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New Study: Brain Neuronal Networks

New Study: Brain Neuronal Networks | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

"A paper published in a special edition of the journal Science proposes a novel understanding of brain architecture using a network representation of connections within the primate cortex. Zoltán Toroczkai, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications, is a co-author of the paper "Cortical High-Density Counterstream Architectures."

 

Using brain-wide and consistent tracer data, the researchers describe the cortex as a network of connections with a "bow tie" structure characterized by a high-efficiency, dense core connecting with "wings" of feed-forward and feedback pathways to the rest of the cortex (periphery). The local circuits, reaching to within 2.5 millimeters and taking up more than 70 percent of all the connections in the macaque cortex, are integrated across areas with different functional modalities (somatosensory, motor, cognitive) with medium- to long-range projections.

 

The authors also report on a simple network model that incorporates the physical principle of entropic cost to long wiring and the spatial positioning of the functional areas in the cortex. They show that this model reproduces the properties of the connectivity data in the experiments, including the structure of the bow tie. The wings of the bow tie emerge from the counterstream organization of the feed-forward and feedback nature of the pathways. They also demonstrate that, contrary to previous beliefs, such high-density cortical graphs can achieve simultaneously strong connectivity (almost direct between any two areas), communication efficiency, and economy of connections (shown via optimizing total wire cost) via weight-distance correlations that are also consequences of this simple network model.

 

This bow tie arrangement is a typical feature of self-organizing information processing systems. The paper notes that the cortex has some analogies with information-processing networks such as the World Wide Web, as well as metabolism, the immune system and cell signaling. The core-periphery bow tie structure, they say, is "an evolutionarily favored structure for a wide variety of complex networks" because "these systems are not in thermodynamic equilibrium and are required to maintain energy and matter flow through the system." The brain, however, also shows important differences from such systems. For example, destination addresses are encoded in information packets sent along the Internet, apparently unlike in the brain, and location and timing of activity are critical factors of information processing in the brain, unlike in the Internet.

 

"Biological data is extremely complex and diverse," Toroczkai said. "However, as a physicist, I am interested in what is common or invariant in the data, because it may reveal a fundamental organizational principle behind a complex system. A minimal theory that incorporates such principle should reproduce the observations, if not in great detail, but in extent. I believe that with additional consistent data, as those obtained by the Kennedy team, the fundamental principles of massive information processing in brain neuronal networks are within reach.""

 


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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from the plastic brain
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Soon some brain activity will be revealed by simply training dozens of red lights on the scalp

Soon some brain activity will be revealed by simply training dozens of red lights on the scalp | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Image FROM “BIOIMAGING: WATCHING THE BRAIN AT WORK,” BY ROBERT J. COOPER, IN NATURE PHOTONICS, VOL. 8; JUNE 2014


Step aside, huge magnets and radioactive tracers—soon some brain activity will be revealed by simply training dozens of red lights on the scalp. A new study in Nature Photonics finds this optical technique can replicate functional MRI experiments, and it is more comfortable, more portable and less expensive.

The method is an enhancement of diffuse optical tomography (DOT), in which a device shines tiny points of red light at a subject's scalp and analyzes the light that bounces back. The red light reflects off red hemoglobin in the blood but does not interact as much with tissues of other colors, which allows researchers to recover an fMRI-like image of changing blood flow in the brain at work. For years researchers attempting to use DOT have been limited by the difficulty of packing many heavy light sources and detectors into the small area around the head. They also needed better techniques for analyzing the flood of data that the detectors collected.

Now researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Birmingham in England report they have solved those problems and made the first high-density DOT (HD-DOT) brain scans. 


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A boost for understanding the brain

A boost for understanding the brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Two groups of Harvard scientists will be among the first researchers nationwide to receive grant funding through the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative launched last year by President Obama.
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What Happens in Our Brain When We Unlock a Door

What Happens in Our Brain When We Unlock a Door | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new neuroimaging study examines the brain networks which control the use of tools and other utensils.
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Memory loss associated with Alzheimer's reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders

Memory loss associated with Alzheimer's reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In the first, small study of a novel, personalized and comprehensive program to reverse memory loss, nine of 10 participants displayed subjective or objective improvement in their memories beginning within three to six months after the program’s...
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Workshop on Neural Information Dynamics, Causality and Computation near Criticality

LOEWE-NeFF and the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) jointly invite you to a “Workshop on Neural Information Dynamics, Causality and Computation near Criticality” December 12-13th, 2014

The workshop is preceded by a “Software course on Neural Information Dynamics with TRENTOOL, the Java Information Dynamics Toolkit and MuTE” December 10-11th, 2014.

 

Venue: Workshop and student course will be held at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS, www.fias.uni-frankfurt.de), Ruth-Moufang-Straße 1, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany.


The workshop addresses the analysis of neural computation in large neural systems and covers three tightly related topics in the field of modern analysis of neural data:

- Causality

- Neural information dynamics

- Large scale organisation and criticality

 

The supporting software course addresses young scientists who intend to apply information theoretic measures for neuroscience hands on, and that would like to contribute code to one of the open source toolboxes on the topic.

Apply/register before October 24th


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Scientists Identify the Signature of Aging in the Brain

Scientists Identify the Signature of Aging in the Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers believe their findings could eventually help produce treatments to slow or reverse cognitive decline in older people.
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Stress coping strategies may protect against bipolar disorder recurrence

Researchers have found a link between low levels of resilience to stress in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder and impulsive behaviour, which may make them vulnerable to depressive episodes.
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New research shows schizophrenia comprises 8 genetically distinct disorders

New research shows that schizophrenia isn't a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness.
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Why Being Vulnerable is the Key to Intimacy - Fulfillment Daily

Why Being Vulnerable is the Key to Intimacy - Fulfillment Daily | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
We want relationships, to find love, but we are so afraid of opening up and being hurt. Research shows that vulnerability - the ability to be open - is the secret to connection.

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Social Anxiety Disorder: Impressive Study Reveals The Very Best Treatment

Social Anxiety Disorder: Impressive Study Reveals The Very Best Treatment | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Large study reveals the most effective treatment for social anxiety disorder.
Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog.
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Unexpected clue to peripheral neuropathies found

Unexpected clue to peripheral neuropathies found | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Disrupting the molecular function of a tumor suppressor causes improper formation of a protective insulating sheath on peripheral nerves -- leading to neuropathy and muscle wasting in mice similar to that in human diabetes and neurodegeneration.
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Doing a task while asleep

Doing a task while asleep | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

A recent paper (citation below) describes subjects working away at a task, categorizing words, while asleep. Here is the abstract: Falling asleep leads to a loss of sensory awareness and to the ina...


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Long term use of benzodiazepine for anxiety & sleep disorders can increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Long term use of benzodiazepine for anxiety & sleep disorders can increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

This case-control study based on 8980 individuals representative of elderly people living in the community in Quebec showed that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease was increased by 43-51% among those who had used benzodiazepines in the past. Risk increased with density of exposure and when long acting benzodiazepines were used. Further adjustment on symptoms thought to be potential prodromes for dementia—such as depression, anxiety, or sleep disorders—did not meaningfully alter the results.


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What causes paranoia, hallucinations and grandiose ideas? As likely triggered by environment as genes

What causes paranoia, hallucinations and grandiose ideas? As likely triggered by environment as genes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Daniel and Jason Freeman: The widespread symptoms typically associated with schizophrenia are at least as likely to be triggered by people’s environment as their genes, a new study suggests

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Gene interacts with stress, leads to heart disease in some people

Gene interacts with stress, leads to heart disease in some people | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Some people who are prone to hostility, anxiety and depression might also be hard-wired to gain weight when exposed to chronic stress, leading to diabetes and heart disease, a new genetic finding suggests.
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Memory Loss From Alzheimer’s Reversed For First Time With New Approach

Memory Loss From Alzheimer’s Reversed For First Time With New Approach | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Nine out of ten patients with memory problems showed improvements with this novel multi-systems approach.
Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog.
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The Neuroscience of Happiness - YouTube

Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in suggesting that happiness is the product...

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Research mimics brain cells to boost memory power

Research mimics brain cells to boost memory power | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
RMIT University researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain.  
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Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Honors Eight Scientists for
Outstanding Achievements in Psychiatric Research at 27th Annual Dinner

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Honors Eight Scientists for <br/>Outstanding Achievements in Psychiatric Research at 27th Annual Dinner | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will honor eight scientists with its 2014 Outstanding Achievement Prizes for work delving into psychiatric disorders that affect one in four people.
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New research illustrates how fear arises in the brain

An estimated 8% of Americans will suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point during their lifetime. Brought on by an overwhelming or stressful event or events, PTSD is the result of altered chemistry and physiology of the brain.
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Lumosity’s #Big Data pushes frontiers of neuroscience

Lumosity’s #Big Data pushes frontiers of neuroscience | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Brain-training startup, Lumosity has revealed findings from its Human Cognition Project, an initiative that gives researchers access to its data to conduct

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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, September 29, 12:30 AM

Although the effects of brain training itself are suspect; Lumosity's Big Data can really help advance neuroscience in many ways! Kudos for making that data open and available.

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Violence, mental illness, and the brain - A brief history of psychosurgery: Part 3 - From deep brain stimulation to amygdalotomy for violent behavior, seizures, and pathological aggression in human...

Violence, mental illness, and the brain - A brief history of psychosurgery: Part 3 - From deep brain stimulation to amygdalotomy for violent behavior, seizures, and pathological aggression in human... | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Surg Neurol Int, Official publication of Surgical Neurology International
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The Memory Fades, The Emotion Remains

The Memory Fades, The Emotion Remains | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
People with Alzheimer’s disease can experience severe memory impairments.However, according to a new study, the emotions associated with events can persist long after the events themselves have been forgotten: Feelings Without Memory in Alzheimer...
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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, Today, 12:42 AM

Be kind to the elderly, their mind may not be what it once was but their feelings are still as vivid as ever. 

 

This research validates what leadership gurus have been propagating, people remember how you made them feel even if they forget what you did http://sco.lt/4sagID

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Preliminary evidence for reduced cortical activity in experienced guitarists during performance preparation for simple scale playing

 ABSTRACT: Research using neuroscientific techniques has shown that less cortical activity occurs in the brains of experienced musicians and athletes than in the brains of novices when they plan and prepare to perform a motor skill. We used electroencephalography to observe cortical activity in the brains of experienced and novice guitarists preparing to play a scale on the guitar. The results, presented in this research note, confirm the findings of previous research and suggest that the motor preparation of experts is more efficient than that of novices. Cortical activity in music students could therefore, if tracked longitudinally, provide an objective marker of musical skill learning and be used to inform music learning, teaching and assessment practices. 

KEY WORDS: Electroencephalography, movement-related cortical potential, motor skills, skill learning, guitar 


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The Seat of Consciousness: At Least Two Brain Regions Decide What We Perceive - Temporal & Frontal Lobes

The Seat of Consciousness: At Least Two Brain Regions Decide What We Perceive - Temporal & Frontal Lobes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex represent the content of consciousness. The red trace depicts neural activity (neuronal discharges) in the lateral prefrontal cortex when a stimulus is consciously perceived for 1 second while the green trace depicts neural activity when the same stimulus is suppressed from awareness. Credit Max Planck Institute.

 

People have never been exposed to as many sensory stimuli as they are today. We do not, however, consciously perceive the majority of the sensory impressions that bombard us. Our brain processes these impressions without us noticing. But where does the brain decide which sensory information should reach our consciousness and which should not? Tests on the brains of macaques have shown that neurons in at least two regions of the brain, the temporal and frontal lobes, are responsible for this. Coma patients are among the potential beneficiaries of this research breakthrough.

The cerebral cortex, i.e. the external part of the brain with its grooves and folds, plays a major role in our consciousness. When macaques see something and consciously perceive it, neurons in the temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex are active. This much was already known. However, is this part of the brain really the sole seat of consciousness, or do other areas of the brain also play a role in this process?


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