In a new study, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have successfully transplanted, for the first time, stem cell derived neural cells into three monkeys with artificially induced brain damage. The cells were derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, which in turn were created by autologous skin cells. According to the researchers, the neural cells integrated perfectly into the lesions and were only visible because they were previously marked with a fluorescent protein. The s........ Read more »
Marina E. Emborg, Yan Liu, Jiajie Xi, Xiaoqing Zhang, Yingnan Yin, Jianfeng Lu, Valerie Joers, Christine Swanson, James E. Holden, Su-Chun Zhang. (2013) Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Cells Survive and Mature in the Nonhuman Primate Brain. Cell Reports. info:/10.1016/j.celrep.2013.02.016
(Alternate title: In Soviet Russia, Mirror Neurons Explain YOU!) A draft of this post has been sitting around for a few weeks, and while I’m happy with today’s sanity check, I still can’t help but suspect that I am missing something in the debate on “action understanding”. So I am happy to be convinced that [...]... Read more »
Rizzolatti G, Fogassi L, & Gallese V. (2001) Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 2(9), 661-70. PMID: 11533734
Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) remains one of the most effective treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD).The mechanism of action for ECT in MDD is unclear. Research targeting brain changes in ECT is an important pathway to understanding the mechanism of action for ECT.Patients with MDD show disruptions in brain functional connectivity as measures by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The connectivity abnormalities in MDD have included changes in limbic, cortical........ Read more »
Abbott, C., Lemke, N., Gopal, S., Thoma, R., Bustillo, J., Calhoun, V., & Turner, J. (2013) Electroconvulsive Therapy Response in Major Depressive Disorder: A Pilot Functional Network Connectivity Resting State fMRI Investigation. Frontiers in Psychiatry. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00010
Broad generalizations are often made in popular psychology about one side or the other having characteristic labels, such as "logical" for the left side or "creative" for the right. These labels need to be treated carefully; although a lateral dominance is measurable, both hemispheres contribute to both kinds of processes.In psychology and neurobiology, the theory is based on what is known as the lateralization of brain function. So does one side of the brain really control specific functions? A........ Read more »
Ross, E., & Monnot, M. (2008) Neurology of affective prosody and its functional–anatomic organization in right hemisphere. Brain and Language, 104(1), 51-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2007.04.007
George MS, Parekh PI, Rosinsky N, Ketter TA, Kimbrell TA, Heilman KM, Herscovitch P, & Post RM. (1996) Understanding emotional prosody activates right hemisphere regions. Archives of neurology, 53(7), 665-70. PMID: 8929174
Dehaene, S. (1999) Sources of Mathematical Thinking: Behavioral and Brain-Imaging Evidence. Science, 284(5416), 970-974. DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5416.970
Devinsky, O. (2009) Delusional misidentifications and duplications: Right brain lesions, left brain delusions. Neurology, 72(1), 80-87. DOI: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000338625.47892.74
"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." -President Bill Clinton, August 17, 1998image: Brain electrodes, by laimagendelmundoDr. Vaughan Bell at Mind Hacks wrote a terrific post on The history of the birth of neuroculture as a follow-up to his Observer piece on Folk Neuroscience. That article explained how neuro talk has invaded many aspects of everyday discourse. In the new post he briefly covers the history of modern neuroscience, a necessary prelude to contemporary neuroc........ Read more »
Adelman, G. (2010) The Neurosciences Research Program at MIT and the Beginning of the Modern Field of Neuroscience. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 19(1), 15-23. DOI: 10.1080/09647040902720651
LEWIS, N. (1948) SUGGESTIVE RESEARCH LEADS IN CONTEMPORARY NEUROCHEMISTRY. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 136(13), 866. DOI: 10.1001/jama.1948.02890300016005
A month ago, I posted (here) on a paper reported in ScienceDaily. (citation below) I had not read the paper but commented on a quote of the author, included in the ScienceDaily item, which to me implied a dated understanding of a division between perception and cognition. The authors have kindly sent me a copy [...]... Read more »
Can food be addictive? Is obesity sometimes a form of substance abuse? In a new paper, neuroscientist and Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, muses on ‘The Addictive Dimensionality of Obesity’ Volkow and her coauthors start out with a disclaimer – “we do not claim that obesity is the result [...]... Read more »
This is my second guest post for Science of Eating Disorders blog. Tetyana has a lovely piece up looking at Deep Brain Stimulation as a potential therapy for intractable AN. If you haven’t seen it yet, please go check it out and join the discussion! Your body responds to food long before it reaches your [...]... Read more »
Monteleone P, Serritella C, Martiadis V, & Maj M. (2008) Deranged secretion of ghrelin and obestatin in the cephalic phase of vagal stimulation in women with anorexia nervosa. Biological psychiatry, 64(11), 1005-8. PMID: 18474361
Méquinion, M., Langlet, F., Zgheib, S., Dickson, S., Dehouck, B., Chauveau, C., & Viltart, O. (2013) Ghrelin: Central and Peripheral Implications in Anorexia Nervosa. Frontiers in Endocrinology. DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2013.00015
I am back from the IBAGS conference and full of new information! I plan to blog about tons of amazing things over the next month or so, but today we'll start with some foundation building.Dopamine nails (source)The IBAGS (international basal ganglia society) meeting is all about the basal ganglia (which includes the striatum), and as you may know, dopamine is a super important molecule for the proper function of the striatum (it is the dopamine cells that die in Parkinson's Disease).There were m........ Read more »
“Layered Voice Analysis” (LVA) is a controversial technology promoted as a tool for helping detect stress and other emotions by analysis of the human voice. According to the company behind the method, Nemesysco: LVA technology enables better understanding of your suspect’s mental state and emotional makeup at a given moment by detecting the emotional cues [...]... Read more »
Horvath F, McCloughan J, Weatherman D, & Slowik S. (2013) The Accuracy of Auditors' and Layered Voice Analysis (LVA) Operators' Judgments of Truth and Deception During Police Questioning*. Journal of forensic sciences. PMID: 23406506
Comparing human brains (and to a lesser extent all primate brains) to other animals like the mouse, we have many more, much bigger and much more complex astrocytes. Astrocytes have contributed to our larger brain by an order of magnitude more than neurons have. Astrocytes make contact and ’surround’ synapses; one human astrocyte can encompasses [...]... Read more »
Han, X., Chen, M., Wang, F., Windrem, M., Wang, S., Shanz, S., Xu, Q., Oberheim, N., Bekar, L., Betstadt, S.... (2013) Forebrain Engraftment by Human Glial Progenitor Cells Enhances Synaptic Plasticity and Learning in Adult Mice. Cell Stem Cell, 12(3), 342-353. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.12.015
This week, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto published a paper in The Lancet describing the results of a small study using deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treatment severe/chronic anorexia nervosa. Major news outlets, including the BBC, reported on the findings. A few people emailed and messaged me asking me to do a post about it (which is cool! I love it!). So here it is.
DBS is a surgical procedure that involves implanting an electrode that delivers electrical........ Read more »
Lipsman, N., Woodside, D., Giacobbe, P., Hamani, C., Carter, J., Norwood, S., Sutandar, K., Staab, R., Elias, G., Lyman, C.... (2013) Subcallosal cingulate deep brain stimulation for treatment-refractory anorexia nervosa: a phase 1 pilot trial. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62188-6
There's more to a pair of rat noses than meets the eye. Like tiny, leashless dogs, rats like to sniff each other all over when they meet. Yet not all of this sniffing is aimed at gathering scents. Some of it seems to transmit messages such as "I'm in charge" or "Be cool" or "Please don't bite my face."
Rats and other animals give off odors from the "face, flanks, and anogenital region," says neuroscientist Daniel Wesson of Case Western Reserve University. So it's not surprising that these re........ Read more »
We all want to be smarter. For a while, it looked like science was ready to deliver. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) is a type of noninvasive brain stimulation that works by placing electrodes over a small area of the brain. Direct current administered through these electrodes can cause the targeted brain area to generate electrical [...]... Read more »
Caffeinated plants provide an unforgettable experience.
Honeybees rewarded with caffeine remember the smell of specific flowers longer than bees given only sucrose, according to a study published in Science. “By using a drug to enhance memories of reward,” the study says, “plants secure pollinator fidelity and improve reproductive success.”
Many drugs used by humans come from plants. But what role do the drugs play for the plants themselves? Frequently, they play the role of toxic ave........ Read more »
Wright G. A., Baker D. D., Palmer M. J., Stabler D., Mustard J. A., Power E. F., Borland A. M., & Stevenson P. C. (2013) Caffeine in Floral Nectar Enhances a Pollinator's Memory of Reward. Science, 339(6124), 1202-1204. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228806
As I mentioned before I worked in a rat lab, and over the next few weeks I'd like to write a bit about some of the research I did as a graduate student at UMSL. I spent my time depressing rats and treating some of them with novel plant-derived compounds (some poor rats just got depressed and given placebo). Before I can tell you more about my project I'd like to share with you some of the work that influenced me. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants ." -- Is........ Read more »
Willmore-Fordham CB, Krall DM, McCurdy CR, & Kinder DH. (2007) The hallucinogen derived from Salvia divinorum, salvinorin A, has kappa-opioid agonist discriminative stimulus effects in rats. Neuropharmacology, 53(4), 481-6. PMID: 17681558
This is a cross-post from the wonderfully informative Science of Eating Disorders blog. ScienceofED covers a broad range of peer-reviewed research articles related to all aspects of eating disorders. Head over and check it out! Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, but all of them are characterized by the same goal: to avoid weight gain or [...]... Read more »
Guarda AS, Coughlin JW, Cummings M, Marinilli A, Haug N, Boucher M, & Heinberg LJ. (2004) Chewing and spitting in eating disorders and its relationship to binge eating. Eating behaviors, 5(3), 231-9. PMID: 15135335
A tamarin rock star (photographed by Ltshears at Wikimedia)Our moods change when we hear music, but not all music affects us the same way. Slow, soft, higher-pitched, melodic songs soothe us; upbeat classical music makes us more alert and active; and fast, harsh, lower-pitched, dissonant music can rev us up and stress us out. Why would certain sounds affect us in specific emotional ways? One possibility is because of an overlap between how we perceive music and how we perceive human voic........ Read more »
Snowdon, C., & Teie, D. (2009) Affective responses in tamarins elicited by species-specific music. Biology Letters, 6(1), 30-32. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0593
Back in 1993 this diagram was published, but the paper I am looking at was published in 1998 by Llinas and others (citation below); it contains the same diagram.
Here is the abstract:
Attempting to understand how the brain, as a whole, might be organized seems, for the first time, to be a serious [...]... Read more »
I've got a new post over on the SFARI (Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative) blog discussing the use of control groups in autism research.Control groups are an essential part of autism research, providing a benchmark against which to assess those with autism. Finding, for instance, that participants with autism score an average of 68 percent on a test is meaningless if you don’t know how people who don’t have autism do on the same test. A control group can also b........ Read more »
Kover ST, & Atwoo AK. (2013) Establishing equivalence: methodological progress in group-matching design and analysis. American journal on intellectual and developmental disabilities, 118(1), 3-15. PMID: 23301899
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