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  • November 23, 2014
  • 02:09 PM
  • 46 views

Love, it’s in your genes

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Most kids worry about passing tests, winning games, lost phones, fractured bones—and whether or not they will ever really fall in love. While the first few things are of relatively low value in the scientific pursuit, three Chinese researchers have focused on that last question. All in a bid to find out some of the more interesting questions about our genes: Why do some students stay single? What factors determine if a young adult falls in love?... Read more »

  • November 22, 2014
  • 09:10 AM
  • 67 views

Science Identifies The Catchiest Songs Ever – Did Your Favorite Make The List?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Using science, researchers are studying what makes songs catchy as a way to understand learning and memory. Did your favorite song make the list? ... Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 04:54 PM
  • 53 views

The impact of powered prosthetic failures on the user

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Prosthetics have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. With the ongoing wars in the middle east the need for better prosthetics technologies has become more apparent, to this end we now have prosthetics that will allow a person to "feel", we even have motorized prosthetics that will help allow a more fluid walk, but while powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. Becau........ Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 03:54 PM
  • 63 views

Is depression an infectious disease?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Over the past several decades we have seen the advent of a number of new pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, but major depressive disorder remains one of the most common mood disorders in the United States; over 15% of the population will suffer from major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Despite extensive research into the etiology and treatment of depression, we haven't seen a mitigation of the impact depression has on our society. In fact, there have even been a lot of ........ Read more »

  • November 19, 2014
  • 02:24 PM
  • 72 views

How gut microbiota changes the blood-brain barrier

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Don’t be alarmed, but we are outnumbered. When figuring out what makes us, “us” we need to remember that there are far more bacteria genes in us than human genes, by recent counts it’s something like 360 to 1. We also know that your stomach can change your cravings, but now we know that your stomach affects more than just your thoughts. Your stomach can control what can get to your brain.... Read more »

Viorica Braniste, Maha Al-Asmakh, Czeslawa Kowal, Farhana Anuar, Afrouz Abbaspour, Miklós Tóth, Agata Korecka, Nadja Bakocevic, Ng Lai Guan, Parag Kundu.... (2014) The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice. Science Translational Medicine. info:/10.1126/scitranslmed.3009759

  • November 18, 2014
  • 05:14 PM
  • 85 views

Does brain training really work?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever wonder if you could be the next Einstein if only you could do some brain training? Well as it turns out, while computer based ‘brain training’ can boost memory and thinking skills in older adults, many programs promoted by the $1 billion brain training industry are ineffective.... Read more »

  • November 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 77 views

Feel like I-dosing? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

"Digital drugs," otherwise known as binaural beats, have sparked an outcry in Lebanon, with the Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi calling Thursday for legal measures to be taken against the product...... Read more »

  • November 17, 2014
  • 03:33 PM
  • 68 views

The (Re)discovery of a major brain pathway

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

It was like something out of a mystery movie, a couple of years ago a scientist, looking at dozens of MRI scans of human brains noticed something surprising. A large, fiber pathway that seemed to be part of the network of connections that process visual information showed up on the scans, but the researcher couldn’t find it mentioned in any of the modern-day anatomy textbooks he had.... Read more »

Brian Wandell, Jason Yeatman, & Kevin Weiner. (2014) The vertical occipital fasciculus: A century of controversy resolved by in vivo measurements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1418503111

  • November 17, 2014
  • 09:15 AM
  • 78 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  

  • November 16, 2014
  • 08:05 PM
  • 67 views

Canine science catch up: 16-30 September 2014

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Gosh, it's been a busy ride since posting the excellent guest post by research, Cat Reeve, about her interesting detector dog research.  So now it's time to play catch up, starting with the canine science related things that we noticed in the second half of September, captured with the help of Storify - did you miss any of these?[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16 - 30 September 2014]" on Storify]Further reading (some of the abstracts from Canine Science Forum 2014 now available):We........ Read more »

Westgarth Carri, & Hayley E. Christian. (2014) How can we motivate owners to walk their dogs more?. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.023  

Horowitz Alexandra, & Hecht Julie . (2014) Categories and consequences of dog-human play: A citizen science approach. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.052  

Browne Clare M., T. Mary Foster, & James S. McEwan. (2014) Dog training: Reinforcement timing and owner body language. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 9(6). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.059  

  • November 16, 2014
  • 01:47 PM
  • 81 views

Soldiers and Suicide: A familiar tale

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As a Marine, there is a special place in my heart for all things military. While most protesters are busy arguing about the people who are dying overseas, there is an even more disheartening statistic — the suicide statistics of service members here at home. Suicide is an ugly word, so it’s no surprise that there is not a large movement fighting for better care and a new study done on soldiers doesn’t help.... Read more »

  • November 14, 2014
  • 07:20 PM
  • 106 views

Evolutionary Sins: The Gender Gap In Spatial Cognition And Navigation

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Recent research based on the Twe and Tjimba people of northwestern Namibia is suggested to lend evidence that gender gaps in spatial cognition are a result of evolutionary pressures, as men with higher spatial cognition are more successful in these tribes at mating and producing offspring. This post examines the literature and comes to a different conclusion, warning against hasty evolutionary explanations for behavioural traits.... Read more »

  • November 14, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 90 views

Breaking Research: Lithium may protect against Alzheimer’s and other aging-related diseases

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

As human life expectancy continues to increase at a steady rate in most countries worldwide, the prevalence of aging-related diseases is also increasing. One such example is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia in the aging population. There is currently no cure for AD, and the only treatments that exist temporarily cover […]... Read more »

  • November 13, 2014
  • 05:18 PM
  • 113 views

Limitless: The science behind remembering everything

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

If you could remember everything, you saw, learned, or did, would it be a blessing or a curse? Well an even better question would be, it even possible to upgrade the storage capabilities of the brain? The answer is strangely enough, maybe, according to a new study we might just be able to remember quite literally everything.
... Read more »

Denise Cook7, Erin Nuro7, Emma V. Jones, Haider F. Altimimi, W. Todd Farmer, Valentina Gandin,, Edith Hanna,, Ruiting Zong,, Alessandro Barbon,, David L. Nelson,, Ivan Topisirovic,, Joseph Rochford,, David Stellwagen,, Jean-Claude Béïque,, & Keith K. Murai. (2014) FXR1P Limits Long-Term Memory, Long-Lasting Synaptic Potentiation, and De Novo GluA2 Translation . Cell Reports. info:/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.028

  • November 12, 2014
  • 04:38 PM
  • 96 views

Ever wonder how the brain maps our world?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Sometimes we go into automatic, that “new” coffee shop on your way to work you just noticed, well it has been there for weeks. We can gauge where we are from just about anywhere we have already been. Giving directions, well some of us can never do that, yet we can still get from point A to B easy enough. Yet if we were to drive or even walk backwards and the world wouldn’t feel quite right, things would feel and seem just a little weird — not just because we are used to seeing things pas........ Read more »

  • November 12, 2014
  • 01:11 PM
  • 111 views

Do Rats Have Free Will?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

New research on the neural basis of ‘spontaneous’ actions in rats could shed light on the philosophical mystery that is human ‘free will’. The study, just published in Nature Neuroscience, is called Neural antecedents of self-initiated actions in secondary motor cortex. It’s from researchers Masayoshi Murakami and colleagues of Portugal’s excellently-named Champalimaud Centre for the […]The post Do Rats Have Free Will? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Murakami M, Vicente MI, Costa GM, & Mainen ZF. (2014) Neural antecedents of self-initiated actions in secondary motor cortex. Nature neuroscience, 17(11), 1574-82. PMID: 25262496  

  • November 12, 2014
  • 11:14 AM
  • 98 views

Binge Eating Linked to Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Binge eating is defined as the recurrent rapid consumption of high calorie meals accompanied by a feeling that eating is out of control.Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating paired with a purging behavior such as self-induced vomiting.Binge eating without purging is receiving increased clinical and research attention.Binge eating is a relative common component in elevated body mass index and obesity. Successful behavior and drug treatment for obesity often includes ........ Read more »

Peat CM, Huang L, Thornton LM, Von Holle AF, Trace SE, Lichtenstein P, Pedersen NL, Overby DW, & Bulik CM. (2013) Binge eating, body mass index, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Journal of psychosomatic research, 75(5), 456-61. PMID: 24182635  

  • November 12, 2014
  • 05:40 AM
  • 70 views

Optical Illusion: Can You See Vase And Faces Simultanuously?

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

The vase-face optical illusion is an ambiguous bi-stable image, that has been used in perceptual experiments for years. What can these images teach us about the brain?... Read more »

  • November 11, 2014
  • 11:13 AM
  • 84 views

Anorexia Nervosa: Brain Connectivity Abnormalities

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is providing a new tool for understanding brain circuitry in normal brain development and in brain disorders. Anorexia nervosa is an restrictive calorie eating disorder often resistant to treatment.No effective drug treatment for anorexia nervosa currently exists and psychotherapy is often only partially effective. A better understanding of the brain pathophysiology in anorexia nervosa is needed to aid in treatment development.Stephanie Kullman along wi........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 08:59 PM
  • 90 views

Our unclear understanding of ADHD

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, has engendered a great deal of debate over the past several decades. ADHD is a psychiatric disorder that involves symptoms of inattention (e.g. being easily distracted, having difficulty focusing) or symptoms of hyperactivity (e.g. being fidgety or restless), or a combination of both types of symptoms. The controversy surrounding ADHD became a bit louder in the 1990s, when the number of children being prescribed stimulant drugs like methylphenid........ Read more »

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