Everyone negotiates hazards in their lives. Your food is poisonous, say. Everything wants to eat you. Parasitic wasps are laying eggs in your body that will eventually hatch and chew their way out. To balance the difficulties of invertebrate existence, fruit flies have developed a grim strategy. Baby flies that are infected with parasites turn to alcohol, aiming to ingest just enough to kill their invaders without also offing themselves.
Drosophila melanogaster is the fruit fly s........ Read more »
Neil F. Milan, Balint Z. Kacsoh, & Todd A. Schlenke. (2012) Alcohol Consumption As Self-Medication Against Blood-Borne Parasites In The Fruitfly. Current Biology. info:/
In the last post, we introduced the special football-shaped cells of the bird Nucleous Laminaris (NL).Today we look at how the dendritic length of these neurons dictates the frequencies they are most sensitive to. But first we need to understand what the NL does. (source)When you hear a noise, you can tell what direction it is coming from (for the most part).There are several ways the brain can hone in on the direction of a sound. One of those ways is called the 'inter-aur........ Read more »
Grau-Serrat V, Carr CE, & Simon JZ. (2003) Modeling coincidence detection in nucleus laminaris. Biological cybernetics, 89(5), 388-96. PMID: 14669019
Wang Y, & Rubel EW. (2008) Rapid regulation of microtubule-associated protein 2 in dendrites of nucleus laminaris of the chick following deprivation of afferent activity. Neuroscience, 154(1), 381-9. PMID: 18440716
Today it seems to be common knowledge that most behavioral and psychological traits have a heritable genetic component. But what does it really mean when a study says that the ... Read more »
Johnson, W., Penke, L., & Spinath, F. (2011) Heritability in the Era of Molecular Genetics: Some Thoughts for Understanding Genetic Influences on Behavioural Traits. European Journal of Personality, 25(4), 254-266. DOI: 10.1002/per.836
Does living in the city increase your risk for psychosis? If so, what are the mediating factors and mechanisms? Does being obsessed with 'the big picture' have something to do with it? Find out today! ... Read more »
Caparos, S., Ahmed, L., Bremner, A., de Fockert, J., Linnell, K., & Davidoff, J. (2012) Exposure to an urban environment alters the local bias of a remote culture. Cognition, 122(1), 80-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.08.013
Crespi, B., & Badcock, C. (2008) Psychosis and autism as diametrical disorders of the social brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31(03). DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X08004214
Zammit, S., Lewis, G., Rasbash, J., Dalman, C., Gustafsson, J., & Allebeck, P. (2010) INDIVIDUALS, SCHOOLS AND NEIGHBOURHOODS; A MULTILEVEL LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF VARIATION IN INCIDENCE OF PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS. Schizophrenia Research, 117(2-3), 181-182. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.02.223
Russell-Smith, S., Maybery, M., & Bayliss, D. (2010) Are the Autism and Positive Schizotypy Spectra Diametrically Opposed in Local Versus Global Processing?. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(8), 968-977. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-0945-7
Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York examined the neural correlates of intense, long-term love using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 women and 7 men. fMRI measures brain activity as a function of changes in blood flow. The participants, married an average of 21 years, underwent imaging while viewing either an image of their partner's face, or a familiar acquaintance.... Read more »
Acevedo BP, Aron A, Fisher HE, & Brown LL. (2012) Neural correlates of long-term intense romantic love. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 7(2), 145-59. PMID: 21208991
An important new study shows how being awake causes progressive changes to the brain. This could shed light on the function of sleep - but it also raises warnings for neuroscientists.Italian researchers Huber et al report that Human Cortical Excitability Increases with Time Awake. The experiment was conceptually simple - they measured cortical excitability when people were well rested and then looked to see how it changed as they were kept awake for over 24 hours.The participants woke up at 7 am........ Read more »
Huber, R., Maki, H., Rosanova, M., Casarotto, S., Canali, P., Casali, A., Tononi, G., & Massimini, M. (2012) Human Cortical Excitability Increases with Time Awake. Cerebral Cortex. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhs014
How the latest miracle cure for addiction failed to deliver.
PROMETA™: Last seen going down fast, smoke pouring from all engines.
As reported here at Addiction Inbox, a double-blind placebo-controlled evaluation of PROMETA™ by W. Ling and associates, published online last month in the journal Addiction, found that the much-publicized treatment protocol for meth addiction “appears to be no more effective than placebo in reducing methamphetamine use, retaining patients in treatment or red........ Read more »
HUMPHREYS, K. (2012) What can we learn from the failure of yet another ‘miracle cure’ for addiction?. Addiction, 107(2), 237-239. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03652.x
My father lived in Las Vegas for most of my teenaged years. While I never lived there with him, my step-grandparents (who raised me during that time) loved going there. Unsurprisingly, this meant that I spent a fair amount of time in Vegas growing up.My grandparents, they were "old school" Vegas tourists. My step-grandfather was quite a gambler and played in a weekly poker game with his friends until his Parkinson's kept him from doing so. We used to stay in the Sands Hotel, made famous bec........ Read more »
Pavlova M, Sokolov A, & Sokolov A. (2005) Perceived dynamics of static images enables emotional attribution. Perception, 34(9), 1107-16. PMID: 16247880
Shiv, B., & Fedorikhin, A. (2002) Spontaneous versus Controlled Influences of Stimulus-Based Affect on Choice Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 87(2), 342-370. DOI: 10.1006/obhd.2001.2977
Wais PE, & Gazzaley A. (2011) The impact of auditory distraction on retrieval of visual memories. Psychonomic Bulletin , 18(6), 1090-7. PMID: 21938641
Clapp WC, Rubens MT, & Gazzaley A. (2010) Mechanisms of working memory disruption by external interference. Cerebral Cortex, 20(4), 859-72. PMID: 19648173
The auditory brainstem of the boring-old-chicken is actually home to some fascinating neurons.Key West rooster, taken by me.The Nucleus Laminaris (NL) is a group of coincidence-detecting neurons which receive indirect input from both ears and is located in the bird auditory brainstem. NL neurons show a peculiar dendrite pattern. These bipolar neurons fall into the particular category of football shaped cells which have dendrites coming out the top and bottom of their cell bo........ Read more »
Smith DJ, & Rubel EW. (1979) Organization and development of brain stem auditory nuclei of the chicken: dendritic gradients in nucleus laminaris. The Journal of comparative neurology, 186(2), 213-39. PMID: 447882
Our nervous system would be in trouble without myelin sheaths and nodes of Ranvier. No, those two things do not refer to some kind of Lord of the Rings-type silliness. They are very important components of our nervous system that ensure fast and efficient signal conduction.Myelin sheaths are membranes that insulate the axons of many neurons. Myelin sheaths have distinct domains of ion channels and proteins, such as the nodes of Ranvier, along the axon that are required for the high speed and ........ Read more »
Ivanovic, A., Horresh, I., Golan, N., Spiegel, I., Sabanay, H., Frechter, S., Ohno, S., Terada, N., Mobius, W., Rosenbluth, J.... (2012) The cytoskeletal adapter protein 4.1G organizes the internodes in peripheral myelinated nerves. originally published in the Journal of Cell Biology, 196(3), 337-344. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201111127
Scientists have found that aptly named extremely long-lived proteins (ELLPs) in the brains of rats can persist for more than one year—a result that suggests the proteins, also found in human brains, last an entire lifetime. Most proteins only last a day or two before being recycled. The researchers reported their findings in January 2012 issue of Science.A team at the Scripps Research Institute and Salk Institute for Biological Studies made the discovery while studying ELLPs that ar........ Read more »
Savas, J., Toyama, B., Xu, T., Yates, J., & Hetzer, M. (2012) Extremely Long-Lived Nuclear Pore Proteins in the Rat Brain. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1217421
A comprehensive debunking of the Daily Mail's reporting of science.... Read more »
The Poynter Institute. (2006) Eyetracking the news. A study of print and online reading. Poynter. info:/
In 1985 I visited the Soviet Union with a small group of Austrian tourists (I was studying in Vienna at …Continue reading »... Read more »
Gross, C. (1993) Huxley versus Owen: the hippocampus minor and evolution. Trends in Neurosciences, 16(12), 493-498. DOI: 10.1016/0166-2236(93)90190-W
by Sathishk in neuro JC
This study illustrates the requirement of training and exercise in executing successful fine motor skills in the invertebrates.Fruit fly Drosophila groups reared and grown in two different fly chambers ,one allows free flight movement and other restricted flight movement were tested for various flight kinematics in free flight arena and tethered flight simulator.Overall performance [...]... Read more »
Hesselberg, T., & Lehmann, F. (2009) The role of experience in flight behaviour of Drosophila. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212(20), 3377-3386. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.025221
In my last post I examined the epidemiology of brain tumors using a summary of the latest data from the United States. The summary noted the slight decline in the number of malignant brain cancers over the last twenty years.One area of concern that is receiving increased attention is the potential for cell phone risk to raise the risk of brain cancers.Obviously if cell phone use was a very large effect one might have expected an increase in the rates of brain tumors and cancer over th........ Read more »
Frei, P., Poulsen, A., Johansen, C., Olsen, J., Steding-Jessen, M., & Schuz, J. (2011) Use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumours: update of Danish cohort study. BMJ, 343(oct19 4). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d6387
A fully differentiated cell took a fascinating journey to become its present self. For every cell, a precursor cell existed that gave rise to it. And for every precursor cell, a stem cell existed that gave rise to it. Understanding precursor cells is an important part in understanding stem cell biology. Today’s image is from [...]... Read more »
Mairet-Coello, G., Tury, A., Van Buskirk, E., Robinson, K., Genestine, M., & DiCicco-Bloom, E. (2012) p57KIP2 regulates radial glia and intermediate precursor cell cycle dynamics and lower layer neurogenesis in developing cerebral cortex. Development, 139(3), 475-487. DOI: 10.1242/dev.067314
On Monday we talked about LTP and LTD on a basic level, today we are discussing how they interact with each other. In a recent Open Access paper, Pavlowsky and Alarcon ask the question: Can some synapses on a neuron strengthen while at the same time others weaken? And if so, how do the two processes interact with each other? neurons firing (source)First let's get some background. Synapse strengthening (LTP) and synapse weakening (LTD) both require new proteins to be synthesized........ Read more »
Pavlowsky A, & Alarcon JM. (2012) Interaction between Long-Term Potentiation and Depression in CA1 Synapses: Temporal Constrains, Functional Compartmentalization and Protein Synthesis. PloS one, 7(1). PMID: 22272255
Back in the '80s the name Michael J. Fox was more or less interchangeable with that of Marty McFly, the effortlessly cool protagonist from the Back to the Future trilogy who introduced an entire generation of kids to hoverboards, self-lacing shoes and flux capacitors. Not to mention 'Johnny B Goode'. These days however Fox's name is more likely to have us thinking of his fight with Parkinson's disease, which he was diagnosed with back in 1991, or the advocacy work he does for his ........ Read more »
Obeso JA, Rodríguez-Oroz MC, Benitez-Temino B, Blesa FJ, Guridi J, Marin C, & Rodriguez M. (2008) Functional organization of the basal ganglia: therapeutic implications for Parkinson's disease. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society. PMID: 18781672
The objective of this study was to examine depression and baseline neurocognitive function and concussion symptoms in male and female high school and college athletes.... Read more »
Covassin T, Elbin RJ 3rd, Larson E, & Kontos AP. (2012) Sex and Age Differences in Depression and Baseline Sport-Related Concussion Neurocognitive Performance and Symptoms. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. PMID: 22246342
So it seems as though the "connectome" is the latest big thing in neuroscience. This is the brain's wiring diagram, in terms of the connections between neurons and on a larger scale, between brain regions.We certainly won't understand the brain without getting to grips with the connections but equally, it's not the whole story. I previously emphasised that the brain is not made of soup; it's not made of spaghetti, either.Connectomics does however unquestionably provide some of the prettiest imag........ Read more »
Irimia A, Chambers MC, Torgerson CM, & Van Horn JD. (2012) Circular representation of human cortical networks for subject and population-level connectomic visualization. NeuroImage. PMID: 22305988
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