I find the traces of old theories in our language intriguing. We still talk about heat in ways that hark back to the phlogiston theory – we talk of the flow of heat like it was a fluid. We talk of the sun rising, as if Galileo had never been, although we all know it [...]... Read more »
Rodriguez, P. (2006) Talking brains: a cognitive semantic analysis of an emerging folk neuropsychology. Public Understanding of Science, 15(3), 301-330. DOI: 10.1177/0963662506063923
Sleep keeps neuroscientist Marcos Frank awake, studying the importance of slumber during early life. Building on his research showing that the brain during sleep is fundamentally different from the brain during wakefulness, Frank an associate professor of Neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that cellular changes in the sleeping brain may promote the formation of memories. In the newest study from the lab, published in the March 1 issue of C........ Read more »
Seibt, J., Dumoulin, M., Aton, S., Coleman, T., Watson, A., Naidoo, N., & Frank, M. (2012) Protein Synthesis during Sleep Consolidates Cortical Plasticity In Vivo. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.016
I suggest that people find brain images so compelling that they are blinded to the poor methodological quality of many studies. I illustrate with a study by Temple et al (2003) that appeared in PNAS.... Read more »
McCabe, D., & Castel, A. (2008) Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning. Cognition, 107(1), 343-352. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.07.017
“Morning people” have more caffeine-related sleep problems.
Let me start by saying that I love this caffeine study for personal reasons. As a lifelong night owl, I have been chastised by wife, family, and friends over the years for my regular habit of drinking coffee after 10 pm. (And falling easily asleep two or three hours later, if I choose to.) Other coffee drinkers have told me how rare and weird this is. If we have a cup, they tell me, or even an afternoon sip, we toss and turn all n........ Read more »
Nova, P., Hernandez, B., Ptolemy, A., & Zeitzer, J. (2012) Modeling caffeine concentrations with the Stanford Caffeine Questionnaire: Preliminary evidence for an interaction of chronotype with the effects of caffeine on sleep. Sleep Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2011.11.011
(Yet another post prompted by a question on Quora that got me thinking about some fun ideas. As always, caveat lector: this is just some more "science jazz"... playing around with ideas to get me thinking about things I normally wouldn't think about from a neuroscientific context.)Okay, so there's a relatively more banal answer and then a much more fun answer.Let's start with the more fun.Totally Spitballing Fun AnswerMost people know about the studies in the 1........ Read more »
Cejas C, Cisneros LF, Lagos R, Zuk C, & Ameriso SF. (2010) Internal jugular vein valve incompetence is highly prevalent in transient global amnesia. Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation, 41(1), 67-71. PMID: 19926838
by Sathishk in neuro JC
Posted on behalf of Neloy Kumar Chakroborty
Summary: Prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to be an important area regulating the extinction of fear. Psychostimulants that can increase the extracellular levels of dopamine (DA) in the PFC were reported to be involved in the fear extinction, although the reports were dilemmatic. Methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH) or Ritalin (trade [...]... Read more »
Abraham AD, Cunningham CL, & Lattal KM. (2012) Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear. Learning , 19(2), 67-72. PMID: 22251891
Chances are you've been in a quiet, peaceful place, such as a library or work cubicle, concentrating intently on a task at hand, when suddenly someone's obnoxious ringtone goes off. That's bad enough. But then they answer it, and you're subjected to five or ten minutes of one-sided conversation, giggles, and abject, torturous curiosity. Don't you just want to shoot that person? Well, now you can.... Read more »
Corey DM, & Cuddapah VA. (2008) Delayed auditory feedback effects during reading and conversation tasks: gender differences in fluent adults. Journal of fluency disorders, 33(4), 291-305. PMID: 19328981
Tourville JA, Reilly KJ, & Guenther FH. (2008) Neural mechanisms underlying auditory feedback control of speech. NeuroImage, 39(3), 1429-43. PMID: 18035557
Nauhaus, Busse, Carandini and Dario Ringach published an influential paper in 2009 with pretty convincing evidence that spikes trigger traveling waves of activity visible in LFPs; that these waves travel laterally; and because the dynamics of these waves change during stimulation compared to spontaneous activity, that stimulation modulates functional connectivity. This could imply that a [...]... Read more »
Nauhaus, I., Busse, L., Ringach, D., & Carandini, M. (2012) Robustness of Traveling Waves in Ongoing Activity of Visual Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(9), 3088-3094. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5827-11.2012
Ray S, & Maunsell JH. (2011) Network Rhythms Influence the Relationship between Spike-Triggered Local Field Potential and Functional Connectivity. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(35), 12674-82. PMID: 21880928
Nauhaus I, Busse L, Carandini M, & Ringach DL. (2009) Stimulus contrast modulates functional connectivity in visual cortex. Nature neuroscience, 12(1), 70-6. PMID: 19029885
Imagine the smell of an orange. Have you got it? Are you also picturing the orange, even though I didn't ask you to? Try fish. Or mown grass. You'll find it's difficult to bring a scent to mind without also calling up an image. It's no coincidence, scientists say: Your brain's visual processing center is doing double duty in the smell department.
Since previous studies had shown that the brain's visual center lights up with activity when someone does a purely smell-related task, a group of r........ Read more »
Jadauji, J., Djordjevic, J., Lundstrom, J., & Pack, C. (2012) Modulation of Olfactory Perception by Visual Cortex Stimulation. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(9), 3095-3100. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6022-11.2012
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
Wardrobe malfunctions. We know what they are. Some of us have had them. We can’t show you a picture of a wardrobe malfunction up though because this is not that sort of website. Yet the question is simple: Can your brain make you disrobe in public without your awareness? As in, “it’s not my client’s [...]
And the jury says: “His brain really DID make him do it!”
Do our brains ‘make us’ murder?
Confused about brain scans? Welcome to the club!
... Read more »
Wortzel, H., Strom, L., Anderson, A., Maa, E., & Spitz, M. (2012) Disrobing Associated with Epileptic Seizures and Forensic Implications. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57(2), 550-552. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01995.x
By contributing writer Sarah Buckleitner
It is difficult for humans to imagine that a world of color and sound exists outside of the one that we can perceive, but for some organisms that world is a reality. Usually these animals aren't ones that we can readily relate to; bats and dolphins are two examples that both possess the ability to hear and emit high-frequency sounds. And so the discovery that a fellow primate, the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), may have the ability to emit s........ Read more »
The progressive deterioration of one’s social and cognitive functioning is often thought of as being synonymous with the normal aging process. After all we all forget names, misplace our keys and stumble over our words from time to time. Hell, sometimes it even happens in the absence of that second glass of wine. Yet you only need to look at Christopher Plummer's recent Oscar acceptance speech to realise that a deteriorating mind is not an inherent part of growing old. After all Plumm........ Read more »
Gräff, J., Rei, D., Guan, J., Wang, W., Seo, J., Hennig, K., Nieland, T., Fass, D., Kao, P., Kahn, M.... (2012) An epigenetic blockade of cognitive functions in the neurodegenerating brain. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10849
Karran E, Mercken M, & De Strooper B. (2011) The amyloid cascade hypothesis for Alzheimer's disease: an appraisal for the development of therapeutics. Nature reviews. Drug discovery, 10(9), 698-712. PMID: 21852788
The theory goes that meetings boost creativity and smart thinking among employees, but a new research from the Virginia Tech Crilion Research Institute suggests just the opposite: that they actually make people less efficient.... Read more »
Kishida, K., Yang, D., Quartz, K., Quartz, S., & Montague, P. (2012) Implicit signals in small group settings and their impact on the expression of cognitive capacity and associated brain responses. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 367(1589), 704-716. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0267
Canadian Neuroscientists Jacqueline Snow et al propose a new method of making brain scanning studies a bit more realistic.Typically, in an fMRI or other neuroimaging study, any visual stimuli shown to the volunteer are just pictures on a screen. Sometimes videos will be used, but in almost all cases they're just 2D images. Is that adaquate? People have hoped so.Snow et al's data suggest that it might not be.They created a contraption for presenting subjects with real objects during a scan. See a........ Read more »
Snow, J., Pettypiece, C., McAdam, T., McLean, A., Stroman, P., Goodale, M., & Culham, J. (2011) Bringing the real world into the fMRI scanner: Repetition effects for pictures versus real objects. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep00130
...It might ask for some cocaine. Or it might feel the effects of cocaine anyway. Just say no, Rat (source)The "Placebo Effect" occurs when someone takes a functionally ineffectual drug, but feels the effects anyway. There are many examples of this: Someone in pain takes a sugar pill, but is told that it is a painkiller might report 'feeling much less pain'. A Parkinson's patient takes a sugar pill having been told it was their 'L-dopa' medication and c........ Read more »
Wise RA, Wang B, & You ZB. (2008) Cocaine serves as a peripheral interoceptive conditioned stimulus for central glutamate and dopamine release. PloS one, 3(8). PMID: 18682722
Rather than repine about the worst Cell paper I've ever read*, let's cover a new Cell paper from David Anderson's lab. In my past posts on taste, I've covered a lot of the Zuker lab's work on mammalian taste receptors, and other labs' work on how neuromodulators can effect taste receptors. Parallel with the work on mammalian receptors, many taste receptors have been identified in the fly, ... Read more »
Inagaki HK, Ben-Tabou de-Leon S, Wong AM, Jagadish S, Ishimoto H, Barnea G, Kitamoto T, Axel R, & Anderson DJ. (2012) Visualizing Neuromodulation In Vivo: TANGO-Mapping of Dopamine Signaling Reveals Appetite Control of Sugar Sensing. Cell, 148(3), 583-95. PMID: 22304923
The recent accidental overdose deaths of Whitney Houston and other celebrities highlights the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. I have previous highlighted some recent important clinical research studies in prescription drug abuse including:The Epidemiology of Prescription Opioid AbusePathways to Prescription Opioid OverdosePrescription Opioid Overdose ToxicologyNow there is a recent study that examines some of the risk factors for accidental overdose death. This study by B........ Read more »
Bohnert, A., Ilgen, M., Ignacio, R., McCarthy, J., Valenstein, M., & Blow, F. (2011) Risk of Death From Accidental Overdose Associated With Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.10101476
How depression seems to be affected in prefrontal cortex... Read more »
Koenigs M, & Grafman J. (2009) The functional neuroanatomy of depression: distinct roles for ventromedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Behavioural brain research, 201(2), 239-43. PMID: 19428640
Finding your soulmate, for a neuron, is a daunting task. With so many opportunities for casual hook-ups, how do you know when you find “the one”? In the early 1960’s Roger Sperry proposed his famous “chemoaffinity theory” to explain how neural connectivity arises. This was based on observations of remarkable specificity in the projections of nerves regenerating from the eye of frogs to their targets in the brain. His first version of this theory proposed that each neuron found its t........ Read more »
Osterhout, J., Josten, N., Yamada, J., Pan, F., Wu, S., Nguyen, P., Panagiotakos, G., Inoue, Y., Egusa, S., Volgyi, B.... (2011) Cadherin-6 Mediates Axon-Target Matching in a Non-Image-Forming Visual Circuit. Neuron, 71(4), 632-639. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.07.006
Williams, M., Wilke, S., Daggett, A., Davis, E., Otto, S., Ravi, D., Ripley, B., Bushong, E., Ellisman, M., Klein, G.... (2011) Cadherin-9 Regulates Synapse-Specific Differentiation in the Developing Hippocampus. Neuron, 71(4), 640-655. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.06.019
Déjà vu is a French term that literally means "already seen" and is reported to occur in 60-70% of people, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 25. The fact that déjà vu occurs so randomly and rapidly—and in individuals without a medical condition—makes it difficult to study, and why and how the phenomenon occurs is up to much speculation. Psychoanalysts may attribute it to wishful thinking; some psychiatrists cite mismatching in the brain ca........ Read more »
Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.
If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.
Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.
To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.