Rapid eye movement or REM sleep actively converts waking experiences into lasting memories and abilities in young brains reports a new study. The finding broadens the understanding of children’s sleep needs and calls into question the increasing use of REM-disrupting medications such as stimulants and antidepressants.
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Michelle C. Dumoulin Bridi, Sara J. Aton, Julie Seibt, Leslie Renouard, Tammi Coleman1, & Marcos G. Frank. (2015) Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500105
The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed. A group of researchers discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.... Read more »
Nikolay A. Pestov, Nadezhda S. Gerasimova, Olga I. Kulaeva, & Vasily M. Studitsky. (2015) Structure of transcribed chromatin is a sensor of DNA damage. Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1500021
When you smile at a party, your facial expression is emotionally consistent with the happy context and as a consequence other guests will in future be more likely to remember that they've seen your face before, and where you were when they saw you. That's according to a team of Italian researchers led by Stefania Righi who have explored how memory for a face is affected by the emotion shown on that face and the congruence between that emotional expression and its surrounding context.The research........ Read more »
Righi, S., Gronchi, G., Marzi, T., Rebai, M., & Viggiano, M. (2015) You are that smiling guy I met at the party! Socially positive signals foster memory for identities and contexts. Acta Psychologica, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.05.001
Can we learn without being aware of what we're learning? Many psychologists say that 'unconscious', or implicit, learning exists.
But in a new paper, London-based psychologists Vadillo, Konstantinidis, and Shanks call the evidence for this into question.
Vadillo et al. focus on one particular example of implicit learning, the contextual cueing paradigm. This involves a series of stimulus patterns, each consisting of a number of "L" shapes and one "T" shape in various orientations. For ... Read more »
Vadillo MA, Konstantinidis E, & Shanks DR. (2015) Underpowered samples, false negatives, and unconscious learning. Psychonomic bulletin . PMID: 26122896
When you look at a kangaroo or a wallaby, it's obvious the animal is well built for bouncing around the outback. What may be less obvious is that its arms are built for fighting—if it's male, that is. Males of these species have disproportionately long arm bones. And the more brawling a species does, the more exaggerated the difference between the beefy-armed males and their normal-limbed mates.
To understand this evolutionary quirk, we'll need to review the rules of fighting in wallabie........ Read more »
Richards, H., Grueter, C., & Milne, N. (2015) Strong arm tactics: sexual dimorphism in macropodid limb proportions. Journal of Zoology. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12264
Animal models can be useful for understanding disease pathology and as preclinical models for drug testing. As BHD patients develop renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) of varied histologies, associated with a loss of FLCN, BHD animal models could be used to study of a wide range of renal cancer subtypes. Current BHD mouse models include kidney-specific Flcn-knockouts (Chen et al., 2008, Baba et al., 2008) and ubiquitous knockouts (Hasumi et al., 2009, Hartman et al., 2009, Hudon et al., 2010). The form........ Read more »
Chen J, Huang D, Rubera I, Futami K, Wang P, Zickert P, Khoo SK, Dykema K, Zhao P, Petillo D.... (2015) Disruption of tubular Flcn expression as a mouse model for renal tumor induction. Kidney international. PMID: 26083655
Adding some ‘worry time’ to your day could work better than pills.... Read more »
Koffel EA, Koffel JB, & Gehrman PR. (2015) A meta-analysis of group cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Sleep medicine reviews, 6-16. PMID: 24931811
Sivertsen B, Omvik S, Pallesen S, Bjorvatn B, Havik OE, Kvale G, Nielsen GH, & Nordhus IH. (2006) Cognitive behavioral therapy vs zopiclone for treatment of chronic primary insomnia in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 295(24), 2851-8. PMID: 16804151
A new research article shows that the ventral striatum includes a representation of the value attributed to potential choices in a gambling task, and of the decision eventually reached.... Read more »
Strait, C., Sleezer, B., & Hayden, B. (2015) Signatures of Value Comparison in Ventral Striatum Neurons. PLOS Biology, 13(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002173
I was really rather happy to see the "preliminary evidence" reported by Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues  when it came to examining whether selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants might show linkage to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on data derived from the CHARGE initiative.For quite a while now I've discussed the various peer-reviewed science on the topic of vitamin D deficiency / insufficiency with autism in mind on this blog (see here and see here for example). Specifically, h........ Read more »
Schmidt RJ, Hansen RL, Hartiala J, Allayee H, Sconberg JL, Schmidt LC, Volk HE, & Tassone F. (2015) Selected vitamin D metabolic gene variants and risk for autism spectrum disorder in the CHARGE Study. Early human development, 91(8), 483-489. PMID: 26073892
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