Janet Kwasniak , Janet Kwasniak

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Neuro-patch
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  • January 31, 2015
  • 08:13 AM
  • 33 views

More about neurons

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

I want to make a point here that we know less about the brain than is generally acknowledged. Our picture of the functioning of a neuron is taken as more or less settled knowledge; only small refinements are likely. But the refinements that are regularly published are not small. Now we have a paper (citation […]... Read more »

  • January 28, 2015
  • 01:01 PM
  • 31 views

Some visual-form areas are really task areas

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There are two paths for visual information, one to the motor areas (dorsal ‘where’ stream) and one to the areas concerned with consciousness, memory and cognition (ventral ‘what’ stream). The visual ventral stream has areas for the recognition of various categories of object: faces, body parts, letters for example. But are these areas really ‘visual’ […]... Read more »

Abboud, S., Maidenbaum, S., Dehaene, S., & Amedi, A. (2015) A number-form area in the blind. Nature Communications, 6026. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7026  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 07:36 AM
  • 107 views

Wolf to dog

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Why were dogs domesticated so early? How was it done? A recent paper (citation below) looks at how much of dog behaviour might have been already in the wolf with no effort needed to produce it in the dog. All that may have been needed was to have the wolf lose its fear of man […]... Read more »

  • January 19, 2015
  • 06:57 AM
  • 34 views

Another sensory channel

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is another recent discovery to highlight how little we know about our nervous system. Theories are accepted because we believe we have a handle on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and biophysics of the nervous systems. But the ‘facts’ change regularly. This time it is connections between the gut and the brain – a direct […]... Read more »

Bohórquez, D., Shahid, R., Erdmann, A., Kreger, A., Wang, Y., Calakos, N., Wang, F., & Liddle, R. (2015) Neuroepithelial circuit formed by innervation of sensory enteroendocrine cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI78361  

  • January 13, 2015
  • 07:44 PM
  • 40 views

Questioning oxytocin research

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

“You may have heard of oxytocin as the “moral molecule” or the “hug hormone” or the “cuddle chemical”. Unleashed by hugs, available in a handy nasal spray, and possessed with the ability to boost trust, empathy and a laundry list of virtues, it is apparently the cure to all the world’s social ills. Except it’s […]... Read more »

  • December 29, 2014
  • 10:42 AM
  • 146 views

Echo-location in humans

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

We can echo-locate but it is only possible to master well if blind. This is because, to be well done, echolocation uses parts of the visual cortex. A few years ago Thaler et al published the details (see citation below). Here is their description of this natural ability. “The enormous potential of this ‘natural’ echolocation […]... Read more »

  • December 23, 2014
  • 08:15 AM
  • 173 views

Ways to navigate

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

When I was a little girl, my father stood me on the door step and pointed across the yard and said, “that’s north”. He went on that the house behind me was south, the village was west and the grove of trees was east. To this day when I think of north I see the […]... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 01:02 PM
  • 155 views

Crows

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

I think it is time to look at crows again. There are three interesting papers want to commented on. What reminds me of crows is that I stumbled across a few years old blog by a linguist (he has probably changed his tune – so no references) who ridiculed the idea that birds were at […]... Read more »

  • December 5, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 168 views

Reading patterns

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a paper (citation below) that takes a different look at language. It attempts to examine what happens in the brain when we read a story. There is the act of reading, the processing of the language, and the engagement in the story, all going on at the same time. “One of the main […]... Read more »

  • November 26, 2014
  • 03:01 PM
  • 198 views

Synesthesia can be learned

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Synesthesia is a condition where one stimulus (like a letter) automatically is experienced with another attribute (like a colour) that is not actually present. About 4% of people have some form of this sensory mixing. It has been generally assumed that synesthesia is inherited because it runs in families. But it has been clear that […]... Read more »

Bor, D., Rothen, N., Schwartzman, D., Clayton, S., & Seth, A. (2014) Adults Can Be Trained to Acquire Synesthetic Experiences. Scientific Reports, 7089. DOI: 10.1038/srep07089  

  • November 17, 2014
  • 09:15 AM
  • 166 views

Habits and learning

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Habits allow us to perform actions without attending to every detail; we can do complex things and more than one action at a time without overloading our cognitive and motor systems. They are goal-directed macro actions made up of a sequence of simple primitive actions. A habit allows a complex action to be launched as […]... Read more »

Balderas, G. (2014) Habits as learning enhancers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00918  

  • October 15, 2014
  • 09:13 AM
  • 201 views

Remembering visual images

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is an interesting recent paper (see citation) on visual memory. The researchers’ intent is to map and areas and causal directions between them for a particular process in healthy individuals so that sufferers showing lost of that process can be studied in the same way and the areas/connections which are faulty identified. In this […]... Read more »

Nenert, R., Allendorfer, J., & Szaflarski, J. (2014) A Model for Visual Memory Encoding. PLoS ONE, 9(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107761  

  • October 9, 2014
  • 12:11 PM
  • 193 views

Fine control

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

My last blog on timing in some neurons in the cerebellum has started a string of thoughts. Here we have a part of the brain with an anatomy that is well mapped as opposed to many other parts. It has more neurons than the rest of the brain put together. It has grown relatively larger […]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 07:17 AM
  • 192 views

A new feature of neurons

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There are articles asking, “Are we ever going to understand the brain?” They imply that we have been studying the brain for long enough to be able to say how it works, if we are ever going to, and therefore hinting that it is a permanent mystery. But every week or so some new wrinkle […]... Read more »

Johansson, F., Jirenhed, D., Rasmussen, A., Zucca, R., & Hesslow, G. (2014) Memory trace and timing mechanism localized to cerebellar Purkinje cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415371111  

  • September 30, 2014
  • 12:18 AM
  • 224 views

Conscious content

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

I have been thinking about some information in a not too recent paper. (see citation below) Panagiotaropoulos and others looked at the location of the content of consciousness in primates. They used binocular flash suppression (BFS) to give two different visual stimulation that compete for a place in the content of consciousness. Here is their […]... Read more »

  • September 27, 2014
  • 02:18 PM
  • 237 views

Sometimes choices are not thought out

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

In some competitive situations animals can produce random behavior rather than behavior based on prior experience. The anterior cingulate cortex is where strategies based on models of reality and history are generated; switching to random behavior is done by inputs to this part of the brain from the locus coeruleus. This was reported in a […]... Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 08:15 AM
  • 214 views

Doing a task while asleep

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (citation below) describes subjects working away at a task, categorizing words, while asleep. Here is the abstract: Falling asleep leads to a loss of sensory awareness and to the inability to interact with the environment. While this was traditionally thought as a consequence of the brain shutting down to external inputs, it […]... Read more »

Kouider, S., Andrillon, T., Barbosa, L., Goupil, L., & Bekinschtein, T. (2014) Inducing Task-Relevant Responses to Speech in the Sleeping Brain. Current Biology, 24(18), 2208-2214. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.016  

  • September 12, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 227 views

Astrocyte role in gamma waves

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

The study of the brain has been very neuron centered. Glial cells outnumber neuron by about 10 to 1 in the cortex and are known to be important to brain function but it is not clear just what they do other than some housekeeping tasks and shepherding neurons to their final locations during development. Astrocyte […]... Read more »

Lee, H., Ghetti, A., Pinto-Duarte, A., Wang, X., Dziewczapolski, G., Galimi, F., Huitron-Resendiz, S., Pina-Crespo, J., Roberts, A., Verma, I.... (2014) Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(32). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410893111  

  • September 9, 2014
  • 08:54 AM
  • 219 views

Discovering rules unconsciously

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Dijksterhuis and Nordgren put forward a theory of unconscious thought. They propose that there are two types of thought process: conscious and unconscious. “CT (conscious thought) refers to object-relevant or task-relevant cognitive or affective thought processes that occur while the object or task is the focus of one’s conscious attention, whereas UT (unconscious thought) refers […]... Read more »

  • September 6, 2014
  • 05:38 AM
  • 225 views

Mind to mind transfer

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

  I read the abstract of a new paper (see citation below) about brain-to-brain communication. I had been thinking while I read the title that we already do brain-to-brain communication – it’s called language. And sure enough the first sentence of the abstract said, “Human sensory and motor systems provide the natural means for 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  

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