terrorist act shocked and traumatized and unified the city.What should the survivors do with their traumatic memories of the event? Many with disabling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) receive therapy to lessen the impact of the trauma. Should they forget completely? Is it possible to selectively “alter” or “remove” a…
  • The Incredible Growing Brain!

    10 Jan 2015 | 8:00 pm
    The Incredible Grow Your Own Brain (Barron Bob)Using super absorbent material from disposable diapers, MIT neuroengineers Ed Boyden, Fei Chen, and Paul Tillberg went well beyond the garden variety novelty store "Grow Brain" to expand real brain slices to nearly five times their normal size.Boyden, E., Chen, F. & Tillberg, P. / MIT / Courtesy of NIHA slice of a mouse brain (left) was expanded by nearly five-fold in each dimension by adding a water-soaking salt. The result — shown at smaller magnification (right) for comparison — has its anatomical structures are essentially unchanged.
  • The Futility of Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury (but hope for the future)

    2 Jan 2015 | 5:23 pm
    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem that affects about 1.5 million people per year in the US, with direct and indirect medical costs of over $50 billion. Rapid intervention to reduce the risk of death and disability is crucial. The diagnosis and treatment of TBI is an active area of preclinical and clinical research funded by NIH and other federal agencies. But during the White House BRAIN Conference, a leading neurosurgeon painted a pessimistic picture of current treatments for acute TBI. In response to a question about clinical advances based on cellular…
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    The Beautiful Brain

  • Answers from the Edge

    Ben Ehrlich
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:38 pm
    The Edge.org, the online salon for the world’s “most complex and sophisticated minds,” has released the answers to its annual question. This year’s question was What Do You Think About Machines That Think? (“Is AI becoming increasingly real? Are we now in the new era of AI?, ), and there were 186 respondents, including philosopher Daniel Dennett (“The Singularity—an Urban Legend?”), musician Brian Eno (“Just a New Fractal Detail in the Big Picture”), physicist Freeman Dyson (“I Could Be Wrong”), cognitive scientist…
  • The Theater of Consciousness

    Ben Ehrlich
    22 Jan 2015 | 8:26 am
    Tom Stoppard has written his first new play in almost a decade. It will open at the National Theatre in London on January 28, and it’s about…consciousness!  The Hard Problem, named for philosopher David Chalmers’ famous formulation of the supreme mystery of qualia, tells the story of a young psychologist at a brain-science institute. According to the overview, the protagonist Hilary “is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness?” With his new play, the…
  • The Music of Brain Waves

    Ben Ehrlich
    6 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    London-based artist Aiste Noreikaite has developed a high-tech device that translates neural processes into sound in real time using EEG technology. According to Noreikaite, the Experience Helmet, which looks like an ordinary white motorcycle helmet, creates an “audible reflection of one’s personal experience of the present moment.” The sounds inside the helmet become higher when users have clear minds, and faster and more rhythmic when they focus on particular subjects. (via The Creator’s Project) (photo credit Natalja Safronova)
  • Robo-Sketch

    Ben Ehrlich
    14 Nov 2014 | 10:09 am
    Patrick Tresset is a French scientist and artist “investigates human artistic activity, computational creativity and our relation to machines.” When he lost the ability to paint and draw by hand, he invented a robot named Paul, a “creative prosthetic” with a mechanical eye and motorized arm for sketching portraits. He calls his most recent version Paul-IX. As quoted by The Creators Project, Tresset asks: “What is the point for such a robot to dedicate its existence to drawings that comment on human existence, rather than be a utilitarian slave as expected…
  • Sleuthing the Mind: Exhibition Review

    Noah Hutton
    9 Nov 2014 | 3:03 pm
    Hans Beder, “Opsis I”. Photo by M. Alexander Weber. In the concluding line of her catalogue essay for Sleuthing the Mind, a neuroscience-infused art exhibition at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery this fall, curator Ellen Levy asks the golden question of interdisciplinarity: “Might art and art exhibitions add new paths into the understanding of intuition, insight, and attention?” Beyond the multitude of reasons why we go see art in a gallery or museum, is there a way that experiencing art can add value to categories usually reserved for scientific insight, or create altogether…
 
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    The Neurocritic

  • This Blog Is Brought to You by the Number 9 and the Letter K

    The Neurocritic
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:57 pm
    The Neurocritic (the blog) began 9 years ago today.I've enjoyed the journey immensely and look forward to the years to come, by Nodes of Ranvier (the band — not the myelin sheath gaps).Node of RanvierAnd now a word from our sponsors,  Episode 3979 of Sesame Street...The Number 9The Letter kThank you for watching! (and reading).
  • Is it necessary to use brain imaging to understand teen girls' sexual decision making?

    The Neurocritic
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:13 am
    “It is feasible to recruit and retain a cohort of female participants to perform a functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI] task focused on making decisions about sex, on the basis of varying levels of hypothetical sexual risk, and to complete longitudinal prospective diaries following this task. Preliminary evidence suggests that risk level differentially impacts brain activity related to sexual decision making in these women [i.e., girls aged 14-15 yrs], which may be related to past and future sexual behaviors.”-Hensel et al. (2015) Can the brain activity of adolescents predict…
  • Interfering With Traumatic Memories of the Boston Marathon Bombings

    The Neurocritic
    18 Jan 2015 | 10:14 pm
    The Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013 killed three people and injured hundreds of others near the finish line of the iconic footrace. The oldest and most prominent marathon in the world, Boston attracts over 20,000 runners and 500,000 spectators. The terrorist act shocked and traumatized and unified the city.What should the survivors do with their traumatic memories of the event? Many with disabling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) receive therapy to lessen the impact of the trauma. Should they forget completely? Is it possible to selectively “alter” or “remove” a…
  • The Incredible Growing Brain!

    The Neurocritic
    10 Jan 2015 | 8:00 pm
    The Incredible Grow Your Own Brain (Barron Bob)Using super absorbent material from disposable diapers, MIT neuroengineers Ed Boyden, Fei Chen, and Paul Tillberg went well beyond the garden variety novelty store "Grow Brain" to expand real brain slices to nearly five times their normal size.Boyden, E., Chen, F. & Tillberg, P. / MIT / Courtesy of NIHA slice of a mouse brain (left) was expanded by nearly five-fold in each dimension by adding a water-soaking salt. The result — shown at smaller magnification (right) for comparison — has its anatomical structures are essentially unchanged.
  • The Futility of Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury (but hope for the future)

    The Neurocritic
    2 Jan 2015 | 5:23 pm
    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem that affects about 1.5 million people per year in the US, with direct and indirect medical costs of over $50 billion. Rapid intervention to reduce the risk of death and disability is crucial. The diagnosis and treatment of TBI is an active area of preclinical and clinical research funded by NIH and other federal agencies. But during the White House BRAIN Conference, a leading neurosurgeon painted a pessimistic picture of current treatments for acute TBI. In response to a question about clinical advances based on cellular…
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    Integrative Law Institute

  • Healing What Ails the Legal Profession

    Pauline H. Tesler, Director, Integrative Law Institute
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:57 pm
    Integrative Law Institute - Reclaiming Law as a Healing Profession [This post is adapted from a longer article by Pauline H. Tesler in the Winter 2014 issue of the Collaborative Review, the journal of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.. You can read it here.] We lawyers suffer dangerously  high rates of emotional distress and substance abuse. Overwhelming empirical evidence shows that lawyers arrive in law school with personality characteristics markedly different from the general population – notably, a discomfort with emotion and a temperament favoring thought over…
  • Finding Center Among Chaos–an Integrative Law BFOQ

    Pauline H. Tesler, Director, Integrative Law Institute
    17 Jul 2014 | 11:11 am
    Integrative Law Institute - Reclaiming Law as a Healing Profession My colleague Jennifer Tull, a collaborative lawyer from Austin, Texas, is blogging about how to keep your center and sense of purpose while working with clients going through major life transitions.  She writes beautifully and epitomizes the journey toward wholeness that is the hallmark of integrative law.    Here is her first post (we’ll be offering others from time to time): Roller Coaster of Joy Finding center among chaos When I was a kid we would sometimes go to AstroWorld, a now-defunct theme park in Houston.
  • Bad Relationships Can Kill You…

    Pauline H. Tesler, Director, Integrative Law Institute
    7 Jun 2014 | 1:19 pm
    Integrative Law Institute - Reclaiming Law as a Healing Profession A study released recently found that stressful relationships directly correlate with high blood pressure in women. “What we observed was as the amount of negativity in relationships increased, risk of hypertension [in women] also increased,” reports  Rodlescia Sneed, co-author of the study.  She and  Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University,  looked at data from  1,502 healthy adults over 50 contained in a longitudinal study of more than 26,000 Americans…
  • Men and Women: Our Brains Really Are Wired Differently

    Pauline H. Tesler, Director, Integrative Law Institute
    20 Jan 2014 | 1:24 pm
    Integrative Law Institute - Reclaiming Law as a Healing Profession Men from Mars, Women from Venus? Does it make you uncomfortable to think that there really are biological differences in the brains of men and women?  Not me; I’ve seen those differences play out over a lifetime in precisely the ways suggested by a new study  published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.        Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered many more neural connections running from the front of the brain to the back…
  • Why Integrative Law Matters for Divorcing Couples: A Conversation With A Psychotherapist

    Pauline H. Tesler, Director, Integrative Law Institute
    15 Nov 2013 | 3:26 pm
    Integrative Law Institute - Reclaiming Law as a Healing Profession   Kate Scharff,a  Washington D.C. psychotherapist, wrote this comment after reading a recent article of mine about Neuro-Literacy for Lawyers, published  in Family Lawyer Magazine: Kate Scharff on August 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm said: Pauline: I’m a mental health professional trained in Object Relations Theory (ORT), an outgrowth of classic analytic thinking. ORT holds with the common-sense notion that we are born with the inherent need to be in relationships, and that our early relational patterns form templates for later…
 
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    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level

  • Functions of the amygdala : more diverse than previously thought

    Bruno Dubuc
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:33 am
    Science in general, and neuroscience in particular, are constantly evolving. So even though our knowledge of a given brain structure may not have undergone a scientific revolution or a paradigm shift at any given time, when we compare what we know about it now with what we knew, say, 10 years ago, we may find that things have changed a lot. That’s certainly the case for the amygdala, a small but very important piece of the brain. And since we first described the amygdala on this website just about 10 years ago, we’d like to give you a little update now. The amygdala is roughly the size…
  • Literary Activity and the Default Mode Network

    Bruno Dubuc
    6 Jan 2015 | 9:07 am
    In every human culture, much of life revolves around the stories that we tell—about the world around us, about other people, and about ourselves. When you come right down to it, just like traditional oral storytelling, that is all that modern literature and film do today. There must be something in the brain that resonates especially strongly with the narrative process. That something might well resemble what neuroscientists call the the brain’s default mode network: the particular set of brain structures whose activity increases by default, when someone is doing absolutely nothing.
  • The Infinitely Large, Infinitely Small, and Infinitely Complex

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

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

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

  • 5 ways to improve your body-mind connection

    Sarah McKay
    13 Jan 2015 | 1:29 am
    Heard of the mind-body connection?  Did you know that the chit chat between mind and body goes two ways? Your body is an integral part of how you think. Your body, how you move it, and how you interact with your physical surroundings shapes how you think, feel, and behave. In her new book How the Body Knows […] The post 5 ways to improve your body-mind connection appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • The colour of music

    Sarah McKay
    8 Jan 2015 | 2:55 pm
    Vanessa Wamsley is a journalist who writes science, nature and education stories. After years of misunderstanding science, she brings a keen sense of wonder to her observations of the world. Vanessa is also a content and SEO editor intern at BiohacksBlog.com and studies science and medical writing in the Johns Hopkins University Masters in Science Writing program. A former teacher, […] The post The colour of music appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Free e-course – Principles of Neuroscience Masterclass

    Sarah McKay
    1 Jan 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Health or wellness professional or coach?  This neuroscience Masterclass is for YOU! What has the brain got to do with coaching? Join my FREE Principles of Neuroscience for Coaches Master Class and I’ll reveal the answer! In this e-course you’ll discover and integrate insights from neuroscience to your life and your work for happiness, fulfilment, […] The post Free e-course – Principles of Neuroscience Masterclass appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • My top 5 brain health stories for 2014.

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

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