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  • April 1, 2015
  • 11:20 AM
  • 11 views

Fatherhood and the Biology of Infant Care Behavior

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Early positive parental-infant attachment provides a key developmental advantage.The maternal-infant dyad has received the most research attention. However, fathers also can play an important role in infant development. An increasing number of studies focus on the biology of fatherhood and infant care behavior.Ilanit Gordon along with colleagues in Israel and the United States examined the role of two central neuropeptides in paternal behavior during the first six months of infancy.In their stud........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:23 PM
  • 31 views

Ovulation changes women’s desire for variety in products

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We know that hormones affect who we are, even when we aren’t aware of it. In the past scientists have found that people who are hungry tend to buy more things, no surprise for those of us who have shopped hungry. However, new research shows that women seek a greater variety of products and services, specifically when they are ovulating.... Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 05:42 PM
  • 32 views

Welcome to the wikipedia for neurons

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While the brain might not have more connections than stars in the universe (sorry guys), it is still complex. In fact, someone I respect defined a neuroscientist as “someone who knows how little we know about the brain.” Despite the decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain, we still don’t know much. So to help scientists make sense of the vast amount of information we already collected, researchers used data mining to create neuroelectro.org,........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:32 AM
  • 41 views

Gut Feelings

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

This boy may be influencing who he will marry when he grows up. Photo by Orrling at Wikimedia Commons.Animals (including humans) are swarming with microorganisms both on and in our bodies. Humans harbor so many different microorganisms that we have over 150 times more microbial genes than mammalian genes, and it is reasonable to suspect that this scenario is similar for most animals. But before you run to soak in a tub of hand sanitizer, you should realize that many of these microorganisms are a........ Read more »

Ezenwa, V., Gerardo, N., Inouye, D., Medina, M., & Xavier, J. (2012) Animal Behavior and the Microbiome. Science, 338(6104), 198-199. DOI: 10.1126/science.1227412  

  • March 30, 2015
  • 11:25 AM
  • 30 views

One Parent,Two Parents and Child Well-Being

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The structure of the family in the United States and other countries is changing. This change has occurred over a relatively brief period of time. Data noted in the study I am reviewing today shows that between 1970 and 2013 in the U.S.:Percentage of children living with two parents dropped 24%Percentage of children living with a single mother increased to 23.7%Percentage of children living with a single father quadrupled to 4.1%Percentage of children living with a grandparent doubled to 6......... Read more »

  • March 29, 2015
  • 09:28 AM
  • 76 views

Music affects on the brain

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper identified genes that changed their expression as a result of music performance in trained musicians. (see citation below). There were a surprising number of affected genes, 51 genes had increased and 22 had decreased expression, compared to controls who were also trained musicians but were not involved in making or listening to […]... Read more »

Kanduri, C., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A., Lähdesmäki, H., & Järvelä, I. (2015) The effect of music performance on the transcriptome of professional musicians. Scientific Reports, 9506. DOI: 10.1038/srep09506  

  • March 28, 2015
  • 08:20 PM
  • 24 views

The neurobiological underpinnings of suicidal behavior

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

When you consider that so much of our energy and such a large portion of our behavioral repertoire is devoted to ways of ensuring our survival, suicide appears to be perhaps the most inexplicable human behavior. What would make this human machine--which most of the time seems to be resolutely programmed to scratch, claw, and fight to endure through even the most dire situations--so easily decide to give it all up, even when the circumstances may not objectively seem all that desperate? Suicide i........ Read more »

Turecki, G. (2014) The molecular bases of the suicidal brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(12), 802-816. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3839  

  • March 28, 2015
  • 01:46 PM
  • 67 views

Too much attention can be a deficit

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Sometimes being too focused on a task is not a good thing. During tasks that require our attention, we might become so engrossed in what we are doing that we fail to notice there is a better way to get the job done. For example, let’s say you are coming out of a New York City subway one late afternoon and you want to find out which way is west. You might begin to scan street signs and then suddenly realize that you could just look for the setting sun.... Read more »

Nicolas W. Schuck, Robert Gaschler, Dorit Wenke, Jakob Heinzle, Peter A. Frensch, John-Dylan Haynes, & Carlo Reverberi. (2015) Medial Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Internally Driven Strategy Shifts. Neuron. info:/Link

  • March 27, 2015
  • 12:42 PM
  • 60 views

Researchers find how body’s good fat talks to the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There are two types of fat we humans have — white and brown — unfortunately only one of them is “good fat” and it is unfortunately not the one we tend to produce. Well new research shows that brown fat tissue, the body’s “good fat,” communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that is important for fighting human obesity, such as how much fat we have and how much fat we’ve lost.... Read more »

  • March 27, 2015
  • 12:16 PM
  • 68 views

The genetics of musical talent: an interview with Irma Järvelä

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

Would Mozart have become a great composer had his family not encouraged his musical career? Irma Järvelä is a clinical geneticist at the University of Helsinki, Finland, who investigates the molecular genetics of musical traits. After devoting 25 years of her career to the identification of genes and mutations involved in human diseases, she now works in close collaboration with bioinformaticians and music educators to study the influence of genes and the cultural environment in music percepti........ Read more »

Kanduri Chakravarthi, Minna Ahvenainen, Anju K. Philips, Liisa Ukkola-Vuoti, Harri Lähdesmäki, & Irma Järvelä. (2015) The effect of listening to music on human transcriptome. PeerJ. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.830  

Kanduri Chakravarthi, Minna Ahvenainen, Anju K. Philips, Harri Lähdesmäki, & Irma Järvelä. (2015) The effect of music performance on the transcriptome of professional musicians. Scientific Reports, 9506. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep09506  

  • March 27, 2015
  • 11:39 AM
  • 55 views

Music played by professionals activates genes for learning and memory

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Music performance is known to induce structural and functional changes to the human brain and enhance cognition. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying music performance have been so far unexplored. A Finnish research group has now investigated the effect of music performance (in a 2 hr concert) on the gene expression profiles of professional musicians from Tapiola Sinfonietta (a professional orchestra) and Sibelius-Academy (a music university).... Read more »

Kanduri, C., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A., Lähdesmäki, H., & Järvelä, I. (2015) The effect of music performance on the transcriptome of professional musicians. Scientific Reports, 9506. DOI: 10.1038/srep09506  

  • March 26, 2015
  • 06:27 PM
  • 48 views

Stereotype lowers math performance in women, no one noticed

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Stereotypes about people can affect how we look at a person, but sometimes it causes other problems. Gender stereotypes about women’s ability in mathematics negatively impact their performance. And in a significant twist, both men and women wrongly believe those stereotypes will not undermine women’s math performance — but instead motivate them to perform better.... Read more »

Boucher, K., Rydell, R., & Murphy, M. (2015) Forecasting the experience of stereotype threat for others. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 56-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2015.01.002  

  • March 26, 2015
  • 02:20 PM
  • 61 views

High-fat diet causes brain inflammation and alters behavior

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We hear in the media all the time, obesity is effecting our health. In most cases when we talk obesity we are talking about heart disease, sedentary activity, or chronic overeating. But what if a high-fat diet — regardless of obesity — has more than just an affect on your waistline? What if the consumption of fatty foods can change your behavior and your brain?... Read more »

Bruce-Keller, A., Salbaum, J., Luo, M., Blanchard, E., Taylor, C., Welsh, D., & Berthoud, H. (2015) Obese-type Gut Microbiota Induce Neurobehavioral Changes in the Absence of Obesity. Biological Psychiatry, 77(7), 607-615. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.07.012  

  • March 26, 2015
  • 11:17 AM
  • 41 views

Parenting Moderates Childhood Brain Stress Response

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Child brain development benefits from a positive parenting style and environment.The mechanism for this positive effect is unclear but moderation of the stress response in the growing child is an area of research interest.Haroon Sheikh and colleagues from the University of Ontario in Canada recently published results on a study of parenting and brain development in children.In their study, a cohort of 46 six year old girls underwent brain imaging using a technique known as diffusion tensor imagi........ Read more »

  • March 26, 2015
  • 07:50 AM
  • 58 views

Watching a paradigm shift in neuroscience

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

When I finished my PhD 15 years ago, the neurosciences defined the main function of brains in terms of processing input to compute output: “brain function is ultimately best understood in terms of input/output transformations and how they are produced” […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

  • March 25, 2015
  • 05:59 PM
  • 68 views

Immunotherapy, a promising new treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Alzheimer’s disease, it slowly takes things away from the person without giving anything back. Right now there is no cure and at best we can slow the progression in some cases. Time is always a factor and no two cases are the same. However, new treatments are in the works and a new study has revealed that a single dose of an immunotherapy reverses memory problems in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease.... Read more »

  • March 25, 2015
  • 01:03 PM
  • 62 views

Cracking the blood-brain barrier with magnetic nanoparticles

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The blood-brain barrier, the thorn in the side of medicine. It makes using drugs directed for the brain ineffective at best and unusable at worst. This barrier runs inside almost all vessels in the brain and protects it from elements circulating in the blood that may be toxic to the brain. This barrier means that currently 98% of therapeutic molecules are also unable to cross to the brain. However, researchers now say magnetic nanoparticles can open the blood-brain barrier and deliver molecules ........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2015
  • 10:37 AM
  • 57 views

Parental Education As Risk Factor For Eating Disorders

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the risk for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.Known risk factors for anorexia nervosa include female gender, young age, family member with anorexia nervosa, weight loss, and participation in weight sensitive sports or activities, i.e. gymnastics, dancing.There has also been evidence that anorexia nervosa is more common in higher socioeconomic classes. This finding has made it one of the few brain disorders more common with this cate........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 59 views

This Nose Knows

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Evolution has given the sperm whale the most amazing head in the animal kingdom. They’ve got the biggest brain – all 18 lb.s of it. It has 1900 liters of sperm oil that almost caused in the extinction of the animal. It has one nostril that’s offset on its head, making the whale asymmetric. But most impressively, he can change the density of his head to help him dive or surface, and to do it he uses the same organ he uses for echolocation!... Read more »

  • March 24, 2015
  • 01:44 PM
  • 58 views

Milk, not just for your bones, for your brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Milk, depending on who you ask it’s either great or the devil. In the US drinking milk is common; not so much in other parts of the world. This has lead to questions about why we even drink milk and how real its reported health claims actually are. Well new research has found a correlation between milk consumption and the levels of a naturally-occurring antioxidant called glutathione in the brain in older, healthy adults.... Read more »

Choi, I., Lee, P., Denney, D., Spaeth, K., Nast, O., Ptomey, L., Roth, A., Lierman, J., & Sullivan, D. (2014) Dairy intake is associated with brain glutathione concentration in older adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(2), 287-293. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.096701  

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