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  • February 3, 2011
  • 07:33 AM

Seeing the forest for the trees. Thinking about motor imagery in kids with hemiplegia

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

By Megan Auld In research and in clinical practice, I’m forever finding myself snagged on the details – missing the story by getting caught up with p-values, forgetting that the arm I’m treating is connected to a head.  Which is perhaps why I remember so clearly when Lorimer first persuaded me to focus on treating [...]... Read more »

van Elk, M., Crajé, C., Beeren, M., Steenbergen, B., van Schie, H., & Bekkering, H. (2010) Neural Evidence for Compromised Motor Imagery in Right Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy. Frontiers in Neurology. DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2010.00150  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:44 PM

Optical control of gene expression in mammalian cells

by AndrewHires in Brain Windows

Trying to start a reboot of the posts here on Brain Windows. Lots of great stuff has come out since the last regular posting period, and unfortunately I don’t have the time to cover it all. One of the most exciting papers of the last few months was Rapid blue-light–mediated induction of protein interactions in [...]... Read more »

Kennedy MJ, Hughes RM, Peteya LA, Schwartz JW, Ehlers MD, & Tucker CL. (2010) Rapid blue-light-mediated induction of protein interactions in living cells. Nature methods, 7(12), 973-5. PMID: 21037589  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:23 PM

Stress improves perception, but at a cost

by Audrey Lustig in ionpsych

Stress affects the way we see the world, but does it help or hurt us? ... Read more »

Shackman AJ, Maxwell JS, McMenamin BW, Greischar LL, & Davidson RJ. (2011) Stress Potentiates Early and Attenuates Late Stages of Visual Processing. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(3), 1156-1161. PMID: 21248140  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:15 PM

4 Things to Keep in Mind When You're Reading About fMRI

by Audrey Lustig in ionpsych

Does the media distort results from brain imaging research? Here are four tips to help you decide for yourself.... Read more »

Diane M. Beck. (2010) The appeal of the brain in the popular press. Perspectives on Psychological Science. info:/10.1177/1745691610388779

Walther DB, Caddigan E, Fei-Fei L, & Beck DM. (2009) Natural scene categories revealed in distributed patterns of activity in the human brain. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(34), 10573-81. PMID: 19710310  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:28 PM

Egypt Week – Genetic Conflict and Social Dominance

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, our next scientific Egypt Week post concerns a paper just published in last week's issue of Nature, where the authors describe novel behavioral effects of the imprinted gene Grb10 in the mouse.

If you're not familiar, genomic imprinting is the phenomenon where the expression pattern of a gene depends on its parental origin. So, most of your genes come in two copies, one of which came from your mom, and one of which came from your dad. For most genes, the function of the allele, or gene copy........ Read more »

Garfield AS, Cowley M, Smith FM, Moorwood K, Stewart-Cox JE, Gilroy K, Baker S, Xia J, Dalley JW, Hurst LD.... (2011) Distinct physiological and behavioural functions for parental alleles of imprinted Grb10. Nature, 469(7331), 534-8. PMID: 21270893  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 04:48 PM

Why is Broca's area active during speech perception?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

A now-common finding in the functional imaging literature on speech perception is that Broca's area is active during the perception of speech. The activation magnitude is sometimes not as strong or consistent as one finds in auditory cortex, but it is there and so requires some explanation. There are a few possibilities. (I'm talking about Broca's area as if it were one functional region, which it isn't, but we'll gloss over that for now.)1. Broca's area drives the analysis of speech sounds (........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 02:56 PM

Is the M3 Receptor a Target for Obesity Drug Development?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Acetylcholine (ACH) is a key neurotransmitter involved in modulating a variety of central and peripheral nervous systems.  ACH acts on two types of receptors-nicotinic receptors and muscarinic receptors.  There are at least 5 submits of the muscarinic receptor (M1 through M5).  Each receptor appears to have specific functions.Knockout mice (mice with absence of a specific gene) can provide some insight into the function of individual neurotransmitter receptors.  But translati........ Read more »

Pomper JK, Wilhelm H, Tayebati SK, Asmus F, Schüle R, Sievert KD, Haensch CA, Melms A, & Haarmeier T. (2011) A novel clinical syndrome revealing a deficiency of the muscarinic M3 receptor. Neurology, 76(5), 451-5. PMID: 21282591  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 10:40 AM

Oxytocin, ethnocentrism and evolution (pt. 2)

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

I didn't want to risk making my previous post too long, and I wanted to keep it focused on "hormonal determinism", so I set aside a whole branch of my commentary on the link between the hormone oxytocin and ethnocentrism for another post. The findings I comment on were presented by De Dreu and co-workers in the latest edition of PNAS (see reference below).

So, today I want to talk briefly about bad evolutionary arguments.Continue after the jump »

... Read more »

De Dreu CK, Greer LL, Van Kleef GA, Shalvi S, & Handgraaf MJ. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(4), 1262-6. PMID: 21220339  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 09:40 AM

Grow That Big Brain You’ve Always Dreamed Of, With Just 3x Per Week

by Sharon Neufeldt in I Can Has Science?

Whether you’re young or post-young, there’s no time like the present to get into an exercise routine. Besides helping with weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness, more and more evidence suggests that aerobic exercise can delay – and even reverse … Continue reading →... Read more »

Erickson, K., Voss, M., Prakash, R., Basak, C., Szabo, A., Chaddock, L., Kim, J., Heo, S., Alves, H., White, S.... (2011) Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015950108  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 11:12 PM

Green tea consumption associated with depressive symptoms

by mercurialmind in Mercurialmind Matters

green tea associated with depressive symptoms... Read more »

Niu, K., Hozawa, A., Kuriyama, S., Ebihara, S., Guo, H., Nakaya, N., Ohmori-Matsuda, K., Takahashi, H., Masamune, Y., Asada, M.... (2009) Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(6), 1615-1622. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28216  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:37 PM

Oxytocin, ethnocentrism and "hormonal determinism"

by Daniel in Ego sum Daniel

There is an inordinate readiness, both within scientific circles and in popular scientific understanding, to ascribe direct causation to the actions of hormones, especially when it comes to moods and behaviors. For example, consider how you’d usually interpret the common expression “being hormonal”. I consider the thought that hormones somehow “control” our moods and behaviors a falsehood; a popular misunderstanding or oversimplification that hinders the understanding of what’s actu........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Handgraaf, M., Shalvi, S., Van Kleef, G., Baas, M., Ten Velden, F., Van Dijk, E., & Feith, S. (2010) The Neuropeptide Oxytocin Regulates Parochial Altruism in Intergroup Conflict Among Humans. Science, 328(5984), 1408-1411. DOI: 10.1126/science.1189047  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:21 PM

Real-time Q&As are intense

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

Sorry for the self-promotional nature of this post, but I wanted to talk about a novel, interesting experience.A little over a week ago, my research examining how people with prefrontal stroke compensate for brain damage was profiled in a piece in the Washington Post. As with all my research, I did a lay post explaining that work here before.The whole media experience happened very quickly, but was pretty cool. You'll notice that the Washington Post article is actually focused on Rep. Gabrielle ........ Read more »

Voytek B, Davis M, Yago E, Barceló F, Vogel EK, & Knight RT. (2010) Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage. Neuron, 68(3), 401-8. PMID: 21040843  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 12:17 PM

Stress and Neurodegeneration

by Brian Mossop in The Decision Tree

I have a new feature at Scientific American, describing recent research that shows how stress is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In the past, we have feared Alzheimer’s, because people rarely get better once they find out they have the disease. We watch in horror, as our aging relatives slowly become different [...]... Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 03:54 PM

How to be a neuroscientist

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

In this post, I will teach you all how to be proper, skeptical neuroscientists. By the end of this post, not only will you be able to spot "neuro nonsense" statements, but you'll also be able to spot nonsense neuroscience questions.I implore my journalist friends to take note of what I say in this post.Much has already been said on the topic of modern neuroimaging masquerading as "new phrenology". A lot of these arguments and conversations are hidden from the lay public, however, so I'm going to........ Read more »

Barres, B. (2010) Neuro Nonsense. PLoS Biology, 8(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001005  

Racine E, Bar-Ilan O, & Illes J. (2005) fMRI in the public eye. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6(2), 159-64. PMID: 15685221  

Editors. (2004) Brain scam?. Nature Neuroscience, 7(7), 683-683. DOI: 10.1038/nn0704-683  

Weisberg, D., Keil, F., Goodstein, J., Rawson, E., & Gray, J. (2008) The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(3), 470-477. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2008.20040  

Young, M., Hilgetag, C., & Scannell, J. (2000) On imputing function to structure from the behavioural effects of brain lesions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 355(1393), 147-161. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2000.0555  

  • January 31, 2011
  • 02:15 PM

Chronic back pain: Behavioural treatments sent to the naughty step?

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

We have written a fair amount here about back pain. We’ve criticised some of the information patients get, shown how data has undermined many widely held beliefs about back pain (here and here), and acknowledged the rather desperate state of the evidence in terms of treatment efficacy. It is becoming more popular to see back [...]... Read more »

Henschke N, Ostelo RWJG, van Tulder MW, Vlaeyen JWS, Morley S, Assendelft WJJ, Main CJ. (2010) Behavioural treatment for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. info:/

  • January 31, 2011
  • 10:54 AM

How many leucines?

by Richard Grant in Faculty of 1000

Removal of neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft is accomplished by a class of transporter called Neurotransmitter/sodium symporters (NSSs). These couple the uptake of neurotransmitter (including dopamine, GABA, serotonin, noradrenaline) with sodium ions. They’re the target of pharmaceutical interventions, particularly antidepressants … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 10:54 AM

How many leucines?

by Richard Grant in Naturally Selected

Removal of neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft is accomplished by a class of transporter called Neurotransmitter/sodium symporters (NSSs). These couple the uptake of neurotransmitter (including dopamine, GABA, serotonin, noradrenaline) with sodium ions. They’re the target of pharmaceutical interventions, particularly antidepressants … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 10:02 AM

Common Neuropsychiatric Problems in Epilepsy

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Epilepsy represents a complex neuropsychiatric condition with significant public health impact.  The prevalence estimates of active epilepsy range from about 1 to 4% of the general population.  Like other medical conditions, epilepsy appears to increase the risk for a variety of secondary (or cormorbidity problems).  Understanding these related risks can aid patients, families and clinicians in understanding symptoms, common presentation conundrums and best treatment approaches. A........ Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 07:48 AM

With eyes closed

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

Do we think differently with our eyes closed or closed? Apparently we do. And it is not just a simple difference like the brain having more to do when it is processing vision compared to when it is not receiving visual input. There is a difference in how we react to music with our eyes [...]... Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 12:55 AM

Do fruit flies dream of electric bananas?

by Björn Brembs in

That's the title of my 'Thought Experiment' column in the next issue of 'The Scientist', due to appear on February 1. Sarah Greene from The Scientist approached me in my role as F1000 faculty member at this year's SfN annual meeting in San Diego and asked me if I didn't want to write something for The Scientist.The short article is about visualizing neuronal activity in small brains. I've recently applied for a starting grant at the European Research Council to develop a microscope which can rec........ Read more »

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