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All posts; Tags Include "Behavioral Neuroscience"

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  • March 26, 2015
  • 07:50 AM
  • 978 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
  • 10:37 AM
  • 668 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
  • 1,192 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
  • 07:00 AM
  • 1,543 views

A Universal Translator By Any Other Name…

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Star Trek wouldn’t have been possible without the universal translator. Who would want to watch a show where characters don’t understand each other – of course, that doesn’t stop people from watching political debates. The technology of a universal translator is easy, we have camera phones that will show you a foreign sign in your own language. It’s the software to decipher a previously unencountered language that’s proving tough to overcome. Are there any uni........ Read more »

Rao, R., Yadav, N., Vahia, M., Joglekar, H., Adhikari, R., & Mahadevan, I. (2009) Entropic Evidence for Linguistic Structure in the Indus Script. Science, 324(5931), 1165-1165. DOI: 10.1126/science.1170391  

Snyder, Benjamin, Regina Barzilay and Kevin Knight. (2010) A Statistical Model for Lost Language Decipherment. Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2010. info:/

  • March 22, 2015
  • 03:37 PM
  • 681 views

In Search for the Function of Sleep Continues

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Today, I was a guest host on an awesome neuroscience podcast entitled On Your Mind. We discussed these two papers that aim to yet probe for another significant function of sleep... Read more »

  • March 14, 2015
  • 11:54 PM
  • 1,290 views

New approaches to epilepsy treatment: optogenetics and DREADDs

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Epilepsy refers to a group of disorders that are characterized by recurrent seizures. It is a relatively common neurological condition, and is considered the most common serious (implying that there is a risk of mortality) brain disorder, affecting around 2.2 million Americans.The seizures associated with epilepsy are not homogenous; they can have a drastically different presentation depending on the patient, the part of the brain the seizure originates in, and how much of the brain the seizure ........ Read more »

  • March 11, 2015
  • 04:57 PM
  • 1,239 views

Why do we remember bad memories easier than good ones?

by Crystals and Catalysts in Crystals and Catalysts

How many times have you found yourself recollecting a bad memory?It doesn't even have to be a very bad memory,  it could be a sad moment, a moment which angered you or even an embarrassing moment. But it is definitely prominent in your mind.All of these things could have happened years ago and you don't want to remember them but they still come back and haunt you from time to time.But the question is why do we remember  these bad memories more than good ones? Time to think ou........ Read more »

Ritchie TD, Batteson TJ, Bohn A, Crawford MT, Ferguson GV, Schrauf RW, Vogl RJ, & Walker WR. (2015) A pancultural perspective on the fading affect bias in autobiographical memory. Memory (Hove, England), 23(2), 278-90. PMID: 24524255  

  • March 11, 2015
  • 09:03 AM
  • 662 views

After Consulting Dr. Wiki, You Should Get a Second Opinion

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

We have all been there: waking up in the middle of the night with a pounding headache, nausea, rashes on skin or another ailment with an unexplained origin. More often than not, first thing we’re inclined to do is begin... Read more »

Hasty RT, Garbalosa RC, Barbato VA, Valdes PJ Jr, Powers DW, Hernandez E, John JS, Suciu G, Qureshi F, Popa-Radu M.... (2014) Wikipedia vs peer-reviewed medical literature for information about the 10 most costly medical conditions. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 114(5), 368-73. PMID: 24778001  

  • February 24, 2015
  • 03:55 PM
  • 751 views

Humans in the Wild.

by Allison in Dormivigilia

My graduate lab did a really neat study brainstormed over libations on Bourbon Street in NOLA, actually. Basically, they took the power grid data from the Pacific Northwest and imported it into a circadian-specific computer program to see seasonal and monthly rhythms of human activity based on the power grid. ... Read more »

  • February 19, 2015
  • 01:12 PM
  • 643 views

Circadian and ultradian rhytms in dopaminergic signalling might have consequences for psychopathology

by Caio Maximino in Caio Maximino - Research site and blog

Two recent articles shed light on how rhythmicity in dopaminergic signaling can be of relevance to some psychiatric disorders... Read more »

  • February 16, 2015
  • 03:54 PM
  • 724 views

Cigarette Smoking Leads to Thinning of the Brain’s Cortex

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

Cigarette smoking is associated with cognitive decline and dementia, but the extent of the association between smoking and structural brain changes remains unclear. According to recent study published by Karama et.al., in Molecular Psychiatry, “long-term smoking could cause thinning of the outer layer of the brain involved in critical cognitive functions such as memory and language.” Although the cortex grows thinner with normal ageing, the study found that smoking appears to accelerate the ........ Read more »

Karama, S., Ducharme, S., Corley, J., Chouinard-Decorte, F., Starr, J., Wardlaw, J., Bastin, M., & Deary, I. (2015) Cigarette smoking and thinning of the brain’s cortex. Molecular Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2014.187  

  • February 9, 2015
  • 02:28 PM
  • 935 views

Is tanning addictive?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In Walden, his masterpiece about noncomformity and simple living, Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new." And while Thoreau was specifically talking about society's capriciousness in embracing new styles of clothing, his quote applies just as well to our preference for one shade of skin color over another. For, while many now consider a medium-dark tan to be both healthier-looking and more attractive than pale skin, only 100 year........ Read more »

Petit, A., Karila, L., Chalmin, F., & Lejoyeux, M. (2014) Phenomenology and psychopathology of excessive indoor tanning. International Journal of Dermatology, 53(6), 664-672. DOI: 10.1111/ijd.12336  

  • February 6, 2015
  • 09:02 AM
  • 1,187 views

Typical Dreams: A Comparison of Dreams Across Cultures

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Have you ever wondered how the content of your dreams differs from that of your friends? How about the dreams of people raised in different countries and cultures? It is not always easy to compare dreams of distinct individuals because the content of dreams depends on our personal experiences. This is why dream researchers have developed standardized dream questionnaires in which common thematic elements are grouped together. These questionnaires can be translated into various languages and used........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 05:39 PM
  • 990 views

The Psychology of Procrastination: How We Create Categories of the Future

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Paying bills, filling out forms, completing class assignments or submitting grant proposals – we all have the tendency to procrastinate. We may engage in trivial activities such as watching TV shows, playing video games or chatting for an hour and risk missing important deadlines by putting off tasks that are essential for our financial and professional security. Not all humans are equally prone to procrastination, and a recent study suggests that this may in part be due to the fact that t........ Read more »

  • January 16, 2015
  • 11:08 AM
  • 1,441 views

Know your brain: Reward system

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Where is the reward system?The term reward system refers to a group of structures that are activated by rewarding or reinforcing stimuli (e.g. addictive drugs). When exposed to a rewarding stimulus, the brain responds by increasing release of the neurotransmitter dopamine and thus the structures associated with the reward system are found along the major dopamine pathways in the brain. The mesolimbic dopamine pathway is thought to play a primary role in the reward system. It connects the ventral........ Read more »

Wise RA. (1998) Drug-activation of brain reward pathways. Drug and alcohol dependence, 51(1-2), 13-22. PMID: 9716927  

  • January 11, 2015
  • 01:00 PM
  • 838 views

A decade's worth of data on alcohol and circadian rhythms

by Allison in Dormivigilia

Across the past decade, the lab where I completed my PhD work and our collaborator have undertaken numerous experiments reflected in over 10 original research publications on how alcohol affects circadian timekeeping. The journey continues. ... Read more »

  • January 5, 2015
  • 02:32 PM
  • 1,150 views

Journal Club: Halfsider: a bizarre half-male half-female bird

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: A “halfsider” -- half male and half female bird -- has been mentioned in the news over the holidays. More properly known as bilateral gynandromorphs or tetragametic chimæras, these unusual birds are actually two genetically distinct individuals -- twins -- fused into one being. But what is it like to be such an individual? A recently published paper shares observations of the behaviour and social life of one such individual living in the wild.... Read more »

  • December 15, 2014
  • 08:42 AM
  • 969 views

Who is Getting High in Europe (and Where)?

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

My research training is in psychiatric epidemiology. Alcohol and drug dependence have been two of my topic areas of research.So I found a recent novel study of the epidemiology of illicit drug use in Europe intriguing.Typical methods of looking for the prevalence of drug use in populations are direct diagnostic interviews and studies of emergency room attendees or autopsy cases with medical complications of drug use.However, Christopher Ort from Switzerland along with a host of European col........ Read more »

Ort C, van Nuijs AL, Berset JD, Bijlsma L, Castiglioni S, Covaci A, de Voogt P, Emke E, Fatta-Kassinos D, Griffiths P.... (2014) Spatial differences and temporal changes in illicit drug use in Europe quantified by wastewater analysis. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 109(8), 1338-52. PMID: 24861844  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 11:46 AM
  • 759 views

Prescription Opiate Abuse: High-Risk Populations

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Prescription opiate abuse is a significant problem in the United States.I have previously written about this issue in several previous posts.One important factor for clinicians and patients is the need to identify high-risk populations that may be more vulnerable to opiate abuse and dependence.One obvious group would be those with alcohol or another non-opiate abuse diagnosis. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders are associated with increased risk for substance abuse including opiate abuse.G........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 11:06 AM
  • 746 views

Incentives in the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Relapse rates are high in treatment samples of adults with cocaine dependence.Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common standard of care for cocaine dependence.A recent clinical trial from Switzerland examined the use of financial prize incentives to augment standard CBT in the treatment of cocaine dependence.Sixty subjects participated in this trial with the following inclusion criteria: least 18 years of age, had a DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence with at least one po........ Read more »

Petitjean SA, Dürsteler-MacFarland KM, Krokar MC, Strasser J, Mueller SE, Degen B, Trombini MV, Vogel M, Walter M, Wiesbeck GA.... (2014) A randomized, controlled trial of combined cognitive-behavioral therapy plus prize-based contingency management for cocaine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence, 94-100. PMID: 25456571  

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