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  • August 27, 2014
  • 03:23 PM
  • 10 views

The Learning Brain Unravelled

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As an engineer you would think math would come easy to me, it didn’t. Funny thing though, science in general and biology in particular came very easy to me. The big question is why? Why would math, something I need to know how to do for my work and my degree, be so hard to learn? Thankfully science has stepped in to answer the question, at least partially, about why somethings can come so easy to a person and other things (like me and math) take so much longer to pick up.[…]... Read more »

Patrick T. Sadtler,, Kristin M. Quick,, Matthew D. Golub,, Steven M. Chase,, Stephen I. Ryu,, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara,, Byron M. Yu,, & Aaron P. Batista. (2014) Neural constraints on learning. Nature. info:/10.1038/nature13665

  • August 27, 2014
  • 10:58 AM
  • 13 views

Diagnostic Profile in Pathological Gamblers

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Behavioral disorders like pathological gambling (PG) rarely occur alone as a single uncomplicated disorder.In a previous post, I noted the overlap of PG with personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse.A recent study from Germany adds to our knowledge of the general diagnostic profile in the PG population.Erbas and Buchner reviewed German national data sources and other German studies to come up with a series of findings:Twelve month prevalence rates ........ Read more »

  • August 27, 2014
  • 09:45 AM
  • 15 views

Is it really possible for someone to turn into THE HULK? Don’t make me angry.

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Could epigenetics provide a bit of a biological explanation behind THE HULK?... Read more »

  • August 26, 2014
  • 04:39 AM
  • 50 views

Brian Hooker's Hooked Hoax: Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorder

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

10 years after the initial study by DeStefano et al. (2004) was conducted, famous anti-vaccine alarmist Brian Hooker, along with Andrew Wakefield, are talking about a "whistleblower" in the CDC claiming that the original data was fraudulent, and was masking a 336% increased risk in ASD in African American boys receiving the MMR vaccine "on time." Did Hooker prove anything in his new study, however? Only that he doesn't understand epidemiology or statistics.... Read more »

  • August 25, 2014
  • 07:13 PM
  • 49 views

Zombie Ant Fungi knows it’s prey

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

So awhile back I was bored and to kill some time wisely I wrote this little bit on real life (sometime potential) zombies. It featured a special section on a particular group of fungi that created some really crazy zombie ants. Ants, which would do the bidding of the fungus, would eventually latch itself in a “death bite” and sprout the parasite from its head. Yeah I know, not a pleasant death. In any case new research is showing just how cool — and evidently smart — these fungi really a........ Read more »

de Bekker C, Quevillon LE, Smith PB, Fleming KR, Ghosh D, Patterson AD, & Hughes DP. (2014) Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite. BMC evolutionary biology, 14(1), 166. PMID: 25085339  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 03:06 PM
  • 72 views

Correcting the Critics of Nicholas Wade & MAOA

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Geneticists are not the leading experts on behavioral genetics, and they and other critics have made numerous errors and misjudgments about Nicholas Wade’s book A Troublesome Inheritance, as well as MAOA or warrior gene research.... Read more »

Bevilacqua L, Doly S, Kaprio J, Yuan Q, Tikkanen R, Paunio T, Zhou Z, Wedenoja J, Maroteaux L, Diaz S.... (2010) A population-specific HTR2B stop codon predisposes to severe impulsivity. Nature, 468(7327), 1061-6. PMID: 21179162  

Cases O, Seif I, Grimsby J, Gaspar P, Chen K, Pournin S, Müller U, Aguet M, Babinet C, & Shih JC. (1995) Aggressive behavior and altered amounts of brain serotonin and norepinephrine in mice lacking MAOA. Science (New York, N.Y.), 268(5218), 1763-6. PMID: 7792602  

Tuinier S, Verhoeven WMA, Scherders MJWT, Fekkes D, & Pepplinkhuizen L. (1995) Neuropsychiatric and biological characteristics of X-linked MAO-A deficiency syndrome. A single case intervention study. New Trends in Experimental and Clinical Psychiatry, 99-107. info:/

Zhu B, Chen C, Moyzis R, Dong Q, Chen C, He Q, Li J, Lei X, & Lin C. (2012) Association between the HTR2B gene and the personality trait of fun seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(8), 1029-1033. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.026  

  • August 24, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 53 views

mTOR and the Cause of Autism

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Autism is a hot topic, lets face it, the increase in prevalence has started to cause a panic in some people. That fear is what the anti-vaccination movement is hoping […]... Read more »

Tang, G., Gudsnuk, K., Kuo, S., Cotrina, M., Rosoklija, G., Sosunov, A., Sonders, M., Kanter, E., Castagna, C., Yamamoto, A.... (2014) Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits. Neuron. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.040  

  • August 23, 2014
  • 03:04 PM
  • 85 views

Pseudoscience And Ad Hominems: Is Religion a Mental Illness?

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Many anti-theists claim that religion is a mental illness or a mental disorder, sometimes linking it to schizophrenia, and thus state it should be treated as such. Is it, though? Claiming that religion is a mental disorder does nothing for productive discussion in the fields of theology and philosophy, and is simply incorrect. In this post, I examine the arguments made by proponents of this hypothesis and rebut them, citing the DSM-V and relevant scientific literature.... Read more »

Siddle, R., Haddock, G., Tarrier, N., & Faragher, E. (2014) Religious delusions in patients admitted to hospital with schizophrenia. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 37(3), 130-138. DOI: 10.1007/s001270200005  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 01:20 PM
  • 70 views

Pomegranate eases Alzheimer’s? I’m skeptical

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Alternative medicine is garbage, there I said it. Thankfully there is a difference between alternative and "natural" medicine. I shudder at the term "natural" medicine, but that is typically what medicine based from things in nature (in other words practically all medicine used). Well to cut to the chase, new research shows that the onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate, unfortunately I am just a little skept........ Read more »

  • August 22, 2014
  • 01:20 PM
  • 45 views

Pomegranate eases Alzheimer’s? I’m skeptical

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Alternative medicine is garbage, there I said it. Thankfully there is a difference between alternative and “natural” medicine. I shudder at the term “natural” medicine, but that is typically what medicine […]... Read more »

  • August 22, 2014
  • 10:38 AM
  • 61 views

Translational Findings: How fruit flies are helping us understand Parkinson’s disease

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, and patients experience primarily movement-related symptoms including shaking and rigidity in their limbs, slow movements, and difficulty walking, all of which progressively worsen over time. It was formally recognized as a disease in 18171, but didn’t receive much attention until it was given its name in […]... Read more »

  • August 21, 2014
  • 01:30 AM
  • 73 views

How to prevent a possible concussion from the ALS ice bucket challenge

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

The ice bucket challenge has swept the nation in an effort to raise awareness for ALS. However, there seems to have been a number of concussions (or mild traumatic brain injuries) sustained from performing a seemingly altruistic act. Although some people may find the below video funny, concussions are a serious issue and can lead to serious consequences including executive dysfunction. Symptoms can include short loss of consciousness, feeling dazed and confused, loss of immediate memory, headach........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 12:30 PM
  • 74 views

The DNA Signature of Lupus

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My Uncle suffered from Lupus. The disease itself should have a more sinister sounding name, given the effect it has on the body. Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease which attacks the body and causes an incredible amount of pain. It’s not pretty and complications from the disease can make life even more unbearable for people. There is no cure and sadly there are few treatments outside of managing the pain and side effects of the disease. Thankfully medical researchers have used DNA sequencing........ Read more »

Julia I Ellyard, Rebekka Jerjen, Jaime L Martin, Adrian Lee, Matthew A Field, Simon H Jiang, Jean Cappello, Svenja K Naumann, T Daniel Andrews, Hamish S Scott.... (2014) Whole exome sequencing in early-onset cerebral SLE identifies a pathogenic variant in TREX1. Arthritis . info:/10.1002/art.38824

  • August 20, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 84 views

State Fairs and Stiff Beers: Why We Can't Stop Drinking

by Aarti Chawla in The 'Scope

A look into why we drink and what alcohol does to the brain.... Read more »

Diamond I, & Messing RO. (1994) Neurologic effects of alcoholism. The Western journal of medicine, 161(3), 279-87. PMID: 7975567  

Paul CA, Au R, Fredman L, Massaro JM, Seshadri S, Decarli C, & Wolf PA. (2008) Association of alcohol consumption with brain volume in the Framingham study. Archives of neurology, 65(10), 1363-7. PMID: 18852353  

  • August 18, 2014
  • 10:16 AM
  • 75 views

Guidelines for Treatment of Problem Gambling

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Despite the prevalence and impact of problem gambling, few summaries or guidelines address treatment.Searching the guideline.gov website shows no recent additions to the guideline literature.A guideline was published by the Singapore Ministry of Health in 2011. This guideline is still relevant and highlights some of the key elements of a problem gambling treatment program.I will summarize some of these key elements from this source titled: "Management of gambling disorders".  In their summa........ Read more »

Lee KM, Chan HN, Cheah B, Gentica GF, Guo S, Lim HK, Lim YC, Noorul F, Tan HS, Teo P.... (2011) Ministry of Health clinical practice guidelines: management of gambling disorders. Singapore medical journal, 52(6), 456. PMID: 21732000  

  • August 17, 2014
  • 09:00 PM
  • 108 views

Can psychopathy be treated?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Some psychological conditions receive a disproportionate amount of attention in popular media relative to how frequently they actually occur in the population. One of those is psychopathy, a personality disorder that is characterized by antisocial behavior, impulsivity, and a lack of empathy. Psychopaths may be charming on the surface but tend towards pathological deception and indifferent manipulation of other people. And they are more likely to have behavioral problems or be involved in crimin........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2014
  • 02:36 PM
  • 101 views

Schizophrenia and the Twilight Zone

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You are now entering the Twilight Zone. You may remember the television show, with it’s odd twists and turns, but for people with schizophrenia it means something just a little […]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 01:00 PM
  • 117 views

Is your Stomach… Controlling your Mind?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Close the blinds, lock the doors, and find a safe place to hide. Are you alone? No, no you aren’t and you may not even be in control of your […]... Read more »

  • August 15, 2014
  • 04:46 PM
  • 97 views

Global similarity signals of recognition strength

by Emilie Reas in Emilie Reas - Remember

The below article was recently rejected from the Journal of Neuroscience as a ‘Journal Club’ commentary on Davis et al., 2014, ‘Medial temporal lobe global similarity signals underlie recognition strength’. Hoping that my efforts will not go to waste, I’d like to give the piece an alternate home here. Please read, comment and share, all […]... Read more »

Davis T, Xue G, Love BC, Preston AR, & Poldrack RA. (2014) Global neural pattern similarity as a common basis for categorization and recognition memory. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(22), 7472-84. PMID: 24872552  

  • August 15, 2014
  • 11:34 AM
  • 72 views

Breaking research: A new technique for uncovering cell-specific differences in the Drosophila “interactome”

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

A recently published fly paper describes a new technique for uncovering cell-specific differences in protein interactions. I review this paper and discuss its relevance to human health.... Read more »

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