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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Link between proteins points to possibilities for future Alzheimer’s treatments

Link between proteins points to possibilities for future Alzheimer’s treatments | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers have found that the proteins that control the progression of Alzheimer’s are linked in a pathway, and that drugs targeting this pathway may be a way of treating the disease, which affects 40 million people worldwide.
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EyeWire Is Making Neuroscience Research Cool Again - TechCrunch

EyeWire Is Making Neuroscience Research Cool Again - TechCrunch | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Thanks to a little startup sprouting up from Boston, I was able to map out a small section of a neuron through EyeWire, a company that's gamifying its..
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Training pig skin cells for neural development

Training pig skin cells for neural development | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A pig's skin cells may hold the key to new treatments and cures for devastating human neurological diseases.
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Space radiation may permanently harm astronauts’ brains

Space radiation may permanently harm astronauts’ brains | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Flying people to deep space — like Mars or an asteroid — is high on NASA’s wish list, but research on mice suggested Friday that extended radiation exposure permanently harms the brain.
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Center for Cognitive & Social Neuroscience | The University of Chicago

Center for Cognitive & Social Neuroscience | The University of Chicago | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
 If we compressed the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth into a 24 hour period, the first single-cell organisms would have emerged around 18 hours ago, the first simple nervous systems separating animals from plants would have emerged around 3.75 hours ago, the first brain would have emerged about 2.67 hours ago, the first hominid brain would have emerged less than 2.5 minutes ago, and the current version of the human brain would have emerged less than 3 seconds ago.  The human brain is the most complex living structure known, and the determination of how the human brain works to maintain a healthy body and produce our mental and behavioral existence is one of the grand challenges in science. The mission of the Center is to create a rich intellectual environment and a supportive academic environment, to address this grand challenge, with an emphasis on rethinking what is possible. We do this through international, interdisciplinary, multi-level analyses, ranging from genes to societies, that utilize multiple methods in human studies and animal models.  The common core for  CCSN is rigor, quantification, and theoretical sophistication shaped by reproducible empiricism designed to disconfirm, or at least to identify the limits of, rather than to confirm apriori expectations. 
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Light — not pain-killing drugs — used to activate brain’s opioid receptors

Light — not pain-killing drugs — used to activate brain’s opioid receptors | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Despite the abuse potential of opioid drugs, they have long been the best option for patients suffering from severe pain. The drugs interact with receptors on brain cells to tamp down the body’s pain response.
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A BRAIN Initiative First: New Tool Can Switch Behavior ‘On’ and ‘Off’ to Control Behaviour in Mice

A BRAIN Initiative First: New Tool Can Switch Behavior ‘On’ and ‘Off’ to Control Behaviour in Mice | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Using a new ‘chemogenetic’ technique invented at UNC, scientists turn neurons ‘on’ and ‘off’ to demonstrate how brain circuits control behavior in mice. This unique tool – the first to result from the NIH BRAIN Initiative – will help scientists understand how to modulate neurons to more effectively treat diseases.

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Report: Brain-injured patients need therapies based on cognitive neuroscience

Report: Brain-injured patients need therapies based on cognitive neuroscience | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Patients with traumatic brain injuries are not benefiting from recent advances in cognitive neuroscience research – and they should be, scientists report in a special issue of Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.
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Musical Performance Activates Specific Genes

Musical Performance Activates Specific Genes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Blood tests on 10 professional musicians before and after playing showed that specific genes got turned on by performance, some of which are also active in songbirds. Karen Hopkin reports.
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Discovery of an unexpected function of a protein linked to neurodegenerative diseases

Discovery of an unexpected function of a protein linked to neurodegenerative diseases | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Until today, the proteins known as ubiquitin receptors have been associated mainly with protein degradation, a basic cell cleaning process.
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Scientists watch living taste cells in action

Scientists watch living taste cells in action | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists have for the first time captured live images of the process of taste sensation on the tongue. The international team imaged single cells on the tongue of a mouse with a specially designed microscope system.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Study: Oxytocin Conditions Intergroup Relations Through Upregulated In-Group Empathy, Cooperation, Conformity, and Defense.

Study: Oxytocin Conditions Intergroup Relations Through Upregulated In-Group Empathy, Cooperation, Conformity, and Defense. | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Humans live in, rely on, and contribute to groups. Evolution may have biologically prepared them to quickly identify others as belonging to the in-group (versus not), to decode emotional states, and to empathize with in-group members; to learn and conform to group norms and cultural practices; to extend and reciprocate trust and cooperation; and to aggressively protect the in-group against outside threat. We review evidence that these components of human group psychology rest on and are modulated by the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin.

 

It appears that oxytocin motivates and enables humans to

1) like and empathize with others in their groups,2) comply with group norms and cultural practices, and3) extend and reciprocate trust and cooperation, which may give rise to intergroup discrimination and sometimes defensive aggression against threatening (members of) out-groups.

 

We explore the possibility that deficiencies in (components of) group psychology, seen in autistic spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality and social anxiety disorders, may be reduced by oxytocin administration. Avenues for new research are highlighted, and implications for the role of oxytocin in cooperation and competition within and between groups are discussed.

Authors: De Dreu CK, Kret ME


Via Edwin Rutsch, Corina Dobre
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Extra sleep fixes memory problems in flies with Alzheimer’s-like condition

Extra sleep fixes memory problems in flies with Alzheimer’s-like condition | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Many studies have linked more sleep to better memory, but new research in fruit flies demonstrates that extra sleep helps the brain overcome catastrophic neurological defects that otherwise would block memory formation, report scientists at...
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Major pathway identified in nerve cell death offers hope for therapies

Major pathway identified in nerve cell death offers hope for therapies | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New research highlights how nerves – whether harmed by disease or traumatic injury – start to die, a discovery that unveils novel targets for developing drugs to slow or halt peripheral neuropathies and devastating neurodegenerative disorders such...
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Gut Feelings--the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt]

Gut Feelings--the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt] | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
There is a superhighway between the brain and GI system that holds great sway over humans
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Who Should Get a Brain Scan for Alzheimer’s?

Who Should Get a Brain Scan for Alzheimer’s? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new test can identify the disorder's early stages. How will it help patients?
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Five Curious Facts about Music and Brain Damage

Five Curious Facts about Music and Brain Damage | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

What happens if a musician experiences some sort of brain damage? Music is the ultimate “brain” activity, as it involves the motor, visual, auditory, audiovisual, somatosensory, parietal and frontal areas in both hemispheres and the cerebellum. By being such a “complete” brain activity, music has a lot of beneficial effects on the brain. Amid the countless examples of the virtues of music, let’s mention a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, which determined that kids who took music lessons for two years did not just witness an improvement in their abilities to play their instrument, but they also processed language more easily: in fact, learning music improves the brain’s ability to process pitch, timing and timbre, which actually helps pick up language too.


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Chicago NeuroImaging Workshop on the Dynamic Social Brain | High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging Laboratory | The University of Chicago

Chicago NeuroImaging Workshop on the Dynamic Social Brain | High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging Laboratory | The University of Chicago | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Introduced in 1992, social neuroscience seeks to specify the neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms underlying social behavior, and in so doing to understand the associations and influences between social and biological levels of organization (Cacioppo and Bernston, 1992; Cacioppo and Decety, 2011). The past twenty-three years have seen not only the acceptance of the field of social neuroscience, but also its tremendous growth as an integrative and interdisciplinary field, as several neuroimaging procedures were burgeoning, and human lesion studies, comparative research, and animal models began to focus more on the biological basis of social structures and processes. With such a fast growth, there is a crucial need for social neuroscientists to stay up-to-date on the available neuroimaging methods and cutting-edge analytic tools to study the social brain.
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Why we laugh

Why we laugh | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Did you know that you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else than if you're alone? Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares this and other surprising facts about laughter in this fast-paced, action-packed and, yes, hilarious dash through the science of the topic.

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Focusing the Brain on Better Vision: “You can teach an older brain new tricks.”

Focusing the Brain on Better Vision: “You can teach an older brain new tricks.” | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
As adults age, vision deteriorates. One common type of decline is in contrast sensitivity, the ability to distinguish gradations of light to dark, making it possible to discern where one object ends and another begins.

When an older adult descends a flight of stairs, for example, she may not tell the edge of one step from the next, so she stumbles. At night, an older driver may squint to see the edge of white road stripes on blacktop. Caught in the glare of headlights, he swerves.

But new research suggests that contrast sensitivity can be improved with brain-training exercises. In a study published last month in Psychological Science, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and Brown University showed that after just five sessions of behavioral exercises, the vision of 16 people in their 60s and 70s significantly improved.

After the training, the adults could make out edges far better. And when given a standard eye chart, a task that differed from the one they were trained on, they could correctly identify more letters.

“There’s an idea out there that everything falls apart as we get older, but even older brains are growing new cells,” said Allison B. Sekuler, a professor of psychology, neuroscience and behavior at McMaster University in Ontario, who was not involved in the new study. “You can teach an older brain new tricks.”

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How to control someone else's arm with your brain

How to control someone else's arm with your brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It’s not a parlor trick; it actually works. You have to see it to believe it.

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Women show persistent memory impairment after concussion

Women show persistent memory impairment after concussion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Women may have a more difficult time than men in recovering from concussion, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
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‘Chemo brain’ is real, say UBC researchers

‘Chemo brain’ is real, say UBC researchers | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
UBC researchers have measured the brain activity of breast cancer survivors who experience a foggy-headed feeling known as ‘chemo brain’ after treatment, where patients can find it difficult to con...

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Researchers train computers to identify gene interactions in human tissues

Researchers train computers to identify gene interactions in human tissues | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers have trained a computer to crunch big biomedical data in order to recognize how genes work together in human tissues.
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