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  • July 13, 2011
  • 11:37 AM

Working memory and cognitive enhancement

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

Quora sucked me in again this weekend... I wrote three long answers over there to the following questions:What is the most effective way to enhance working memory?Does memory improvement software work?What are the primary functions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex?Maybe you can spot how all three questions are related.The first question was the one I spent the most time on, as I covered a fair amount of he literature. I'm going to quote a lot of my answers here (since Quora lets you keep co........ Read more »

Voytek B, & Knight RT. (2010) Prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia contributions to visual working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(42), 18167-72. PMID: 20921401  

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  

Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J, & Perrig WJ. (2008) Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(19), 6829-33. PMID: 18443283  

Owen AM, Hampshire A, Grahn JA, Stenton R, Dajani S, Burns AS, Howard RJ, & Ballard CG. (2010) Putting brain training to the test. Nature, 465(7299), 775-8. PMID: 20407435  

Greely H, Sahakian B, Harris J, Kessler RC, Gazzaniga M, Campbell P, & Farah MJ. (2008) Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. Nature, 456(7223), 702-5. PMID: 19060880  

Chen DY, Stern SA, Garcia-Osta A, Saunier-Rebori B, Pollonini G, Bambah-Mukku D, Blitzer RD, & Alberini CM. (2011) A critical role for IGF-II in memory consolidation and enhancement. Nature, 469(7331), 491-7. PMID: 21270887  

  • July 13, 2011
  • 09:56 AM

Why Antidepressants Can Cause Gut Pain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors frequently produce significant gastrointestinal side effects.  Nausea was reported by up to 26% of subjects and diarrhea in up to 30% of subjects in a recent review of the new antidepressant vilazodone.  Gastrointestinal side effects tend to be seen with the initiation of antidepressant drugs commonly followed by a period of improved tolerability.The mechanism for this gastrointestinal effect is poorly understood.   The gut is known to have ........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2011
  • 07:59 AM

The Opposite Side of Dopamine: The D2 Receptor

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

When most people think of dopamine, they think of things that can get you high. Things that feel good. Cocaine. Sex. Food. We imagine floods of dopamine in our brains as the pleasurable feelings take hold. As more and more media outlets cover neuroscience, we get the idea that serotonin means happiness, but dopamine means...pleasure. [...]... Read more »

  • July 13, 2011
  • 03:56 AM

The Brain Is Not Made of DNA

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A new paper claims to have found A novel functional brain imaging endophenotype of autism.They used fMRI to show that the brains of teenagers with autism showed no activation differences to looking at smiling happy faces, or afraid faces, compared to unemotional ones. In teens without autism, there was strong activation in many emotional and face-related brain regions. The unaffected brothers and sisters of the autistic people showed intermediate effects.This is a fine study. The finding that si........ Read more »

  • July 12, 2011
  • 04:00 PM

Rats, Bees, and Brains: The Death of the “Cognitive Map”

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Humans, just like all other animals, face the same problem every day: how do we get around the world? I don’t mean how do we walk, swim, crawl, or fly. I mean, how do we navigate? If I leave in search of food, how do I find my way back home? ... Read more »

Tolman, E. (1948) Cognitive maps in rats and men. Psychological Review, 55(4), 189-208. DOI: 10.1037/h0061626  

O'Keefe J, & Speakman A. (1987) Single unit activity in the rat hippocampus during a spatial memory task. Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Experimentation cerebrale, 68(1), 1-27. PMID: 3691688  

Simons, D., & Wang, R. (1998) Perceiving Real-World Viewpoint Changes. Psychological Science, 9(4), 315-320. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.00062  

  • July 11, 2011
  • 06:23 PM

Underwear Models and Low Libido

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Erotic or not? (from Hot Chicks with Douchebags)Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is a controversial diagnosis given to women who have a low (or nonexistent) libido and are distressed about it. The International Definitions Committee (a panel of 13 experts in female sexual dysfunction) from the 2nd International Consultation on Sexual Medicine in Paris defined HSDD, which has also been called Women's Sexual Interest/Desire Disorder (Basson et al., 2004), in the following fashion:There ........ Read more »

Bianchi-Demicheli, F., Cojan, Y., Waber, L., Recordon, N., Vuilleumier, P., & Ortigue, S. (2011) Neural Bases of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in Women: An Event-Related fMRI Study. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02376.x  

  • July 11, 2011
  • 06:02 PM

A Walk Along the Paper Trail: Katzogenesis

by Michael Patterson in ...And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Papers

While the last few walks have covered taste receptors, I'm more interested in the central representation of taste.  When you taste something the information is relayed from the taste receptors by three facial nerves to the brainstem (NST), then to the thalamus (VPMpc), and from there to gustatory cortex (GC).  The NST also projects to the amygdala and lateral hypothalamus, sending reward and ... Read more »

Katz DB, Simon SA, & Nicolelis MA. (2001) Dynamic and multimodal responses of gustatory cortical neurons in awake rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 21(12), 4478-89. PMID: 11404435  

Katz DB, Simon SA, & Nicolelis MA. (2002) Taste-specific neuronal ensembles in the gustatory cortex of awake rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 22(5), 1850-7. PMID: 11880514  

  • July 11, 2011
  • 08:54 AM

Cannabis Use Declines with Aerobic Exercise

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Improvement in addiction treatment interventions in needed.  Many substance dependence individuals end up with with a chronic illness with frequent relapse following periods of abstinence.Aerobic exercise appears to be a candidate for a treatment component in a variety of addictive disorders.  Aerobic exercise may produce a variety of changes in the brain that may influence craving and drug use.Mechanisms induced by aerobic exercise that might influence drug craving and drug use includ........ Read more »

  • July 11, 2011
  • 08:40 AM

Who wants to see the baby sneeze?

by Kimberly Moynahan in Endless Forms Most Beautiful

That’s what my brother-in- law used to call out as he’d carry his infant daughter, a soft blanket draped over her face, out into the yard.  With that, all the little kids at my sister’s daycare would run over and gather around the baby. When they were all ready, my brother-in-law would whip off the [...]... Read more »

  • July 11, 2011
  • 08:08 AM

Color space pictured and animated (Derrington Krauskopf Lennie)

by Alex Holcombe in ceptional

The Derrington, Krauskopf and Lennie (1984) color space is based on the Macleod-Boynton (1979) chromaticity diagram. Colors are represented in 3 dimensions using spherical coordinates that specify the elevation from the isoluminant plane, the azimuth (the hue) and the contrast (as a fraction of the maximal modulations along the cardinal axes of the space). It’s [...]... Read more »

Derrington AM, Krauskopf J, & Lennie P. (1984) Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque. The Journal of physiology, 241-65. PMID: 6512691  

MacLeod DI, & Boynton RM. (1979) Chromaticity diagram showing cone excitation by stimuli of equal luminance. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 69(8), 1183-6. PMID: 490231  

  • July 11, 2011
  • 07:10 AM

How we may be able to rebuild The Six Million Dollar Man

by Pieter Droppert in Biotech Strategy Blog

I grew up watching Lee Majors in the 1970’s TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man”, about an injured former astronaut whose bionic implants allowed him to do superhuman feats. That was fiction, but it is becoming closer to reality … Continue reading →... Read more »

D. Kacy Cullen, John A. Wolf, Douglas H. Smith, & Bryan J. Pfister. (2011) Neural Tissue Engineering for Neuroregeneration and Biohybridized Interface Microsystems In vivo (Part 2). Crit Rev Biomed Eng., 39(3), 243-262. info:/

  • July 9, 2011
  • 01:41 AM

How to get from monkey to man

by Janet Kwasniak in Thoughts on thoughts

A Japanese group have a Japanese take on the evolution of primates (see citation) and their paper has some interesting aspects: a method to train and study macaques, a view of evolutionary selection, and a history of Japanese science in this area. All are interesting.
The macaques were trained to use tools but it was not [...]... Read more »

  • July 8, 2011
  • 07:23 PM

Autism, temporal binding... and chiropractic

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

I'm famous. Well, sort of. Earlier this week, one of my colleagues sent me a link to a YouTube video in which chiropractic doctor David Sullivan discusses one of my papers on autism and how it influences his "evidence based practice". It's a classic of its genre. The video starts off with a spinning brain and funky science-o-mercial music. And Sullivan somehow manages to equate autism with a dodgy dial-up internet connection whilst weaving our  hypothesis in with Einstein and the space-time........ Read more »

Brock J, Brown CC, Boucher J, & Rippon G. (2002) The temporal binding deficit hypothesis of autism. Development and psychopathology, 14(2), 209-24. PMID: 12030688  

  • July 8, 2011
  • 08:56 AM

Environmental influences on autism - splashy headlines from dodgy data

by Kevin Mitchell in Wiring the Brain

A couple of recent papers have been making headlines in relation to autism, one claiming that it is caused less by genetics than previously believed and more by the environment and the other specifically claiming that antidepressant use by expectant mothers increases the risk of autism in the child. But are these conclusions really supported by the data? Are they strongly enough supported to warrant being splashed across newspapers worldwide, where most readers will remember only the headlin........ Read more »

Hallmayer J, Cleveland S, Torres A, Phillips J, Cohen B, Torigoe T, Miller J, Fedele A, Collins J, Smith K.... (2011) Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism. Archives of general psychiatry. PMID: 21727249  

Lichtenstein P, Carlström E, Råstam M, Gillberg C, & Anckarsäter H. (2010) The genetics of autism spectrum disorders and related neuropsychiatric disorders in childhood. The American journal of psychiatry, 167(11), 1357-63. PMID: 20686188  

Rosenberg, R., Law, J., Yenokyan, G., McGready, J., Kaufmann, W., & Law, P. (2009) Characteristics and Concordance of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among 277 Twin Pairs. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 163(10), 907-914. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.98  

Croen LA, Grether JK, Yoshida CK, Odouli R, & Hendrick V. (2011) Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders. Archives of general psychiatry. PMID: 21727247  

  • July 8, 2011
  • 04:56 AM

Music as benificial play?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

This week an enthousiastic plug for my new book that just came out (and that is currently available at Amazon with a 30% discount on the hardcover). From the cover:"Musical Cognition suggests that music is a game (or 'benificial play'). In music, our cognitive functions such as perception, memory, attention, and expectation are challenged; yet as listeners we often do not realize that the listener plays an active role in reaching the awareness that makes music so exhilarating, soothing, and insp........ Read more »

Honing, H., Ladinig, O., Háden, G., & Winkler, I. (2009) Is Beat Induction Innate or Learned?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169(1), 93-96. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04761.x  

  • July 7, 2011
  • 08:19 PM

Ketones and environmental toxicity

by Lucas Tafur in Ketotic

A ketogenic diet protects from soman toxicity. ... Read more »

  • July 7, 2011
  • 11:08 AM

More Time In Bed Boosts Basketball Performance

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Looking for that extra edge on the basketball court?  Want to increase your free throw percentage and gain an extra step in quickness?  Is it a new performance enhancing drug or training technique?  No, a new study suggests it may be as easy as spending a few extra hours in bed. Cheri Mah and colleagues from Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco recently published their research on sleep and athletic performance in the journal Sleep.  They introd........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2011
  • 02:52 AM

The Partly Asleep Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Some animals - such as dolphins and whales - are able to "sleep with half their brain". One side of the brain goes into sleep-mode activity while the other remains awake.But a remarkable new study has revealed that something similar may happen in humans as well - every night.The research used a combination of scalp EEG, and electrodes planted inside the brain, to record brain activity from 5 people undergoing surgery to help cure severe epilepsy. The subjects were then allowed to go to sleep for........ Read more »

Nobili L, Ferrara M, Moroni F, De Gennaro L, Russo GL, Campus C, Cardinale F, & De Carli F. (2011) Dissociated wake-like and sleep-like electro-cortical activity during sleep. NeuroImage. PMID: 21718789  

  • July 6, 2011
  • 03:58 PM

The top 11 (or 23) unanswered questions in neuroscience

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

This post has been in my draft for a while, and recently it came up as a question over at Quora, so I finally got around to finishing it.What are the really big questions right now in neuroscience?This is a fun game that a lot of neuroscientists like to play (usually over a few drinks). Generally our responses fall under one of two categories (of which I'd argue all others are just more detailed sub-questions). They are:Consciousness WTF!?How can atoms and molecules combine to a behaving animal?........ 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  

Sadato N, Pascual-Leone A, Grafman J, Ibañez V, Deiber MP, Dold G, & Hallett M. (1996) Activation of the primary visual cortex by Braille reading in blind subjects. Nature, 380(6574), 526-8. PMID: 8606771  

  • July 6, 2011
  • 01:59 PM

Mephedrone Neurochemistry: MDMA-like?

by mtaffe in TLneuro

A discussion of the first report on in vivo neurochemical responses to mephedrone.... Read more »

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