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  • August 23, 2016
  • 03:58 PM
  • 45 views

Making Music From Brainwaves: A History

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper in Brain tells the story of attempts to turn brain waves into music. The authors are Bart Lutters and Peter J. Koehler: Brainwaves in concert: the 20th century sonification of the electroencephalogram


Electroencephalography (EEG), a technique for measuring brain electrical activity, was invented by German psychiatrist Hans Berger in 1929. Berger's EEG displayed the recorded activity in the form of graphs, using a mobile pen and a rotating drum of graph paper, but within 5 years,... Read more »

  • August 23, 2016
  • 02:31 PM
  • 71 views

Too much activity in certain areas of the brain is bad for memory and attention

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Neurons in the brain interact by sending each other chemical messages, so-called neurotransmitters. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is important to restrain neural activity, preventing neurons from getting too trigger-happy and from firing too much or responding to irrelevant stimuli.

... Read more »

  • August 23, 2016
  • 10:36 AM
  • 71 views

The Brain: Red Meat and Mediterranean Diet

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Entorhinal Cortex Highlighted in BluePrevious posts in this blog have highlighted some the research related to links between brain health and elements of the Mediterranean diet.I want to inform readers of a new important research study from the Mayo Clinic.In this study, researchers completed brain cortical thickness analyses on 672 cognitively normal adults. It is generally accepted that greater cortical thickness relates to improved cognitive performance.The participants completed an extensive........ Read more »

Staubo SC, Aakre JA, Vemuri P, Syrjanen JA, Mielke MM, Geda YE, Kremers WK, Machulda MM, Knopman DS, Petersen RC.... (2016) Mediterranean diet, micronutrients and macronutrients, and MRI measures of cortical thickness. Alzheimer's . PMID: 27461490  

  • August 22, 2016
  • 03:00 PM
  • 64 views

Stroke-like brain damage is reduced in mice injected with omega-3s

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A stroke can happen at any age, and as with anything that involves the brain, a few seconds can be life altering. Usually the rule is time lost is brain lost, but there might be some good news regarding that, researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced brain damage in a neonatal mouse model of stroke.

... Read more »

  • August 21, 2016
  • 05:49 AM
  • 98 views

What To Do About Software Errors in fMRI?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Last month we learned that a problem in commonly used fMRI analysis tools was giving rise to elevated rates of false positives. Now, another issue has been discovered in an fMRI tool. The affected software is called GingerALE and the 'implementation errors' are revealed in a new paper by Simon B. Eickhoff et al., the developers of the package.





GingerALE is a meta-analysis tool, that offers the ability to combine the results of multiple fMRI studies to assess the overall level of evide... Read more »

  • August 20, 2016
  • 06:54 AM
  • 104 views

What are we getting wrong in neuroscience?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 1935, an ambitious neurology professor named Egas Moniz sat in the audience at a symposium on the frontal lobes, enthralled by neuroscientist Carlyle F. Jacobsen's description of some experiments Jacobsen had conducted with fellow investigator John Fulton. Jacobsen and Fulton had damaged the frontal lobes of a chimpanzee named "Becky," and afterwards they had observed a considerable behavioral transformation. Becky had previously been stubborn, erratic, and difficult to train, but post-operat........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 02:42 PM
  • 97 views

The Brain That Goes Through Phases: Temporal Metastates in fMRI

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Do you ever feel like your brain is stuck in a rut? A new study from neuroscientists James M. Shine and colleagues reveals the existence of 'temporal metastates' in human brain activity. These metastates are modes or patterns of activity that can persist over days, weeks or even months at a time, and they seem to be related to fluctuations in energy levels and attention.

The authors made use of a unique fMRI dataset, namely the results of repeated scanning of neuroscientist Russ Poldrack's br... Read more »

  • August 18, 2016
  • 04:07 PM
  • 120 views

Neural stem cells control their own fate

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

To date, it has been assumed that the differentiation of stem cells depends on the environment they are embedded in. A research group now describes for the first time a mechanism by which hippocampal neural stem cells regulate their own cell fate via the protein Drosha.

... Read more »

Chiara Rolando,, Andrea Erni,, Alice Grison,, Robert Beattie,, Anna Engler,, Paul J. Gokhale,, Marta Milo,, Thomas Wegleiter,, Sebastian Jessberger, & Verdon Taylor. (2016) Multipotency of Adult Hippocampal NSCs In Vivo Is Restricted by Drosha/NFIB. Cell Stem Cell . info:/10.1016/j.stem.2016.07.003

  • August 18, 2016
  • 08:54 AM
  • 160 views

Wait, let me google it. On the fall (and rise?) of human memory.

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Ruins of a memory palace Once upon a time, there were no computers. And yet, even in the ancient days when writing was not widespread, people told gigantic tales or recited poems of epic proportions. Often more than once. Admittedly, they probably changed a bit along the way, but still the plot remained intact. How […]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2016
  • 05:01 PM
  • 108 views

A dog's dilemma: Do canines prefer praise or food?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study suggests that given the choice, many dogs prefer praise from their owners over food. The study is one of the first to combine brain-imaging data with behavioral experiments to explore canine reward preferences.

... Read more »

Cook, P., Prichard, A., Spivak, M., & Berns, G. (2016) Awake Canine fMRI Predicts Dogs’ Preference for Praise Versus Food. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsw102  

  • August 12, 2016
  • 03:37 PM
  • 220 views

Sugar addiction: Discovery of a brain sugar switch

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers have discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process. An international team reports that transportation of sugar into the brain is regulated by so-called glial cells that react to hormones such as insulin or leptin; previously it was thought that this was only possible for neurons.

... Read more »

García-Cáceres, C., Quarta, C., Varela, L., Gao, Y., Gruber, T., Legutko, B., Jastroch, M., Johansson, P., Ninkovic, J., Yi, C.... (2016) Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability. Cell, 166(4), 867-880. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.028  

  • August 11, 2016
  • 02:04 PM
  • 157 views

Targeting the gut-brain connection can impact immunity

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There's a reason it's called a gut feeling. The brain and the gut are connected by intricate neural networks that signal hunger and satiety, love and fear, even safety and danger. These networks employ myriad chemical signals that include dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter most famous for its role in reward and addiction.

... Read more »

Xiou Cao, & Alejandro Aballay. (2016) Neural inhibition of dopaminergic signaling enhances immunity in a cell non-autonomous manner. Current Biology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.036

  • August 9, 2016
  • 02:41 PM
  • 218 views

Want a better memory? Try eating a Mediterranean diet

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It's not a fad diet, it is an actual diet -- as in the way a person eats normally -- and it may do more than just help your waistline. The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart.

... Read more »

  • August 9, 2016
  • 11:16 AM
  • 190 views

Genetics of Depression: Secondary Markers

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

In my previous post, I highlighted a recent study of genetics and major depression from the 23andMe database.I have had a chance to review this manuscript in more detail. One of the findings of interest involved secondary marker or secondary phenotypes.Fifteen genetic loci were identified in this 23andMe sample using a discovery and replication data set.Secondary phenotypes with the highest correlation with the 17 SNPs identified in the study included (effect) :Taking a selective serotonin reupt........ Read more »

  • August 8, 2016
  • 06:40 AM
  • 194 views

Scientific Study Shows Mediums Are Wrong 46.2% of the Time

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Not a very good showing, eh?Here's our latest study on mediumship: "Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics". Available here: https://t.co/jVMHmF07Dj— Dean Radin (@DeanRadin) May 21, 2016In the study,“Participants were asked to press a button if they thought the person in a photo was living or deceased. Overall mean accuracy on this task was 53.8%, where 50% was expected by chance (p < 0.004, two-tail). Statistically significant accuracy was independently obtained in 5 of ........ Read more »

Delorme, A., Pierce, A., Michel, L., & Radin, D. (2016) Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00173  

  • August 6, 2016
  • 03:24 PM
  • 202 views

Microcephaly discoveries in non-Zika cases explain abnormal brain growth

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Long before Zika virus made it a household word, the birth defect called microcephaly puzzled scientists and doctors -- even as it changed the lives of the babies born with it during the pre-Zika era. But new discoveries reported by an international team of scientists may help explain what happens in the developing brains of babies still in the womb, causing them to be born with small brains and heads.

... Read more »

Li, H., Bielas, S., Zaki, M., Ismail, S., Farfara, D., Um, K., Rosti, R., Scott, E., Tu, S., Chi, N.... (2016) Biallelic Mutations in Citron Kinase Link Mitotic Cytokinesis to Human Primary Microcephaly. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 99(2), 501-510. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.07.004  

  • August 5, 2016
  • 03:10 PM
  • 225 views

From Sci Fi to reality: Unlocking the secret to growing new limbs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Many lower organisms retain the miraculous ability to regenerate form and function of almost any tissue after injury. Humans share many of our genes with these organisms, but our capacity for regeneration is limited. So scientists are studying the genetics of these organisms to find out how regenerative mechanisms might be activated in humans.

... Read more »

  • August 3, 2016
  • 01:52 PM
  • 214 views

New neurons created through exercise don't cause you to forget old memories

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Fellow exercise enthusiasts, you can breath a sigh of relief and so can your brain. Research has found that exercise causes more new neurons to be formed in a critical brain region, and contrary to an earlier study, these new neurons do not cause the individual to forget old memories, according to new research.

... Read more »

  • August 3, 2016
  • 01:23 PM
  • 163 views

Your eyes are your own

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

This blows my mind. There is a technique that allows us to map the distribution of cones in a person’s eyes. You would think that there is some consistency from individual to individual, or that it would be distributed in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 31, 2016
  • 12:20 PM
  • 196 views

Fun brain fact: 13 spikes per second is too much energy

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

I will admit I have never thought about the question: how many spikes is your brain emitting every second? And how many could it emit? Lucy notwithstanding, it is probably something less than ‘all of them’. Beyond the obvious “that is called epilepsy”, … Continue reading →... Read more »

Lennie, P. (2003) The Cost of Cortical Computation. Current Biology, 13(6), 493-497. DOI: 10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00135-0  

Hasenstaub, A., Otte, S., Callaway, E., & Sejnowski, T. (2010) Metabolic cost as a unifying principle governing neuronal biophysics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(27), 12329-12334. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914886107  

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