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Amygdala evolution and cortical-subcortical integration

Amygdala evolution and cortical-subcortical integration | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
I finally had a chance to take a more careful look at this paper by Chareyron, L. J., Banta Lavenex, P., Amaral, D. G., & Lavenex, P. (2011). Stereological analysis of the rat and monkey amygda...
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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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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The Neuroscience Of Compassion Tania Singer - YouTube

The Neuroscience Of Compassion Tania Singer

Via Edwin Rutsch, Corina Dobre
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Neurons Constantly Rewrite Their DNA | Neuroscience News

Neurons Constantly Rewrite Their DNA | Neuroscience News | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor “DNA surgeries” to toggle their activity levels all day, every day. Since these activity levels are important in learning, memory and brain disorders, the researchers think their finding will shed light on a range of important questions. A summary of the study will be published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience on April 27.

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Implanted micropump could deliver epilepsy drugs right into the brain

Implanted micropump could deliver epilepsy drugs right into the brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A promising new treatment for epilepsy directly targets the nerve cells, deep within the brain, that cause seizures.
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What Causes Tinnitus? Brain Scans Show Multiple Areas Are Responsible For Perpetual Ringing

What Causes Tinnitus? Brain Scans Show Multiple Areas Are Responsible For Perpetual Ringing | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
While many people believe tinnitus is a condition only involving the brain's auditory cortex, a new study shows it could be more than that.
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New brain mapping model could improve effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation

New brain mapping model could improve effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Brain researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new brain mapping model which could improve the success rate of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in treating conditions including depression, neuropathic pain, and stroke. The model helps pinpoint target sites during TMS, a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to alleviate or eliminate symptoms of stroke, depression, and attention disorders. The new model will be presented at the 67th American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 22.
During TMS, a large electromagnetic coil is placed on the scalp near the forehead. The device creates electric currents that rouse nerve cells in the cerebrum, the part of the brain involved in thinking, perceiving, planning, and understanding language. Through this arousal, improvements in the underlying condition have been achieved. But the technique hasn't worked for everyone.
"We know that certain genotypes reduce TMS efficacy, but aside from that we really don't understand why TMS works for some and not for others," said lead researcher John D. Medaglia, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Penn's Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation. "Our goal is to better understand how to appropriately model and target the neural system so that we can know with certainty whether the treatment will succeed."
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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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Researchers discover new drugs to combat the root cause of multiple sclerosis

Researchers discover new drugs to combat the root cause of multiple sclerosis | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New research published this week in Nature has found several drugs could lead to new treatment options for multiple sclerosis (MS), including two drugs that effectively treat MS at the source, in vivo.
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Temporal dynamics in fMRI resting-state activity

Temporal dynamics in fMRI resting-state activity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In a significant new study, Mitra et al. (1) demonstrate the existence of reproducible temporal patterns of spontaneous activity from human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) recordings. This finding and the novel methods used to demonstrate it bring the question of the role of temporally patterned activity into the domain of human cognition.

The Brain as a Dynamical Machine

What the brain does is ultimately simple: it takes in sensory information, transforms it into an abstract code of spikes, and uses it to generate motor patterns. This spike code thus constitutes a mental representation of the world, which interacts with memories, expectations, motivations, and other internal states of the animal to generate a series of behaviors that are adaptive and intelligent, and maximize the survival of the individual and the spread of its genes.


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The Social and Affective Neuroscience Society - Conference Information

The Social and Affective Neuroscience Society - Conference Information | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
SANS 2015 Annual Conference Information

The 8th Annual Meeting of the Social & Affective Neuroscience Society will be held on April 23-25, 2015 in Boston, MA at the Revere Hotel (200 Stuart Street, Boston MA 02116). The conference will kick off with a Keynote Address from Dr. Michael Platt at 5 pm on Thursday, April 23, followed by a poster reception from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th will feature full days of programming, including symposia, posters, blitz talks, an optional lunchtime panel focusing on funding opportunities, and social events for networking.


All SANS events will be held on the 6th Floor of the hotel.
The final program is now available!
For poster presenters: Each poster will be present on a board that is 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide. Please ensure your poster fits within those dimensions.

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Submission | Neurobiology of Social Influence 2015

Submission | Neurobiology of Social Influence 2015 | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
We invite submission of research abstracts. Abstracts are encouraged from any area of social influence and neuroscience. All submissions will be evaluated by a Program Committee.

Abstracts should describe novel theoretical, computational and empirical results; abstracts that fail to do so will not be considered.
Abstracts should not report findings that will be published elsewhere prior to the meeting, although presentation of the work at a recent meeting (e.g., within a year) of another society is acceptable.
 

The abstract should state the study's objective, briefly describe the methods used, summarize the results obtained, and state the conclusions. Ideally, these sections will be indicated explicitly. It is not satisfactory to say, "The results will be discussed." Abstracts should emphasize the significance of results and general principles rather than describe common methods and procedures.
Use standard abbreviations for units of measure. Other abbreviations should be fully spelled out on first mention, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. 

The body of your abstract should be no more than 2,300 characters, including punctuation (not spaces), and no longer than 1 page. Abstracts longer than this limit will be returned to the submitting author for revision and must be resubmitted by the abstract deadline or will not be accepted. The title, author, affiliations, contact information, acknowledgements, and references are NOT included in the character count but everything must fit on one page.
 
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Why scientists are making brain cells from skin - Futurity

Why scientists are making brain cells from skin - Futurity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers can now make brain cells from the skin cells of patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, to better study the fatal disease.

The team used a genetic engineering technique to convert patients’ adult skin cells into “induced pluripotent stem cells,” which can then be coaxed into becoming brain cells.

“We make brain cells out of the patient’s own skin,” says Jeffrey Rothstein, professor of neurology, who directs the Brain Science Institute and the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University.

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Alzheimer's study finds possible cause of disease

Alzheimer's study finds possible cause of disease | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A study using mice has uncovered a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and suggests that a drug currently being investigated in human clinical trials to treat cancer could prevent the illness.

The research has been heralded as offering hope of finding new treatments for dementia.

The findings, by Duke University in America and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, are surprising, according to one of the authors, as they contradict current thinking on the disease.

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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


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The Neuroscience Of Compassion Tania Singer - YouTube

The Neuroscience Of Compassion Tania Singer

Via Edwin Rutsch, Corina Dobre
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Why some neurons ‘outsource’ their cell body

Why some neurons ‘outsource’ their cell body | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Nerve cells come in very different shapes. Researchers at the Bernstein Center Berlin now reveal why, in insects, the cell body is usually located at the end of a separate extension.
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Identification of trigger for severe cancer pain could expand pain relief options

Identification of trigger for severe cancer pain could expand pain relief options | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Though a range of cancers can cause pain for sufferers, studies have shown tumors in the head, neck and prostate to cause the most discomfort.
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New insight into how brain makes memories - PsyPost

New insight into how brain makes memories - PsyPost | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Every time you make a memory, somewhere in your brain a tiny filament reaches out from one neuron and forms an electrochemical connection to a neighboring ...


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An end to cancer pain? Researcher finds the 'pain trigger'

An end to cancer pain? Researcher finds the 'pain trigger' | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study led by University of Toronto researcher Dr. David Lam has discovered the trigger behind the most severe forms of cancer pain. Released in top journal Pain this month, the study points to TMPRSS2 as the culprit: a gene that is also responsible for some of the most aggressive forms of androgen-fuelled cancers.
Head of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Faculty of Dentistry, Lam's research initially focused on cancers of the head and neck, which affect more than 550,000 people worldwide each year. Studies have shown that these types of cancers are the most painful, with sufferers experiencing pain that is immediate and localized, while pain treatment options are limited to opioid-family pharmaceuticals such as morphine.
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Long-term exposure to air pollution may pose risk to brain structure, cognitive functions

Long-term exposure to air pollution may pose risk to brain structure, cognitive functions | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke.
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Parkinson’s patient experiences symptom relief with new medication

Parkinson’s patient experiences symptom relief with new medication | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
To date, a cure for Parkinson’s disease remains elusive for the more than 50,000 Americans diagnosed yearly, despite decades of intensive study.
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Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology | 2015

The 2015 Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Summer Institute
Directors: BJ Casey and Dylan Gee


The 2015 Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Summer Institute will be held June 22 to 26, 2015 on Manhattan’s beautiful Upper East Side and directed by Drs. BJ Casey and Dylan Gee of the Sackler Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College.


This year’s course will focus on the effects of acute and chronic stress on brain and behavior throughout development. Scientific discoveries will be presented from molecule to circuit to behavior.


Participants will benefit from lectures and from direct interactions with the lecturers during both social and scientific events scheduled each day. Room and partial board will be provided for the attendees through the generous support of the Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. family.

Applications are being accepted through April 27, 2015. The application form can be downloaded here and requires a copy of your Curriculum Vitae, a brief statement of interest (no more than 250 words), and two brief letters of reference. Completed applications should be emailed to B. J. Casey, Ph.D. at sacklersummerinstitute@gmail.com. Reference letters should be emailed with applicant's name as subject line to from the referee or a signed letter on letterhead can be attached to applicant's submission. Please direct all other inquiries regarding the 2015 Summer Institute to Danielle Dellarco at dad2028@med.cornell.edu.

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Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing: Trends in Neurosciences

Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing: Trends in Neurosciences | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
•Central extended amygdala includes portions of the amygdala (Ce) and lateral BST.
•Central extended amygdala regions share connectivity and gene expression patterns.
•Animal studies show central extended amygdala to be involved in threat processing.
•Human functional imaging studies are beginning to translate these animal findings.
•Maladaptive central extended amygdala function may underlie stress-related psychopathology.
The central extended amygdala is an evolutionarily conserved set of interconnected brain regions that play an important role in threat processing to promote survival. Two core components of the central extended amygdala, the central nucleus of the amygdala (Ce) and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) are highly similar regions that serve complimentary roles by integrating fear- and anxiety-relevant information. Survival depends on the ability of the central extended amygdala to rapidly integrate and respond to threats that vary in their immediacy, proximity, and characteristics. Future studies will benefit from understanding alterations in central extended amygdala function in relation to stress-related psychopathology.
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Amygdala lesions do not compromise the cortical network for false-belief reasoning

Amygdala lesions do not compromise the cortical network for false-belief reasoning | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Humans use a so-called “theory-of-mind” to reason about the beliefs of others. Neuroimaging studies of belief reasoning suggest it activates a specific cortical network. The amygdala is interconnected with this network and plays a fundamental role in social behavior. For the first time, to our knowledge, we test whether amygdala lesions compromise the cortical implementation of theory-of-mind. Two patients with bilateral amygdala lesions performed a belief reasoning test while undergoing functional MRI. Remarkably, both patients showed typical test performance and cortical activity when compared with nearly 500 healthy controls. This result shows that the amygdala is not a necessary part of theory-of-mind function in adulthood and forces a reevaluation of the amygdala’s role in social cognition.
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Researchers at Duke have made breakthrough on Alzheimer's treatment

Researchers at Duke have made breakthrough on Alzheimer's treatment | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Duke University scientists have potentially discovered new avenues for Alzheimer's and dementia treatments.


They observed that in Alzheimer’s, immune cells that normally protect the brain instead begin to consume a vital nutrient called arginine.


By blocking this process with a drug, they were able to prevent the formation of ‘plaques’ in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, and also halted memory loss in the mice.

What's more is that they were researching with a drug that has already begun human trials for cancer treatments—possibly paving the way for clinical trials in the near future.


While no technique that is tested in an animal can be guaranteed to work the same way in humans, the findings are particularly encouraging because, until now, the exact role of the immune system and arginine in Alzheimer’s was completely unknown.
The drug that was used to block the body’s immune response to arginine – known as difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) – is already being investigated in drug trials for certain types of cancer and may be suitable for testing as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy.

This follows on the heels of other recent breakthroughs in possible "plaque fighting" techniques for Alzheimer's patients.

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