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  • November 28, 2014
  • 11:56 AM
  • 1 view

New discovery sheds light on the forming brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The cerebral cortex, which controls higher processes such as perception, thought and cognition, is the most complex structure in the mammalian central nervous system. Although much is known about the intricate structure of this brain region, the processes governing its formation remain uncertain. Research has now uncovered how feedback between cells, as well as molecular factors, helps shape cortical development during mouse embryogenesis.... Read more »

  • November 28, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 2 views

Thanksgiving Special: Uncovering the link between sleep and food

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

If you ate a big Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, you probably felt drowsy and sluggish afterward, a phenomenon often referred to as a “food coma”. The belief that it’s caused by the tryptophan in turkey is a long busted myth, and in fact it can happen after any carb-heavy meal. The reasons for this post-food slump […]... Read more »

Shang Yuhua, Christopher G. Vecsey, Fang Guo, Michael Rosbash, & Leslie C. Griffith. (2013) Short Neuropeptide F Is a Sleep-Promoting Inhibitory Modulator. Neuron, 80(1), 171-183. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.07.029  

  • November 27, 2014
  • 07:37 PM
  • 29 views

Does hot cocoa delay brain aging?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: downloaded from http://www.wallpapermania.eu/, artist unknown. One of the most enjoyable things about the holidays is curling up with a good book and a cup of...... Read more »

Brickman AM, Khan UA, Provenzano FA, Yeung LK, Suzuki W, Schroeter H, Wall M, Sloan RP, & Small SA. (2014) Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults. Nature neuroscience, 17(12), 1798-803. PMID: 25344629  

  • November 27, 2014
  • 12:40 PM
  • 30 views

Fragile X and a new autism treatment

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There are many roads to autism, none of them involve vaccination. I get tired of saying that, but it’s simple science, vaccines do not cause autism. Thankfully science knows this and is looking at not only what actually causes autism (Since again there are many different ways to develop on the spectrum). Well they may have found a new treatment for people affected by a common inherited form of autism by using a drug that is being tested as a treatment for cancer.... Read more »

Gkogkas, C., Khoutorsky, A., Cao, R., Jafarnejad, S., Prager-Khoutorsky, M., Giannakas, N., Kaminari, A., Fragkouli, A., Nader, K., Price, T.... (2014) Pharmacogenetic Inhibition of eIF4E-Dependent Mmp9 mRNA Translation Reverses Fragile X Syndrome-like Phenotypes. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.064  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 03:20 PM
  • 55 views

Need to turn off the pain? Well now we can!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My sister suffers from chronic pain issues. I’ve written several posts about how her autoimmune disease is a special brand of pain that you will thankfully (almost certainly) never have to feel. While great strides have been made in pain management, there are still relatively few options that do not carry the risk of being extremely addictive. Well thankfully there is some new research and it offers hope, not just for my sister, but for the millions of people suffering from chronic pain that ........ Read more »

Little JW, Ford A, Symons-Liguori AM, Chen Z, Janes K, Doyle T, Xie J, Luongo L, Tosh DK, Maione S.... (2014) Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 25414036  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 03:01 PM
  • 52 views

Synesthesia can be learned

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Synesthesia is a condition where one stimulus (like a letter) automatically is experienced with another attribute (like a colour) that is not actually present. About 4% of people have some form of this sensory mixing. It has been generally assumed that synesthesia is inherited because it runs in families. But it has been clear that […]... Read more »

Bor, D., Rothen, N., Schwartzman, D., Clayton, S., & Seth, A. (2014) Adults Can Be Trained to Acquire Synesthetic Experiences. Scientific Reports, 7089. DOI: 10.1038/srep07089  

  • November 26, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 46 views

Treatment Resistance in Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating patients with eating disorders find the challenge great with many treatment-resistant cases.To some extent, this is true of any clinical disorder. Outpatient treatment rolls and inpatient samples are over-represented by those failing to respond to initial interventions.A medical example is helpful here. Endocrinologists specializing in diabetes see more complicated cases where glucose control is difficult and diabetic complications are common.Diabetics with easy glucose contr........ Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 09:35 AM
  • 53 views

Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Think you’re in control of your own body? A simple virtual-reality session could not only make you feel like an avatar’s body is your own, but make you speak more like the digital character. First there was the rubber-hand illusion, a classic experiment that showed syncing up someone’s touch perceptions with what they see happening […]The post Illusion Makes People Speak with the Voice of Their Avatar appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

  • November 23, 2014
  • 02:09 PM
  • 80 views

Love, it’s in your genes

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Most kids worry about passing tests, winning games, lost phones, fractured bones—and whether or not they will ever really fall in love. While the first few things are of relatively low value in the scientific pursuit, three Chinese researchers have focused on that last question. All in a bid to find out some of the more interesting questions about our genes: Why do some students stay single? What factors determine if a young adult falls in love?... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 09:10 AM
  • 93 views

Science Identifies The Catchiest Songs Ever – Did Your Favorite Make The List?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Using science, researchers are studying what makes songs catchy as a way to understand learning and memory. Did your favorite song make the list? ... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:54 PM
  • 75 views

The impact of powered prosthetic failures on the user

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Prosthetics have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. With the ongoing wars in the middle east the need for better prosthetics technologies has become more apparent, to this end we now have prosthetics that will allow a person to "feel", we even have motorized prosthetics that will help allow a more fluid walk, but while powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. Becau........ Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 83 views

Is depression an infectious disease?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Over the past several decades we have seen the advent of a number of new pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, but major depressive disorder remains one of the most common mood disorders in the United States; over 15% of the population will suffer from major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Despite extensive research into the etiology and treatment of depression, we haven't seen a mitigation of the impact depression has on our society. In fact, there have even been a lot of ........ Read more »

  • November 19, 2014
  • 02:39 PM
  • 16 views

Failed Replications: A Reality Check for Neuroscience?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An attempt to replicate the results of some recent neuroscience papers that claimed to find correlations between human brain structure and behavior has drawn a blank. The new paper is by University of Amsterdam researchers Wouter Boekel and colleagues and it’s in press now at Cortex. You can download it here from the webpage of one […]The post Failed Replications: A Reality Check for Neuroscience? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Boekel, W, Wagenmakers, E-J, Belay, L, Verhagen, J, Brown, S, & Forstmann, BU. (2014) A purely confirmatory replication study of structural brain-behavior correlations. Cortex. info:/

  • November 19, 2014
  • 02:24 PM
  • 87 views

How gut microbiota changes the blood-brain barrier

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Don’t be alarmed, but we are outnumbered. When figuring out what makes us, “us” we need to remember that there are far more bacteria genes in us than human genes, by recent counts it’s something like 360 to 1. We also know that your stomach can change your cravings, but now we know that your stomach affects more than just your thoughts. Your stomach can control what can get to your brain.... Read more »

Viorica Braniste, Maha Al-Asmakh, Czeslawa Kowal, Farhana Anuar, Afrouz Abbaspour, Miklós Tóth, Agata Korecka, Nadja Bakocevic, Ng Lai Guan, Parag Kundu.... (2014) The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice. Science Translational Medicine. info:/10.1126/scitranslmed.3009759

  • November 18, 2014
  • 05:14 PM
  • 101 views

Does brain training really work?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever wonder if you could be the next Einstein if only you could do some brain training? Well as it turns out, while computer based ‘brain training’ can boost memory and thinking skills in older adults, many programs promoted by the $1 billion brain training industry are ineffective.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 91 views

Feel like I-dosing? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

"Digital drugs," otherwise known as binaural beats, have sparked an outcry in Lebanon, with the Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi calling Thursday for legal measures to be taken against the product...... Read more »

  • November 17, 2014
  • 03:33 PM
  • 81 views

The (Re)discovery of a major brain pathway

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

It was like something out of a mystery movie, a couple of years ago a scientist, looking at dozens of MRI scans of human brains noticed something surprising. A large, fiber pathway that seemed to be part of the network of connections that process visual information showed up on the scans, but the researcher couldn’t find it mentioned in any of the modern-day anatomy textbooks he had.... Read more »

Brian Wandell, Jason Yeatman, & Kevin Weiner. (2014) The vertical occipital fasciculus: A century of controversy resolved by in vivo measurements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1418503111

  • November 17, 2014
  • 10:55 AM
  • 13 views

Eating Disorders in Obesity: DSM-IV and DSM-5

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The recent revision of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) altered several eating disorder diagnostic criteria.Some have expressed concern that these revisions are overly broad and may result in over diagnosis in some clinical populations. One clinical population where this is a concern is obesity.A research study has been recently published addressing this issue.Jennifer Thomas and colleagues at Harvard University a........ Read more »

  • November 17, 2014
  • 09:15 AM
  • 92 views

Habits and learning

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Habits allow us to perform actions without attending to every detail; we can do complex things and more than one action at a time without overloading our cognitive and motor systems. They are goal-directed macro actions made up of a sequence of simple primitive actions. A habit allows a complex action to be launched as […]... Read more »

Balderas, G. (2014) Habits as learning enhancers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00918  

  • November 16, 2014
  • 08:05 PM
  • 79 views

Canine science catch up: 16-30 September 2014

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Gosh, it's been a busy ride since posting the excellent guest post by research, Cat Reeve, about her interesting detector dog research.  So now it's time to play catch up, starting with the canine science related things that we noticed in the second half of September, captured with the help of Storify - did you miss any of these?[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16 - 30 September 2014]" on Storify]Further reading (some of the abstracts from Canine Science Forum 2014 now available):We........ Read more »

Westgarth Carri, & Hayley E. Christian. (2014) How can we motivate owners to walk their dogs more?. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.023  

Horowitz Alexandra, & Hecht Julie . (2014) Categories and consequences of dog-human play: A citizen science approach. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.052  

Browne Clare M., T. Mary Foster, & James S. McEwan. (2014) Dog training: Reinforcement timing and owner body language. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.059  

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