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  • March 25, 2011
  • 08:55 AM

Gut bacteria may influence thoughts and behaviour

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

THE human gut contains a diverse community of bacteria which colonize the small intestine in the days following birth and vastly outnumber our own cells. These intestinal microflora constitute a virtual organ within an organ and influence many bodily functions. Among other things, they aid in the uptake and metabolism of nutrients, modulate the inflammatory response to infection, and protect the gut from other, harmful micro-organisms. A new study by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilto........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2011
  • 04:20 PM

A Stroke Of Good Fortune Cures OCD?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A 45 year old female teacher had a history of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with other problems including ADHD. Her daughter, and many other people in her family, had suffered the same problems and in a few cases had Tourette's Syndrome.But all that changed - when she suffered a stroke. This is according to a brief case report from Drs. Diamond and Ondo of Texas:[she] had a long history of constant intrusive and obsessive thoughts that interrupted her daily activities and sleep. Sh........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2011
  • 12:01 PM

Left-Hand Man

by Nature Education in Student Voices

Recently, I watched The King's Speech , the Academy Award-winning biopic starri...... Read more »

Barnsley, R. H., & Rabinovitch, M. S. (1970) Handedness: proficiency versus stated preference. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 343-362. PMID: 5454044  

Bryngelson, B., & Clark, T. (1933) Left-handedness and stuttering. Journal of Heredity, 387-390. info:/

  • March 23, 2011
  • 02:47 PM

Web-based survey on mephedrone use

by MTAFFE in TLneuro

A recent Web-based survey paper from Carhart-Harris and colleagues gives us another look at the mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone; 4-MMC) using population (see Winstock et al, 2011 for additional). The 4-MMC compound is a derivative of cathinone, the active constituent of the plant material khat which is chewed by populations from the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn [...]... Read more »

Winstock AR, Mitcheson LR, Deluca P, Davey Z, Corazza O, & Schifano F. (2011) Mephedrone, new kid for the chop?. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 106(1), 154-61. PMID: 20735367  

Carhart-Harris RL, King LA, & Nutt DJ. (2011) A web-based survey on mephedrone. Drug and alcohol dependence. PMID: 21420252  

  • March 23, 2011
  • 11:45 AM

Blue-light influences what time you wake up:

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

Very brief review of new Science article showing duel function of CRY protein in Drosophilia circadian rhythms.... Read more »

Im SH, & Taghert PH. (2011) Neuroscience. A CRY to rise. Science (New York, N.Y.), 331(6023), 1394-5. PMID: 21415342  

  • March 23, 2011
  • 09:22 AM

Where is your antidepressant working? Depends on which kind you try.

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

One of the hardest parts about treating psychiatric illness is deciding which drug to use. Hopefully most doctors are not too swayed by the Paxil pens or Prozac magnets that end up in their offices (though that’s a great way to get those names to the top of the recall list), but often, no matter [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2011
  • 08:49 AM

Cognitive Biomarkers in Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I previously posted on a review of the neuropsychological domain of set-shifting as a possible biomarker for eating disorders.  In that post, set shifting as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sort tests was impaired in those with an anorexia nervosa and continued impaired despite weight restoration.  Additionally, sisters of those with an eating disorder, also showed some impairment on this measure even when they had no eating disorder problem.  This supports a potential role for set........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2011
  • 07:30 AM

Seriously Dude… Where’s My Car?

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

Sometimes it seems like all the junk accumulated in our memories makes it harder to remember new things. For example, if you drive in to work every morning and have to hunt for parking, it may be difficult at the … Continue reading →... Read more »

Kuhl, B., Rissman, J., Chun, M., & Wagner, A. (2011) Fidelity of neural reactivation reveals competition between memories. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1016939108  

  • March 23, 2011
  • 03:08 AM

Dijksterhuis revisited

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

One of the easiest errors to make is to get too attached to the words you use and your pet definitions for them. I really, really try to avoid purely semantic arguments. Recent reading, and re-reading, of papers by Ap Dijiksterhuis has made me look again at how I define mind and thought.
When explaining his [...]... Read more »

Dijksterhuis, A., & Nordgren, L. (2006) A Theory of Unconscious Thought. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2), 95-109. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6916.2006.00007.x  

Bos, M., Dijksterhuis, A., & Baaren, R. (2008) On the goal-dependency of unconscious thought☆. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(4), 1114-1120. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.01.001  

Dijksterhuis, A., & Aarts, H. (2010) Goals, Attention, and (Un)Consciousness. Annual Review of Psychology, 61(1), 467-490. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100445  

  • March 22, 2011
  • 04:05 PM

Emotional Processing Bias in Depression

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians and individuals with depression understand the tendency for depression to be associated with over-interpretation of negative cues in the environment.  Depression seems to heighten perception of negative environmental cues including interpersonal (or social) cues.   The cognitive behavioral model of depression emphasizes the cognitive triad—a negative bias (view) of the self, the environment and the future.Functional magnetic resonance imaging is providing a model to s........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2011
  • 03:28 PM

Can photoshop make my bottom smaller?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

I had my annual viewing of Susan Boyle on Britain’s got talent this morning. Then I came across this amazing demonstration of what photoshop can do. Is it possible that if you think you look a particular way, your body changes the way it works to match that?... Read more »

Brian Wansink and Koert van Ittersum. (2006) The Visual Illusions of Food: Why Plates, Bowls, and Spoons Can Bias Consumption Volum. The FASEB Journal. info:/

Moseley GL, Olthof N, Venema A, Don S, Wijers M, Gallace A, & Spence C. (2008) Psychologically induced cooling of a specific body part caused by the illusory ownership of an artificial counterpart. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(35), 13169-73. PMID: 18725630  

  • March 22, 2011
  • 11:18 AM

One Nanostep for Technology, One Quantum Leap for Psychiatry

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

do_sud_thumb("","One Nanostep for Technology, One... Read more »

Khodayari-Rostamabad A, Reilly JP, Hasey G, Debruin H, & Maccrimmon D. (2010) Diagnosis of psychiatric disorders using EEG data and employing a statistical decision model. Conference proceedings : .. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference, 4006-9. PMID: 21097280  

Charles DeBattista, Gustavo Kinrys, Daniel Hoffman, Corey Goldstein, John Zajecka, James Kocsis, Martin Teicher, Steven Potkin, Adrian Preda, Gurmeet Multani, Len Brandt, Mark Schiller, Dan Iosifescu, Maurizio Fava. (2011) The use of referenced-EEG (rEEG) in assisting medication selection for the treatment of depression . Psychiatric Research, 15(12), 64-75. DOI: The use of referenced-EEG (rEEG) in assisting medication selection for the treatment of depression  

  • March 22, 2011
  • 09:03 AM

moving one inch closer to real world wetware

by Greg Fish in weird things

One of the classic ideas in science fiction is the concept of wetware, a hybrid of biology and electronics which would allow just about any living thing with a brain to hook up to a machine and carry out computing tasks we could never accomplish solely with brains or solely with machinery. As noted last [...]... Read more »

Yu, M., Huang, Y., Ballweg, J., Shin, H., Huang, M., Savage, D., Lagally, M., Dent, E., Blick, R., & Williams, J. (2011) Semiconductor Nanomembrane Tubes: Three-Dimensional Confinement for Controlled Neurite Outgrowth. ACS Nano, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/nn103618d  

  • March 21, 2011
  • 08:00 AM

Hand-hand-hand-hand-hand-hand-hand-hand-eye coordination

by Zen Faulkes in NeuroDojo

We’re smart. Octopuses are smart. But we have different kinds of smart.

Octopuses don’t process information like us. An octopus can tell -[ from ]-, but has a very difficult time telling < from >. There are plenty of task that we find trivial that are very, very hard for octopuses to do. (Many are shown in Wells 1978).

Gutnick and colleagues were interested in whether octopuses could integrate sight and touch. We do this all the time. Almost the entire video game industry depends u........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2011
  • 05:54 AM

An afternoon nap tunes out negative emotions, tunes in positive ones

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The perfect excuse for a siesta! People who stay awake throughout the day become progressively more sensitive to negative emotions. In contrast, those who take an afternoon nap are desensitised to negative emotions yet more responsive to positive ones. The new finding builds on past research by showing that not only does sleep deprivation cause emotional problems, a sleep boost can bring emotional advantages.

Ninad Gujar and his colleagues tested 36 participants (half were male; average age 21........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2011
  • 01:13 AM

Your somatic markers know when to hold ‘em

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

There is a very large body of data that show that the body affects the mind. That is, bodily processes and responses to stimuli affect our thoughts about those stimuli and our behavioural responses to them. Some of the most intriguing research in this area has been done by Antonio Damasio..... Read more »

  • March 19, 2011
  • 01:50 PM

Got a side stich? Might be time to check your Thoracic Mobility.

by mc in begin to dig (b2d)

Most folks who've gone for a run - sometimes a bike or horseback ride - have had a side stich, or cramp in the side. Turns out there's a formal name for this experience: exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP).  Numerous theories have been proposed about the cause of ETAP, from blood flowing into the diaphram (nope) to ligaments among viscera getting shaken (nope), to muscle cramp (amazingly not). These theories are reviewed in an overview of ETAP from 2009 (Muir09). Turns out, th........ Read more »

  • March 18, 2011
  • 10:26 AM

A Look Inside A Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A remarkable paper just out in Nature has revealed images of the brain's structure and function in unprecedented detail: Network anatomy and in vivo physiology of visual cortical neurons.Harvard Medical School researchers Bock et al took a mouse - just one - and used two forms of microscopy to investigate a small patch of it's primary visual cortex, the area which receives input from the eyes.First, they used two-photon calcium imaging to look at the functional properties of individual cells. Th........ Read more »

Bock DD, Lee WC, Kerlin AM, Andermann ML, Hood G, Wetzel AW, Yurgenson S, Soucy ER, Kim HS, & Reid RC. (2011) Network anatomy and in vivo physiology of visual cortical neurons. Nature, 471(7337), 177-82. PMID: 21390124  

  • March 17, 2011
  • 04:09 PM

Exercise May Reduce Appetite But Increases Calorie Consumption

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The relationship between exercise, appetite and food intake is a complex relationship.  Aerobic exercise has been touted as a way to reduce appetite potentially increasing weight loss.  This effect has been termed the anorexia of exercise.  The effect appears to be commonly found after exercising at greater than 60% of maximum oxygen consumption.  This decreased appetite after exercise has been  possibly due to the redistribution of blood flow from the gastrointestinal t........ Read more »

  • March 17, 2011
  • 02:48 PM

The lived experience of ostracism

by perishedcore in Changing Heart and Mind

I first discovered C. Fred Alford’s work about the experiences of whistle blowers. In it, he describes what constitutes “knowledge as disaster”, and my experiences jibes almost perfectly with this list: “What must the whistle-blower forsake in order to hear his own story? * That the individual matters. * That law and justice can be [...]... Read more »

Alford C. Fred. (2007) Whistle-blower Narratives: the experience of choiceless choice. Social Science, Volume 74 (1), 223-248. info:other/

Stillman, T., Baumeister, R., Lambert, N., Crescioni, A., DeWall, C., & Fincham, F. (2009) Alone and without purpose: Life loses meaning following social exclusion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 686-694. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.03.007  

Williams, Kipling D. (2001) Ostracism: The Power of Silence. 2001. info:other/1572306890

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