Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged? This question has kept neuroscientists busy for a long time. Researchers at the Mercator Research Group “Structure of Memory” at RUB have now found out that the same brain cells exhibit activity in both processes.... Read more »
Nakamura, N., & Sauvage, M. (2015) Encoding and reactivation patterns predictive of successful memory performance are topographically organized along the longitudinal axis of the hippocampus. Hippocampus. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22491
Sleeping not only protects memories from being forgotten, it also makes them easier to access, according to new research from the University of Exeter and the Basque Centre for Cognition, Brain and Language. The findings suggest that after sleep we are more likely to recall facts which we could not remember while still awake.... Read more »
Dumay, N. (2015) Sleep not just protects memories against forgetting, it also makes them more accessible. Cortex. info:/http://hdl.handle.net/10871/17864
Whether you are alerted to an incoming phone call or text by a trendy ringtone, an alarm bell or a quiet vibration, just receiving a notification on your cell phone can cause enough of a distraction to impair your ability to focus on a given task. In fact, the distraction caused by a simple notification — whether it is a sound or a vibration — is comparable to the effects seen when users actively use their cell phones to make calls or send text messages, the researchers found.... Read more »
Stothart, C., Mitchum, A., & Yehnert, C. (2015) The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Phone Notification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000100
According to British biochemist Donald R. Forsdyke in a new paper in Biological Theory, the existence of people who seem to be missing most of their brain tissue calls into question some of the "cherished assumptions" of neuroscience.
I'm not so sure.
Forsdyke discusses the disease called hydrocephalus ('water on the brain'). Some people who suffer from this condition as children are cured thanks to prompt treatment. Remarkably, in some cases, these post-hydrocephalics turn out to have... Read more »
Forsdyke, D. (2015) Wittgenstein’s Certainty is Uncertain: Brain Scans of Cured Hydrocephalics Challenge Cherished Assumptions. Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-015-0219-x
Check it out. My work during postdoc that was just published early online in Brain Injury. Feel free to contact me for a PDF copy.AbstractPRIMARY OBJECTIVE: To characterize sleep architecture and self-reported sleep quality, fatigue and daytime sleepiness in individuals with TBI. Possible relationships between sleep architecture and self-reported sleep quality, fatigue and daytime sleepiness were examined.METHODS: Forty-four community-dwelling adults with TBI completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Qua........ Read more »
Lu W, Cantor JB, Aurora RN, Gordon WA, Krellman JW, Nguyen M, Ashman TA, Spielman L, & Ambrose AF. (2015) The relationship between self-reported sleep disturbance and polysomnography in individuals with traumatic brain injury. Brain injury, 1-9. PMID: 26204319
We all vary in how often we become happy, sad or angry, and also in how strongly these emotions are expressed. This variability is a part of our personality and can be seen as a positive aspect that increases diversity in society. However, there are people that find it so difficult to regulate their emotions that it has a serious impact on their work, family and social life. These individuals may be given an emotional instability diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder or antisocial pe........ Read more »
Petrovic, P., Ekman, C., Klahr, J., Tigerstrom, L., Ryden, G., Johansson, A., Sellgren, C., Golkar, A., Olsson, A., Ohman, A.... (2015) Significant gray matter changes in a region of the orbitofrontal cortex in healthy participants predicts emotional dysregulation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsv072
The brain’s effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group of researchers has found that it’s a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism. While the exact nature of those signals remains a mystery, researchers say simply knowing such a pathway exists and learning more about it could help break a vicious cycle: Stress causes a desire to eat more, which can lead to obesity. And too much extra fat can im........ Read more »
de Kloet, A., Krause, E., Solomon, M., Flak, J., Scott, K., Kim, D., Myers, B., Ulrich-Lai, Y., Woods, S., Seeley, R.... (2015) Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 110-119. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.03.008
In biology, stability is important. From body temperature to blood pressure and sugar levels, our body ensures that these remain within reasonable limits and do not reach potentially damaging extremes. Neurons in the brain are no different and, in fact, have developed a number of ways to stabilise their electrical activity so as to avoid becoming either overexcitable, potentially leading to epilepsy, or not excitable enough, leading to non functional neurons.... Read more »
Wefelmeyer, W., Cattaert, D., & Burrone, J. (2015) Activity-dependent mismatch between axo-axonic synapses and the axon initial segment controls neuronal output. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201502902. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502902112
There is an urgent need to identify strategies to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.The role of diet as a prevention strategy is controversial. Some research evidence supports a role for a Mediterranean diet in cognitive health and dementia prevention.A recent brain imaging study adds to this evidence. Dr. Lisa Mosconi and colleagues at New York University School of Medicine completed a cross-sectional study of brain magnetic resonance imaging and diet........ Read more »
Mosconi L, Murray J, Tsui WH, Li Y, Davies M, Williams S, Pirraglia E, Spector N, Osorio RS, Glodzik L.... (2014) Mediterranean Diet and Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Assessed Brain Atrophy in Cognitively Normal Individuals at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease. The journal of prevention of Alzheimer's disease, 1(1), 23-32. PMID: 25237654
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have found that key parts of the human brain network that give us the power to control and redirect our attention–a core cognitive ability–may be unique to humans. The research suggests that the network may have evolved in response to increasingly complex social cues.... Read more »
Patel, G., Yang, D., Jamerson, E., Snyder, L., Corbetta, M., & Ferrera, V. (2015) Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420395. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420395112
Cardiovascular fitness has been correlated with a variety of beneficial effects on brain structure and cognition.These correlations have not proven causality but they do support continued imaging and brain function studies.Scott Hayes from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston School of Medicine recently published an information study on this topic.Brain white matter integrity is now open for study using diffusion tensor imaging, available from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MR........ Read more »
Hayes SM, Salat DH, Forman DE, Sperling RA, & Verfaellie M. (2015) Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with white matter integrity in aging. Annals of clinical and translational neurology, 2(6), 688-98. PMID: 26125043
Challenging the idea that addiction is hardwired in the brain, a new study suggests that even a short time spent in a stimulating learning environment can rewire the brain’s reward system and buffer it against drug dependence. Scientists tracked cocaine cravings in more than 70 adult male mice and found that those rodents whose daily drill included exploration, learning and finding hidden tasty morsels were less likely than their enrichment-deprived counterparts to seek solace in a chamber whe........ Read more »
Boivin, J., Piscopo, D., & Wilbrecht, L. (2015) Brief cognitive training interventions in young adulthood promote long-term resilience to drug-seeking behavior. Neuropharmacology, 404-413. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.05.036
A newborn’s first stool can signal the child may struggle with persistent cognitive problems, according to Case Western Reserve University Project Newborn researchers. In particular, high levels of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) found in the meconium (a newborn’s first stool) from a mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy can alert doctors that a child is at risk for problems with intelligence and reasoning.... Read more »
Min MO, Singer LT, Minnes S, Wu M, & Bearer CF. (2015) Association of fatty acid ethyl esters in meconium and cognitive development during childhood and adolescence. Journal of Pediatrics . info:/10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.12.008
Current pharmacologic interventions in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have limited effectiveness.Most of the current AD drugs available promise to slow the rate of progression but fail to reverse or prevent the disease.Novel strategies for AD drug treatment are desperately needed and one promising class of agents are the newer drugs for treatment of diabetes. How might a diabetes treatment drug potentially treat a brain disease like AD?A recent review article in World Journal of Diabetes summariz........ Read more »
Candeias EM, Sebastião IC, Cardoso SM, Correia SC, Carvalho CI, Plácido AI, Santos MS, Oliveira CR, Moreira PI, & Duarte AI. (2015) Gut-brain connection: The neuroprotective effects of the anti-diabetic drug liraglutide. World journal of diabetes, 6(6), 807-27. PMID: 26131323
Macrophages are cellular sentinels in the body, assigned to identify “attacks” from viruses, bacteria, or fungi and sound the alarm when they are present. However, these cells are a “double edged sword” in spinal cord injury, providing both neural repair-promoting properties and pathological functions that destroy neuronal tissue.... Read more »
Gensel, J., Wang, Y., Guan, Z., Beckwith, K., Braun, K., Wei, P., McTigue, D., & Popovich, P. (2015) Toll-Like Receptors and Dectin-1, a C-Type Lectin Receptor, Trigger Divergent Functions in CNS Macrophages. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(27), 9966-9976. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0337-15.2015
Ever wake at night needing a drink of water and then find your way to the kitchen in the dark without stubbing your toe? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego say they have identified a region of the brain that enables you to do that – and generally helps you navigate the world.... Read more »
Alexander, A., & Nitz, D. (2015) Retrosplenial cortex maps the conjunction of internal and external spaces. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.4058
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the School of Medicine have found that the three-dimensional shape of the cerebral cortex – the wrinkled outer layer of the brain controlling many functions of thinking and sensation – strongly correlates with ancestral background. The study opens the door to more precise studies of brain anatomy going forward and could eventually lead to more personalized medicine approaches for diagnosing and treating brain diseases.... Read more »
Chun Chieh Fan, Hauke Bartsch, Andrew J. Schork, Chi-Hua Chen, Yunpeng Wang, Min-Tzu Lo, Timothy T. Brown, Joshua M. Kuperman, Donald J. Hagler Jr., Nicholas J. Schork.... (2015) Modeling the 3D Geometry of the Cortical Surface with Genetic Ancestry. Current Biology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.06.006
A study authored by two University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate students indicates that while playing video games can improve mood, violent games may increase aggressive outcomes. The researchers looked at how video games may be used to manage emotions — specifically, whether playing the games can improve mood.... Read more »
Bonus, J., Peebles, A., & Riddle, K. (2015) The influence of violent video game enjoyment on hostile attributions. Computers in Human Behavior, 472-483. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.05.044
A new paper published in Cognitive Processes argues that neuroscientists may need to look at brain activity from a new angle, in order to understand neural dynamics.
According to the authors, David Alexander et al. of Leuven in Belgium,
A ubiquitous methodological practice in cognitive neuroscience is to obtain measure of brain activity by analyzing the time course of activity alone, or the spatial topography of activity alone.
This usually results in throwing away most of the data as... Read more »
Alexander DM, Trengove C, & van Leeuwen C. (2015) Donders is dead: cortical traveling waves and the limits of mental chronometry in cognitive neuroscience. Cognitive processing. PMID: 26139038
In just two years, people with type 2 diabetes experienced negative changes in their ability to regulate blood flow in the brain, which was associated with lower scores on tests of cognition skills and their ability to perform their daily activities, according to a new study.... Read more »
Chen-Chih Chung, MD,, Daniela Pimentel, MD,, Azizah J. Jor'dan, PhD,, Ying Hao, PhD, William Milberg, PhD, & Vera Novak, MD, PhD. (2015) Inflammation-associated declines in cerebral vasoreactivity and cognition in type 2 diabetes. Neurology . info:/10.1212/WNL.0000000000001820
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