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  • July 7, 2016
  • 11:37 AM
  • 712 views

False-Positive fMRI Hits The Mainstream

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



A new paper in PNAS has made waves. The article, called Cluster failure: Why fMRI inferences for spatial extent have inflated false-positive rates, comes from neuroscientists Swedish neuroscientists Anders Eklund, Tom Nichols, and Hans Knutsson.

According to many of the headlines that greeted "Cluster failure", the paper is a devastating bombshell that could demolish the whole field of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI):
Bug in fMRI software calls 15 years of research into ques... Read more »

Eklund A, Nichols TE, & Knutsson H. (2016) Cluster failure: Why fMRI inferences for spatial extent have inflated false-positive rates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 27357684  

  • July 7, 2016
  • 09:09 AM
  • 866 views

Are animals (and AI’s) people too?

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Charles gets up and balances on his short legs. During the brief ungainly walk to the dais, he fights the urge to scratch his arms. The vest that has been tailor-made for him itches. But it will help focus the committee on his purpose, focus on him as a person. He squats on the low […]... Read more »

Perring C. (1997) Degrees of personhood. The Journal of medicine and philosophy, 22(2), 173-97. PMID: 9186928  

Windrem MS, Schanz SJ, Morrow C, Munir J, Chandler-Militello D, Wang S, & Goldman SA. (2014) A competitive advantage by neonatally engrafted human glial progenitors yields mice whose brains are chimeric for human glia. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(48), 16153-61. PMID: 25429155  

  • June 20, 2016
  • 04:10 PM
  • 363 views

Fear factor: A new genetic candidate for treating PTSD

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have identified a new genetic candidate for testing therapies that might affect fear learning in people with PTSD or other conditions. Individuals with trauma- and stress-related disorders can manifest symptoms of these conditions in a variety of ways. Genetic risk factors for these and other psychiatric disorders have been established but do not explain the diversity of symptoms seen in the clinic - why are some individuals affected more severely than others and why do some respond ........ Read more »

Knoll, A., Halladay, L., Holmes, A., & Levitt, P. (2016) Quantitative Trait Loci and a Novel Genetic Candidate for Fear Learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(23), 6258-6268. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0177-16.2016  

  • June 18, 2016
  • 04:25 PM
  • 582 views

Mothers with diabetes more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mothers of children with autism and were diagnosed with metabolic conditions during pregnancy, particularly gestational and type 2 diabetes, were more likely to have anti-fetal brain autoantibodies in their blood compared to healthy women of children with autism. The presence of these anti-fetal brain autoantibodies has been previously found to be specific to some mothers of children with autism and rare among mothers of children without autism.

... Read more »

  • June 16, 2016
  • 03:52 PM
  • 543 views

Postpartum depression least severe form of depression in mothers

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Postpartum depression--a household term since actress Brooke Shields went public in 2005 about her struggle with it--is indeed serious. But depression that begins before or during pregnancy is often more severe because it lasts longer and usually goes undetected until the doctor screens for it after the birth of the baby.

... Read more »

  • June 16, 2016
  • 11:01 AM
  • 451 views

Reflections On Voodoo Neuroscience

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Seven years ago, neuroscientists Ed Vul and colleagues made waves with their paper on 'voodoo correlations' in social neuroscience. Now, in a new paper, historian of medicine Cornelius Borck looks back on the voodoo correlations debate and asks whether neuroscience might be likened to voodoo in another sense.



Borck argues that neuroscience has something in common with animism, the religious belief that spirits inhabit various objects. In particular, he says, fMRI studies can be likened to... Read more »

Borck, C. (2016) Animating Brains. Medical History, 60(03), 308-324. DOI: 10.1017/mdh.2016.25  

  • June 14, 2016
  • 12:18 PM
  • 565 views

Nurturing the Gifted

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

My photo of Mozart No one denies the importance of public education. Raising graduation rates and academic ability in the general population are highly accepted education system goals. Additionally, identification of learning disorders and the barriers to academic progress are the focus of many.However, the study of the gifted is perhaps no less important but this topic receives less attention and research.Matthew Makel and colleagues at Duke University and Vanderbi........ Read more »

Kell HJ, Lubinski D, Benbow CP, & Steiger JH. (2013) Creativity and technical innovation: spatial ability's unique role. Psychological science, 24(9), 1831-6. PMID: 23846718  

  • June 11, 2016
  • 05:29 AM
  • 856 views

The Four-Dimensional Brain?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

"The brain is a three dimensional object." It would seem that this is one of the least controversial facts about the brain, something we can all agree on. But now, in a curious new paper, researchers Arturo Tozzi and James F. Peters suggest that the brain might have an extra dimension: Towards a fourth spatial dimension of brain activity


From topology, a strong concept comes into play in understanding brain functions, namely, the 4D space of a ‘‘hypersphere’s torus’’, undetectable by........ Read more »

Tozzi A, & Peters JF. (2016) Towards a fourth spatial dimension of brain activity. Cognitive neurodynamics, 10(3), 189-99. PMID: 27275375  

  • June 10, 2016
  • 08:31 AM
  • 744 views

Decoding Faces from the Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In a fascinating new paper, researchers Hongmi Lee and Brice A. Kuhl report that they can decode faces from neural activity. Armed with a brain scanner, they can reconstruct which face a participant has in mind. It's a cool technique that really seems to fit the description of 'mind reading' - although the method's accuracy is only modest.


Here's how they did it. Lee and Kuhl started out with a set of over 1000 color photos of different faces. During an fMRI scan, these images were shown to... Read more »

Lee H, & Kuhl BA. (2016) Reconstructing Perceived and Retrieved Faces from Activity Patterns in Lateral Parietal Cortex. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(22), 6069-82. PMID: 27251627  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 04:08 PM
  • 754 views

Air pollution affects young people's psychiatric health

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Smog has been a part of modern life since the industrial revolution, unfortunately all that pollution isn't just hurting the environment -- but come on, you saw this coming... right? New research from Sweden indicates that dispensed medication for psychiatric diagnosis can be related to air pollution concentrations. More and more studies show that the brain and human cognitive development are affected by pollution.

... Read more »

  • June 7, 2016
  • 05:40 PM
  • 522 views

Mobilizing mitochondria may be key to regenerating damaged neurons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Mitochondria, sure it's the powerhouse of the cell, but maybe it can be much more that. At least that's what it looks like thanks to researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke who have discovered that boosting the transport of mitochondria along neuronal axons enhances the ability of mouse nerve cells to repair themselves after injury.

... Read more »

Bing Zhou, Panpan Yu, Mei-Yao Lin, Tao Sun, Yanmin Chen, & Zu-Hang Sheng. (2016) Facilitation of axon regeneration by enhancing mitochondrial transport and rescuing energy deficits. Journal of Cell Biology. info:/10.1083/jcb.201605101

  • June 7, 2016
  • 01:06 AM
  • 720 views

Advil Increases Social Pain (if you're male)

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Headache, Guillaume DELEBARRE (Guigui-Lille)A recent neuroessay in the New York Times asked, Can Tylenol Help Heal a Broken Heart?What’s crazy about the pain of a broken heart is that your body perceives it as physical pain.No it does not. Do you feel heartbroken every time you stub your toe?Well... I guess the social pain = physical pain isomorphism is a one way street. Anyway, the author continued:In research published in 2010, scientists found that acetaminophen can reduce physical and neur........ Read more »

  • June 6, 2016
  • 11:50 AM
  • 584 views

Neuroscience Medicine: The Time Has Come

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

As basic and clinical sciences advance, it becomes increasing important to understand the role of multidisciplinary efforts in scientific progress. In this post, I propose rethinking and renaming the medically-related neuroscience disciplines into a new specialty called neuroscience medicine.Basic neuroscience research has evolved and emerged as a powerful discipline due to the increasing use of multidisciplinary research teams. Basic neuroscience involves collaboration of various scientifi........ Read more »

  • June 3, 2016
  • 02:55 PM
  • 581 views

Zika virus directly infects brain cells and evades immune system detection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to microcephaly and other neurological problems in newborns of affected mothers directly infects the brain progenitor cells destined to become neurons. The team of researchers used a strain of Zika currently impacting the Americas, and found that the virus infects about 20 percent of cells on average, evades immune system detection, and continues to replicate for weeks.

... Read more »

  • June 2, 2016
  • 12:11 PM
  • 676 views

The Future of Neuroscience Education

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I spent the majority of my career in medical education and saw significant changes over time.One encouraging sign was the emergence of neuroscience as a respected and beneficial academic discipline.Now, a new perspective on Neuroscience Training for the 21st Center has been written by Huda Akil and colleagues. This perspective is recently published in the journal Neuron with free access to the full-text manuscript.Here are my notes from reading this perspective. Readers can access the free full-........ Read more »

Akil, H., Balice-Gordon, R., Cardozo, D., Koroshetz, W., Posey Norris, S., Sherer, T., Sherman, S., & Thiels, E. (2016) Neuroscience Training for the 21st Century. Neuron, 90(5), 917-926. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.030  

  • June 1, 2016
  • 12:35 PM
  • 582 views

Pain Prevalence in Dementia

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The development of speech and language impairment in dementia presents barriers in many clinical domains.One important clinical domain is assessment and management of pain. Dementia may preclude spontaneous or interview-elicited pain reporting.A report today in MedicalXpress noted reduced reporting of pain in patients with diabetes and cognitive impairment.I was able to locate one free full-text manuscript reviewing the prevalence of pain in various types of dementias. This literature review fou........ Read more »

van Kooten J, Binnekade TT, van der Wouden JC, Stek ML, Scherder EJ, Husebø BS, Smalbrugge M, & Hertogh CM. (2016) A Review of Pain Prevalence in Alzheimer's, Vascular, Frontotemporal and Lewy Body Dementias. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders, 41(3-4), 220-32. PMID: 27160163  

  • May 31, 2016
  • 11:30 PM
  • 782 views

42: the answer to life, the universe and everything (i.e., consciousness)

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll In his work  “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Douglas Adams defined that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. Now a group of scientists measured glucose metabolism in brains in a resting … Continue reading →... Read more »

Stender, J., Mortensen, K., Thibaut, A., Darkner, S., Laureys, S., Gjedde, A., & Kupers, R. (2016) The Minimal Energetic Requirement of Sustained Awareness after Brain Injury. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.024  

  • May 31, 2016
  • 03:33 AM
  • 578 views

Of mice and NREM: In this brain circuit, memories depend on sleep

by neuroamanda in It Ain't Magic

Neuroamanda explains a recent study that showed how top-down signals during NREM sleep affect memory consolidation in mice.... Read more »

Miyamoto, D., Hirai, D., Fung, C., Inutsuka, A., Odagawa, M., Suzuki, T., Boehringer, R., Adaikkan, C., Matsubara, C., Matsuki, N.... (2016) Top-down cortical input during NREM sleep consolidates perceptual memory. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0902  

  • May 30, 2016
  • 06:30 AM
  • 637 views

Foreign language syndrome: the Italian who became "French"

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover



A curious case report from Italian neuropsychologists Nicoletta Beschin and colleagues: Compulsive foreign language syndrome: a clinical observation not a mystery

The authors describe a 50 year old Italian man, JC, who turned into a 'caricature' of a Frenchman after a brain injury caused by a vascular anomaly. JC insisted in speaking French at all times, even though his knowledge of the language was rather poor (he had learned it at school, but not practiced it for decades.) What's more, ... Read more »

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