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  • September 12, 2014
  • 03:44 PM
  • 48 views

Inflammation of the Brain and Memory Problems

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Neurological disorders typically involve memory issues. Most of the problems are attributed to plaques that build up in the brain (which are typically prions), yet some causes are unknown. New research however sheds some light on at least one cause of memory problems. As it turns out brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 50 views

Astrocyte role in gamma waves

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

The study of the brain has been very neuron centered. Glial cells outnumber neuron by about 10 to 1 in the cortex and are known to be important to brain function but it is not clear just what they do other than some housekeeping tasks and shepherding neurons to their final locations during development. Astrocyte […]... Read more »

Lee, H., Ghetti, A., Pinto-Duarte, A., Wang, X., Dziewczapolski, G., Galimi, F., Huitron-Resendiz, S., Pina-Crespo, J., Roberts, A., Verma, I.... (2014) Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(32). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410893111  

  • September 11, 2014
  • 12:45 PM
  • 74 views

The Origami Brain and a new marker for Schizophrenia

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain (like the one above) is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of “hills”, called gyri, and “valleys”, called sulci which give the brain it’s distinctive look. It turns out that the patterns of cortical folding are largely consistent across healthy humans, broadly speaking. However, disturbances in cortical folding patterns suggest deeper disturbances in brain structure and functi........ Read more »

Nanda P, Tandon N, Mathew IT, Giakoumatos CI, Abhishekh HA, Clementz BA, Pearlson GD, Sweeney J, Tamminga CA, & Keshavan MS. (2014) Local gyrification index in probands with psychotic disorders and their first-degree relatives. Biological psychiatry, 76(6), 447-55. PMID: 24369266  

  • September 10, 2014
  • 02:26 PM
  • 53 views

Multiple Sclerosis and Myelin loss

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The exact cause is unknown, however people with multiple sclerosis lose myelin in the gray matter of their brains and the loss is closely correlated with the severity of the disease, according to a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study.... Read more »

Vasily L. Yarnykh, James D. Bowen, Alexey Samsonov, Pavle Repovic, Angeli Mayadev, Peiqing Qian, Beena Gangadharan, Bart P. Keogh, Kenneth R. Maravilla, & Lily K. Jung Henson. (2014) Fast Whole-Brain Three-dimensional Macromolecular Proton Fraction Mapping in Multiple Sclerosis. Radiological Society of North America . info:/10.1148/radiol.14140528

  • September 10, 2014
  • 09:40 AM
  • 73 views

Midi-chlorians gave Jedi knights their power. Is there something like this on Earth?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A strange and provocative paper by Alexander Panchin and colleagues proposes an unorthodox new idea called the “biomeme hypothesis”, which posits that the impulse behind some religious rituals could be driven by mind-altering parasites.... Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 09:49 PM
  • 51 views

Prejudice in the brain

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Despite the great strides that have been made toward a more egalitarian society in the United States over the past 50 years, events like what occurred in Ferguson last month are a bleak reminder of the racial tensions that still exist here. Of course, the United States is not alone in this respect; throughout the world we can see abundant examples of strain between different races, as well as between any groups with dissimilar characteristics. In fact, it seems that the quickness with which we f........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 02:35 PM
  • 60 views

Autism and Testosterone

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As a male we are at higher risk for heart disease, we are also at higher risk for stroke. It’s that pesky testosterone, sure it has its benefits, don’t get me wrong I think testosterone over all is great. Estrogen has it’s own downsides too, things like certain cancers for example. Well estrogen has some other benefits and as it turns out, the same sex hormone that helps protect females from stroke may also reduce their risk of autism.... Read more »

Amanda Crider,, Roshni Thakkar,, Anthony O Ahmed, & Anilkumar Pillai. (2014) Dysregulation of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ), aromatase (CYP19A1), and ER co-activators in the middle frontal gyrus of autism spectrum disorder subjects. Molecular Autism . info:/10.1186/2040-2392-5-46

  • September 9, 2014
  • 08:54 AM
  • 59 views

Discovering rules unconsciously

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Dijksterhuis and Nordgren put forward a theory of unconscious thought. They propose that there are two types of thought process: conscious and unconscious. “CT (conscious thought) refers to object-relevant or task-relevant cognitive or affective thought processes that occur while the object or task is the focus of one’s conscious attention, whereas UT (unconscious thought) refers […]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2014
  • 01:17 PM
  • 57 views

Fingertips can actually perform calculations

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Nerve endings on our fingertips have the same ability of performing complex neural computations as we can find in our brain.

Published in:

Nature Nanotechnology

Study Further:

Researchers have found that our fingertips are able to differentiate the edges and this process of getting knowledge of orientation of edges is performed by both touch and visual senses. Most of these senses and computations occur in the brain as it contains cells of both touch and see that are s........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2014
  • 10:41 AM
  • 74 views

Coping with Stress – Some Essential Constructs

by Vivek Misra in The UberBrain

Anxiety, insomnia, muscle tension, fatigue, high blood pressure, and anger are just some of the symptoms of stress. Stress not only affects our body, but also our behavior that can lead to social withdrawal. This presentation will explore the nature of our mind and the various factors in our lives that cause us stress. We will learn simple meditation techniques that can nourish the mind which will lead to increased focus, greater productivity, and improved relationships. ~ Pandi Gadadhara Pandi,........ Read more »

  • September 8, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 67 views

I’ll Wager That You Bet On Football, Or Maybe Football

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Betting on American football and football proper is a trillion dollar a year industry. Why do only 4% of gamblers become addicted. Some of it is actually due to the games themselves. New research is showing that a belief in your knowledge of the game and the “near miss” wherein you almost win your bet, are strong factors in dopamine signaling in the reward centers of the brain.... Read more »

Anselme P, & Robinson MJ. (2013) What motivates gambling behavior? Insight into dopamine's role. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 182. PMID: 24348355  

Huberfeld R, Gersner R, Rosenberg O, Kotler M, & Dannon PN. (2013) Football gambling three arm-controlled study: gamblers, amateurs and laypersons. Psychopathology, 46(1), 28-33. PMID: 22890307  

Khazaal Y, Chatton A, Billieux J, Bizzini L, Monney G, Fresard E, Thorens G, Bondolfi G, El-Guebaly N, Zullino D.... (2012) Effects of expertise on football betting. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 18. PMID: 22578101  

Zhou K, Tang H, Sun Y, Huang GH, Rao LL, Liang ZY, & Li S. (2012) Belief in luck or in skill: which locks people into gambling?. Journal of gambling studies / co-sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling and Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, 28(3), 379-91. PMID: 21894576  

Grötsch P, Lange C, Wiesbeck GA, & Lang U. (2013) Pathological Gambling Induced by Dopamine Antagonists: A Case Report. Journal of gambling studies / co-sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling and Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. PMID: 24356928  

  • September 6, 2014
  • 05:38 AM
  • 75 views

Mind to mind transfer

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  I read the abstract of a new paper (see citation below) about brain-to-brain communication. I had been thinking while I read the title that we already do brain-to-brain communication – it’s called language. And sure enough the first sentence of the abstract said, “Human sensory and motor systems provide the natural means for the […]... Read more »

Grau C, Ginhoux R, Riera A, Nguyen TL, Chauvat H, Berg M, Amengual JL, Pascual-Leone A, & Ruffini G. (2014) Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25137064  

  • September 5, 2014
  • 06:28 PM
  • 77 views

Breaking research: A recent study in fruit flies suggests that sleep loss during childhood could lead to abnormal brain development

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

Discussions about whether schools for children should start later have been making headlines recently, highlighting the importance of getting enough sleep at night. We all know how important sleep is for day-to-day performance—you’ve likely experienced firsthand how hard it can be to think and focus after a bad night’s sleep. Luckily, these effects are reversible: […]... Read more »

  • September 4, 2014
  • 01:34 PM
  • 102 views

Total Recall: How the Brain Processes Color and Motion

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Despite the barrage of visual information the brain receives almost constantly, it retains a remarkable ability to focus on important and relevant items. This fall, for example, NFL quarterbacks will be rewarded handsomely for how well they can focus their attention on color and motion – being able to quickly judge the jersey colors of teammates and opponents and where they’re headed is a valuable skill. How the brain accomplishes this feat, however, has been poorly understood.... Read more »

Guilhem Ibosemail, & David J. Freedman. (2014) Dynamic Integration of Task-Relevant Visual Features in Posterior Parietal Cortex. Neuron. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.020

  • September 3, 2014
  • 04:25 PM
  • 89 views

HIV and Dementia

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

With the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (or cART) during the mid-90s, the life expectancy of HIV patients has significantly improved. An unfortunate side effect of this is that long-term complications are becoming more relevant: almost every second HIV patient is affected by neurocognitive disorders, which can lead to dementia. It has not as yet been fully understood how these disorders occur, but new research is shining a light on the culprit.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2014
  • 12:52 PM
  • 100 views

Epigenetics: Taking Control of the Music

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

When I try to explain epigenetics to someone, I like to use the musician metaphor. Your genes are the sheet music and how your body reads those genes, that is your body acting like a musician, making those notes it’s own. This is even more evident when you realize that all human cells contain essentially the same DNA sequence. Up until now we've had to be the audience to this genetic symphony, but new research is helping scientists take control of the music.... Read more »

Müller-Ott K, Erdel F, Matveeva A, Mallm JP, Rademacher A, Hahn M, Bauer C, Zhang Q, Kaltofen S, Schotta G.... (2014) Specificity, propagation, and memory of pericentric heterochromatin. Molecular systems biology, 10(8), 746. PMID: 25134515  

  • September 2, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 98 views

The Anti-Vaccine Movement Is A Preventable Disease

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Yet another study that attempts to make a link between vaccines and autism has been withdrawn by the publishers. Data from the CDC was re-analysed, and low and behold, a link between vaccine timing and autism was drawn, but only for African-American boys. The problems with this paper and the anti-vaccine movement in general are discussed.... Read more »

  • September 2, 2014
  • 06:46 AM
  • 103 views

How Liked And Disliked Music Influence Our Brain

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

What different effects does the music we like elicit in our brain compared to the one we don’t like? Scientists from Wake Forest University in North Carolina looked at our brain’s responses to music.... Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 09:24 PM
  • 102 views

The neuroscience of self-control

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In the 1960s, a psychologist at Stanford named Walter Mischel began a series of experiments exploring the dynamics of self-control in children. In one such experiment, Mischel gave preschoolers the choice between two outcomes, one of which was clearly preferable. For example, they were able to choose between 2 marshmallows and 1 marshmallow (the experiments became known as the Stanford marshmallow experiments for this reason).But there was a catch. The experimenter would tell the children that h........ Read more »

Inzlicht, M., Legault, L., & Teper, R. (2014) Exploring the Mechanisms of Self-Control Improvement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(4), 302-307. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414534256  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 06:36 PM
  • 84 views

Whitman Was Not a Neuroscientist

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself,(I am large, I contain multitudes.)-Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" (from Leaves of Grass)Science is the search for objective truth based on physical laws of the universe. Scientific theories try to explain the consistent and predictable behavior of natural systems. They are generally reductionist, meaning that complex systems are reduced to simpler and more fundamental elements. The principles of physics, for instance, are expressed in th........ Read more »

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