SUBJECTIVE experience poses a major problem for neuroscientists and philosphers alike, and the relationship between them and brain function is particularly puzzling. How can I know that my perception of the colour red is the same as yours, when my experience of the colour occupies a private mental world to which nobody else has access? How is the sensory information from an object transformed into an experience that enters conscious awareness? The neural mechanisms involved are like a black box,........ Read more »
Rouw, R., & Scholte, H. (2010) Neural Basis of Individual Differences in Synesthetic Experiences. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(18), 6205-6213. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3444-09.2010
Formspring, a recent entry into the social networking milieu, is finally beginning to attract mainstream attention as parents and educators have to deal with the fallout from preteens and teens who are confronted with ugly criticism on the site. Formspring allows users to post and answer questions, some of which are rather personal. And as users link the site to Facebook and other popular
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Mayer, J., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. (2004) TARGET ARTICLES: "Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Findings, and Implications". Psychological Inquiry, 15(3), 197-215. DOI: 10.1207/s15327965pli1503_02
Snyder, J., Brooker, M., Patrick, M., Snyder, A., Schrepferman, L., & Stoolmiller, M. (2003) Observed Peer Victimization During Early Elementary School: Continuity, Growth, and Relation to Risk for Child Antisocial and Depressive Behavior. Child Development, 74(6), 1881-1898. DOI: 10.1046/j.1467-8624.2003.00644.x
Take a look at this video (Click on the image to play, QuickTime required):
Which ellipse is rotating faster?
While at first it seems quite obvious that the ellipse on the right is rotating faster, if you download the movie and play in loop mode, by counting rotations you should be able to convince yourself that they [...]... Read more »
Caplovitz, G., Hsieh, P., & Tse, P. (2006) Mechanisms underlying the perceived angular velocity of a rigidly rotating object. Vision Research, 46(18), 2877-2893. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2006.02.026
“FROM the perspective of a bacterium, higher eukaryotes are oversexed, unadventurous and reproduce in an inconvenient way.” So says Pål Johnsen and Bruce Levin in their commentary of today’s article for discussion, and nary a truer word said; but in retort one may ask: inconvenient as reproduction may be, bacteria clearly have no sense of [...]
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Lind, P., Tobin, C., Berg, O., Kurland, C., & Andersson, D. (2010) Compensatory gene amplification restores fitness after inter-species gene replacements. Molecular Microbiology, 75(5), 1078-1089. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.07030.x
Organisms with a bilaterally symmetric nervous system face a problem – how to integrate functions across the two sides so that behavioural outputs can be coordinated for the entire body. In the brain this is important to allow integration of the large number of cognitive “modules” which are differentially lateralised, such as language. (The importance of this communication is dramatically illustrated by so-called “split-brain” patients, who have had the majority of the connection........ Read more »
Srour M, Rivière JB, Pham JM, Dubé MP, Girard S, Morin S, Dion PA, Asselin G, Rochefort D, Hince P.... (2010) Mutations in DCC cause congenital mirror movements. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5978), 592. PMID: 20431009
Jen, J. (2004) Mutations in a Human ROBO Gene Disrupt Hindbrain Axon Pathway Crossing and Morphogenesis. Science, 304(5676), 1509-1513. DOI: 10.1126/science.1096437
Renier N, Schonewille M, Giraudet F, Badura A, Tessier-Lavigne M, Avan P, De Zeeuw CI, & Chédotal A. (2010) Genetic dissection of the function of hindbrain axonal commissures. PLoS biology, 8(3). PMID: 20231872
For hundreds of years, people have been finding the remains of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in Romania’s Haţeg basin. The Cretaceous-age deposits are remnants of prehistoric islands that sported their own unique faunas, but in the days before fossils were recognized as being the remains of once-living animals, many considered them to be the [...]... Read more »
Benton, M., Csiki, Z., Grigorescu, D., Redelstorff, R., Sander, P., Stein, K., & Weishampel, D. (2010) Dinosaurs and the island rule: The dwarfed dinosaurs from Haţeg Island. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.01.026
Grigorescu, D. (2010) The Latest Cretaceous fauna with dinosaurs and mammals from the Haţeg Basin — A historical overview. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.01.030
Central pattern generators (CPGs) are neural networks in the spinal cord that generate the rhythmic patterns observed in many complex movements like chewing, breathing and walking. Within CPGs excitatory glutamatergic neurons have been implicated in generating these rhythmic patterns, and glutamatergic neurons in the hindbrain region that extend into the spinal cord are thought to [...]... Read more »
Hägglund, M., Borgius, L., Dougherty, K., & Kiehn, O. (2010) Activation of groups of excitatory neurons in the mammalian spinal cord or hindbrain evokes locomotion. Nature Neuroscience, 13(2), 246-252. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2482
Also posted over at Paramedicine 101 and at Research Blogging. Go check out the rest of the excellent material at both sites.The EMS Garage also covers pain management on the 5/07/10 podcast. EMS Garage - Episode 84. Go listen to that, as well. Chris Montera, Dr. Keith Wesley, Will Dunn, Kyle David Bates, Kelly Grayson, and I discussed several aspects of prehospital pain management.I have been meaning to cover the research on prehospital pain management for a long time. I did write about one exc........ Read more »
BIJUR, P., KENNY, M., & GALLAGHER, E. (2005) Intravenous Morphine at 0.1 mg/kg Is Not Effective for Controlling Severe Acute Pain In the Majority of Patients. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 46(4), 362-367. DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2005.03.010
The connection between mind and body is never as ambiguous as when the body is near death. Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) in people who suffer cardiac arrest or other life-threatening traumas are unexplained by current science. Theories of psychological, physiological, and transcendental causes abound, but none has defined the true source of the phenomenon. [...]... Read more »
Klemenc-Ketis Z, Kersnik J, & Grmec S. (2010) The effect of carbon dioxide on near-death experiences in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: a prospective observational study. Critical care (London, England), 14(2). PMID: 20377847
Lai CF, Kao TW, Wu MS, Chiang SS, Chang CH, Lu CS, Yang CS, Yang CC, Chang HW, Lin SL.... (2007) Impact of near-death experiences on dialysis patients: a multicenter collaborative study. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation, 50(1), 124. PMID: 17591532
Leisman G, & Koch P. (2009) Networks of conscious experience: computational neuroscience in understanding life, death, and consciousness. Reviews in the neurosciences, 20(3-4), 151-76. PMID: 20157986
Parnia S, & Fenwick P. (2002) Near death experiences in cardiac arrest: visions of a dying brain or visions of a new science of consciousness. Resuscitation, 52(1), 5-11. PMID: 11801343
Parnia S, Waller DG, Yeates R, & Fenwick P. (2001) A qualitative and quantitative study of the incidence, features and aetiology of near death experiences in cardiac arrest survivors. Resuscitation, 48(2), 149-56. PMID: 11426476
Yesterday, I chaired and spoke at the opening session of the 1st Canadian National Summit on Metabolic Surgery, currently being held in Montreal, Quebec.
I reminded the audience that diabetes currently affects more than 3 million Canadians, a number that is expected to reach 3.7 million by 2020 as we continue to see the impact of the [...]... Read more »
Buchwald H, Avidor Y, Braunwald E, Jensen MD, Pories W, Fahrbach K, & Schoelles K. (2004) Bariatric surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 292(14), 1724-37. PMID: 15479938
Buchwald H, Estok R, Fahrbach K, Banel D, Jensen MD, Pories WJ, Bantle JP, & Sledge I. (2009) Weight and type 2 diabetes after bariatric surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis. The American journal of medicine, 122(3), 248-25600000. PMID: 19272486
This week, Science published two papers about the genetics of Neandertals from a team of scientists based at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology. The first (which is the only one anyone seems to really care about) gives a draft version of the entire Neandertal genome - a whopping 4 billion base pairs of DNA. They use this information to look for genomic regions that may have been affected by positive selection in ancestral modern humans that led to their separation from Neander........ Read more »
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Perfecto, I., & Vandermeer, J. (2010) The agroecological matrix as alternative to the land-sparing/agriculture intensification model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(13), 5786-5791. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905455107
A look into an in-vitro approach of metagenome benchmarking...... Read more »
Morgan, J., Darling, A., & Eisen, J. (2010) Metagenomic Sequencing of an In Vitro-Simulated Microbial Community. PLoS ONE, 5(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010209
Not many people perceive the honeybee as a model organism in genetics and/or neuroscience (or as I learned this week, a horse model of circadian biology, which I discovered while browsing through the posters for the upcoming Society for Research on Biological Rhythms meeting). This week, as published in the Journal of Neuroscience, European scientists [...]... Read more »
Hourcade, B., Muenz, T., Sandoz, J., Rossler, W., & Devaud, J. (2010) Long-Term Memory Leads to Synaptic Reorganization in the Mushroom Bodies: A Memory Trace in the Insect Brain?. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(18), 6461-6465. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0841-10.2010
This is actually a repost. But it's still hilarious. Sci DID have something good all lined up, but then she went out for this DINNER. And it was a REALLY good dinner, and now I'm really full and it's late and Sci is SO FULL AND SLEEPY AND (kind of inebriated...). So, repost. And next week will be a hilarious weird science that's going to blow your mind.
I have to say, for this Weird Science Friday, it was a tough call between this one and the other paper I found about the effects of Proza........ Read more »
Needles, W. (1953) A note of orgiastic loss of consciousness. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 22(4). info:/
Big party at Science journal today, with the publication of a comprehensive draft Neanderthal genome. (Free access, nice going Science). Actually, it is a partially assembled draft of 60% of the total genome, but 60% of the genome from a human that was last seen on Earth 28,000 years ago is quite an achievement. The [...]... Read more »
Climate change is not a new concept. Indeed, many environmental problems either caused or made worse by human behavior are well-known, at least among the scientists who study them.But despite warnings from these same scientists over the last two decades, little has been done.Paul Ehrlich, the renowned Stanford biologist, is ready to change that. Ehrlich is launching a new initiative – the Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior (MAHB) – to address the fact that, for some time scientists have........ Read more »
Ehrlich, P. (2010) The MAHB, the Culture Gap, and Some Really Inconvenient Truths. PLoS Biology, 8(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000330
Alcohol abuse and dependence risk is influenced by a variety of mental disorders. Probably the strongest association is between antisocial personality, alcohol and drug abuse. But anxiety and mood disorders also commonly influence the risk of developing a substance abuse problem.A recent study examined the association between alcohol use disorder and social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder is defined as a pervasive anxiety related to human interaction. Patients with social anxiety c........ Read more »
Schneier FR, Foose TE, Hasin DS, Heimberg RG, Liu SM, Grant BF, & Blanco C. (2010) Social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder co-morbidity in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Psychological medicine, 40(6), 977-88. PMID: 20441690
Are you the sort of person who will change their position on a subject conditional on further information gained? I personally think this is the behaviour we should all be striving for. If we do not we end up withdrawing further and further from reality, insulating ourselves from rational argument and retreating into our own [...]... Read more »
Nyhan, B., & Reifler, J. (2010) When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions. Political Behavior, 32(2), 303-330. DOI: 10.1007/s11109-010-9112-2
Israeli biologists Feder et al report on Selective breeding for dominant and submissive behavior in Sabra mice.Mice are social animals and like many species, they show dominance hierarchies. When they first meet, they'll often fight each other. The winner gets to be Mr (or Mrs) Big, and they enjoy first pick of the food, mating opportunities, etc - for as long as they can remain dominant.But what determines which mice become top dog... ? Feder et al show that it's partially under genetic control........ Read more »
Feder, Y., Nesher, E., Ogran, A., Kreinin, A., Malatynska, E., Yadid, G., & Pinhasov, A. (2010) Selective breeding for dominant and submissive behavior in Sabra mice. Journal of Affective Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.03.018
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