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  • April 19, 2012
  • 07:04 AM

‘Cocktail Party Effect’ Deciphered

by United Academics in United Academics

When at a noisy party or simply in a crowded bar, it’s sometimes hard to focus on a single voice and pay attention to what the person is saying, but still we manage somehow to hear it among all the noise. This phenomenon is known as the “cocktail party effect”. Now two researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have identified for the first time how it works in the brain.... Read more »

  • April 17, 2012
  • 02:35 PM

Schizophrenia, for your entertainment

by Nerdy One in Try Nerdy

Just because something is “for your entertainment,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that this “something” is being ridiculed or mocked.

However, when the subject matter pertains to the devastating mental disorder schizophrenia, it’s important that the makers of the entertainment are conscientious about how the disease is portrayed. There’s already a lot of stigma about schizophrenia in society, including the misguided notion that schizophrenics are runnin........ Read more »

Picchioni MM, & Murray RM. (2007) Schizophrenia. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 335(7610), 91-5. PMID: 17626963  

van Os J, & Kapur S. (2009) Schizophrenia. Lancet, 374(9690), 635-45. PMID: 19700006  

Large M, Sharma S, Compton MT, Slade T, & Nielssen O. (2011) Cannabis use and earlier onset of psychosis: a systematic meta-analysis. Archives of general psychiatry, 68(6), 555-61. PMID: 21300939  

  • April 15, 2012
  • 03:37 PM

The Innate Irresistibility of Film

by Maria Konnikova in Literally Psyched

When I was seven years old, my mom took me to see Curly Sue. Though I don’t remember much of the movie, two scenes made quite the impression: the first, when James Belushi asks Alisan Porter to hit him on the head with a baseball bat, and the second, when Bill, Sue, and Grey sit [...]

... Read more »

Smith, T.J., Levin, D. and Cutting, J. E. (2012) A Window on Reality : Perceiving Edited Moving Images. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(2), 107-113. DOI: 10.1177/0963721412437407  

Gilden, D. (2001) Cognitive emissions of 1/f noise. Psychological Review, 108(1), 33-56. DOI: 10.1037//0033-295X.108.1.33  

Nakano, T., Yamamoto, Y., Kitajo, K., Takahashi, T., & Kitazawa, S. (2009) Synchronization of spontaneous eyeblinks while viewing video stories. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1673), 3635-3644. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0828  

Hasson U, Nir Y, Levy I, Fuhrmann G, & Malach R. (2004) Intersubject synchronization of cortical activity during natural vision. Science (New York, N.Y.), 303(5664), 1634-40. PMID: 15016991  

Zacks JM, Speer NK, Swallow KM, & Maley CJ. (2010) The Brain's Cutting-Room Floor: Segmentation of Narrative Cinema. Frontiers in human neuroscience. PMID: 20953234  

  • April 15, 2012
  • 05:33 AM

How A Stroke Changed Katherine Sherwood's Art

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In 1997, American artist Katherine Sherwood was 44 when she suffered a major stroke. She writes about her experience and how it changed her work in a fascinating article just out, How a Cerebral Hemorrhage Altered My ArtAll of the images below are examples of her work, taken from the paper.Sherwood writes that she had long been interested in the brain. She incorporated neuroscience themes into her work even before the stroke. Here's a 1990 piece: Then, out of the blue, her life was changed:........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2012
  • 04:48 PM

Place cells: The importance of Patching

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

A place cell fires in one particular spot(source)Place cells are neurons in the hippocampus that fire when an animal is in a particular location. Like many other cases where a neuron activates in response to something specific, the question everyone wants to answer is 'why does the neuron fire at that particular spot?' A study published 1 year ago today used a quite difficult technique and a combination of patience and extreme persistence to look more deeply into the intracel........ Read more »

  • April 13, 2012
  • 04:59 AM

Patient DF uses haptics, not intact visual perception-for-action to reach for objects

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

Before functional neuroimaging techniques like PET and fMRI became common, what we knew about which parts of the brain did what came from neuropsychology. This is the study of patients with specific injuries to the brain, and the basic logic of the field is that if you have a patient with a lesion in area A who can't do task 1, then area A is involved in performing task 1. It gets a little more complicated than this, as you search for double dissociations, etc, but this is essentially it.A surpr........ Read more »

  • April 12, 2012
  • 11:03 AM

Dopaminergic Modulation of Sucrose Acceptance Behavior in Drosophila

by Christine Damrau in neuro JC

Prof. Jochen Pflüger will present the following paper on Monday (17/04):

Marella, S., Mann, K., & Scott, K. (2012). Dopaminergic Modulation of Sucrose Acceptance Behavior in Drosophila Neuron, 73 (5), 941-950 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.12.032

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  • April 12, 2012
  • 05:26 AM

Stressful Life May Leads to Alzheimer's Diseases

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. However, not all types of stress are harmful or even negative. There are a few different types of stress that we encounter viz. Eu-stress, Acute Stress, Episodic Acute Stress, Chronic Stress. Stress manifests itself in the form of many psychological and physical problems like anxiety, hopelessness, anger, helplessness, egoism, expectation, tension, constipation, irritation, depression, apathy........ Read more »

Rissman RA, Staup MA, Lee AR, Justice NJ, Rice KC, Vale W, & Sawchenko PE. (2012) Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor-dependent effects of repeated stress on tau phosphorylation, solubility, and aggregation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 22451915  

  • April 11, 2012
  • 09:31 PM

Racial Amplitudes of Scholastic Aptitude

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

A complete review of the SAT racial data reveals the relative stagnation of African Americans and Hispanic Americans, the rapid progress of Asian Americans, and a possible decline of whites.... Read more »

Eidelman S, Crandall CS, Goodman JA, & Blanchar JC. (2012) Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism. Personality . PMID: 22427384  

Frey, M., & Detterman, D. (2005) Regression Basics: Rejoinder to Bridgeman. Psychological Science, 16(9), 747-747. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01607.x  

Price AL, Patterson N, Yu F, Cox DR, Waliszewska A, McDonald GJ, Tandon A, Schirmer C, Neubauer J, Bedoya G.... (2007) A Genomewide Admixture Map for Latino Populations. American Journal of Human Genetics, 80(6), 1024-36. PMID: 17503322  

Zakharia F, Basu A, Absher D, Assimes TL, Go AS, Hlatky MA, Iribarren C, Knowles JW, Li J, Narasimhan B.... (2009) Characterizing the admixed African ancestry of African Americans. Genome Biology, 10(12). PMID: 20025784  

  • April 11, 2012
  • 01:12 PM

Big brains and Great Tits

by Nerdy One in Try Nerdy

For shame, dear reader — get your mind out of the gutter! Great Tits are adorable songbirds found commonly throughout Europe and Asia. And Christina Ricci (featured at left) is an actress whom I probably falsely assume has a relatively big brain behind her notoriously expansive forehead.

Rest assured, in this post I’ll be explaining how these concepts are related, and what the latest research has to say about why our brains are so much bigger than they need to be.... Read more »

Kanai R, Bahrami B, Roylance R, & Rees G. (2012) Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 279(1732), 1327-34. PMID: 22012980  

  • April 11, 2012
  • 03:28 AM

Process of recovering consciousness

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

There is a recent study by Scheinin of Turku Finland, his team, and collaborators from U of California. (see citation below). They looked for the neural correlates of consciousness. This is a very interesting study.
They start with some differences in what is meant by ‘consciousness’. They are looking for the correlates of the ’state’ of [...]... Read more »

Langsjo, J., Alkire, M., Kaskinoro, K., Hayama, H., Maksimow, A., Kaisti, K., Aalto, S., Aantaa, R., Jaaskelainen, S., Revonsuo, A.... (2012) Returning from Oblivion: Imaging the Neural Core of Consciousness. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(14), 4935-4943. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4962-11.2012  

  • April 10, 2012
  • 10:20 PM

A Case Against Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

This study is a follow up on the previous study (last entry) which examined the problems with the EDNOS classification, the frequency of transitions between eating disorders and how the DSM should be changed to reflect the clinical reality of eating disorders (and what is the clinical reality?.

In this 2010 Eddy et al paper, the authors followed 246 women who were initially diagnosed with either AN or BN, for an average of 9 years. The main goal was to study the growing disparity between (1)........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2012
  • 09:44 PM

Connectomics in the retina

by Patrick Mineault in xcorr

Connectomics and some of its promises made news last week when Sebastian Seung and Tony Movshon went head to head in a debate broadcast by Radiolab (archived here). I didn’t watch the webcast, but I wanted to point out a quite fascinating recent study by Briggman, Helmstaedter and Denk (2011) that shows some of the [...]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2012
  • 09:25 AM

tDCS Symposium Stimulates Giant Brain in Chicago

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The 2012 Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting was held in Chicago from March 31 to April 3. The schedule was packed with three and a half days of symposia, slide sessions, and posters. One well-attended event was Symposium Session 2, on non-invasive brain stimulation.Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Enhance Cognitive and Motor Abilities in the Typical, Atypical, and Aging Brain Chair: Roi Cohen Kadosh, University of OxfordSpeakers: Roi Cohen Kadosh, Jenny Crinion, Paulo S. Boggio, Leon........ Read more »

  • April 8, 2012
  • 05:31 AM

Juries not being swayed

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

On Neuroethics and Law Blog (here) there was reference to a paper giving evidence that scan images do not have the effect on juries that has been reported. Let us hope this is true – scans are far too new and difficult to understand in context, to be used in court if they wield [...]... Read more »

Schweitzer,N.J., Saks, Michael J., Murphy, Emily R., Adina L., Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter, Gaudet, Lyn M. (2011) Neuroimages as Evidence in a Mens Rea Defence: No Impact. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 17(3), 357-393. info:/

  • April 7, 2012
  • 11:00 AM

Competitive versus cooperative #exergame play on Cognitive Function

by Stephen P. Yang, Ph.D. in ExerGame Lab

For at-risk ethnic minority adolescents, exergaming helped them lose weight (over 10 weeks) and improved executive function skills when compared to a control group. Although there have been many studies in exergaming, most of it has centered around physiological outcomes, but this is one of only a handful of studies that measured cognitive function over a period of time. This study is from Amanda's 2010 dissertation from Georgetown.
... Read more »

  • April 6, 2012
  • 09:40 PM

Real or Not Real: NeuroTorture

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

I am not going to lie, I recently got caught up in Hunger Games fever, tearing through all three books at a breakneck pace and staying up way too late doing so. While these books raise interesting questions on some of my favorite topics (like 'how much is too much to sacrifice for victory?'), one particular neuroethics issue jumped out and stung me.Without divulging any plot points or spoilers, I will explain:In the last book, Mockingjay, a good guy is taken hostage by the bad guys.&nb........ Read more »

  • April 6, 2012
  • 06:27 PM

Clothes make the man—literally

by Jordan Gaines in Gaines, on Brains

A study by Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky of Norwestern University observed an interesting phenomenon: wear a white coat you believe belongs to a doctor, and you'll be more focused. Wear a white coat you believe belongs to a painter, and you won't see that improvement. In other words, clothes may literally make the man (or woman).... Read more »

Adam, H., & Galinsky, A. (2012) Enclothed cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.02.008  

  • April 6, 2012
  • 11:29 AM

The Instability of Eating Disorder Diagnoses

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are rarely static. Symptoms fluctuate, waxing and waning as circumstances change. Often, these fluctuations lead to diagnostic crossover – between subtypes of one disorder or to a different eating disorder altogether. The heterogeneity of symptom severity and frequency led to the establishment of the “eating disorder not otherwise specified” diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Essentially, it is everything that doesn’t quite fit into the “anorexia nervo........ Read more »

Eddy, K.T., Dorer, D.J., Franko, D.L., Tahilani, K., Thompson-Brenner, H., & Herzog, DB,. (2008) Diagnostic crossover in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: implications for DSM-V. The American journal of psychiatry, 165(2), 245-250. PMID: 18198267  

  • April 6, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Brainbrawl round-up

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Columbia University hosted a debate between Tony Movshon and Sebastian Seung last Monday, “Does the brain’s wiring make us who we are?” This became known informally as “brainbrawl.” I watched it livestreamed through the Radiolab site, and someone had the wherewithal to grab the video below (which Radiolab said they weren’t planning on archiving). Radiolab did archive the live chat here.

Where’s the fight?

As I predicted, it was a much more sedate affair than the “brainbrawl........ Read more »

Barlow R, Hitt J, & Dodge F. (2001) Limulus vision in the marine environment. Biological Bulletin, 200(2), 169. DOI: 10.2307/1543311  

Passaglia C, Dodge F, Herzog E, Jackson S, & Barlow R. (1997) Deciphering a neural code for vision. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94(23), 12649-54. PMID: 9356504  

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