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All posts; Tags Include "Behavioral Neuroscience"

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  • December 2, 2013
  • 01:02 PM

Adoption Linked to Higher Adult Alcohol and Drug Abuse

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Adoption research can provide a unique perspective for understanding genetic and environmental contributions to brain disorders.In the adoption process, biological (genetic) influences occur outside the biological environment.A variety of adoption studies show genetic influences for risk of childhood and adult brain and behavior disorders. Adoptees with a biological parent with alcohol or drug abuse have higher rates of substance disorders even when raised in adoptive family environments without........ Read more »

  • November 27, 2013
  • 06:55 PM

OTC painkiller may blunt memory loss from puffing pot

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Pot’s not the best thing for your memory. Yes, I know there are functional potheads who enjoy their greens and get also their work done. Still, it’s hard to ignore the legions of studies that show Δ9-THC consumption impairs spatial learning and working memory – that is, the ability to hold several pieces of information […]... Read more »

Rongqing Chen et al. (2013) Δ9-THC-Caused Synaptic and Memory Impairments Are Mediated through COX-2 Signaling. Cell, 155(5), 1154-1165. info:/

  • November 23, 2013
  • 03:07 PM

People with superhuman memories still mistake fantasy for reality

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When I was young, the one superpower I craved above all was perfect memory. I’d picture my eyes as camcorder lenses, recording everything I read, saw and experienced into the Kodak film that was my brain. Anytime I wanted to re-experience something, I’d simply hit a mental “play” button and BAM! The video of my […]... Read more »

Patihis L, Frenda SJ, Leport AK, Petersen N, Nichols RM, Stark CE, McGaugh JL, & Loftus EF. (2013) False memories in highly superior autobiographical memory individuals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24248358  

  • November 20, 2013
  • 12:02 PM

When crowds aren’t so wise

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

Alex Tabarrok recently related a familiar story about the ‘wisdom of the crowds’: I ask the audience to guess my weight. They all wrote their guesses on a piece of paper. All the guesses was collected and an average guess – the “consensus forecast” – was calculated, while I continued my presentation. I started my presentation […]... Read more »

  • November 12, 2013
  • 11:14 AM

Preterm Birth and Risk of Childhood Brain Disorders I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This will be the first in a series of posts on preterm birth. Preterm birth may not seem on the surface important in brain disorders.However, an increasing body of research is showing the importance of preterm birth in later development of childhood and adult brain disorders.An important contribution to this area of research is an Australian study using structured psychiatric assessment in a series of children at age seven who had been born prematurely.The key elements of this study design inclu........ Read more »

Treyvaud K, Ure A, Doyle LW, Lee KJ, Rogers CE, Kidokoro H, Inder TE, & Anderson PJ. (2013) Psychiatric outcomes at age seven for very preterm children: rates and predictors. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 54(7), 772-9. PMID: 23347471  

  • November 3, 2013
  • 11:22 AM

Novel Means to Quantify Physiological Sleepiness

by Allison in Dormivigilia

My postdoctoral laboratory has published a methods paper in the recent issue of Sleep that provides a means to determine physiological sleepiness as it occurs, not de facto. They are mice after all, but if these findings were extrapolated to humans, then the scary reality of just a few hours of sleep loss is apparent-a moving body in a brain that is essentially asleep. ... Read more »

  • October 30, 2013
  • 03:20 PM

The forgotten case of the sleepy virus

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

I spent last night rewatching the Steven Soderbergh classic “Contagion“. Halfway through I realized that a story of an unidentified, mind-bending infectious brain disease would make the perfect neuroscience halloween tale. This is not “based” on a true story. It IS a true story. The year is 1917. Dr. Constantin Economo sat deep in thought, staring […]... Read more »

Vilensky JA, Foley P, & Gilman S. (2007) Children and encephalitis lethargica: a historical review. Pediatric neurology, 37(2), 79-84. PMID: 17675021  

Dourmashkin RR, Dunn G, Castano V, & McCall SA. (2012) Evidence for an enterovirus as the cause of encephalitis lethargica. BMC infectious diseases, 136. PMID: 22715890  

Dale RC, Church AJ, Surtees RA, Lees AJ, Adcock JE, Harding B, Neville BG, & Giovannoni G. (2004) Encephalitis lethargica syndrome: 20 new cases and evidence of basal ganglia autoimmunity. Brain : a journal of neurology, 127(Pt 1), 21-33. PMID: 14570817  

  • October 30, 2013
  • 08:25 AM

Free Will Ain’t Free

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Nature is rife with examples of how one organism can rob another of its free will, turning them into zombies so to say. New evidence is showing that in the case of the Jewel Wasp and the American Cockroach, the wasp is very careful to sting the victim in a certain part of the brain, that which controls the roach’s ability to initiate walking. This is based on the neurotransmitter octopamine, but additional research shows that the change is not due to alterations in octopamine production le........ Read more »

Herzner G, Schlecht A, Dollhofer V, Parzefall C, Harrar K, Kreuzer A, Pilsl L, & Ruther J. (2013) Larvae of the parasitoid wasp Ampulex compressa sanitize their host, the American cockroach, with a blend of antimicrobials. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(4), 1369-74. PMID: 23297195  

  • October 22, 2013
  • 11:34 AM

Does Ice Use Improve Baseball Pitching Performance?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

If you watch the 2013 World Series that opens tomorrow night, you are likely to see pitchers using ice on their pitching arms between innings.The use of ice on key muscles between use seems counterintuitive.  Isn't it best to key a muscloskeletal region warm?  After all, we "warm-up" before using muscles all the time in a variety of activities.I had thought that icing was designed primarily to reduce muscle stiffness and soreness during the recover period.However, I recently ran into a........ Read more »

Bishop SH, Herron R, Ryan G, Katica C, & Bishop P. (2013) THE EFFECT OF INTERMITTENT ARM AND SHOULDER COOLING ON BASEBALL PITCHING VELOCITY. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength . PMID: 24077378  

  • October 21, 2013
  • 11:46 AM

Can Vision Training Improve Baseball Hitting Performance?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The visuomotor process involved in hitting a baseball is complex and not completely understood.At one time, hitters were told they must follow the path of the baseball until it hit their bat in order to succeed.However, further study found the speed of a baseball exceeds the speed of the human eye for tracking objects.It is unclear whether using vision training exercises increases hitting ability above and beyond that associated with hitting practice.A study from the University of Cincinnati att........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2013
  • 10:17 AM

Socialite in the Dark: Do Eyes Really Matter When It Comes To Schooling?

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

It has been a while since I've visited the topic of blind fish. I know, I know! What took me so long, right? Well, I was browsing for fish papers, ‘cause I take care of lab fish now (I’m working my way up to Fish Whisperer status), and I came across a paper in Current Biology about the schooling behavior of cavefish, specifically the effects of eyesight loss on this behavior.There are two main types of social “collective behavior” in fish: shoaling and schooling. Shoals are defined exclu........ Read more »

Johanna E. Kowalko, Nicolas Rohner, Santiago B. Rompani, Brant K. Peterson, Tess A. Linden, Masato Yoshizawa, Emily H. Kay, Jesse Weber, Hopi E. Hoekstra, William R. Jeffery.... (2013) Loss of Schooling Behavior in Cavefish through Sight-Dependent and Sight-Independent Mechanisms. Current Biology, 1874-1883. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.056  

Alison M. Bell. (2013) Evolution: Skipping School. Current Biology, 23(19). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.022  

  • October 9, 2013
  • 12:37 PM

Stress, Antidepressants and Cardiovascular Function

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is increased interest in the relationship between mood and anxiety disorders and cardiovascular function.Presence of depression appears to be an independent risk factor for the future development of cardiovascular disease.Patients with depression and myocardial infarction demonstrate increased risk for future cardiac events including cardiac death.The exact mechanism for the interaction of depression and cardiovascular function is unclear.  Depression appears to be associated with a f........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2013
  • 04:27 AM

Almost 80 years on, progress on operant and classical conditioning

by Björn Brembs in

This year’s Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior (WCALB) will be on one of my oldest and most central research projects, the commonalities and differences between operant and classical conditioning. I picked this project for my Diploma (Master’s) thesis […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

B. F. Skinner. (1935) Two Types of Conditioned Reflex and a Pseudo Type. The Journal of General Psychology, 12(1), 66-77. DOI: 10.1080/00221309.1935.9920088  

J. Konorski, & S. Miller. (1937) On Two Types of Conditioned Reflex. The Journal of General Psychology, 16(1), 264-272. DOI: 10.1080/00221309.1937.9917950  

J. Konorski, & S. Miller. (1937) Further Remarks on two Types of Conditioned Reflex. The Journal of General Psychology, 17(1), 405-407. DOI: 10.1080/00221309.1937.9918010  

  • October 5, 2013
  • 04:30 PM

Revisiting Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages: Effects on Sleep

by Allison in Dormivigilia

After getting college students hammered via caffeine-infused alcohol (most like Red Bull-vodkas), the researchers surprisingly found that these drinks have little effect on sleep. Their effects on risks for addiction and brain health is a different story...... Read more »

  • October 5, 2013
  • 03:30 PM

Neury Thursday: Sleep in Worms Cont'd

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Worms have a sleep-like state known as lethargus in between their molting cycles. Researchers in Germany carefully studied lethargus at behavioral, physiologically, and cellular levels providing convincing evidence that worms and their nervous system works in similar manners to control daily sleep. ... Read more »

  • October 5, 2013
  • 12:41 PM

How a pheromone wards of acts of pedophilia in mice

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Adult male mice tend to be a pretty randy bunch – unchained by humanistic social norms, they freely express their sexuality, often mounting multiple newly introduced females in a day when given the chance. Nevertheless, most adult males seem to have a “legal-or-not” radar, and stay far, far away from prepubescent females. Why? Unlike humans […]... Read more »

Ferrero DM, Moeller LM, Osakada T, Horio N, Li Q, Roy DS, Cichy A, Spehr M, Touhara K, & Liberles SD. (2013) A juvenile mouse pheromone inhibits sexual behaviour through the vomeronasal system. Nature. PMID: 24089208  

  • October 4, 2013
  • 01:41 PM

Connecting Epigenetics and Memory to PTSD

by EpiBeat in EpiBeat

1 in 5.  That is the statistic for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. PTSD is a severe psychological condition that can develop after witnessing traumatic events, and its symptoms include disturbing flashbacks, anxiety, distress, and numbing of the memory ...The post Connecting Epigenetics and Memory to PTSD appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Rudenko A, Dawlaty MM, Seo J, Cheng AW, Meng J, Le T, Faull KF, Jaenisch R, & Tsai LH. (2013) Tet1 is critical for neuronal activity-regulated gene expression and memory extinction. Neuron, 79(6), 1109-22. PMID: 24050401  

  • October 2, 2013
  • 10:21 AM

We Have the Technology…

by Roli Roberts in PLOS Biologue

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…stronger…faster.”

Readers of a certain age will tingle with recognition at those words, intoned over the intro to ’70s TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man“, promising the bodily reconstruction of a seriously injured astronaut. Back then it was distant science fiction, but fast-forward 30 years to........ Read more »

Carmena JM, Lebedev MA, Crist RE, O'Doherty JE, Santucci DM, Dimitrov DF, Patil PG, Henriquez CS, & Nicolelis MA. (2003) Learning to control a brain-machine interface for reaching and grasping by primates. PLoS biology, 1(2). PMID: 14624244  

  • September 30, 2013
  • 03:48 PM

Looking Schizophrenia in the Eye

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

More than a century ago, scientists discovered something usual about how people with schizophrenia move their eyes. Psychologist and inventor Raymond Dodge and psychiatrist Allen Diefendorf were trying out an early incarnation of the modern eye tracker. When they used it on psychiatric patients, they found that people with schizophrenia had a funny way of following a moving object with their eyes.... Read more »

  • September 30, 2013
  • 04:42 AM

A Neural Circuit for Voracious Overeating in Mice: Translation to Humans

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Optogenetic activation of inhibitory GABA neurons projecting from the limbic forebrain to the lateral hypothalamus causes this mouse to binge on cheese. The rapid onset and offset of the intense feeding behavior is striking. Credit: Jennings et al. (2013).The hypothalamus is a collection of discrete nuclei in the vertebrate diencephalon that control a variety of metabolic, neuroendocrine, and circadian functions. Since the 1940s, the ventromedial nucleus (VM) has been known for its important ro........ Read more »

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