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  • May 11, 2016
  • 12:34 PM
  • 388 views

Dietary Seafood and Cognitive Decline

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Seafood intake has been linked to a variety of improvements in health. Additionally, there is some evidence linking seafood intake with slower cognitive decline in aging populations.A recent study adds to this age-related cognitive benefit of seafood intake.A collaborative group of researchers from Rush University Medical Center and the Wageningen University in the Netherlands conducted a prospective study.This study followed 915 subjects with a mean age of 81.4 years over a five year period. Su........ Read more »

  • May 10, 2016
  • 09:34 PM
  • 390 views

The Face as Destiny

by John DiPrete in EmbodiCog

Here is a graphic tutorial on the large impact that small changes can make in a face's superficial architecture...... Read more »

Merton, R. (1948) The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. The Antioch Review, 8(2), 193. DOI: 10.2307/4609267  

  • May 10, 2016
  • 04:55 PM
  • 555 views

Research shows body image linked to overall life satisfaction

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We're constantly bombarded by advertisements telling us we are too fat, too thin, not curvy enough, not flat enough -- or more often than not -- simply not enough. It shouldn't be a surprise to see that effect our day to day life, like it or not -- and it has. Researchers have just published results from a national study on the factors linked to satisfaction with appearance and weight.

... Read more »

  • May 10, 2016
  • 12:54 PM
  • 385 views

Smartphones and Sleep Data: Data Mining

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Smartphones contribute a treasure trove of data that is likely to expand our knowledge of a variety of human behaviors.An example of this is a recent study published in Science Advances by a research team from the University of Michigan.The University of Michigan team developed a smartphone app called ENTRAIN and then used the app to collect sleep data on subjects from around the world.They came up with some very interesting findings including the following:The time of going to sleep appears mor........ Read more »

  • May 10, 2016
  • 07:40 AM
  • 598 views

Do dragons dream of tasty crickets?

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

(Also appeared on United Academics) Sleep cycles When we leave the day behind us and nestle ourselves in our cosy beds, we sleep. Sleep, however, comes in stages that repeat themselves. It’s a five-stage cycle that last about 90 minutes in humans. Four stages of non-REM sleep are followed by a period of REM (Rapid […]... Read more »

Shein-Idelson M, Ondracek JM, Liaw HP, Reiter S, & Laurent G. (2016) Slow waves, sharp waves, ripples, and REM in sleeping dragons. Science (New York, N.Y.), 352(6285), 590-5. PMID: 27126045  

  • May 10, 2016
  • 06:36 AM
  • 719 views

Psychosis: Understanding The Symptoms

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

Dealing with psychotic patients takes more than looking at their diagnostic labels.... Read more »

Heering, H., Koevoets, G., Koenders, L., Machielsen, M., Meijer, C., Kubota, M., de Nijs, J., Cahn, W., Hulshoff Pol, H., de Haan, L.... (2015) Structural MRI Differences between Patients with and without First Rank Symptoms: A Delusion?. Frontiers in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00107  

Perälä, J., Suvisaari, J., Saarni, S., Kuoppasalmi, K., Isometsä, E., Pirkola, S., Partonen, T., Tuulio-Henriksson, A., Hintikka, J., Kieseppä, T.... (2007) Lifetime Prevalence of Psychotic and Bipolar I Disorders in a General Population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(1), 19. DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.64.1.19  

  • May 9, 2016
  • 03:29 PM
  • 520 views

Epigenetic study of lactose intolerance may shed light on the origin of mental illness

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study on the epigenetics of lactose intolerance may provide an approach to understanding schizophrenia and other complex, serious illnesses. While that may seem odd, both lactose intolerance and schizophrenia are inherited. In addition, neither condition emerges in the first years of life, but rather both appear years or even decades later.

... Read more »

Labrie, V., Buske, O., Oh, E., Jeremian, R., Ptak, C., Gasiūnas, G., Maleckas, A., Petereit, R., Žvirbliene, A., Adamonis, K.... (2016) Lactase nonpersistence is directed by DNA-variation-dependent epigenetic aging. Nature Structural . DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3227  

  • May 9, 2016
  • 01:34 PM
  • 729 views

The Princess IS the Frog (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Hayley TrzinskiImage by Hayley TrzinskiThe Princess and the Frog is a very fun and imaginative children’s story… but not when pesticides are involved. Have you ever wondered how dangerous pesticides can be? Well, pesticides can harm more than just pests and weeds, and in the case of frogs, many pesticides and herbicides are causing problems. Atrazine, a chemical commonly used as an herbicide, can cause reproduction in male African clawed frogs to be impossible. In some cases, atrazine i........ Read more »

Hayes, T., Khoury, V., Narayan, A., Nazir, M., Park, A., Brown, T., Adame, L., Chan, E., Buchholz, D., Stueve, T.... (2010) Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4612-4617. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909519107  

Mnif, W., Hassine, A., Bouaziz, A., Bartegi, A., Thomas, O., & Roig, B. (2011) Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(12), 2265-2303. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8062265  

  • May 9, 2016
  • 06:51 AM
  • 554 views

Do Dragons Dream Of Tasty Crickets?

by Gunnar De Winter in United Academics

Sleeping reptiles show brain patterns resembling sleep cycles in mammals and birds.... Read more »

  • May 8, 2016
  • 03:15 PM
  • 596 views

Digital media may be changing how you think

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Tablet and laptop users beware. Using digital platforms such as tablets and laptops for reading may make you more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly, according to a new study. The findings serve as another wake-up call to how digital media may be affecting our likelihood of using abstract thought.

... Read more »

  • May 8, 2016
  • 06:58 AM
  • 510 views

Can humans listen like songbirds do?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The “musical” nature of birdsong has long been appreciated by humans - a new study suggests birds themselves might be attending to soemthing else..... Read more »

Bregman, M., Patel, A., & Gentner, T. (2016) Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(6), 1666-1671. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1515380113  

Hoeschele, M., Merchant, H., Kikuchi, Y., Hattori, Y., & ten Cate, C. (2015) Searching for the origins of musicality across species. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140094-20140094. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0094  

  • May 7, 2016
  • 05:17 AM
  • 634 views

Ketamine and Depression: A Breakthrough?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In recent years there has been great research interest in ketamine as an antidepressant. Ketamine, a drug better-known for its use as an anaesthetic (and a recreational drug in lower doses) is claimed to have powerful, rapid-acting antidepressant effects, even in depressed patients who have not responded to more conventional drugs. However, its mechanism of action remains unclear.


Now, in a major new Nature paper, Baltimore researchers Panos Zanos and colleagues say that ketamine itself is ... Read more »

Zanos P, Moaddel R, Morris PJ, Georgiou P, Fischell J, Elmer GI, Alkondon M, Yuan P, Pribut HJ, Singh NS.... (2016) NMDAR inhibition-independent antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites. Nature. PMID: 27144355  

  • May 6, 2016
  • 02:35 PM
  • 581 views

Smartphones uncover how the world sleeps

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A pioneering study of worldwide sleep patterns combines math modeling, mobile apps and big data to parse the roles society and biology each play in setting sleep schedules. The study used a free smartphone app that reduces jetlag to gather robust sleep data from thousands of people in 100 nations. The researchers examined how age, gender, amount of light and home country affect the amount of shut-eye people around the globe get, when they go to bed, and when they wake up.

... Read more »

Olivia J. Walch, Amy Cochran, & Daniel B. Forger. (2016) A global quantification of “normal” sleep schedules using smartphone data . Science Advances. info:/10.1126/sciadv.1501705

  • May 6, 2016
  • 06:55 AM
  • 772 views

Seeing With Eyes Shut: How LSD Causes Hallucinations

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Brain scans show the human brain under LSD and explain how hallucinations occur.... Read more »

Carhart-Harris, R., Muthukumaraswamy, S., Roseman, L., Kaelen, M., Droog, W., Murphy, K., Tagliazucchi, E., Schenberg, E., Nest, T., Orban, C.... (2016) Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by multimodal neuroimaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(17), 4853-4858. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1518377113  

Carhart-Harris, R., Leech, R., Hellyer, P., Shanahan, M., Feilding, A., Tagliazucchi, E., Chialvo, D., & Nutt, D. (2014) The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020  

Hagmann, P., Cammoun, L., Gigandet, X., Meuli, R., Honey, C., Wedeen, V., & Sporns, O. (2008) Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex. PLoS Biology, 6(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060159  

  • May 5, 2016
  • 02:26 PM
  • 582 views

Ketamine Metabolite Linked to Rapid Antidepressant Effect

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Model of crytalized ketamine moleculeStandard antidepressant therapies typically take two weeks or more to begin to act.Ketamine is an anesthetic drug recently demonstrated to have a rapid antidepressant effect.The mechanism for this effect is unknown. A recent mouse study of ketamine and metabolites of ketamine show some potentially groundbreaking insight for the treatment of depression.This study found these significant findings:Ketamine like most organic compounds is made of boty an R an........ Read more »

Zanos, P., Moaddel, R., Morris, P., Georgiou, P., Fischell, J., Elmer, G., Alkondon, M., Yuan, P., Pribut, H., Singh, N.... (2016) NMDAR inhibition-independent antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17998  

  • May 5, 2016
  • 02:11 PM
  • 704 views

fMRI and False Positives: A Basic Flaw?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Over the past few years I've covered (1,2,3) the work of Anders Eklund, a Swedish researcher who has discovered a potentially serious flaw in software commonly used to analyse fMRI data.

Eklund has shown that popular parametric statistical analysis tools for fMRI are prone to false positives - they often 'find' brain activation even where it doesn't exist. The issue affects the leading software packages such as FSL and SPM.



The main root of the problem is spatial autocorrelation - the ... Read more »

  • May 4, 2016
  • 12:00 PM
  • 453 views

Jazz drunk, in a basement

by Kiralee Musgrove in Neuroscientist on music

The good things in Melbourne are hidden away. Behind non-descript doors and trick bookcases. On rooftops. Down laneways. Pop-ups, warehouses, basements; Lady Melbs rewards those who seek. Which requires little persuasion, I have noticed. Melburnians go silly at the whiff of intrigue.... Read more »

Wise, R. (2004) Dopamine, learning and motivation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5(6), 483-494. DOI: 10.1038/nrn1406  

  • May 3, 2016
  • 12:05 PM
  • 467 views

Depression Symptoms and Alzheimer's Risk

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

An important study was published today in Lancet Psychiatry. This study examined the role of depression symptoms in risk for later development of dementia including Alzheimer's disease.Previous work on this topic has relied on cross-sectional risk factor design. However, the study published today used a prospective longitudinal design for elderly individuals participating the Rotterdam study.Depressive symptoms were measured over time and compared to latter risk for development of dementia......... Read more »

  • May 3, 2016
  • 12:00 PM
  • 401 views

"The Biggest Loser": Long-term Effects

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Yesterday I posted a link to a New York Times article that posted a summary outcome in fourteen participants in TV's "The Biggest Loser" show.The study found a trend towards post-show weight gain for 13/14 of the participants.Four participants actually gained so much weight that after six years they weighed more than before participating in the show.A key finding from the study was this weight gain could be explained by a metabolic response resulting in up to 800 calories less burned daily ........ Read more »

Fothergill, E., Guo, J., Howard, L., Kerns, J., Knuth, N., Brychta, R., Chen, K., Skarulis, M., Walter, M., Walter, P.... (2016) Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition. Obesity. DOI: 10.1002/oby.21538  

  • May 3, 2016
  • 11:36 AM
  • 348 views

Delirium and Aortic Valve Surgery Outcome

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Delirium is an acute confusional state that is common in elderly hospitalized patients.I think of it light a sign of acute brain failure requiring aggressive attentional for detection and treatment of any reversible underlying causes.Delirium in elderly hospitalized patients is a marker for poor outcome in a variety of medical and surgical subjects.A recent study published by a Norwegian team found effects on outcome for delirium following surgical aortic valve replacement. The key findings from........ Read more »

Eide LS, Ranhoff AH, Fridlund B, Haaverstad R, Hufthammer KO, Kuiper KK, Nordrehaug JE, Norekvål TM, & Delirium in Octogenarians Undergoing Cardiac Surgery or Intervention-CARDELIR Investigators. (2016) Delirium as a Predictor of Physical and Cognitive Function in Individuals Aged 80 and Older After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation or Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. PMID: 27106745  

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