Neuroscience

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  • Functions of the amygdala : more diverse than previously thought

    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level
    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…
  • 67 Ways to Increase Conversion with Cognitive Biases

    Neuromarketing
    Jeremy Smith
    11 Mar 2015 | 5:18 am
    All humans have built-in biases. This A to Z list of 67 different cognitive biases explains what they are and how to use them to improve conversion rates.
  • Human Head Transplants – Fantasy to Fact?

    Brain Blogger
    Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    When English author Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein in 1818, little did she know that her vision might come true, albeit in a slightly different way and as a boon to mankind. Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein created the Monster by sewing together body parts from human corpses. In a way, Frankenstein created Life. Doctors and surgeons today do nothing different; they save lives by transplanting organs, bones, skin, and nerves and veins. To date, they can transplant almost every major organ of the body, like the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and intestine, but not the head. This…
  • That's not how it happened! Let me tell you the true story

    Brains On Purpose™
    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....
  • How the Brain Switches Strategies to Find Better Solutions

    Neuroscience RSS Feeds - Neuroscience News Updates
    Neuroscience News
    27 Mar 2015 | 3:53 pm
    Researchers explore how the brain is able to switch from an ongoing strategy to a new, more efficient one.
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    Brains On Purpose™

  • That's not how it happened! Let me tell you the true story

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

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

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

    StephanieWestAllen
    13 Jan 2015 | 2:44 pm
    The January issue offers 12 Interventions 17 Associations 7 Methods 13 Reviews 1 Trial
  • Brain overclaim syndrome: Can I convince you I know something by citing neuroscience?

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

  • When attention is a deficit: Sometimes a new strategy makes sense

    27 Mar 2015 | 5:17 pm
    During tasks that require our attention, we might become so engrossed in what we are doing that we fail to notice there is a better way to get the job done. A new study explores the question of how the brain switches from an ongoing strategy to a new and potentially more efficient one.
  • How body's good fat tissue communicates with brain

    27 Mar 2015 | 7:10 am
    Brown fat tissue, the body’s “good fat,” communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that is important for fighting human obesity, such as how much fat we have and how much fat we’ve lost, according to researchers.
  • Playing music by professional musicians activates genes responsible for brain function and singing of songbirds

    27 Mar 2015 | 6:09 am
    Although music perception and practice are well preserved in human evolution, the biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown. According to a latest study, music performance by professional musicians enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory. Interestingly, several of those up-regulated genes were also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds, which suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and production across species.
  • Researchers identify timeline for HIV replication in the brain

    26 Mar 2015 | 12:22 pm
    HIV can begin replicating in the brain as early as four months after initial infection, researchers have discovered. One-third of people not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) to control their HIV will eventually develop HIV-associated dementia. The study's results in these newly infected people stress the importance of routine HIV testing to catch the infection as early as possible to allow the prompt initiation antiretroviral therapy, investigators note.
  • Avoiding neurodegeneration: Nerve cells borrow a trick from their synapses to dispose of garbage

    26 Mar 2015 | 12:16 pm
    Genetic defects affecting tiny channels in human nerve cells lead to several neurological diseases that result from aberrant nerve transmission, such as episodic ataxia, absence epilepsy, and migraines. These disorders have also been associated with neurodegeneration, but it has been less clear why this should be.
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    ScienceBlogs

  • Ask Ethan #81: Could you crawl out of a black hole? (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

    Ethan
    27 Mar 2015 | 11:28 pm
    “Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” -Alfred A. Montapert You might not think of falling into a black hole as a choice, but in the case of this week’s Ask Ethan, someone is choosing to explore exactly that! Image credit: original unknown, retrieved from http://mondolithic.com/. Imagine, if you will, taking a solid object that’s completely outside of an event horizon, of choosing a very massive black hole with minuscule tidal forces at that location in space, and then just barely pushing a tiny piece of that object over to the other side…
  • Researchers: Inadequate vaccination rates fueled recent measles outbreak [The Pump Handle]

    Kim Krisberg
    27 Mar 2015 | 2:48 pm
    In a somewhat frightening illustration of anti-vaccine trends, a new report estimates that among groups affected in the recent measles outbreak, the rates of measles-mumps-rubella immunization might have been as low as 50 percent. Earlier this month, a report published in JAMA Pediatrics concluded that MMR vaccination rates in many of the populations affected by the Disneyland-related measles outbreak are well below the necessary numbers to maintain herd immunity. Led by researchers at Boston Children’s Informatics Program, the project used disease data from the California Department of…
  • Should the Smithsonian and Other Museums Blow Off Big Fossil? [Greg Laden's Blog]

    Greg Laden
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:04 am
    Let me start off by saying something you may not know. The big corporations and the 1%ers you have learned to hate fund many of the projects you’ve learned to love. I have not checked lately, but Murdoch and FOX corporation for several years in a row funded at a 50% or 60% level virtually all of the National Geographic specials produced. Major museums known for their great exhibits are often funded by the very corporations or individuals that the people who love those exhibits are (often justifiably) suspicious of. The great importance of private corporate or individual funding is also…
  • “Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science” [Uncertain Principles]

    Chad Orzel
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:18 am
    That’s the title of the talk I gave yesterday at Vanderbilt, and here are the slides: Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science from Chad Orzel The central idea is the same as in past versions of the talk– stealing Robert Krulwich’s joke contrasting the publication styles of Newton and Galileo to argue that scientists spend too much time writing technical articles aimed at an audience of other experts, and need to do more “Galileian” publication aimed at a broad audience. And that social media technologies offer powerful tools that…
  • Friday Cephalopod: And I would hug him and squeeze him and call him George [Pharyngula]

    PZ Myers
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:51 am
    A certain deep, primal part of my brain went “Squeeee!” at this video of a nautilus being fed by hand. I want one. I want a cephalopod to be my friend. But sorry, people, taking an exotic animal out of the ocean and confining it to an aquarium is not exactly the friendliest thing to do…and a lot of cephalopods are finicky and delicate. Still, you have to love that face.
 
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    Deric's MindBlog

  • Altering the oxytocin receptor gene enhances perception of anger and fear.

    27 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    Puglia et al. find that the epigenetic modification of methylating the DNA of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) decreases the control of amygdala fear responses by brain regions involved in affect appraisal and emotion regulation. Thus individuals with higher levels of OXTR methylation are more reactive to negative emotional facial cues. Clips from their introduction: A peripheral hormone and central neuromodulator, oxytocin influences a variety of social and affective processes including affiliative behaviors, care-giving, and stress reactivity. Intranasally administered, oxytocin has also…
  • Information overload is filter failure.

    26 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    I pass on the following brief lucid piece by Jay Rosen.You might also have a look at Peder Zane's "In the Age of Information, Specializing to Survive." Information OverloadWe should retire the idea that goes by the name "information overload." It is no longer useful. The Internet scholar Clay Shirky puts it well: "There's no such thing as information overload. There's only filter failure." If your filters are bad there is always too much to attend to, and never enough time. These aren't trends powered by technology. They are conditions of life. Filters in a digital world work not by removing…
  • Expert listening to music alters gene transcription...So?

    25 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    I can't resist comment on a piece generated by PsyBlog, "Classical Music's Surprising Effect on Genes Vital to Memory and Learning." ..."How 20 minutes of Mozart affects the expression of genes vital to learning, memory and more…" that points to work of Järvelä​ and collaborators, whose abstract states: To verify whether listening to classical music has any effect on human transcriptome, we performed genome-wide transcriptional profiling from the peripheral blood of participants after listening to classical music (n = 48), and after a control study without music exposure (n = 15). As…
  • Thought for the day: America devolving into a plutocracy...

    24 Mar 2015 | 6:17 am
    A clip from Tom Engelhardt writing in Salon: ...let me be as clear as I can be about something that seems murky indeed: this period doesn’t represent a version, no matter how perverse or extreme, of politics as usual; nor is the 2016 campaign an election as usual; nor are we experiencing Washington as usual. Put together our 1% elections, the privatization of our government, the de-legitimization of Congress and the presidency, as well as the empowerment of the national security state and the U.S. military, and add in the demobilization of the American public (in the name of protecting us…
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation increases propensity to mind-wander

    24 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    Alelrod et al. show that stimulation of the frontal lobe areas involved in our attentional network increase mind wandering associated with our default mode network (see previous posts here and here for discussion of these networks). Humans mind-wander quite intensely. Mind wandering is markedly different from other cognitive behaviors because it is spontaneous, self-generated, and inwardly directed (inner thoughts). However, can such an internal and intimate mental function also be modulated externally by means of brain stimulation? Addressing this question could also help identify the neural…
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    Brain Blogger

  • Genes, Stress, and Behavior – Is Your Child an Orchid or a Dandelion?

    Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD
    27 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Picture a group of children coming to the school for the first time in their life. In this group you will always notice that some children tend to spend the day moping and sulking in a corner of the classroom while other children clearly enjoy the new experience. Why this behavioral difference is so great? After all, being away from home for the first time and spending a day in the midst of strangers would be equally stressful for any child. How can one kid be so resilient while his peer so sensitive? Is it nurture, or does Mother Nature have a hand in this? Scientists believe that…
  • Human Head Transplants – Fantasy to Fact?

    Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    When English author Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein in 1818, little did she know that her vision might come true, albeit in a slightly different way and as a boon to mankind. Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein created the Monster by sewing together body parts from human corpses. In a way, Frankenstein created Life. Doctors and surgeons today do nothing different; they save lives by transplanting organs, bones, skin, and nerves and veins. To date, they can transplant almost every major organ of the body, like the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and intestine, but not the head. This…
  • I’m Just Not That Into Me

    Jennifer Gibson, PharmD
    25 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Ask most women and they will gladly tell you that men are more egotistical, power-hungry, and arrogant than women. Now, science backs up these claims. A team of researchers analyzed three decades of research involving nearly 500,000 people and concluded that men are, in fact, more narcissistic than women. But, are men born narcissistic or do they have narcissism thrust upon them? Of the aspects of narcissism examined in the latest analysis, men were more likely to display leadership and authority and a sense of entitlement than women. Men and women were equally likely to demonstrate a third…
  • Sexnology – Sex Technology That Gets You Off

    Lorena Nessi, PhD, MA
    24 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    While the more serious in tone are opting for “sextech”, personally I find the term “sexnology” irresistible. While not strictly erotic, it certainly rolls of the tongue in an odd, fun, arguably even kinky manner. Certainly as technology continues to race ahead, the degree to which it relates to our daily lives, physical selves and indeed our sexual identities is only going to increase, so it’s a somewhat new term which is nonetheless likely to stick around for a good while. A great deal of research is underway concerning the impact of the internet on our sex lives…
  • Ultrasound to Slow Alzheimer’s Disease?

    Matthew Zabel, PhD
    23 Mar 2015 | 8:00 am
    The media is buzzing after recent publication of an article in the journal Science: Translational Medicine, which suggests that we can treat Alzheimer’s disease non-invasively with ultrasound. As usual though, they may be making more hype than is warranted given a thorough look at the data; or if they would have read the last paragraph, where the authors discuss (some of) the study’s weaknesses. The study authors, from Queensland Brain Institute in Australia, used repeated scanning ultrasound in conjunction with intravenous injection of microbubbles (a gas core wrapped in a lipid…
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    Mind Hacks

  • How is the brain relevant in mental disorder?

    vaughanbell
    25 Mar 2015 | 10:59 am
    The Psychologist has a fascinating article on how neuroscience fits in to our understanding of mental illness and what practical benefit brain science has – in lieu of the fact that it currently doesn’t really help us a great deal in the clinic. It is full of useful ways of thinking about how neuroscience fits into our view of mental distress. The following is a really crucial section, that talks about the difference between proximal (closer) and distal (more distant) causes. In essence, rather than talking about causes we’re probably better off talking about causal pathways –…
  • Mind Hacks excerpts x 2

    tomstafford
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:40 am
    This month, Business Insider have republished a couple of chapters from Mind Hacks the book (in case you missed it, back before the blog, Mind Hacks was a book, 101 do-it-at-home psychology experiences). The excerpts are: 1. Why one of these puzzles is easy and the other is hard – which is about the Wason Selection Task, a famous example of how our ability to reason logically can be confounded (and unconfounded if you find the right format to present a problem in). 2. Why this sentence is hard to understand – which shows you how to improve your writing with a bit of elementary…
  • Trauma is more complex than we think

    vaughanbell
    15 Mar 2015 | 2:29 am
    I’ve got an article in The Observer about how the official definition of trauma keeps changing and how the concept is discussed as if it were entirely intuitive and clear-cut, when it’s actually much more complex. I’ve become fascinated by how the concept of ‘trauma’ is used in public debate about mental health and the tension that arises between the clinical and rhetorical meanings of trauma. One unresolved issue, which tests mental health professionals to this day, is whether ‘traumatic’ should be defined in terms of events or reactions. Some of the…
  • Spike activity 06-03-2015

    vaughanbell
    7 Mar 2015 | 12:46 am
    Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: The strange world of felt presences. Great piece in The Guardian. Nature reports that the Human Brain Project has voted for a change of leadership. But read carefully, it’s not clear how much will change in practice. Surely the worst ‘neuroscience of’ article ever written? “The Neuroscience of ISIS” from The Daily Beast. Ruthlessly, it’s the first in a series. Project Syndicate on why social science needs to be on the front-line of the fight against drug-resistant diseases. Psychiatry is More Complex…
  • Radical embodied cognition: an interview with Andrew Wilson

    tomstafford
    5 Mar 2015 | 6:25 am
    The computational approach is the orthodoxy in psychological science. We try and understand the mind using the metaphors of information processing and the storage and retrieval of representations. These ideas are so common that it is easy to forget that there is any alternative. Andrew Wilson is on a mission to remind us that there is an alternative – a radical, non-representational, non-information processing take on what cognition is. I sent him a few questions by email. After he answered these, and some follow up questions, we’ve both edited and agreed on the result, which you can…
 
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    Neuroethics & Law Blog

  • "The Future of Emotional Harm"

    NELB Staff
    18 Mar 2015 | 3:04 pm
    Recently published in SSRN (and forthcoming in 83 Fordham Law Review (2015)): "The Future of Emotional Harm" BETSY GREY, Arizona State University Why should tort law treat claims for emotional harm as a second-class citizen? Judicial skepticism about these claims...
  • "Symposium on Minds, Brains, and Law: A Reply"

    NELB Staff
    17 Mar 2015 | 5:13 am
    Recently published in SSRN (and forthcoming in Jurisprudence (2015)): "Symposium on Minds, Brains, and Law: A Reply" MICHAEL S. PARDO, University of Alabama School of Law DENNIS PATTERSON, European University Institute, This essay, forthcoming in a symposium issue of Jurisprudence,...
  • PEBS Neuroethics Roundup (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    16 Mar 2015 | 5:10 pm
    f 1,429 PEBS Neuroethics Roundup: Mar 12, 2015 Web Clip CNN.com Recently Published/Updated - CNN Student News - March 17, 2015 - 1 hour ago Inbox x Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics alanr@jhu.edu via mail77.wdc01.mcdlv.net Mar 12 (4 days...
  • Intensive Course in Bioethics June 2015 (JHU)

    NELB Staff
    10 Mar 2015 | 6:27 pm
  • "A Duty to Remember, a Right to Forget? Memory Manipulations and the Law"

    NELB Staff
    10 Mar 2015 | 2:27 pm
    Recently published in Handbook of Neuroethics 1279 (2014): "A Duty to Remember, a Right to Forget? Memory Manipulations and the Law" Christoph Bublitz Martin Dresler Neuroscience might develop interventions that afford editing or erasing memories, changing their content or attenuating...
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    Neuromarketing

  • Habit Summit 2015: My Deck, and a Surprise Takeaway

    Roger Dooley
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:46 am
    This year’s Habit Summit, organized by Nir Eyal (author of the best-selling Hooked), proved to be one of the more interesting conferences I’ve attended or spoken at. The focus was on building habit-forming products, and the speakers were carefully selected [...]
  • The Wrong Font Can Kill You. Literally. Your Sales, Too.

    Roger Dooley
    24 Mar 2015 | 5:55 am
    Fonts have strange an unexpected effects. Patients were less compliant with medical instructions when hard-to-read fonts were used. And, the fluency of fonts can have a big impact on your marketing, too.
  • Spanish Translation of Brainfluence Released

    Roger Dooley
    18 Mar 2015 | 6:44 am
    The Spanish version of Brainfluence is now available, at least in Spain. The tweet below from @Empresa_Activa shows the physical book rather than just the cover art. This is exciting, as I’ve observed a lot of interest in neuromarketing and [...]
  • Designing For The Mind – SXSW 2015

    Roger Dooley
    14 Mar 2015 | 6:35 am
    Here are the slides from and a quick recap of the Designing for the Mind panel at SXSW 2015.
  • 67 Ways to Increase Conversion with Cognitive Biases

    Jeremy Smith
    11 Mar 2015 | 5:18 am
    All humans have built-in biases. This A to Z list of 67 different cognitive biases explains what they are and how to use them to improve conversion rates.
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    SharpBrains

  • New course to provide an updated review of conventional & complementary ADHD treatments

    Dr. David Rabiner
    27 Mar 2015 | 7:01 am
    Dear SharpBrains reader, I hope you are doing well. I am writing to let you know about an upcoming online course on how to navigate ADHD treatments that I am developing with Alvaro Fernandez, founder of the SharpBrains service tracking applied brain science. The course will take place this May, and is intended to equip parents and allied professionals with the information they need to understand the range of treatments available for ADHD, the scientific support (and limitations) for different treatments, and how to think through the options for their child. Alvaro and I will do our best to…
  • Digital health–with a brain twist–sees increased military adoption

    SharpBrains
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Mobile mashup: The military’s proliferating mix of smartphones and tablets (Defense Systems): “Smartphones and tablets are rapidly making their way into military operations, trimming costs and giving warfighters tightly focused capabilities. But these benefits raise a host of challenges, ranging from security and the need for ruggedization, to requirements for peripherals that link to devices designed for consumers, not soldiers. The adoption of tablets and smartphones comes in conjunction with the military’s expanding interest in apps for these devices. App libraries are popping up and…
  • Next: FDA-cleared mobile brain monitoring tools to detect cognitive impairment

    SharpBrains
    25 Mar 2015 | 6:28 am
    ___________ FDA Has Cleared New Cognitive Screening Tests (Alzforum): “The Food and Drug Administration recently cleared, meaning it deemed safe, two tests that may help doctors screen for cognitive decline. One is the so-called Cognision system from Neuronetrix, a company based in Louisville, Kentucky. It is an electroencephalography (EEG) device that allows non-specialists to measure electrical activity in the brain with a portable, hand-held recorder…The other is a cognitive assessment battery that can be administered on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Called the…
  • Study: An innovative telehealth service to provide high quality ADHD treatment

    Dr. David Rabiner
    24 Mar 2015 | 6:36 am
    An unfortunate reality is that many children with ADHD do not have access to high quality, evidence-based treatment for ADHD. This is especially true in rural communities where children are generally treated by primary care providers who may have less ADHD-specific training than child psychiatrists and where high quality behavioral treatment may also be less readily available. Increasing access to excellent ADHD treatment is thus an important priority, even as efforts to develop new and potentially more effective ADHD treatments are ongoing. The new study A study published recently in the…
  • Next: Tools to detect and treat “chemo brain” symptoms common in around 35% of breast cancer survivors

    SharpBrains
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:30 am
    UCLA study reveals treatment for women with breast cancer suffering cognitive difficulties (HealthCanal): “UCLA researchers have developed a program that could improve the day-to-day lives of women with breast cancer by addressing post-treatment cognitive difficulties, sometimes known as “chemo brain,” which can affect up to 35 percent of women after their treatments… “We gave women exercises on, for example, how to remember a ‘to-do’ list, remembering to buy items at the store, or planning a party and deciding what type of food should be served to guests,” said Ercoli, a…
 
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    BSP Show Notes - Brain Science Podcast

  • BSP 117: Michael Gazzaniga "Father"of Cognitive Neuroscience

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

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

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

  • Are Crime and Incarceration Predictable and Preventable?

    Dr. Merzenich
    24 Mar 2015 | 1:43 pm
    As an alumnus, I recently read an article published in the Johns Hopkins Magazine written about a part-time faculty member in their distinguished Bloomberg School or Public health, Gerald Eber.  Eber is also an ACLU lawyer whose primary concern has been the health care of Americans in prison.  The medical treatment of prisoners, in Eber’s […]The post Are Crime and Incarceration Predictable and Preventable? appeared first on "On the Brain" with Dr. Michael Merzenich.
  • Chris Borland Chooses Brain Health Over NFL Career

    Dr. Merzenich
    17 Mar 2015 | 12:43 pm
    A few days ago, a young linebacker on the San Francisco 49ers, clearly destined to be a star player in the National Football League, hung up his cleats. Chris Borland, a highly honored University of Wisconsin player who had had a wonderful rookie NFL season, decided that the risks for his brain health were just […]The post Chris Borland Chooses Brain Health Over NFL Career appeared first on "On the Brain" with Dr. Michael Merzenich.
  • Acetylcholine Release Amps Up Brain’s Plasticity

    Dr. Merzenich
    5 Mar 2015 | 11:51 am
    I met yesterday with a former doctoral student, now a professor at the University of Texas in Dallas, Michael Kilgard. As a research fellow in my UCSF laboratory, Dr. Kilgard studied the conditions under which acetycholine enables brain plasticity—showing among other findings that large scale and highly useful plasticity can be achieved by pairing sensory […]The post Acetylcholine Release Amps Up Brain’s Plasticity appeared first on "On the Brain" with Dr. Michael Merzenich.
  • Are “Helicopter Parents” Creating a …

    Dr. Merzenich
    25 Feb 2015 | 11:48 am
    One of the negative consequences of our high tech- and fear-dominated modern culture is the systematic withdrawal of children from independent and exploratory play, in natural social and physical environments. Our fear culture frustrates outside, unfettered exploration for the developing child. Parents can be arrested for leaving their children to play on their own, in […]The post Are “Helicopter Parents” Creating a … appeared first on "On the Brain" with Dr. Michael Merzenich.
  • Research in Maori Community Yields Hope for Huntington’s

    Dr. Merzenich
    12 Feb 2015 | 6:26 am
    I have just returned from a couple weeks in New Zealand, where I am collaborating with Dr. Melanie Cheung and others on a pretty incredible Huntington’s disease project. I am so inspired by what we’re doing there that I wanted to share a bit about it. More than 7,000 of the 4.5 million citizens of […]The post Research in Maori Community Yields Hope for Huntington’s appeared first on "On the Brain" with Dr. Michael Merzenich.
 
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    NeuroLogica Blog

  • Dark Matter Collisions

    Steven Novella
    27 Mar 2015 | 5:05 am
    The existence of dark matter is one of the coolest science stories of my lifetime. When I was growing up I was in love with pretty much every field of science, but particularly with astronomy, and at that time we had no idea that 85% of the matter in the universe even existed. We now know that the astronomy I was so fascinated with was actually the study of 15% of the matter in the universe. If you count dark energy, which makes up 68% of the universe, then dark matter makes up 27%, and everything that we thought was the entire universe is actually only 5% of the universe. This story…
  • Fox News, the NFL, and Concussion Denial

    Steven Novella
    26 Mar 2015 | 5:08 am
    I have been a fan of professional football since my college days (go Pats) but I also recognize that it is a brutal sport prone to injuries. In recent years awareness of the true neurological risk of concussions, especially repeated concussions, has been increasingly coming to light. This may cause some cognitive dissonance among fans, players, and anyone involved with the NFL, including broadcasters. Recently Fox News published and article in which Dylan Gwinn writes: Don’t look now, but concussions have become the new global warming: a debate where “consensus” trumps evidence, and…
  • Ultrasound for Alzheimer’s Disease

    Steven Novella
    24 Mar 2015 | 4:56 am
    A new study published in Science Translational Medicine concerning a possible new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is getting quite a bit of play on social media. While it is an interesting study, and excitement over any scientific study is great to see, I also think it’s important to always put such studies into a reasonable context (which is rarely done well). Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating chronic degenerative brain disease in which neurons slowly die over years, causing memory loss of eventually overall cognitive impairment. Nancy Reagan described her husband…
  • Sting Shows Supplement Regulation Worthless

    Steven Novella
    23 Mar 2015 | 4:47 am
    It seems that the regulation of supplements, homeopathy, and “natural” products in Canada is as bad as the US. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC, the equivalent of NPR and PBS in the US) recently conducted a demonstration of just how worthless and deceptive the regulations are. They created a fake treatment called “Nighton” which they claimed treated fever, pain, and inflammation in children and infants. They then applied to the government for a Natural Product License. On the application they checked all the appropriate boxes amd submitted as evidence copied…
  • Titius-Bode Law and Exoplanets

    Steven Novella
    20 Mar 2015 | 5:01 am
    A recent Washington Post headline reads: Most stars in the galaxy have planets in the habitable zone, according to new research. Some version of this headline was attached to every mainstream media reporting on this story. Not just the headlines were this hyped – most of the time the reporting presented this new research as if this is an accepted conclusion. I have been following our exoplanet explorations since they began. Like many astronomy enthusiasts, I am particular interested in a few questions – how many planets do stars have on average, what are the typical arrangements…
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    WordPress Tag: Neuroscience

  • Week 6

    seb8ojeda
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:18 pm
    The interplay between sleep and mood in predicting academic functioning, physical health and psychological health: A longitudinal study Mark Lawrence Wong, Esther Yuet Ying Lau, Jacky Ho Yin Wan, Shu Fai Cheung, Harry Hui, Doris Shui Ying Mok Wong and colleagues were interested in addressing the fact that most studies which look at the relationship between sleep and mood and functional outcomes such as academic performance, physical, and psychological health are correlational and conducted over short time periods. A correlational study may find that there is a relationship between these…
  • From Neuroscience to Data Science

    Joseph
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:46 pm
    An interesting article about basic application of artificial neural network to pattern discrimination in data. Reference: From Neuroscience to Data Science
  • I swear I didn't abandon this blog just yet!

    ABitBalanced
    23 Mar 2015 | 5:32 pm
    I’ve been living a roller coaster life these past few weeks with plenty of ups and downs, so sadly this blog has taken the back-burner while I’ve joyously celebrated and also threw myself extravagant pity parties.  I have a couple ideas in the works as of late, so hopefully I can construct something meaningful sooner rather than later. Stay posted, but while you wait here’s some pictures: Since my last post I ran the furthest I had ever run! And then I hurt my knee pretty bad after that run, so I made myself feel better with hair dye and new pens. That’s normal,…
  • Eight-year study assesses efficacy of DBS on pain in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    Healthinnovations
    23 Mar 2015 | 4:33 pm
    Pain is a common nonmotor symptom in patients with Parkinson disease and it negatively impacts quali
  • Is Your Cell Phone Making You Lazy? Cell phones have...

    scientiflix
    23 Mar 2015 | 4:24 pm
    Is Your Cell Phone Making You Lazy? Cell phones have revolutionized our world, but are they making us lazy? Read More:Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinkingStudy: Cell Phones Cause Changes in Brain ActivityLazy Thinking: How Cognitive Easing Effects the Decision Making Process of Business Professionals By: DNews.
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    Journal of Neuroscience current issue

  • Neural Substrates of Intention-Consequence Integration and Its Impact on Reactive Punishment in Interpersonal Transgression

    Yu, H., Li, J., Zhou, X.
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    When evaluating interpersonal transgressions, people take into account both the consequential damage and the intention of the agent. The intention and consequence, however, do not always match, as is the case with accidents and failed attempts. We combined an interactive game and functional MRI to investigate the neural substrates underlying the processing of intention and consequence, and its bearing on reactive punishment. The participant interacted with anonymous partners, who decided to deliver pain stimulation either to himself/herself or to the participant to earn a monetary reward. In…
  • The Wnt Effector Transcription Factor 7-Like 2 Positively Regulates Oligodendrocyte Differentiation in a Manner Independent of Wnt/{beta}-Catenin Signaling

    Hammond, E., Lang, J., Maeda, Y., Pleasure, D., Angus-Hill, M., Xu, J., Horiuchi, M., Deng, W., Guo, F.
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    Genetic or pharmacological activation of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibits oligodendrocyte differentiation. Transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7l2), also known as TCF4, is a Wnt effector induced transiently in the oligodendroglial lineage. A well accepted dogma is that TCF7l2 inhibits oligodendrocyte differentiation through activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. We report that TCF7l2 is upregulated transiently in postmitotic, newly differentiated oligodendrocytes. Using in vivo gene conditional ablation, we found surprisingly that TCF7l2 positively regulates neonatal and…
  • Towards an Empirically Grounded Predictive Coding Account of Action Understanding

    Urgen, B. A., Miller, L. E.
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
  • Adding Words to the Brain's Visual Dictionary: Novel Word Learning Selectively Sharpens Orthographic Representations in the VWFA

    Glezer, L. S., Kim, J., Rule, J., Jiang, X., Riesenhuber, M.
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    The nature of orthographic representations in the human brain is still subject of much debate. Recent reports have claimed that the visual word form area (VWFA) in left occipitotemporal cortex contains an orthographic lexicon based on neuronal representations highly selective for individual written real words (RWs). This theory predicts that learning novel words should selectively increase neural specificity for these words in the VWFA. We trained subjects to recognize novel pseudowords (PWs) and used fMRI rapid adaptation to compare neural selectivity with RWs, untrained PWs (UTPWs), and…
  • Deep Brain Stimulation of Different Pedunculopontine Targets in a Novel Rodent Model of Parkinsonism

    Gut, N. K., Winn, P.
    25 Mar 2015 | 9:00 am
    The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) has been proposed as a target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in parkinsonian patients, particularly for symptoms such as gait and postural difficulties refractory to dopaminergic treatments. Several patients have had electrodes implanted aimed at the PPTg, but outcomes have been disappointing, with little evidence that gait and posture are improved. The PPTg is a heterogeneous structure. Consequently, exact target sites in PPTg, possible DBS mechanisms, and potential benefits still need systematic investigation in good animal models. We have…
 
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    Sports Are 80 Percent Mental

  • Just An Hour Per Day Of Play Can Boost Young Brains

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

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

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

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

  • BREAD HEAD: How do we prevent America’s most feared disease?

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

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

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

  • Parenting Moderates Childhood Brain Stress Response

    26 Mar 2015 | 8:17 am
    Child brain development benefits from a positive parenting style and environment.The mechanism for this positive effect is unclear but moderation of the stress response in the growing child is an area of research interest.Haroon Sheikh and colleagues from the University of Ontario in Canada recently published results on a study of parenting and brain development in children.In their study, a cohort of 46 six year old girls underwent brain imaging using a technique known as diffusion tensor imaging or DTI. DTI provides a measure of brain white matter integrity.This study is informative because…
  • Parental Education As Risk Factor For Eating Disorders

    25 Mar 2015 | 7:37 am
    Genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the risk for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.Known risk factors for anorexia nervosa include female gender, young age, family member with anorexia nervosa, weight loss, and participation in weight sensitive sports or activities, i.e. gymnastics, dancing.There has also been evidence that anorexia nervosa is more common in higher socioeconomic classes. This finding has made it one of the few brain disorders more common with this category.A recent study using the Swedish medical registry sheds some light on increased risk related…
  • Smoking in Pregnancy and Child Brain Development

    23 Mar 2015 | 8:01 am
    Smoking during pregnancy produces significant and diverse effects on prenatal development.These adverse effects include dysfunction in prenatal and early childhood brain development.Hanan El Marroun and colleagues from the Netherlands recently published an important childhood brain imaging study of smoking during pregnancy.One hundred and thirteen children exposed to tobacco during pregnancy were compared to a control group of unexposed children.Both groups of children between 6 and 8 years of age were compared on a variety of measures including:Nonverbal IQBirth weight and gestational…
  • Physical Exercise Effects on Brain EEG

    17 Mar 2015 | 8:56 am
    There are a variety of methods to study the effects on exercise on brain function. Brain imaging techniques such as fMRI provides a new tool to search for regional effects of acute and chronic exercise.Another tool that has received less attention is the electroencephalogram or EEG. One EEG measure of brain function is the individual alpha peak frequency or iAPF.The iAPF is positively correlated with arousal, attention and speed of information processing. Higher iAPF is linked to faster speed of information processing.Boris Gutmann and colleagues from the German Sport University Cologne…
  • Exercise Guidelines in Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

    18 Feb 2015 | 8:53 am
    A series of seven guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has recently been published.These guidelines resulted from a conference of experts in nutrition and the brain.The guidelines included a recommendation for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.Support for this exercise recommendation by experts was linked to 2 areas of research:Observational studies show lower rates of AD in regular exercise groups compared to sedentary groupsA single clinical trial found reduced brain atrophy and improved memory following an intervention where elderly adults were…
 
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    Psychology Headlines Around the World

  • Altering Brain Chemistry Makes Us More Sensitive to Inequality

    ScienceDaily
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:11 am
    Source: ScienceDailyWhat if there were a pill that made you more compassionate? A new study finds that giving a drug that changes the neurochemical balance in the brain causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.
  • Could Smoggy Air Raise Your Anxiety Level?

    Google News - Health
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:11 am
    Source: Google News - HealthAir pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, two new studies suggest. In one, researchers confirmed a long-studied connection between air pollution and
  • Puerto Rico Ends Its Defense of Same-Sex Marriage Ban

    Reuters - World News
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:11 am
    Source: Reuters - World NewsThe Puerto Rican government will no longer defend a law that bans same-sex couples from marrying and does not recognize the validity of such marriages performed in other jurisdictions, the U.S. commonwealth's attorney general announced on Friday.
  • Brains of Those with Anorexia React Differently to Hunger Signals

    U.S. News and World Report
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:01 am
    Source: U.S. News and World ReportStudy also finds changes in areas that regulate self-control.
  • Airlines Largely Rely on Pilot's "Self-Monitoring" Mental Health

    USA Today - U.S. News
    26 Mar 2015 | 2:59 am
    Source: USA Today - U.S. NewsAviation experts say psychological screening is minimal for pilots. But after a French prosecutor said Thursday that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 apparently locked the pilot out of the cockpit and crashed the passenger plane into a mountain, pilot testing is under higher scrutiny.
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    The Neurocritic

  • Update on the BROADEN Trial of DBS for Treatment-Resistant Depression

    16 Mar 2015 | 2:33 am
    Website for the BROADEN™ study, which was terminatedIn these days of irrational exuberance about neural circuit models, it's wise to remember the limitations of current deep brain stimulation (DBS) methods to treat psychiatric disorders. If you recall (from Dec. 2013), Neurotech Business Report revealed that "St. Jude Medical failed a futility analysis of its BROADEN trial of DBS for treatment of depression..."A recent comment on my old post about the BROADEN Trial1 had an even more pessimistic revelation: there was only a 17.2% chance of a successful study outcome:Regarding Anonymous'…
  • Daylight Savings Time and "The Dress"

    9 Mar 2015 | 8:42 pm
    もう何番煎じかも分からないけど例のドレス問題をまとめてみました。青黒/白金に見える人の色覚やモニタを疑ってる人はぜひご覧ください。 pic.twitter.com/6euNYw9xUa— ぶどう茶 (@budoucha) February 27, 2015Could one's chronotype (degree of "morningness" vs. "eveningness") be related to your membership on Team white/gold vs. Team blue/black?Dreaded by night owls everywhere, Daylight Savings Time forces us to get up an hour earlier. Yes, [my time to blog and] I have been living under a rock, but this evil event and an old tweet…
  • One Brain Network for All Mental Illness

    19 Feb 2015 | 9:22 pm
    What do schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety have in common? A loss of gray matter in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and bilateral anterior insula, according to a recent review of the structural neuroimaging literature (Goodkind et al., 2015). These two brain regions are important for executive functions, the top-down cognitive processes that allow us to maintain goals and flexibly alter our behavior in response to changing circumstances. The authors modestly concluded they had identified a “Common…
  • Against Initiatives: "don't be taken in by the boondoggle"

    31 Jan 2015 | 11:30 pm
     ...or should I say braindoggle...I've been reading The Future of the Brain, a collection of Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists edited by Gary Marcus and Jeremy Freeman. Amidst the chapters on jaw-dropping technical developments, Big Factory Science, and Grand Neuroscience Initiatives, one stood out for its contrarian stance (and personally reflective tone). Here's Professor Leah Krubitzer, who heads the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Davis:“From a personal rather than scientific standpoint, the final important thing I've learned is don't be…
  • 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).
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    The Beautiful Brain

  • Book Spinal Nervous Systems

    Ben Ehrlich
    13 Mar 2015 | 10:20 am
              by the artist Barbara Wildenboer (via Paris Review Daily and Colossal)
  • This is Your Brain on Radio

    Ben Ehrlich
    1 Mar 2015 | 3:44 pm
    (The famous patient H.M. as a young man.) The new STEM podcast Transistor, presented by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has released new neuroscience episodes called Totally Cerebral. The host, Wendy Suzuki, is a scientist at NYU who studies learning, memory, and cognition. In a review of the first two episodes, The A.V. Club called the show “gripping and immediate the way the best sort of storytelling podcast can be, as these scientists are not only bright but personable and emotionally connected to their studies.”  Part 1 is…
  • The Interdisciplinary Curator

    Ben Ehrlich
    6 Feb 2015 | 6:56 am
    Over at Nautilus, there is an interview with superstar curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist, the co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery. Obrist has worked with some of the most famous artists in the world, but he has collaborated with scientists in the past. Most recently, he has collaborated with John Brockman of the Edge to present an event called “Extinction Marathon,” which asked artists, writers, scientists, filmmakers, theorists, and musicians to present on the topic of Extinction. Obrist seems determined to bring interdisciplinary creativity back to life. “I…
  • 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…
 
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    The Neurocritic

  • Update on the BROADEN Trial of DBS for Treatment-Resistant Depression

    The Neurocritic
    16 Mar 2015 | 2:33 am
    Website for the BROADEN™ study, which was terminatedIn these days of irrational exuberance about neural circuit models, it's wise to remember the limitations of current deep brain stimulation (DBS) methods to treat psychiatric disorders. If you recall (from Dec. 2013), Neurotech Business Report revealed that "St. Jude Medical failed a futility analysis of its BROADEN trial of DBS for treatment of depression..."A recent comment on my old post about the BROADEN Trial1 had an even more pessimistic revelation: there was only a 17.2% chance of a successful study outcome:Regarding Anonymous'…
  • Daylight Savings Time and "The Dress"

    The Neurocritic
    9 Mar 2015 | 8:42 pm
    もう何番煎じかも分からないけど例のドレス問題をまとめてみました。青黒/白金に見える人の色覚やモニタを疑ってる人はぜひご覧ください。 pic.twitter.com/6euNYw9xUa— ぶどう茶 (@budoucha) February 27, 2015Could one's chronotype (degree of "morningness" vs. "eveningness") be related to your membership on Team white/gold vs. Team blue/black?Dreaded by night owls everywhere, Daylight Savings Time forces us to get up an hour earlier. Yes, [my time to blog and] I have been living under a rock, but this evil event and an old tweet…
  • One Brain Network for All Mental Illness

    The Neurocritic
    19 Feb 2015 | 9:22 pm
    What do schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety have in common? A loss of gray matter in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and bilateral anterior insula, according to a recent review of the structural neuroimaging literature (Goodkind et al., 2015). These two brain regions are important for executive functions, the top-down cognitive processes that allow us to maintain goals and flexibly alter our behavior in response to changing circumstances. The authors modestly concluded they had identified a “Common…
  • Against Initiatives: "don't be taken in by the boondoggle"

    The Neurocritic
    31 Jan 2015 | 11:30 pm
     ...or should I say braindoggle...I've been reading The Future of the Brain, a collection of Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists edited by Gary Marcus and Jeremy Freeman. Amidst the chapters on jaw-dropping technical developments, Big Factory Science, and Grand Neuroscience Initiatives, one stood out for its contrarian stance (and personally reflective tone). Here's Professor Leah Krubitzer, who heads the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Davis:“From a personal rather than scientific standpoint, the final important thing I've learned is don't be…
  • 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).
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    The Brain from Top to Bottom Blog - Intermediate Level

  • The “Coming Out” of the Electrical Synapse

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

    Bruno Dubuc
    23 Feb 2015 | 10:55 am
    For decades now, scientists have had a good knowledge of the descending neural and hormonal pathways by which the human brain influences the human body. But until quite recently, there was still a tendency to underestimate just how much the human body influences the human brain. In an experiment reported in 2010, however, social psychologist Amy Cuddy showed that simply adopting a body posture associated with dominance will, within two minutes, cause measurable changes in people’s blood concentrations of certain hormones, and in certain of their behaviours, such as risk-taking. As Cuddy…
  • Famous Amnesia Patient “K.C.” Dies

    Bruno Dubuc
    10 Feb 2015 | 7:20 am
    He was almost as famous as Henri Molaison, the famous patient “H.M.” who was studied for decades by eminent researchers such as neuropsychologist Brenda Milner, in Montreal, and who died in 2008. Patient “K.C.”, whose real name was Kent Cochrane, died more recently, on March 27, 2014, at the age of 62. K.C. grew up in the suburbs of Toronto. Unlike H.M., who had had his two hippocampi surgically removed because of epilepsy, K.C. suffered serious damage to his brain, including both hippocampi, in a motorcycle accident on his way home from work, at the age of 30. But like H.M, K.C.
  • 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.
 
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    Your Brain Health

  • Gut-Brain Health – What Neuroscientists Are Calling “A Paradigm Shift”

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

    Sarah McKay
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:55 pm
    This week I spoke with Megan McDonough CEO and co-founder along with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar of the Wholebeing Institute. Megan is here in Australia working with Justin Robinson the director of the Institute of Positive Education at Geelong Grammar School. They’re promoting the Australian version of the Certificate in Whole-Person Positive Psychology (CiPP). Which by the […] The post Three evidence-based daily habits for wellbeing and happiness appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Did Rick Hanson’s Positive Neuroplasticity training change my skeptical mind?

    Sarah McKay
    9 Feb 2015 | 10:07 pm
    See that photo over there to the right?  That’s me and Rick Hanson PhD, a neuropsychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author of the books Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence  and Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom. Rick […] The post Did Rick Hanson’s Positive Neuroplasticity training change my skeptical mind? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
  • Brain Rules – Walking Book Club

    Sarah McKay
    3 Feb 2015 | 3:24 pm
    The return of the Walking Book Club Lets kick this Walking Book Club off again!! Why walk and talk? …. The human brain became the most powerful in the world under conditions where motion was a constant presence. Our fancy brains developed not while we were lounging around but while we were working out.  John Medina […] The post Brain Rules – Walking Book Club appeared first on 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.
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