Post List

Neuroscience posts

(Modify Search »)

  • October 5, 2015
  • 06:48 PM

Gut bacteria population, diversity linked to anorexia nervosa

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine found that people with anorexia nervosa have very different microbial communities residing inside their guts compared to healthy individuals and that this bacterial imbalance is associated with some of the psychological symptoms related to the eating disorder.... Read more »

Kleiman, S., Watson, H., Bulik-Sullivan, E., Huh, E., Tarantino, L., Bulik, C., & Carroll, I. (2015) The Intestinal Microbiota in Acute Anorexia Nervosa and During Renourishment. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000247  

  • October 4, 2015
  • 01:39 PM

Brain networking: behind the cognitive control of thoughts

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The human brain does not come with an operating manual. However, a group of scientists have developed a way to convert structural brain imaging techniques into “wiring diagrams” of connections between brain regions. Three researchers from UCSB’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences — Michael Miller, Scott Grafton and Matt Cieslak — used the structure of neural networks to reveal the fundamental rules that govern which parts of the brain are most able to exert cognitive control ........ Read more »

Gu, S., Pasqualetti, F., Cieslak, M., Telesford, Q., Yu, A., Kahn, A., Medaglia, J., Vettel, J., Miller, M., Grafton, S.... (2015) Controllability of structural brain networks. Nature Communications, 8414. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9414  

  • October 2, 2015
  • 07:47 PM

High-fructose diet slows recovery from brain injury

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Well bad news for those of us who have a sweet tooth, a diet high in processed fructose sabotages rat brains’ ability to heal after head trauma, UCLA neuroscientists report. While this doesn’t necessarily translate to humans quite yet, it should still raise a few eyebrows given the results from the study.... Read more »

Rahul Agrawal, Emily Noble1, Laurent Vergnes, Zhe Ying1, Karen Reue, & Fernando Gomez-Pinilla. (2015) Dietary fructose aggravates the pathobiology of traumatic brain injury by influencing energy homeostasis and plasticity. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow . info:/10.1177/0271678X15606719

  • October 2, 2015
  • 10:41 AM

Academic Performance in Adolescents: Behavioral Correlates

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Galileo Bust in Galileo Museum, Florence (wryates photo)There is a significant level of interest in the best behavioral activity balance in adolescents.Adolescents currently live in an environment of expanding opportunities for spending time watching TV, surfing the internet and playing video games.Understanding the best balance of study, exercise and time in front of a screen is an important topic.Kristen Corder and colleagues recently examined adolescent behavioral activity patterns and perfor........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2015
  • 02:41 PM

Coincidence or conspiracy? Studies investigate conspiracist thinking

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In pop culture, conspiracy believers — like FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X Files or professor Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code — tend to reject the notion of coincidence or chance; even the most random-seeming events are thought to result from some sort of intention or design. And researchers have suggested that such a bias against randomness may explain real-world conspiracy beliefs. But new research from psychological scientists shows no evidence for a link between conspiracist thinking ........ Read more »

  • September 30, 2015
  • 10:09 PM

Scientists identify key receptor as potential target for treatment of autism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered a significant–and potentially treatable–relationship between a chemical that helps transmit signals in the brain and genetic mutations present in a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The new research findings focus on the role that the neurotransmitter serotonin plays in the development of social behavior.... Read more »

  • September 30, 2015
  • 11:29 AM

iPad Intervention Boosts Cognition in Schizophrenia

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In a previous post, I summarized some of the current thinking on the use of cognitive enhancement drugs in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ADHD and schizophrenia.This summary was based on a review by Gabe Howard and colleagues. The review also included a summary of a clinical trial using an iPad cognitive training app for the treatment of cognition in schizophrenia.Here are the key elements of the study and the results.Study sample: 22 adults with a diagnosis of DSM-5 schizophrenia, sc........ Read more »

Sahakian BJ, Bruhl AB, Cook J, Killikelly C, Savulich G, Piercy T, Hafizi S, Perez J, Fernandez-Egea E, Suckling J.... (2015) The impact of neuroscience on society: cognitive enhancement in neuropsychiatric disorders and in healthy people. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1677). PMID: 26240429  

  • September 30, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

Going Up That Hill: Cardiovascular Health and Hiking in Older Adults

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Researchers from Europe investigated the cardiovascular effects of a single episode of physical activity (hiking uphill) in older adults.... Read more »

Button K, Ioannidis J, Mokrysz C, Nosek B, Flint J, Robinson E, & Munafò M. (2013) Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(5), 365-376. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3475  

Gatterer H, Raab C, Pramsohler S, Faulhaber M, Burtscher M, & Netzer N. (2014) Effect of weekly hiking on cardiovascular risk factors in the elderly. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 48(2), 150-153. DOI: 10.1007/s00391-014-0622-0  

  • September 29, 2015
  • 02:37 PM

Scientists to bypass brain damage by re-encoding memories

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at USC and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a brain prosthesis that is designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss. The prosthesis, which includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain, has performed well in laboratory testing in animals and is currently being evaluated in human patients.... Read more »

  • September 29, 2015
  • 11:04 AM

Cognitive Enhancers in Neuroscience Medicine

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Neuropsychiatric disorders cause impairment via multiple pathways. One pathway to impairment is cognitive impairment via attention problems, cognitive slowing and memory disruption.Barbara Sahakian and colleagues recently published an interesting manuscript examining the issue of cognitive enhancement.Their review begins by summarizing some of the research related to cognitive enhancement in four neuropsychiatric syndromes. I will summarize their main points by specific disorder.Alzheimer's Dise........ Read more »

Sahakian BJ, Bruhl AB, Cook J, Killikelly C, Savulich G, Piercy T, Hafizi S, Perez J, Fernandez-Egea E, Suckling J.... (2015) The impact of neuroscience on society: cognitive enhancement in neuropsychiatric disorders and in healthy people. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1677). PMID: 26240429  

  • September 28, 2015
  • 07:22 PM

Connecting Alzheimer’s disease and the immune system

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The role of the immune system in Alzheimer’s disease is a hot topic, but exactly how the two are connected and what interventions could help lower risk remain a mystery. In a new study, researchers in the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) investigate how genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease may influence a key type of immune cell. Their results lay the groundwork for designing better therapeutic strategies and better prediction tools fo........ Read more »

Chan, G., White, C., Winn, P., Cimpean, M., Replogle, J., Glick, L., Cuerdon, N., Ryan, K., Johnson, K., Schneider, J.... (2015) CD33 modulates TREM2: convergence of Alzheimer loci. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.4126  

  • September 28, 2015
  • 12:48 PM

What Animals Contageously Yawn?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Does this sight make you want to yawn? A yawning Japanese macaque by Daisuke Tashiro at Wikimedia Commons.Do you think it would make other animals want to yawn? Many animals yawn spontaneously, but yawning in response to sensing or thinking about someone else doing it may be a completely different thing. Contagious yawning requires a sense of social connection and emotional empathy that not all species share. So far, scientists have found experimental evidence of contagious yawning in humans, ch........ Read more »

  • September 27, 2015
  • 01:02 AM

Neurohackers Gone Wild!

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Scene from Listening, a new neuro science fiction film by writer-director Khalil Sullins. What are some of the goals of research in human neuroscience?To explain how the mind works.To unravel the mysteries of consciousness and free will.To develop better treatments for mental and neurological illnesses.To allow paralyzed individuals to walk again.Brain decoding experiments that use fMRI or ECoG (direct recordings of the brain in epilepsy patients) to deduce what a person is looking at or sa........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2015
  • 02:59 PM

Mexico City’s air pollution has detrimental impact on Alzheimer’s disease gene

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study by researchers heightens concerns over the detrimental impact of air pollution on hippocampal metabolites as early markers of neurodegeneration in young urbanites carrying an allele 4 of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE). This is associated with the risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) and a susceptibility marker for poor outcome in traumatic brain injury (TBI) recovery.... Read more »

  • September 22, 2015
  • 05:02 PM

Genetic analysis supports prediction that spontaneous rare mutations cause half of autism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team led by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has published a new analysis of data on the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One commonly held theory is that autism results from the chance combinations of commonly occurring gene mutations, which are otherwise harmless. But the authors’ work provides support for a different theory.... Read more »

Ivan Iossifov, Dan Levy, Jeremy Allen, Kenny Ye, Michael Ronemus, Yoon-ha Lee, Boris Yamrom, & Michael Wigler. (2015) Low load for disruptive mutations in autism genes and their biased transmission. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America. info:/

  • September 22, 2015
  • 08:21 AM

Time to Rethink the Reconsolidation Theory of Memory?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An influential theory about the malleability of memory comes under scrutiny in a new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The 'reconsolidation' hypothesis holds that when a memory is recalled, its molecular trace in the brain becomes plastic. On this view, a reactivated memory has to be 'saved' or consolidated all over again in order for it to be stored.

A drug that blocks memory formation ('amnestic') will, therefore, not just block new memories but will also cause reactivated m... Read more »

  • September 21, 2015
  • 02:18 PM

‘Delayed remembering’: Kids can remember tomorrow what they forgot today

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For adults, memories tend to fade with time. But a new study has shown that there are circumstances under which the opposite is true for small children: they can remember a piece of information better days later than they can on the day they first learned it. While playing a video game that asked them to remember associations between objects, 4- and 5-year-olds who re-played the game after a two-day delay scored more than 20 percent higher than kids who re-played it later the same day.... Read more »

Kevin Darby. (20115) ‘Delayed remembering’: kids can remember tomorrow what they forgot today. Psychological Science. info:/

  • September 20, 2015
  • 03:01 PM

A barrier against brain stem cell aging

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Neural stem cells generate new neurons throughout life in the mammalian brain. However, with advancing age the potential for regeneration in the brain dramatically declines. Scientists now identified a novel mechanism of how neural stem cells stay relatively free of aging-induced damage. A diffusion barrier regulates the sorting of damaged proteins during cell division.... Read more »

Moore, D., Pilz, G., Arauzo-Bravo, M., Barral, Y., & Jessberger, S. (2015) A mechanism for the segregation of age in mammalian neural stem cells. Science, 349(6254), 1334-1338. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9868  

  • September 19, 2015
  • 02:49 PM

Schizophrenia: Repairing the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research led by scientists from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) has linked the abnormal behaviour of two genes (BDNF and DTNBP1) to the underlying cause of schizophrenia. These findings have provided a new target for schizophrenia treatment.... Read more »

  • September 18, 2015
  • 03:14 PM

Types of athletic training affect how brain communicates with muscles

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Using endurance training or strength and resistance training not only prepares an athlete for different types of sports, they can also change the way the brain and muscles communicate with each other.... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use 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.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit