Expert wine tasters can supposedly tell the difference between a cheap wine and a more expensive one. But research shows that a measurable portion of the actually perceived taste difference is solely due to a neurological response to knowing the wine's price tag. So I have to ask: What is the Taste of $90?...... Read more »
Plassmann, H., O'Doherty, J., Shiv, B., & Rangel, A. (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(3), 1050-1054. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the radiofrequency ablation device, adapted from surgical oncology procedures to apply a focal high frequency alternating current to the region of the amygdala.Alternatively, a gamma knife-like TMS application, slyly incorporated into a metal detector, temporarily deactivates the amygdala when each customer enters the casino.Figure 2. Adjustable transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) helmet incorporated into a Metor 200 Walk-Thru Metal Detector.What was the inspir........ Read more »
How Much Is Decided Even Before Birth?
“The daughter of Virata… (was) exceedingly afflicted by grief on account of the death of her husband…they all feared that the embryo in her womb might be destroyed.” – The Mahabharata (~500 BC).
This quote from the Mahabharata, and many other examples from literature, reiterate the sentiment that the emotional [...]... Read more »
DiPietro, J., Novak, M., Costigan, K., Atella, L., & Reusing, S. (2006) Maternal Psychological Distress During Pregnancy in Relation to Child Development at Age Two. Child Development, 77(3), 573-587. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00891.x
The criteria used to assign patients to specific psychiatric disease categories are set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. (There is also a World Health Organisation equivalent, the International Classification of Disease). Every so often, these criteria are revised to reflect new research and changing concepts of disease. The APA has just released a draft of preliminary revisions to the current diagnost........ Read more »
LICHTENSTEIN, P., YIP, B., BJORK, C., PAWITAN, Y., CANNON, T., SULLIVAN, P., & HULTMAN, C. (2009) Common genetic determinants of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Swedish families: a population-based study. The Lancet, 373(9659), 234-239. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60072-6
Rzhetsky, A., Wajngurt, D., Park, N., & Zheng, T. (2007) Probing genetic overlap among complex human phenotypes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(28), 11694-11699. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0704820104
Sebat J, Levy DL, & McCarthy SE. (2009) Rare structural variants in schizophrenia: one disorder, multiple mutations; one mutation, multiple disorders. Trends in genetics : TIG, 25(12), 528-35. PMID: 19883952
How simple is it to treat somnambulism? The recent popularity of the recorded alter-ego of 'Sleep-Talking Man' has me looking at what research has been done.... Read more »
Harris M, & Grunstein RR. (2009) Treatments for somnambulism in adults: assessing the evidence. Sleep medicine reviews, 13(4), 295-7. PMID: 19046651
Siddiqui F, Osuna E, & Chokroverty S. (2009) Writing emails as part of sleepwalking after increase in Zolpidem. Sleep medicine, 10(2), 262-4. PMID: 19059805
Not only does the mammalian sirtuin SIRT1 mediate the lifespan extension phenotype of caloric restriction (CR), it is also involved in controlling behavior (such as food intake) in response to CR (and possibly during ad libitum feeding as well).
Two recent papers with consistent results address the issue. Both studies employed brain-specific knockouts of SIRT1; [...]... Read more »
Çakir, I., Perello, M., Lansari, O., Messier, N., Vaslet, C., & Nillni, E. (2009) Hypothalamic Sirt1 Regulates Food Intake in a Rodent Model System. PLoS ONE, 4(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008322
Cohen, D., Supinski, A., Bonkowski, M., Donmez, G., & Guarente, L. (2009) Neuronal SIRT1 regulates endocrine and behavioral responses to calorie restriction. Genes , 23(24), 2812-2817. DOI: 10.1101/gad.1839209
A recently accepted paper shows that working in an oxygen deprived environment can gosh darn it, build muscle when doing resistance work. WHile jokes might start about the variety of ways that one could replicate a near-asphyxiated space - from smoking to putting a plastic bag (with some holes) over one's head - i'm thinking that in the case of resistance training (as opposed to altitude/endurance where there's a definite blood/muscle adaptation), based on the findings, we're........ Read more »
Kon, M., Ikeda, T., Homma, T., Akimoto, T., Suzuki, Y., & Kawahara, T. (2009) Effects of Acute Hypoxia on Metabolic and Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise. Medicine , 1. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181ce61a5
For most of us, familiar surroundings are comforting. Familiar places and faces offer a sense of stability in the maelstrom of everyday life. This seems especially true when we’re going through hard times; perhaps any port in the storm will suffice, but the one you know best is doubtless the one you’d rather find.
But does familiarity hold the same value if we’re feeling on top of the world? In other words, does the warm glow of what we know always stay strong despite our ........ Read more »
de Vries, M., Holland, R., Chenier, T., Starr, M., & Winkielman, P. (2010) Happiness Cools the Warm Glow of Familiarity: Psychophysiological Evidence That Mood Modulates the Familiarity-Affect Link. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797609359878
When you smoke pot, you get stoned.Simple. But it's not really, because stoned can involve many different effects, depending upon the user's mental state, the situation, the variety and strength of the marijuana, and so forth. It can be pleasurable, or unpleasant. It can lead to relaxed contentment, or anxiety and panic. And it can feature hallucinations and alterations of thinking, some of which resemble psychotic symptoms.In Central nervous system effects of haloperidol on THC in healthy male ........ Read more »
Liem-Moolenaar, M., Te Beek, E., de Kam, M., Franson, K., Kahn, R., Hijman, R., Touw, D., & van Gerven, J. (2010) Central nervous system effects of haloperidol on THC in healthy male volunteers. Journal of Psychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1177/0269881109358200
Meditation is different from rest or sleep. It’s a wakeful hypometabolic state with lowered sympathetic activity as opposed to the fight and flight reactions which requires an active sympathetic system. Parasympathetic activity is increased which is important for relaxation and rest. This increase of parasympathetic state is characterized by reduced heart rate, lower systolic blood [...]
Related posts:Neuroscience of Learning Arithmetic Maybe I have told you in the a previous...
The Ne........ Read more »
Rubia, K. (2009) The neurobiology of Meditation and its clinical effectiveness in psychiatric disorders. Biological Psychology, 82(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2009.04.003
Transcendence: the belief that you are connected in ineffable ways to the world around you, that you are not limited by your body but can go beyond it in mysterious ways.The feeling of transcendence seems to be linked to the right parietal lobe. Brain scans of meditating Buddhist monks show decreased activity in this area, and people with brain damage in the region report feeling more spiritual.Now a new study has taken a closer look in patients undergoing surgery for brain tumours. Using a sens........ Read more »
Urgesi, C., Aglioti, S., Skrap, M., & Fabbro, F. (2010) The Spiritual Brain: Selective Cortical Lesions Modulate Human Self-Transcendence. Neuron, 65(3), 309-319. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.01.026
Brain imaging studies are often both fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. They shine a light on activity patterns within the brain that occur during various aspects of behaviour, movement and perception. The problem comes when we try to negotiate the minefield of drawing conclusions.
Acupuncture is a widely used and advocated treatment for pain (as [...]... Read more »
Asghar, A., Green, G., Lythgoe, M., Lewith, G., & MacPherson, H. (2010) Acupuncture needling sensation: The neural correlates of deqi using fMRI. Brain Research, 111-118. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.12.019
Madsen MV, Gøtzsche PC, & Hróbjartsson A. (2009) Acupuncture treatment for pain: systematic review of randomised clinical trials with acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, and no acupuncture groups. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 19174438
It's interesting how the public's impression of dyslexia differs from the impressions of researchers in the field. I recently read an article by Vidyasagar and Pammer arguing that dyslexia is a visual deficit. To the general public, this claim seems obvious because most people believe that people with dyslexia see things backwards.
Many dyslexia researchers, however, will find this claim
... Read more »
Vidyasagar, T., & Pammer, K. (2010) Dyslexia: a deficit in visuo-spatial attention, not in phonological processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(2), 57-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.12.003
Pardon the title, but it somewhat shocking news (to me, anyways), it turns out stuttering is genetic. A study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine has identified mutations in two genes - GNPTAB and GNPT - that seem to cause stuttering. These mutations seem to be found in stutterers around the world, although the initial mutations were identified in a Pakistani family.The real odd thing though is what these genes do - they're involved in sending proteins to lysosomes; our cell........ Read more »
Kang, C., Riazuddin, S., Mundorff, J., Krasnewich, D., Friedman, P., Mullikin, J., & Drayna, D. (2010) Mutations in the Lysosomal Enzyme-Targeting Pathway and Persistent Stuttering. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0902630
we may be able to use heart rate variability (HRV) to help detect and so address depression - another stressor. A 2009 study has shown promising results in terms of using HRV to detect if someone is still suffering from the effects of depression. The study looked at folks who were returning to work after being off for depression, and having been cleared to come back to work.... Read more »
Takada, M., Ebara, T., & Kamijima, M. (2009) Heart rate variability assessment in Japanese workers recovered from depressive disorders resulting from job stress: measurements in the workplace. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. DOI: 10.1007/s00420-009-0499-1
Every so often this cocaine vaccine issue rears its head again. I saw it again just the other day. The problem is, of course, the tendency of the media (ain't it always the media) to say something like "OMG THIS IS TEH CURE FOR EVERYTHING!" in response to one small study. And who knows, the cocaine vaccine may indeed be the cure for everything, but Sci needs to see some big trials before she gets her hopes up. As it is, the studies I have seen provide some interesting clues, but also provide........ Read more »
Haney, M., Gunderson, E., Jiang, H., Collins, E., & Foltin, R. (2010) Cocaine-Specific Antibodies Blunt the Subjective Effects of Smoked Cocaine in Humans. Biological Psychiatry, 67(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.08.031
A recent study in the American Academy of Neurology found that people with Alzheimer’s disease have a significantly reduced risk of being hospitalized for cancer.... Read more »
Roe CM, Fitzpatrick AL, Xiong C, Sieh W, Kuller L, Miller JP, Williams MM, Kopan R, Behrens MI, & Morris JC. (2010) Cancer linked to Alzheimer disease but not vascular dementia. Neurology, 74(2), 106-12. PMID: 20032288
How many of you have headed off to ‘Therapy Worksheets’ blog? Yes, that’s the one I’ve linked to in my roundup of the best CBT resources on the internet. Will Baum, the editor of that blog is also the author of where the client is, a blog about professional private practice in mental health care. [...]... Read more »
YUNUS, M. (2007) Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 36(6), 339-356. DOI: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2006.12.009
This video is about mirror neurons. These mirror neurons are the key to many aspects of social interaction. It allows us to understand the actions, feelings of others. In a way to “read their minds”. Possibly mirror neurons play an important role in empathy , an important asset for physicians.
But were do they come from [...]
Related posts:About Mirror Neurons Mirror Neurons are important for imitation and emulation but...
The Hidden and Informal Curriculum During Medical Educati........ Read more »
My field of natural products pharmacology was founded by indigenous cultures who recognized that plants and fungi contain compounds that produce altered states of consciousness, leading to their most common use in religious ceremonies. While we may most often associate these naturally-occurring drugs with hallucinogens, the arguably most common natural product in use today is marijuana or Cannabis sativa. Indigenous to India and China, Cannabis has been the subject of increasing decriminalizati........ Read more »
Aung MM, Griffin G, Huffman JW, Wu M, Keel C, Yang B, Showalter VM, Abood ME, & Martin BR. (2000) Influence of the N-1 alkyl chain length of cannabimimetic indoles upon CB(1) and CB(2) receptor binding. Drug and alcohol dependence, 60(2), 133-40. PMID: 10940540
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