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  • July 24, 2014
  • 04:58 PM
  • 2 views

Why the new paper by Christakis and Fowler on friendship makes me queasy

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

I am a neuroscientist, and as a neuroscientist I have a strange belief that most of who we are comes from our brains. My entire career is based around understanding behavior from this neural level which I feel to be fairly justifiable. So when I see paper looking at the genetics of behavior, I expect to see at […]... Read more »

Christakis NA, & Fowler JH. (2014) Friendship and natural selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(Supplement 3), 10796-10801. PMID: 25024208  

Ripke, S., Neale, B., Corvin, A., Walters, J., Farh, K., Holmans, P., Lee, P., Bulik-Sullivan, B., Collier, D., Huang, H.... (2014) Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature, 511(7510), 421-427. DOI: 10.1038/nature13595  

  • July 24, 2014
  • 01:34 PM
  • 9 views

Background TV and Children don’t Mix

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Coming from a, to put it gently, very broken home, my babysitter was the television. Yep, so now that you are feeling nice and awkward let’s talk television. New research, […]... Read more »

Linebarger DL, Barr R, Lapierre MA, & Piotrowski JT. (2014) Associations Between Parenting, Media Use, Cumulative Risk, and Children's Executive Functioning. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 35(6), 367-77. PMID: 25007059  

Lapierre, M., Piotrowski, J., & Linebarger, D. (2012) Background Television in the Homes of US Children. PEDIATRICS, 130(5), 839-846. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2581  

  • July 23, 2014
  • 12:46 PM
  • 93 views

As a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo, a neuron in your head veers slightly heavenward…

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

When you look at the edge of a table, there is a neuron in your head that goes from silence to pop pop pop. As you extend your arm, a nerve commanding the muscle does the same thing. Your retina has neurons whose firing rate goes up or down depending on whether it detects a light spot […]... Read more »

Churchland, M., Cunningham, J., Kaufman, M., Foster, J., Nuyujukian, P., Ryu, S., & Shenoy, K. (2012) Neural population dynamics during reaching. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature11129  

Shenoy KV, Sahani M, & Churchland MM. (2013) Cortical control of arm movements: a dynamical systems perspective. Annual review of neuroscience, 337-59. PMID: 23725001  

  • July 22, 2014
  • 06:47 PM
  • 44 views

When Crazy becomes a Crime

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

My friend has a glass eye, you would never notice and unless you knew the story you might not think anything of it. His older brother did it. Yes, you […]... Read more »

Dana Goldman,, John Fastenau,, Riad Dirani,, Eric Hellend,, Geoff Joyce,, Ryan Conrad,, & Darius Lakdawalla,. (2014) Medicaid Prior Authorization Policies and Imprisonment Among Patients With Schizophrenia. The American Journal of Managed Care, 20(7). info:/2014;20(7):577-586

  • July 21, 2014
  • 01:27 PM
  • 82 views

Autism and Parents: Reducing stress

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Raising an autistic child can be a gift. Unfortunately it can also be challenging and stressful. Let’s be real, it’s stressful just being a parent, throw in a disability that […]... Read more »

  • July 18, 2014
  • 08:05 PM
  • 71 views

Unraveling the Connections of the Brain

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The brain is complex, heck if it wasn’t then we wouldn’t be smart enough to figure out how it works. I guess it’s one of those stupid catch-22 type things. […]... Read more »

  • July 18, 2014
  • 12:56 PM
  • 81 views

The Brain, Down Syndrome, and Antibiotics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

At first glance the title might sound a little weird. But if that is the case then you probably want to read this. Researchers  have identified a group of cells in […]... Read more »

Chen, C., Jiang, P., Xue, H., Peterson, S., Tran, H., McCann, A., Parast, M., Li, S., Pleasure, D., Laurent, L.... (2014) Role of astroglia in Down’s syndrome revealed by patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5430  

  • July 18, 2014
  • 05:03 AM
  • 148 views

Blue Eyes Mean Lies?

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

A recent study by Karel Kleisner et al. (2013) shows eye colour and facial features have an influence on our perception of trustworthiness.... Read more »

Kleisner K, Priplatova L, Frost P, & Flegr J. (2013) Trustworthy-looking face meets brown eyes. PloS one, 8(1). PMID: 23326406  

  • July 17, 2014
  • 06:07 AM
  • 84 views

Profiling Risk: Predicting Alcoholism In Adolescents

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

It appears that certain personality traits and traumatic early life events are typically associated with binge drinking in teenage years. However, the predictive power of each type of factors by itself (personality or individual history for example) is not absolute. A new study evaluated not only one single factor, but a series of psychological, genetic, and neurological elements for their ability to determine, when combined, current and future alcohol misuse in a large group of youngsters. ... Read more »

Whelan, R., Watts, R., Orr, C., Althoff, R., Artiges, E., Banaschewski, T., Barker, G., Bokde, A., Büchel, C., Carvalho, F.... (2014) Neuropsychosocial profiles of current and future adolescent alcohol misusers. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13402  

  • July 16, 2014
  • 08:17 PM
  • 108 views

The Mediterranean Diet and Cognitive Decline

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The Mediterranean diet, it may have broad health benefits [let's face it we can't seem to escape the push for it here in the US], but a new study suggests that […]... Read more »

Koyama, A., Houston, D., Simonsick, E., Lee, J., Ayonayon, H., Shahar, D., Rosano, C., Satterfield, S., & Yaffe, K. (2014) Association Between the Mediterranean Diet and Cognitive Decline in a Biracial Population. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glu097  

  • July 16, 2014
  • 03:40 PM
  • 92 views

Know your brain: Thalamus

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is it?











Thalamus (in red).






The thalamus is a large, symmetrical (meaning there is one in each hemisphere) structure that makes up most of the mass of the diencephalon. A large number of pathways travel through the thalamus, including all of the sensory pathways other than those devoted to olfaction (smell).What is it and what does it do?The thalamus is often described as a relay station. This is because almost all sensory informati........ Read more »

Sherman, S., & Guillery, R. (2002) The role of the thalamus in the flow of information to the cortex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 357(1428), 1695-1708. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2002.1161  

  • July 16, 2014
  • 06:15 AM
  • 91 views

Everything you always wanted to know about language but were too afraid to ask

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

The Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen has started a great initiative which tries nothing less than answer all your questions about language. How does it work? 1) Go to this website: http://www.mpi.nl/q-a/questions-and-answers 2) See whether your question has already been answered 3) If not, scroll to the bottom and ask a question yourself. The answers […]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2014
  • 01:30 PM
  • 71 views

Schizophrenia and Autism: A New Connection

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Autism and Schizophrenia, at first glance there probably isn’t a whole lot in common other than they are disorders that fall in that lovely book the DCM-5. The brain is […]... Read more »

Chie Shimamoto1,, Tetsuo Ohnishi, Motoko Maekawa, Akiko Watanabe, Hisako Ohba, Ryoichi Arai, Yoshimi Iwayama, Yasuko Hisano, Tomoko Toyota, Manabu Toyoshima.... (2014) Functional characterization of FABP3, 5 and 7 gene variants identified in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder and mouse behavioral studies. Human Molecular Genetics. info:/10.1093/hmg/ddu369

  • July 14, 2014
  • 11:08 PM
  • 71 views

Post-traumatic amnesia: why Kramer can’t remember his play in the World Cup Final

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: screamer.deadspin.com It was 17 minutes into his second World Cup appearance when German midfielder Christoph Kramer slammed brutally into his Argentine opponent. Kramer’s head swerved...... Read more »

  • July 14, 2014
  • 02:48 PM
  • 71 views

Can We Grasp The Brain’s Complexity?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An entertaining paper just out in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience offers a panoramic view of the whole of neuroscience: Enlarging the scope: grasping brain complexity The paper is remarkable not just for its content but also for its style. Some examples: How does the brain work? This nagging question is an habitué from the top […]The post Can We Grasp The Brain’s Complexity? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Tognoli E, & Kelso JA. (2014) Enlarging the scope: grasping brain complexity. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 122. PMID: 25009476  

  • July 14, 2014
  • 02:27 PM
  • 55 views

History of neuroscience: Hodgkin and Huxley

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged







Hodgkin and Huxley used the large axons of the giant squid to measure voltage changes during an action potential.






By the late 1930s, researchers had come to understand several important things about the conduction of signals within neurons. For example, they knew that signaling within neurons is electrical in nature (as opposed to signaling between neurons, which is usually chemical), and that it occurs in bursts of activity called action potentials. And th........ Read more »

  • July 14, 2014
  • 01:13 PM
  • 81 views

Schizophrenic Noise and Schizophrenic Voices

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Hear that voice? What is there more than one? Is this real, or fake? How do you know? That is how schizophrenia works: auditory hallucinations, confusion, inability to tell what […]... Read more »

Teal S. Eich,, Derek Evan Nee,, Catherine Insel,, Chara Malapani,, & Edward E. Smith. (2014) Neural Correlates of Impaired Cognitive Control over Working Memory in Schizophrenia. Biological psychiatry, 76(2). info:/10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.09.032

  • July 14, 2014
  • 10:44 AM
  • 55 views

Cognitive Reserve Boosts Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Cognitive reserve (high educational attainment, high IQ) is known to reduce or delay the risk for Alzheimer's disease.However, the effect of cognitive reserve on recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) is less well studied.Two recent research studies support the beneficial effects of cognitive reserve on TBI.Schneider and colleagues examined a series of 769 adult TBI subjects using the TBI Model Systems Database.This cohort was followed during rehabilitation for a period of at least one year......... Read more »

Schneider EB, Sur S, Raymont V, Duckworth J, Kowalski RG, Efron DT, Hui X, Selvarajah S, Hambridge HL, & Stevens RD. (2014) Functional recovery after moderate/severe traumatic brain injury: a role for cognitive reserve?. Neurology, 82(18), 1636-42. PMID: 24759845  

  • July 13, 2014
  • 03:15 PM
  • 87 views

New ways to test for Alzheimers

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Accurately diagnosing alzheimer’s is not an easy thing to do. In fact most of the time people aren’t diagnosed until very late in the progression of the disease, long after […]... Read more »

Matthew E Growdon,, Aaron Schultz,, Alexander Dagley,, Rebecca Amariglio,, Trey Hedden,, Dorene M. Rentz,, Keith Johnson,, Reisa Sperling,, Mark W. Albers,, & Gad Marshall,. (2014) Olfactory identification and Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in clinically normal elderly. Nature Neuroscience. info:/

  • July 13, 2014
  • 09:23 AM
  • 84 views

Language and handedness

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  I am both left handed and dyslexic and so a recent paper on the connection in hemispheric dominance for hand and for language was a paper I had to read. The Mazoyer study seems to be the first to use a reasonable number of left- and as well as right-handed people to look at […]... Read more »

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