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"Neuro" + "orexia" = An appetite for neuroscience. All about the noggin. With a little body thrown in.

Shelly Fan
74 posts

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  • August 30, 2014
  • 02:54 PM

Direct mind-to-mind communication in humans

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: Here’s something right out of science fiction: a team of neuroscientists in Spain developed a system that allows a person to transmit the...... Read more »

Grau C, Ginhoux R, Riera A, Nguyen TL, Chauvat H, Berg M, Amengual JL, Pascual-Leone A, & Ruffini G. (2014) Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25137064  

  • August 29, 2014
  • 07:15 PM

A change of mind: from bitter recollections to sweet memories

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

There are a LOT of articles on this study already, but most don’t go into the technical details – the part that, in my opinion,...... Read more »

  • July 14, 2014
  • 11:08 PM

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

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: 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 4, 2014
  • 07:13 PM

No, emotions aren’t really contagious over Facebook

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: Ellis Hamburger, the Verge You’ve probably heard the news: Facebook and Cornell University teamed up to manipulate your Facebook feed and toy with your emotions. The...... Read more »

Kramer AD, Guillory JE, & Hancock JT. (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8788-90. PMID: 24889601  

  • July 3, 2014
  • 11:25 PM

Bass lays down the beat

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: Fender Jazz Bass Try tapping your finger to a song – any song. Are you focusing on the melodious vocals, or the strong pulsating beat...... Read more »

  • July 2, 2014
  • 12:33 AM

Fire together, wire together: building a memory with long-term potentiation

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite a cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place...... Read more »

Nabavi S, Fox R, Proulx CD, Lin JY, Tsien RY, & Malinow R. (2014) Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP. Nature. PMID: 24896183  

  • June 29, 2014
  • 05:44 PM

“Tanning is addictive”: um, not quite

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

“Repeated visits to the beach or tanning salon could be signs of an addiction, according to a study in mice.” – Nature, Research highlights doi:10.1038/510447e....... Read more »

Fell GL, Robinson KC, Mao J, Woolf CJ, & Fisher DE. (2014) Skin β-Endorphin Mediates Addiction to UV Light. Cell, 157(7), 1527-34. PMID: 24949966  

  • June 29, 2014
  • 01:02 AM

Recognizing faces with amnesia

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: National Geographic The hippocampus encodes the stories of your life: the faces you’ve seen, the places you’ve been and the words you’ve read...... Read more »

Smith CN, Jeneson A, Frascino JC, Kirwan CB, Hopkins RO, & Squire LR. (2014) When recognition memory is independent of hippocampal function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 24958865  

  • June 25, 2014
  • 07:58 PM

Time weaves memories into patterns

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When I get a craving for Cote d’Or chocolate, I always hit up London Drugs. It’s not the only grocer around that carries the brand,...... Read more »

Richards BA, Xia F, Santoro A, Husse J, Woodin MA, Josselyn SA, & Frankland PW. (2014) Patterns across multiple memories are identified over time. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 24880213  

  • June 23, 2014
  • 12:28 AM

The rainbow diet pills: there and back again

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

* This post contains spoilers for Requiem for a Dream. Last night I re-watched Requiem for a Dream, a Darren Aronofsky masterpiece that is perhaps...... Read more »

Cohen PA, Goday A, & Swann JP. (2012) The return of rainbow diet pills. American journal of public health, 102(9), 1676-86. PMID: 22813089  

  • April 27, 2014
  • 09:15 PM

Mice inherit fathers’ trauma through small RNAs?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

When it comes to inheritance, you’re getting more than just DNA. Life experiences – famine, stress, fear and even drug use – can all leave...... Read more »

Gapp K, Jawaid A, Sarkies P, Bohacek J, Pelczar P, Prados J, Farinelli L, Miska E, & Mansuy IM. (2014) Implication of sperm RNAs in transgenerational inheritance of the effects of early trauma in mice. Nature neuroscience, 17(5), 667-9. PMID: 24728267  

  • April 19, 2014
  • 02:54 AM

Brain oscillations bind smell to memory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credit: Pixar As a foodie, one scene in Pixar’s Ratatouille particularly resonated with me: Anton Ego, the acerbic food critic, takes one bite out...... Read more »

  • March 2, 2014
  • 04:00 PM

How do we perceive musical beats?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Have you ever found yourself subconsciously nodding your head, tapping a finger or matching your footsteps to the beat of a tune? You’re not alone....... Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 01:45 PM

Custom Targeting Beacons Harness Cellular Executioners to Fight Disease

by Shelly in Neurorexia

I'm over at the Canadian Science Writers' Association today, talking about a new way to wipe out undesirable proteins with custom-designed molecules. "Undesirable" can mean many things, from mutated proteins in neurodegenerative diseases to proteins that cause cell death after a stroke or trauma to the brain. This post is a bit different than usual as it talks about my own recently published research. Hat tip to Colin Schultz for his excellent edits to my original draft, whic........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2014
  • 04:28 PM

What happens in the brain when you learn a mnemonic?

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

This is part of a series exploring the brains behind exceptional memory: to what extent is it natural and learnt? How fast can a complete...... Read more »

Nyberg L, Sandblom J, Jones S, Neely AS, Petersson KM, Ingvar M, & Bäckman L. (2003) Neural correlates of training-related memory improvement in adulthood and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(23), 13728-33. PMID: 14597711  

  • February 4, 2014
  • 07:34 PM

Don't remember your baby days? Blame new neurons!

by Shelly in Neurorexia

Think back to when you were two years old. Think HARD. Anything? If you’re like most people, you’re probably drawing a blank. Across cultures, adults can’t seem to recall any events that occurred in the first 2-3 years of their lives; memories between 3-7 years of age are often filled with gaping gaps and a healthy mix of reality and fantasy. This phenomenon, first dubbed by Sigmund Freud in 1900 as “infantile amnesia,” has left scientists scratching their heads for decades.... Read more »

Josselyn SA, & Frankland PW. (2012) Infantile amnesia: a neurogenic hypothesis. Learning , 19(9), 423-33. PMID: 22904373  

  • January 30, 2014
  • 02:53 AM

Fighting depression with a memory palace

by Shelly in Neurorexia

Thinking back on happy experiences is a proven way to help deal with the lows of life. But for those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder, accessing such memories is incredibly difficult; instead, they tend to ruminate over negative and self-devaluating incidents. Even worse, when they do recall happier times, they are unable to retrieve a positive moment in life to re-experience in their minds. Instead, they focus on the abstract, contemplating the causes, meanings and consequences of memor........ Read more »

  • January 24, 2014
  • 04:39 PM

Tweaking the epigenome may erase a haunting fear

by Shelly in Neurorexia

Old fear memories are hard to erase because of a protein called HDAC2 that shuts down the expression of neuroplasticity genes required for memory updating. Inhibiting HDAC2 before recall and extinction training persistently erased a remote fear memory in rats. HDAC2 inhibitors are in clinical trials for cancer, but currently lack the specificity needed to treat PTSD.... Read more »

Gräff J, Joseph NF, Horn ME, Samiei A, Meng J, Seo J, Rei D, Bero AW, Phan TX, Wagner F.... (2014) Epigenetic Priming of Memory Updating during Reconsolidation to Attenuate Remote Fear Memories. Cell, 156(1-2), 261-76. PMID: 24439381  

  • January 15, 2014
  • 08:24 PM

Two cups of coffee after learning may cure your forgetful streak

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Like most junkies, I struggle to come up with excuses to justify my addiction. Lucky for me, increasing evidence is supporting my semi-hourly coffee habit: caffeine, the world’s favourite drug, not only keeps you awake and alert, but may also boost your memory. Perhaps in an effort to excuse their own coffee addiction, many research […]... Read more »

Borota D, Murray E, Keceli G, Chang A, Watabe JM, Ly M, Toscano JP, & Yassa MA. (2014) Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans. Nature neuroscience. PMID: 24413697  

  • December 23, 2013
  • 03:32 PM

Christmas food for thought: Feed me, all 100 trillion of me

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

The morning before Christmas eve, I’m sitting here in the dining room munching happily on the bits and pieces of what’s left of our gingerbread house that was only erected to its full glory the night before. I have not consumed this amount of carbohydrates in over a year. Inside, a few species of my […]... Read more »

David LA, Maurice CF, Carmody RN, Gootenberg DB, Button JE, Wolfe BE, Ling AV, Devlin AS, Varma Y, Fischbach MA.... (2013) Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. Nature. PMID: 24336217  

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