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  • March 2, 2015
  • 04:06 AM
  • 13 views

Single-Unit Recordings Reveal Limitations of fMRI MVPA?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) is an increasingly popular approach for analyzing the results of fMRI scanning experiments that measure brain activity. MVPA searches for patterns of activation that correlate with a particular mental state. This is called 'decoding' neural activity.

Now a new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience from Caltech neuroscientists Julien Dubois et al. reports that MVPA is unable to decode certain kinds of information, even though single-unit recordings confirm th... Read more »

Dubois J, de Berker AO, & Tsao DY. (2015) Single-Unit Recordings in the Macaque Face Patch System Reveal Limitations of fMRI MVPA. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 35(6), 2791-802. PMID: 25673866  

  • March 1, 2015
  • 09:49 AM
  • 74 views

Link between image and sound

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Babies link the sound of a word with the image of an object in their early learning of language and this is an important ability. How do they come to have this mechanism? Are there predispositions to making links between sounds and images? Research by Asano and others (citation below) shows one type of link. […]... Read more »

  • February 28, 2015
  • 10:04 AM
  • 80 views

Meditating For Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Dear Alice’s fan, this poem by Shel Silverstein is titled ‘Alice’ and now it’s your turn: are you ready to go down the rabbit hole again and be guided in our mind’s wonderland? So, let’s see what the blow up-potion and the shrinking-cake are made of.... Read more »

  • February 28, 2015
  • 04:34 AM
  • 12 views

What are the Unsolved Problems of Neuroscience?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In an interesting short paper just published in Trends in Cognitive Science, Caltech neuroscientist Ralph Adolphs offers his thoughts on The Unsolved Problems of Neuroscience.





Here's Adolphs' list of the top 23 questions (including 3 "meta" issues), which, he says, was inspired by Hilbert's famous set of 23 mathematical problems:
Problems that are solved, or soon will be:
I. How do single neurons compute?
II. What is the connectome of a small nervous system, like that of Caenorhabi... Read more »

Adolphs R. (2015) The unsolved problems of neuroscience. Trends in cognitive sciences. PMID: 25703689  

  • February 27, 2015
  • 05:23 PM
  • 57 views

New compounds protect nerves from the damage of MS

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Autoimmune diseases are tough to live with, frankly we don’t really understand the reasons they start at all, how to treat them, or even where to start in forming a cure. Well there might be some good news — as far as a treatment goes anyway — a newly characterized group of pharmacological compounds block both the inflammation and nerve cell damage seen in mouse models of multiple sclerosis.... Read more »

Haines, J., Herbin, O., de la Hera, B., Vidaurre, O., Moy, G., Sun, Q., Fung, H., Albrecht, S., Alexandropoulos, K., McCauley, D.... (2015) Nuclear export inhibitors avert progression in preclinical models of inflammatory demyelination. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3953  

  • February 27, 2015
  • 11:17 AM
  • 73 views

How Deep Mind learns to win

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

About a year ago, DeepMind was bought for half a billion dollars by Google for creating software that could learn to beat video games. Over the past year, DeepMind has detailed how they did it. Let us say that you were … Continue reading →... Read more »

Mnih V, Kavukcuoglu K, Silver D, Rusu AA, Veness J, Bellemare MG, Graves A, Riedmiller M, Fidjeland AK, Ostrovski G.... (2015) Human-level control through deep reinforcement learning. Nature, 518(7540), 529-533. PMID: 25719670  

Volodymyr Mnih, Koray Kavukcuoglu, David Silver, Alex Graves, Ioannis Antonoglou, Daan Wierstra, & Martin Riedmiller. (2013) Playing Atari with Deep Reinforcement Learning. arXiv. arXiv: 1312.5602v1

  • February 27, 2015
  • 10:44 AM
  • 44 views

Breaking Research: Separable short- and long-term memories can form after a momentous occasion

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

When was your first kiss? What were you doing the last time you heard life-changing news? After only a single experience, your brain was somehow able to form a long-term memory of these events. This phenomenon has baffled neuroscientists for decades, but in a recent paper published in PNAS, Yamagata et al. report a surprising […]... Read more »

Yamagata Nobuhiro, Yoshinori Aso, Pierre-Yves Plaçais, Anja B. Friedrich, Richard J. Sima, Thomas Preat, Gerald M. Rubin, & Hiromu Tanimoto. (2014) Distinct dopamine neurons mediate reward signals for short- and long-term memories. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(2), 578-583. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1421930112  

  • February 26, 2015
  • 03:04 PM
  • 81 views

Dr. Frankenstein might be impressed, the human head transplant

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sure it sounds like something from the book Frankenstein, but Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group has made it known that he intends to announce at this summer’s American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons meeting, that he believes he has put together a group of techniques that should make it possible to attach a human donor body to a head.... Read more »

  • February 25, 2015
  • 12:02 AM
  • 79 views

Can’t stand the sounds of chewing, loud breathing, or pen clicking? Dutch psychiatrists propose that may be the symptom of a new disorder

by Megan Cartwright in Science-Based Writing

Dutch psychiatrists have proposed that misophonia – a hypersensitivity to common, irritating noises like eating, loud breathing, and pen clicking – be classified as its own psychiatric disorder. After evaluating 42 Dutch patients with the disorder, the psychiatrists concluded that … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 23, 2015
  • 04:21 PM
  • 64 views

Brain waves help memory formation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain.... Read more »

  • February 23, 2015
  • 06:23 AM
  • 67 views

Greenish Red: Does It Exist?

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

Why is there no such thing as greenish red? Learn everything about color oppositions and experience fun optical illusions ... Read more »

Neitz J, & Neitz M. (2011) The genetics of normal and defective color vision. Vision research, 51(7), 633-51. PMID: 21167193  

  • February 22, 2015
  • 07:00 PM
  • 93 views

New neurons in the adult brain help us adapt

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The discovery that the human brain continues to produce new neurons in adulthood challenged a major dogma in the field of neuroscience, but the role of these neurons in behavior and cognition is still not clear. In a review article researchers synthesize the vast literature on this topic, reviewing environmental factors that influence the birth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in memory and learning.... Read more »

  • February 22, 2015
  • 09:57 AM
  • 83 views

Associating brain structure with function and the bias of more = better

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

It seems that, of all of the behavioral neuroscience findings that make their way into popular press coverage, those that involve structural changes to the brain are most likely to pique the interest of the public. Perhaps this is because we have a tendency to think of brain function as something that is flexible and constantly changing, and thus alterations in function do not seem as dramatic as alterations in structure, which give the impression of being more permanent.After all, until relativ........ Read more »

Lazar, S., Kerr, C., Wasserman, R., Gray, J., Greve, D., Treadway, M., McGarvey, M., Quinn, B., Dusek, J., Benson, H.... (2005) Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. NeuroReport, 16(17), 1893-1897. DOI: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000186598.66243.19  

  • February 21, 2015
  • 02:36 PM
  • 100 views

Mental illness and ultradian rhythms

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the relatively new 24 hour, always on the go, digital lifestyle we live — might living a structured life with regularly established mealtimes and early bedtimes lead to a better life and perhaps even prevent the onset of mental illness? Well according to a new study, it might do just that, you could have a better quality of life just by being a little more structured thanks to our circadian rhythm.... Read more »

  • February 20, 2015
  • 02:48 AM
  • 102 views

One Brain Network for All Mental Illness

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

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 ........ Read more »

Goodkind, M., Eickhoff, S., Oathes, D., Jiang, Y., Chang, A., Jones-Hagata, L., Ortega, B., Zaiko, Y., Roach, E., Korgaonkar, M.... (2015) Identification of a Common Neurobiological Substrate for Mental Illness. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2206  

  • February 19, 2015
  • 01:12 PM
  • 97 views

Circadian and ultradian rhytms in dopaminergic signalling might have consequences for psychopathology

by Caio Maximino in Caio Maximino - Research site and blog

Two recent articles shed light on how rhythmicity in dopaminergic signaling can be of relevance to some psychiatric disorders... Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 11:53 AM
  • 94 views

Exercise Guidelines in Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

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 red........ Read more »

Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, Cooper J, de Jager CA, Erickson KI, Fraser G, Kesler S, Levin SM, Lucey B.... (2014) Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of aging. PMID: 24913896  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 11:10 AM
  • 69 views

Now Available In Technicolor! #2: Color-Blindness

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

This week in RAZ’s colorful trilogy: What is color-blindness? She also included a test.... Read more »

Neitz J, & Neitz M. (2011) The genetics of normal and defective color vision. Vision research, 51(7), 633-51. PMID: 21167193  

  • February 18, 2015
  • 05:02 AM
  • 101 views

Fasting Fruit Flies: Improved Focus and Brain Power

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Fasting: solely a religious activity or is it also beneficial for focus and brain power? Research links fasting and hunger to formation of long-term memory.... Read more »

Hirano Y, Masuda T, Naganos S, Matsuno M, Ueno K, Miyashita T, Horiuchi J, & Saitoe M. (2013) Fasting launches CRTC to facilitate long-term memory formation in Drosophila. Science (New York, N.Y.), 339(6118), 443-6. PMID: 23349290  

Dubnau J. (2012) Neuroscience. Ode to the mushroom bodies. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335(6069), 664-5. PMID: 22323806  

Quinn, W., Harris, W., & Benzer, S. (1974) Conditioned Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 71(3), 708-712. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.71.3.708  

  • February 17, 2015
  • 02:26 PM
  • 105 views

Shopping while hungry leads to more non-food purchases

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever go shopping when you’re hungry and notice you walked out with a lot more than you were expecting to buy? While most people know that when you are hungry, you typically will buy more food (as illustrated by The Oatmeal above), new research shows that there is a clear link between hunger and buying non-food items. A team of international researchers has released a paper that describes five laboratory and field studies they conducted which showed how people respond to non-food objects when ........ Read more »

Alison Jing Xu, Norbert Schwarz, & Robert S. Wyer, Jr. (2015) Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1417712112

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