Comparing human brains (and to a lesser extent all primate brains) to other animals like the mouse, we have many more, much bigger and much more complex astrocytes. Astrocytes have contributed to our larger brain by an order of magnitude more than neurons have. Astrocytes make contact and ’surround’ synapses; one human astrocyte can encompasses [...]... Read more »
Han, X., Chen, M., Wang, F., Windrem, M., Wang, S., Shanz, S., Xu, Q., Oberheim, N., Bekar, L., Betstadt, S.... (2013) Forebrain Engraftment by Human Glial Progenitor Cells Enhances Synaptic Plasticity and Learning in Adult Mice. Cell Stem Cell, 12(3), 342-353. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.12.015
This week, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto published a paper in The Lancet describing the results of a small study using deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treatment severe/chronic anorexia nervosa. Major news outlets, including the BBC, reported on the findings. A few people emailed and messaged me asking me to do a post about it (which is cool! I love it!). So here it is.
DBS is a surgical procedure that involves implanting an electrode that delivers electrical........ Read more »
Lipsman, N., Woodside, D., Giacobbe, P., Hamani, C., Carter, J., Norwood, S., Sutandar, K., Staab, R., Elias, G., Lyman, C.... (2013) Subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation for treatment-refractory anorexia nervosa: a phase 1 pilot trial. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62188-6
There's more to a pair of rat noses than meets the eye. Like tiny, leashless dogs, rats like to sniff each other all over when they meet. Yet not all of this sniffing is aimed at gathering scents. Some of it seems to transmit messages such as "I'm in charge" or "Be cool" or "Please don't bite my face."
Rats and other animals give off odors from the "face, flanks, and anogenital region," says neuroscientist Daniel Wesson of Case Western Reserve University. So it's not surprising that these re........ Read more »
We all want to be smarter. For a while, it looked like science was ready to deliver. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) is a type of noninvasive brain stimulation that works by placing electrodes over a small area of the brain. Direct current administered through these electrodes can cause the targeted brain area to generate electrical [...]... Read more »
Caffeinated plants provide an unforgettable experience.
Honeybees rewarded with caffeine remember the smell of specific flowers longer than bees given only sucrose, according to a study published in Science. “By using a drug to enhance memories of reward,” the study says, “plants secure pollinator fidelity and improve reproductive success.”
Many drugs used by humans come from plants. But what role do the drugs play for the plants themselves? Frequently, they play the role of toxic ave........ Read more »
Wright G. A., Baker D. D., Palmer M. J., Stabler D., Mustard J. A., Power E. F., Borland A. M., & Stevenson P. C. (2013) Caffeine in Floral Nectar Enhances a Pollinator's Memory of Reward. Science, 339(6124), 1202-1204. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228806
As I mentioned before I worked in a rat lab, and over the next few weeks I'd like to write a bit about some of the research I did as a graduate student at UMSL. I spent my time depressing rats and treating some of them with novel plant-derived compounds (some poor rats just got depressed and given placebo). Before I can tell you more about my project I'd like to share with you some of the work that influenced me. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants ." -- Is........ Read more »
Willmore-Fordham CB, Krall DM, McCurdy CR, & Kinder DH. (2007) The hallucinogen derived from Salvia divinorum, salvinorin A, has kappa-opioid agonist discriminative stimulus effects in rats. Neuropharmacology, 53(4), 481-6. PMID: 17681558
This is a cross-post from the wonderfully informative Science of Eating Disorders blog. ScienceofED covers a broad range of peer-reviewed research articles related to all aspects of eating disorders. Head over and check it out! Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, but all of them are characterized by the same goal: to avoid weight gain or [...]... Read more »
Guarda AS, Coughlin JW, Cummings M, Marinilli A, Haug N, Boucher M, & Heinberg LJ. (2004) Chewing and spitting in eating disorders and its relationship to binge eating. Eating behaviors, 5(3), 231-9. PMID: 15135335
A tamarin rock star (photographed by Ltshears at Wikimedia)Our moods change when we hear music, but not all music affects us the same way. Slow, soft, higher-pitched, melodic songs soothe us; upbeat classical music makes us more alert and active; and fast, harsh, lower-pitched, dissonant music can rev us up and stress us out. Why would certain sounds affect us in specific emotional ways? One possibility is because of an overlap between how we perceive music and how we perceive human voic........ Read more »
Snowdon, C., & Teie, D. (2009) Affective responses in tamarins elicited by species-specific music. Biology Letters, 6(1), 30-32. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0593
Back in 1993 this diagram was published, but the paper I am looking at was published in 1998 by Llinas and others (citation below); it contains the same diagram.
Here is the abstract:
Attempting to understand how the brain, as a whole, might be organized seems, for the first time, to be a serious [...]... Read more »
I've got a new post over on the SFARI (Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative) blog discussing the use of control groups in autism research.Control groups are an essential part of autism research, providing a benchmark against which to assess those with autism. Finding, for instance, that participants with autism score an average of 68 percent on a test is meaningless if you don’t know how people who don’t have autism do on the same test. A control group can also b........ Read more »
Kover ST, & Atwoo AK. (2013) Establishing equivalence: methodological progress in group-matching design and analysis. American journal on intellectual and developmental disabilities, 118(1), 3-15. PMID: 23301899
The third (and final, at the moment) paper in the likelihood calculus series from Dr. Terrence Sanger is Distributed control of uncertain systems using superpositions of linear operators. Carrying the torch for the series right along, here Dr. Sanger continues investigating the development of an effective, general method of controlling systems operating under uncertainty. This is the paper that delivers on all the promises of building a controller out of a system described by the stochastic diff........ Read more »
Sanger, T. (2011) Distributed Control of Uncertain Systems Using Superpositions of Linear Operators. Neural Computation, 23(8), 1911-1934. DOI: 10.1162/NECO_a_00151
Zoloft class action lawsuits are piling up, as more and more women who were told by doctors, who in turn were told by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft – that the popular SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant was safe to take during pregnancy, give birth to infants with potentially lethal defects. Numerous [...]The post Zoloft Class Action Lawsuits: Manufacturer Pfizer Knew About Birth Defect Possibilities, Kept Information Secret appeared first o........ Read more »
Pav M, Kovaru H, Kovaru F, Lisa V, Ondrackova-Zelnickova P, & Fiserova A. (2009) Acute and chronic effects of antidepressants on the G-protein alpha subunit profiles in vitro and in vivo. Neuro endocrinology letters, 30(5), 592-8. PMID: 20035268
A brief illustion of binding problem... Read more »
Gray CM, König P, Engel AK, & Singer W. (1989) Oscillatory responses in cat visual cortex exhibit inter-columnar synchronization which reflects global stimulus properties. Nature, 338(6213), 334-7. PMID: 2922061
Weaning off Zoloft, or any other SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) or SNRI (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) is no walk in the park. What has been termed “SSRI Withdrawal/Discontinuation Syndrome” includes unpleasant symptoms that include confusion, tremors, realistic nightmares, and sensations of electrical shocks traveling from one’s head to one’s toes. These symptoms can be [...]The post Weaning Off Zoloft: Why Have Military Suicides Reached An All-Time Hig........ Read more »
Solai LK, Mulsant BH, & Pollock BG. (2001) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for late-life depression: a comparative review. Drugs , 18(5), 355-68. PMID: 11392444
Maureen O’Connor, former mayor of San Diego and heir to her late husband Robert O. Peterson’s Jack-in-the-Box fortune, won over $1 billion playing video poker over the course of 9 years (2000-2009), according to U-T San Diego. However, she lost an even greater amount during that time, resulting in a net gambling debt of $13 million. To cover some of these losses, she transferred $2 million from her husband's nonprofit foundation to her personal bank account. She was recently charged with m........ Read more »
Bechara A, Damasio AR, Damasio H, & Anderson SW. (1994) Insensitivity to future consequences following damage to human prefrontal cortex. Cognition, 50(1-3), 7-15. PMID: 8039375
Koenigs, M., & Tranel, D. (2007) Irrational Economic Decision-Making after Ventromedial Prefrontal Damage: Evidence from the Ultimatum Game. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(4), 951-956. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4606-06.2007
Tomasello, F., Angileri, F., Grasso, G., Granata, F., De Ponte, F., & Alafaci, C. (2011) Giant Olfactory Groove Meningiomas: Extent of Frontal Lobes Damage and Long-Term Outcome After the Pterional Approach. World Neurosurgery, 76(3-4), 311-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.wneu.2011.03.021
In the previous post, I’ve described the relationship between environmental factors and the public’s insights. Moreover, what would happen if we have more than an ideal “physical” environment? Will people embrace a brand new world in which virtual components are added to the physical ones?
We all know that more research should be carried out to create software which supports the most complex and time-consuming portions of the analytical process, so that analysts can respond to incre........ Read more »
Gershon Dublon, & Joseph A. Paradiso. (2012) Tongueduino: hackable, high-bandwidth sensory augmentation. Proceeding CHI EA '12 CHI '12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1453-1454. DOI: 10.1145/2212776.2212482
Yes, researchers are finding that Prozac weight gain might occur more (metaphorically) in the brain than it does the body. While many people today remain obsessed with body image and weight loss, Prozac lists only the potential for Prozac weight loss, not Prozac weight gain, due to loss of appetite as one of the common [...]The post Prozac Weight Gain: It’s More in the Brain Than the Body appeared first on Life Mental Health.
... Read more »
Maher AR, & Theodore G. (2012) Summary of the comparative effectiveness review on off-label use of atypical antipsychotics. Journal of managed care pharmacy : JMCP, 18(5 Suppl B). PMID: 22784311
I would like to thank my good friend Anonymous for asking me a great question on a previous post. Anonymous asks: "Are there any known transmitters in the NS that activate both inhibitory receptor subtypes AND excitatory receptor subtypes? Or does every known transmitter activate EITHER a bunch of excitatory subtypes OR a bunch of inhibitory subtypes?" (btw. This doesn't qualify as a LMAYQ post because it's a real true question that someone directly asked, not a search term)While I don'........ Read more »
Chiang PH, Wu PY, Kuo TW, Liu YC, Chan CF, Chien TC, Cheng JK, Huang YY, Chiu CD, & Lien CC. (2012) GABA is depolarizing in hippocampal dentate granule cells of the adolescent and adult rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 32(1), 62-7. PMID: 22219270
FOXP2 is the poster child of a sexy gene. In songbirds, decreasing FOXP2 renders a bird incapable of mimicking their tutor, resulting in more variable song. In humans, mutations in the gene is linked to a multitude of language and speech impairments, such as stuttering and trouble with enunciating sounds, syllables and words. There’s no [...]... Read more »
Bowers JM, Perez-Pouchoulen M, Edwards NS, & McCarthy MM. (2013) Foxp2 mediates sex differences in ultrasonic vocalization by rat pups and directs order of maternal retrieval. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(8), 3276-83. PMID: 23426656
The first synesthete known to scientific literature... Read more »
Jewanski, J., Day, S., & Ward, J. (2009) A Colorful Albino: The First Documented Case of Synaesthesia, by Georg Tobias Ludwig Sachs in 1812. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 18(3), 293-303. DOI: 10.1080/09647040802431946
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