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How the brain copes with multi tasking alters with age | Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning

How the brain copes with multi tasking alters with age | Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The pattern of blood flow in the prefrontal cortex in the brains alters with age during multi-tasking, finds a new study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Neuroscience.
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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The rise of emotional awareness

The rise of emotional awareness | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Our emotions are subject to the ebbs and flow of daily life. Even the subtlest differences in our environments can have a visceral effect on our emotional state and interactions, with new tools and sensor quantifying by exactly how much.

New systems are being developed which use sensors and advanced algorithms to understand, react to and even anticipate our moods and emotional states.

These technologies have a built-in emotional responsiveness that will change the way we think of interactivity, allowing us to connect with our surroundings, with each other and even with ourselves, in an exciting and dynamic new way.

Margaret Morris, research scientist at Intel Labs, has explored the intersection of technology and emotions, examining how computing devices might enhance our personal and professional relationships. In the interview below, Morris talks about what it means to allow technology to get to know us and how will it can help us learn more about ourselves.

 


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Sleeping brains can process and respond to words - health - 11 September 2014 - New Scientist

Sleeping brains can process and respond to words - health - 11 September 2014 - New Scientist | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Our brains can categorise words and prepare physical responses to them while we sleep, highlighting just how awake some of our brain regions are as we
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How is thought translated into molecular changes in brain cells? - Another Form of Neuroplasticity by Switching Glutamate NMDA Subunits

How is thought translated into molecular changes in brain cells? -  Another Form of Neuroplasticity by Switching Glutamate NMDA Subunits | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Perhaps the most significant new discovery of how mental events trigger brain change is another form of neuroplasticity by switching Glutamate NMDA Subunits
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Tipping the Balance of Behavior

Tipping the Balance of Behavior | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers discover antagonistic neuron populations in the amygdala of mice which controls whether the animals engage in social behavior or asocial repetitive self grooming.
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Gray matter matters when measuring risk tolerance: May explain why risk tolerance decreases with age

The gray matter volume of a region in the right posterior parietal cortex is significantly predictive of individual risk attitudes, new research has found.
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Sleep Disorders Widely Undiagnosed in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis

Sleep Disorders Widely Undiagnosed in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Fatigue associated with MS could be the result of widely undiagnosed sleep disorders, a new study reports.

 

In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue.


Conducted in over 2,300 individuals in Northern California with multiple sclerosis, the large, population-based study found that, overall, more than 70 percent of participants screened positive for one or more sleep disorders.

The research highlights the importance of diagnosing the root causes of fatigue among individuals with MS, as sleep disorders may affect the course of the disease as well as the overall health and well-being of sufferers, the authors said.


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Not enough vitamin B1 can cause brain damage

Not enough vitamin B1 can cause brain damage | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A deficiency of a single vitamin, B1 (thiamine), can cause a potentially fatal brain disorder called Wernicke encephalopathy.
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Team discovers neurochemical imbalance in schizophrenia

Team discovers neurochemical imbalance in schizophrenia | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California, San Diego have discovered that neurons from patients with schizophrenia secrete higher amounts of...
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Few mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease patients suffer from malnutrition, yet almost one-third are at risk

Few mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease patients suffer from malnutrition, yet almost one-third are at risk | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) can experience difficulties with food preparation and ingestion, which could contribute to poor nutrition and place them at risk for malnourishment.
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Is the pattern of brain folding A 'fingerprint' for schizophrenia?

Is the pattern of brain folding A 'fingerprint' for schizophrenia? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of "hills", called gyri, and "valleys", called sulci.
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Study provides more evidence that sleep apnea is hurting your brain

Study provides more evidence that sleep apnea is hurting your brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Employing a measure rarely used in sleep apnea studies, researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing have uncovered evidence of what may be damaging the brain in people with the sleep disorder—weaker brain blood flow.
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David DeSteno

David DeSteno | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Curriculum vitae (pdf)
DeSteno Lab Website

Research

Dr. DeSteno’s research centers on the role of emotion in social cognition and social behavior. His lab takes a multilevel and multiprocess approach to examining the psychological functions, phenomenologies, and sequelae that are associated with discrete emotional states. Current projects focus on the effects of emotions on several types of social judgment (e.g., moral decision making, risk assessment, prejudice) as well as on behaviors fundamental to social living (e.g., trust and cooperation, prosocial action, organizational behavior, altruism, aggression).

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social and affective neuroscience laboratory

social and affective neuroscience laboratory | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Director:
Naomi Eisenberger
Department of Psychology, UCLA


Why is it that our social relationships have such a profound impact on our emotional and physical well-being? Why does feeling connected to those we love feel so good, whereas feeling estranged from them cause so much pain? In my laboratory, we use behavioral, physiological, and neuroimaging techniques to understand how our need for social connection has left its mark on our minds, brains, and bodies.

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Neuroscience Provides Clues To Organization

Neuroscience Provides Clues To Organization | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom for better managing our time and organizing our professional and personal lives. 

We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom for better managing our time and organizing our professional and personal lives. Don’t try to multitask. Turn off the email and Facebook alerts. But what’s grounded in real evidence and what’s not? In his new book The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin — a McGill University professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience — explores how having a basic understanding of the way the brain works can help us think about organizing our homes, our businesses, our time and even our schools in an age of information overload. We spoke with Levitin about his work. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Question: What was your goal in writing this book? Answer: Neuroscientists have learned a lot in the last 10 or 15 years about how the brain organizes information, and why we pay attention to some things and forget others. But most of this information hasn’t trickled down to the average reader. There are a lot of books about how to get organized and a lot of books about how to be better and more productive at business, but I don’t know of one that grounds any of these in the science. From the book, you seem to be a fan of David Allen, the time management guru. Does his Getting Things Donesystem have a real basis in neuroscience? 


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Neuroscientists reverse memories’ emotional associations

Neuroscientists reverse memories’ emotional associations | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
MIT study also identifies the brain circuit that links feelings to memories. 

Most memories have some kind of emotion associated with them: Recalling the week you just spent at the beach probably makes you feel happy, while reflecting on being bullied provokes more negative feelings.

A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions. Furthermore, the researchers found that they could reverse the emotional association of specific memories by manipulating brain cells with optogenetics — a technique that uses light to control neuron activity.

The findings, described in the Aug. 27 issue of Nature, demonstrated that a neuronal circuit connecting the hippocampus and the amygdala plays a critical role in associating emotion with memory. This circuit could offer a target for new drugs to help treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers say.

“In the future, one may be able to develop methods that help people to remember positive memories more strongly than negative ones,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and senior author of the paper. 


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Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment

Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers report the learning and memory deficits associated with neurofibromatosis are distinct features which require different treatment approaches.
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Brain inflammation dramatically disrupts memory retrieval networks, study finds

Brain inflammation dramatically disrupts memory retrieval networks, study finds | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences, according to scientists.
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Brain Inflammation Dramatically Disrupts Memory Retrieval Networks

Brain Inflammation Dramatically Disrupts Memory Retrieval Networks | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

A new study provides additional insight into the cognitive losses often seen as a result of chemotherapy and in some autoimmune diseases.


Brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences, according to UC Irvine neuroscientists Jennifer Czerniawski and John Guzowski.

Their study – which appears today in The Journal of Neuroscience – specifically identifies how immune system signaling molecules, called cytokines, impair communication among neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain critical for discrimination memory. The findings offer insight into why cognitive deficits occurs in people undergoing chemotherapy and those with autoimmune or neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Increased cytokine levels in the hippocampus only affected complex discrimination memory, the type that lets us differentiate among generally similar experiences – what we did at work or ate at dinner, for example. The image is for illustrative purposes only and shows a hippocampal brain slice from a rat. Credit Semiconscious.


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Promising Canadian stroke drug receives large research grant

Promising Canadian stroke drug receives large research grant | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
NA-1 drug, which aims to prevent harmful toxins in recent stroke victims, gets $6.6-million from Brain Canada

 

A Phase III trial involving a promising stroke drug will receive a $6.6-million injection from Brain Canada – yet another endorsement for a Canadian medication that takes aim at the country’s third leading cause of death.

The intravenous medication, called NA-1, is the $30-million, private venture of a company called NoNO Inc. Its development, nearly 20 years in the making, is unusual: It is neither in bed with a large pharmaceutical company nor has it relied on the largesse of the public purse. The brainchild of neurosurgeon Mike Tymianski of Toronto Western Hospital, the drug will be administered by paramedics to 518 stroke patients in a field program called FRONTIER, which rolls out in ambulances in the GTA, Peel Region and Vancouver next January.


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Compound protects brain cells after traumatic brain injury

Compound protects brain cells after traumatic brain injury | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new class of compounds has now been shown to protect brain cells from the type of damage caused by blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI).
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Scientists map white matter connections within the human brain

Scientists map white matter connections within the human brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—To see, think or feel, the 100 billion neurons in our brain must exchange messages.
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When spikes collide: Shaking the foundation of neuroscience

(Medical Xpress)—What happens when pulses on axons collide? Fortunately for neuroscience, that usually only happens when neuroscientists artificially create counter-propagating pulses to study connections. In real brains however, collision is not only an integral reality of every kind neurite, we ...
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Neuroscientist explores mechanism that can cause deficit in working memory

Neuroscientist explores mechanism that can cause deficit in working memory | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Amy Griffin, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware, has received a five-year, $1.78 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to support her research into the brain mechanisms of...
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National dementia research intitiative gets $31.5M federal funding - CBC.ca

National dementia research intitiative gets $31.5M federal funding - CBC.ca | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
 
The federal government has announced funding for a national research program to look into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
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Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory -- University of Colorado at Boulder. Tor D. Wager, Ph.D.

The mission of our lab is to investigate the brain pathways that underlie the generation and regulation of pain and emotion. One line of work concerns how cognitive and motivational factors influence the way in which painful stimuli and other aversive events are processed in the brain and body. Two other, related lines of work involve developing biomarkers for pain and emotion, and studying the roles of conceptual knowledge and learning in pain perception and avoidance behavior. A fourth line of work investigates the cortical-subcortical circuits involved in social evaluative threat. The common thread linking these lines of research is the study of relationships between brain processes, affective responses, and physiology using interventions and outcomes relevant for emotional health.


Recent and ongoing studies combine measurements of emotional behavior and self-report, brain activity (measured with fMRI, or, less frequently, PET or EEG), and peripheral physiology, including measures of autonomic and endocrine activity. Our lab has a particular emphasis on developing and using new analysis methods to gain a clearer picture systems-level interactions among of brain regions. Techniques that we have developed and employed include multilevel mediation, multivariate brain connectivity approaches, statistical learning based approaches to predicting outcomes from brain activity.


A specific approach that we are particularly excited about is the use of statistical learning (i.e., machine learning) to develop fMRI-based biomarkers for clinically relevant outcomes (e.g., pain) and subsequently test how psychological factors influence these biomarkers. In the area of pain, this approach could a) establish that a particular pattern of brain activity is diagnostic of physical pain, b) test whether the biomarker is specific to physical pain and/or particular types of pain, and c) test whether psychological manipulations such as placebo treatments and other clinical interventions influence the biomarker. Developing such biomarkers could thus advance pain research by providing objective, physiological correlates of pain in those who are unable to provide subjective reports, and could advance research in psychology by providing tests of psychological influences on the physical representation of pain at multiple levels of the neuraxis.


Our lab is also engaged in collaborative, translational research incorporating brain systems-level analyses into the study of clinical disorders, including PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, and chronic pain.

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