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  • April 27, 2012
  • 02:06 PM

Alzheimer's and Brain Imaging: Part II

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the second post on a review of the status of brain imaging research in Alzheimer's disease (AD).  The source article for this post is a recent manuscript published in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine.My first post on this review summarized structural magnetic resonance imaging and functional magnetic imaging.  That post can be found here.Two additional methods of imaging provide clinical and research opportunities in AD.  These include fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) p........ Read more »

Johnson KA, Fox NC, Sperling RA, & Klunk WE. (2012) Brain imaging in Alzheimer disease. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 2(4). PMID: 22474610  

  • April 27, 2012
  • 08:00 AM

Turn on your shark light

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

Sharks! Feared ultimate predator of the sea! Striking terror into... ah, no can’t say it with a straight face when the shark in question is this:

This is the smalleye pygmy shark. It may be tiny, but it has a cool trick that few fish have.

You’ve probably noticed that the belly of fishes are lighter than their top sides. The typical explanation for this is countershading. We often see fish in tanks, with light coming in from all directions. But in water, the only source of light is abov........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2012
  • 04:24 PM

Prions, more than just brain rot.

by Habib Maroon in Biobabel

Prions, self-replicating proteins, the causative agents underlying BSE and CJD, have potentially important roles in evolution and memory formation. Here in the UK, we don’t need reminding about the horrific consequences of transmissable spongiform encephalopathies. Over one hundred and fifty … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 25, 2012
  • 03:33 PM

Erasing Memories Cell by Cell

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

3d glass brainby Kazuhiko NakamuraWe've discussed recent findings about erasing fears from memories, but today we'll be talking about erasing the fear memory itself. This involves actually inhibiting or killing the individual neurons that encode for a particular memory, so for obvious reasons these experiments are done on mice rather than humans.  Mice can be trained to associate a mild electrical foot shock with a tone.  The tone plays and then a foot shock is give........ Read more »

Han JH, Kushner SA, Yiu AP, Hsiang HL, Buch T, Waisman A, Bontempi B, Neve RL, Frankland PW, & Josselyn SA. (2009) Selective erasure of a fear memory. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5920), 1492-6. PMID: 19286560  

  • April 25, 2012
  • 12:45 PM

Sixteen is not magic: Comment on Friston (2012)

by Tal Yarkoni in citation needed

In a “comments and controversies” piece published in NeuroImage last week, Karl Friston describes “Ten ironic rules for non-statistical reviewers”. As the title suggests, the piece is presented ironically; Friston frames it as a series of guidelines reviewers can follow in order to ensure successful rejection of any neuroimaging paper. But of course, Friston’s real [...]... Read more »

  • April 25, 2012
  • 01:50 AM

The SAT Bell Curve

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

SAT score distribution graphs shed new light on racial and gender disparities, while vindicating Larry Summers.... Read more »

Davies G, Tenesa A, Payton A, Yang J, Harris SE, Liewald D, Ke X, Le Hellard S, Christoforou A, Luciano M.... (2011) Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic. Molecular psychiatry, 16(10), 996-1005. PMID: 21826061  

Hiscock, M. (2007) The Flynn effect and its relevance to neuropsychology. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29(5), 514-529. DOI: 10.1080/13803390600813841  

Kanazawa, S. (2006) IQ and the wealth of states. Intelligence, 34(6), 593-600. DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2006.04.003  

  • April 24, 2012
  • 11:50 PM

Eating Disorders and Psychiatric Comorbidities in Female Inpatients

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

Patients with eating disorders commonly exhibit comorbid psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression and OCD. What's worse is that comorbid disorders have been shown to exacerbate the severity and chronicity of the disorder, and unfavourably affect treatment outcome. Moreover, comorbid disorders may necessitate specific and specialized treatment plans, that take into account all of the co-occuring disorders. Recovery from an eating disorder is hard enough, but when it is complicated by ........ Read more »

  • April 24, 2012
  • 05:40 PM

A Drug For Marijuana Withdrawal?

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Researchers get good results with gabapentin.

Marijuana, as researchers and pundits never tire of pointing out, is the most widely used illegal drug in the world, by a serious margin. And while the argument still rages, for some years now drug researchers have been migrating to the camp that sees marijuana as an addictive drug for a minority of people who exhibit a propensity for addiction. The scientific literature supporting the contention of marijuana as addictive for some users is robust........ Read more »

  • April 24, 2012
  • 02:03 PM

Bias in Studies of Antidepressants In Autism

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

There's little evidence that antidepressants are useful in reducing repetitive behaviors in autism - but there is evidence of bias in the published literature. That's according to Carrasco, Volkmar and Bloch in an important report just out in Pediatrics: Pharmacologic Treatment of Repetitive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evidence of Publication BiasThey looked at all of the published trials examining whether antidepressant drugs (mostly SSRIs, like Prozac) were better than placebo in r........ Read more »

  • April 24, 2012
  • 12:34 PM

Alzheimer's and Brain Imaging: Part I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Brain imaging research in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is advancing rapidly.  Well written reviews of key current research findings and future directions are sometimes difficult to find.  A recent review published in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine fills this gap with a summary of this topic.  I will provide some commentary and key elements of their review.The imaging research related to AD can be separated into four areas: structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), func........ Read more »

Johnson KA, Fox NC, Sperling RA, & Klunk WE. (2012) Brain imaging in Alzheimer disease. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 2(4). PMID: 22474610  

  • April 24, 2012
  • 11:23 AM

What's new in neuroscience and music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The future of music neuroscience looks both exciting and promising...... Read more »

Altenmüller, E., Demorest, S., Fujioka, T., Halpern, A., Hannon, E., Loui, P., Majno, M., Oechslin, M., Osborne, N., Overy, K.... (2012) Introduction to The Neurosciences and Music IV: Learning and Memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1252(1), 1-16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06474.x  

  • April 23, 2012
  • 05:20 PM

A presentation on mouse vision

by Patrick Mineault in xcorr

We had a lab meeting on Thursday, and it was my turn to present. Since I’m waiting for data to come through, I didn’t have original research to present, so I did a presentation on mouse vision, which I’ve been reading a lot about recently. I recorded the narration, and if you have Powerpoint, you [...]... Read more »

  • April 23, 2012
  • 12:01 PM

Prevention of Anxiety and Depression in Childhood

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Strategies to prevent the development of mental disorders such as anxiety disorders and mood disorders are urgently needed.  Prevention of mental disorders is important for a variety of reasons.  First, these disorders cause significant psychological distress and emotional pain.  Second, mental disorders impair academic, occupational and interpersonal function.  Finally, many individuals with anxiety and mood disorders does not respond adequately to current pharmacological an........ Read more »

  • April 23, 2012
  • 04:29 AM

The Secret Power of Exercise: Working Out Makes You Want to Eat Less

by United Academics in United Academics

Experiments show that exercise influences our direct desire for food.... Read more »

  • April 22, 2012
  • 02:39 PM

Typing, Basketball, and your Striatum

by TheCellularScale in The Cellular Scale

A few readers were kind enough to take the online typing tests that I linked to and report their results. Unfortunately there are too few Dvorak users out there, so no new results from them. However, the Qwerty users had some seriously fast fingers, so I had to change the scale of the graph! New data from the comments section reveal: Some people can type REALLY fast. This piqued my curiosity and I wanted to know how fast the FASTEST typists could type........ Read more »

Park IS, Lee KJ, Han JW, Lee NJ, Lee WT, Park KA, & Rhyu IJ. (2011) Basketball training increases striatum volume. Human movement science, 30(1), 56-62. PMID: 21030099  

  • April 22, 2012
  • 09:06 AM

No need for cognitive maps in insects?

by Nanxiang Jin in neuro JC

In many animals the ability to navigate over long distances is an important prerequisite for foraging, including ants and bees. The use of path integration(PI) is widely accepted, however the questions of to what extent the path integration can help navigation and if a higher form of inner global representation called “cognitive map” is really existing [...]... Read more »

  • April 21, 2012
  • 09:21 AM

More on the problematic EDNOS category (and diagnostic crossover)

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) category. ED-NOS is a diagnostic category for all individuals with subthreshold anorexia or bulimia nervosa or those with a mix of symptoms that don’t fit neatly into AN or BN. ED-NOS is essentially everything else. A mixed bag, if you will. It doesn’t tell the clinician nor the researcher anything useful, outside of what it isn’t. So, is there any use for it? If it doesn’t tell the clinician abou........ Read more »

Wilfley, D., Bishop, M., Wilson, G., & Agras, W. (2007) Classification of eating disorders: Toward DSM-V. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 40(S3). DOI: 10.1002/eat.20436  

Fairburn, C., Cooper, Z., Bohn, K., O’Connor, M., Doll, H., & Palmer, R. (2007) The severity and status of eating disorder NOS: Implications for DSM-V. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45(8), 1705-1715. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2007.01.010  

  • April 20, 2012
  • 02:18 PM

Does abnormal NREM sleep impair declarative memory consolidation?

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Finally got to uploading the review paper Robert Goder and I had written recently on sleep and memory. You can download it HERE. Essentially, we describe a possible mechanism by which abnormal NREM sleep processes (i.e. reduced slow-wave sleep and sleep spindles) contribute to declarative memory impairment and concomittant sleep disruption in certain neuropsychiatric disorders including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and fibromyalgia. Underneath, I posted what the tentative model looks like (click ........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2012
  • 12:07 PM

ADHD Symptoms and Brain Volume in Adults

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Inattention is a core feature of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  For a diagnosis of ADHD, inattention or hyperactivity symptoms must begin during childhood.  Many children and adolescents with ADHD demonstrate improvement of symptoms during maturation.  However, a significant number of individuals will continue with significant ADHD symptoms into adulthood.The imaging correlates of ADHD and attention symptoms is a research area of significant interest.  Unde........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2012
  • 11:36 AM

Meditation, mindfulness, and executive control: results from a new EEG study

by Kristoffer Magnusson in R Psychologist

A new interesting study by Teper and Ingzlict (2012) examined the effect of meditation practice on executive control. Many studies have shown that meditation does indeed enhance executive control. But in this study the researchers look more at why meditation is effective in enhancing executive control, and not so much if it’s effective.... Read more »

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