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What’s Special, or Not, about Human Brain Anatomy | Talking back, Scientific American Blog Network

What’s Special, or Not, about Human Brain Anatomy | Talking back, Scientific American Blog Network | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
As a teenager, Chet Sherwood, a biological anthropologist at George Washington University, did not know he was destined to become a scientist. “I wasn’t the kind ...
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut

Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The microbiome may yield a new class of psychobiotics for the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders
-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Ralph Adolphs | www.bbe.caltech.edu

Ralph Adolphs | www.bbe.caltech.edu | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Bren Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Professor of Biology
B.S., Stanford University, 1986; M.S., 1986; Ph.D., Caltech, 1992. Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, 2004-05; Bren Professor, 2005-; Professor of Biology, 2005-; Director, Caltech Brain Imaging Center, 2008-13.
Neuroscience
Psychological and neurological investigations of human emotion and social cognition

How do our brains process information about other people? How, for instance, do we look at other people's faces, how do we allocate attention to them, and how do we make inferences about their internal states from their observed behavior? When you see someone cry, you infer that they feel sad (and you may empathetically feel sad yourself)—what processes mediate these inferences, and what brain structures implement them?

To investigate these questions, we are conducting neuroimaging experiments in people that reveal which regions of the brain are activated during social cognition. We are also conducting studies in neurological individuals with focal brain lesions to reveal behavioral impairments on social cognition tasks, as well as intracranial electrophysiology in neurosurgical patients with implanted depth electrodes. Our focus concerns the amygdala, a structure known to be involved in social behavior.

Additional studies use neuroimaging of the fractional anisotropy of water movement in axons to construct probabilistic maps of the structural connectivity in the human brain, again with an emphasis on connections of the amygdala, behavioral and imaging studies of people with autism, and studies in people with agenesis of the corpus callosum.
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Sorting Out Emotions | Caltech

Sorting Out Emotions | Caltech | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Building on previous studies targeting the amygdala, a team of researchers has found that some brain cells recognize emotions based on the viewer's preconceptions rather than the true emotion being expressed.

Via Sharrock, Sandeep Gautam
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Sharrock's curator insight, March 1, 4:49 PM

"These are very exciting findings suggesting that the amygdala doesn't just respond to what we see out there in the world, but rather to what we imagine or believe about the world," says Ralph Adolphs, the Bren Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Caltech and coauthor of a paper that discusses the team's study.  "It's particularly interesting because the amygdala has been linked to so many psychiatric diseases, ranging from anxiety to depression to autism.  All of those diseases are about experiences happening in the minds of the patients, rather than objective facts about the world that everyone shares."


Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, March 2, 12:49 AM

emotions are the products of our mind, as much as they are of objective reality out there!

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Image-guided treatment shown to break the migraine cycle

Image-guided treatment shown to break the migraine cycle | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
An innovative interventional radiology treatment has been found to offer chronic migraine sufferers sustained relief of their headaches, according to research being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
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Frontiers | Non-verbal emotion communication training induces specific changes in brain function and structure | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

The perception of emotional cues from voice and face is essential for social interaction. However, this process is altered in various psychiatric conditions along with impaired social functioning. Emotion communication trainings have been demonstrated to improve social interaction in healthy individuals and to reduce emotional communication deficits in psychiatric patients. Here, we investigated the impact of a nonverbal emotion communication training (NECT) on cerebral activation and brain structure in a controlled and combined functional magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry study. NECT-specific reductions in brain activity occurred in a distributed set of brain regions including face- and voice processing regions as well as emotion processing- and motor-related regions presumably reflecting training-induced familiarization with the evaluation of face/voice stimuli. Training-induced changes in nonverbal emotion sensitivity at the behavioral level and the respective cerebral activation patterns were correlated in the face-selective cortical areas in the posterior superior temporal sulcus and fusiform gyrus for valence ratings and in the temporal pole, lateral prefrontal cortex and midbrain/thalamus for the response times. A NECT-induced increase in grey matter volume was observed in the fusiform face area. Thus, NECT induces both functional and structural plasticity in the face processing system as well as functional plasticity in the emotion perception and evaluation system. We propose that functional alterations are presumably related to changes in sensory tuning in the decoding of emotional expressions. Taken together, these findings highlight that the present experimental design may serve as a valuable tool to investigate the altered behavioral and neuronal processing of emotional cues in psychiatric disorders as well as the impact of therapeutic interventions on brain function and structure.
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Researchers Identify Brain Regions That Encode Words, Grammar and Story

Researchers Identify Brain Regions That Encode Words, Grammar and Story | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Brain scans of Harry Potter readers yields computational model of reading.

Some people say that reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” taught them the importance of friends, or that easy decisions are seldom right. Carnegie Mellon University scientists used a chapter of that book to learn a different lesson: identifying what different regions of the brain are doing when people read.

Researchers from CMU’s Machine Learning Department performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of eight people as they read a chapter of that Potter book. They then analyzed the scans, cubic millimeter by cubic millimeter, for every four-word segment of that chapter. The result was the first integrated computational model of reading, identifying which parts of the brain are responsible for such subprocesses as parsing sentences, determining the meaning of words and understanding relationships between characters.
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interoception | The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism

interoception | The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Posts about interoception written by alcoholicsguide
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University of Geneva - Geneva Neuroscience Center

University of Geneva - Geneva Neuroscience Center | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Our group aims at better understanding the brain functional and structural bases of speech and language, and of language-related learning. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to study the brain functional bases of language and multilingualism, with an emphasis on specific language components such as phonology and grammar, but also on the interplay between non-linguistic functions and second language usage such as during simultaneous interpretation. We also use anatomical MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in order to uncover normative and expertise-related brain structure-behaviour relationships. We look for convergence across functional and structural imaging methods in order to better understand how the brain changes both functionally as well as structurally due to language learning and expertise. Finally, we aim to elucidate the relative contributions of experience versus of pre-existing, possibly innate influences on individual differences in linguistic/auditory skills and brain function/structure.
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BRAIN Initiative

BRAIN Initiative | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
President Obama is making new investments in the “BRAIN” Initiative — a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.
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Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging - Welcome

Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging - Welcome | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Welcome to the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging. Our Center strives for scientific innovation in the use of brain imaging to better understand psychological processes. The focus tends to be on processes associated with high-level cognition, such as language comprehension, visual thinking, social processing, multitasking, and executive processing. The general research goal is to develop a unified theory of cognition that is driven by and accounts for the brain activation in the cortex, at the level of large scale neural networks that perform cognitive computations. The goal is to explain how thought emerges from brain function and how it is affected by brain dysfunctions.

Our fMRI studies use state-of-the-art scanners to capture brain images during high-level cognitive processes and use advanced computational techniques to explain the workings of the underlying complex dynamic systems. The brain imaging focuses on the use of fMRI to measure brain activation, but it also extensively uses diffusion-weighted imaging to assess the white-matter pathways that interconnect the cortical processing centers. These cortical centers function collaboratively to produce thought processes. The computational methods include the application of machine-learning techniques to fMRI data analysis and neurocognitive modeling of brain activity as it occurs in conjunction with cognitive activity, using the 4CAPS modeling system.

The investigations also include several other empirical approaches used in conjunction with fMRI studies, most notably, behavioral studies and therapy studies of people with brain dysfunctions. The main applications are to the understanding and treatment of brain dysfunctions and to the enhancement of human performance in high-technology environments. Some of frontiers that CCBI projects explore include the neural representation of individual concepts, the neurological underpinnings of autism, and the dynamics and individual differences of cortical functioning, particularly as they are varied by rTMS. The CCBI is located at Carnegie Mellon, but much of the work is collaborative between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.

Scientific Imaging and Brain Research (SIBR) Center Website

The CCBI uses the scanning facilities at the Scientific Imaging and Brain Research (SIBR) Center on Carnegie Mellon University's campus, which opened in May 2010. The SIBR Center has a Siemens 3T Verio, which has a large bore, providing more comfort to participants.

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Brain scans reveal why some people can't move on from a break up

Brain scans reveal why some people can't move on from a break up | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers at Michigan University found that the pain of rejection lasts longer because the brain cells of people with depression release less of stress-relieving natural opioids.
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Study Maps Extroversion Types in the Brain's Anatomy

Study Maps Extroversion Types in the Brain's Anatomy | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Everyday experience and psychological studies alike tell us that there are two different types of extroverts: The gregarious “people-persons” who find reward in sharing affection and affiliation with others, and the ambitious “go-getters” who flash those bright-white smiles in their pursuit of achievement and leadership agendas. A new study shows that these overlapping yet distinct personalities have commensurately overlapping yet distinct signatures in the anatomy of the brain.

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Research series: How, when and why does targeted cognitive training work to promote behavioral and emotional health? | SharpBrains

Research series: How, when and why does targeted cognitive training work to promote behavioral and emotional health? | SharpBrains | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
“Research on the treat­ment of men­tal dis­or­ders often cen­ters on under­stand­ing which treat­ments work. But know­ing that a treat­ment is effec­tive doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily tell us why the treat­ment works. A bet­ter under­stand­ing of the pre­cise mech­a­nisms that con­tribute to behav­ioral and emo­tional dis­or­ders, and of how treat­ments effect change, can help enhance cur­rent treat­ments and spur the devel­op­ment of new inter­ven­tion and pre­ven­tion approaches…

“We now have a few hun­dred evidence-based treat­ments, but our under­stand­ing of the mech­a­nisms of action remains to be elab­o­rated, with very few excep­tions,” writes jour­nal edi­tor Alan Kazdin.”The series that Lisa Onken has devel­oped pro­vides stud­ies that approach under­stand­ing dis­or­ders, treat­ments, and mech­a­nisms in dif­fer­ent ways. The diver­sity of the research shows the range of options avail­able and needed to under­stand clin­i­cal dys­func­tion, treat­ment effects, and their interrelations.”

Taken together, says Onken, the research pre­sented in the spe­cial series “is both sci­en­tif­i­cally mean­ing­ful, by pro­vid­ing knowl­edge about mech­a­nisms, and at the same time espe­cially prac­ti­cal, by lay­ing the foun­da­tion for devel­op­ing inter­ven­tions that have the poten­tial for rel­a­tively easy implementation.”

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The unsexy truth about dopamine

The unsexy truth about dopamine | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Dopamine might be the media's neurotransmitter of choice for scare stories about addiction, but the reality is rather more nuanced, writes Vaughan Bell
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Focusing on Faces | Caltech

Focusing on Faces | Caltech | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A group of researchers led by Caltech neuroscientist Ralph Adolphs has made the first recordings of the firings of single neurons in the brains of autistic individuals, and has found specific neurons in a region called the amygdala that show reduced processing of the eye region of faces.
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Vision and Light-Induced Molecular Changes

Vision and Light-Induced Molecular Changes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The eyes receive the light and contain the molecules that undergo a chemical change upon absorbing light, but it is the brain that actually makes sense of the visual information to create an image. Hence, the visual process requires the intricate coordination of the eyes and the brain. How do these organs work together in order to allow us to see the light-reflecting objects around us as a visual image?
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Helmet add-ons may not lower concussion risk in athletes

Helmet add-ons may not lower concussion risk in athletes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Football helmet add-ons such as outer soft-shell layers, spray treatments, helmet pads and fiber sheets may not significantly help lower the risk of concussions in athletes, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American...
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Study Challenges Theory on Unconscious Memory System in the Brain

Study Challenges Theory on Unconscious Memory System in the Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New research using EEG technology explores the role the hippocampus plays in unconscious memory.
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Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference

Fig. 4

Functional connectivity in the novice and MT groups. Areas showing reduced connectivity with the right insula (novice > MT) are in blue (A), and areas showing increased connectivity (MT > novice) are in red (B). The right panel demonstrates rank ordered inter-regional correlations with the right insular ROI in both the novice and MT groups. VMPFC, ventromedial prefrontal; PCC, posterior cingulate; LPFC, lateral prefrontal cortex.

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Scientific Frontline® / Distorted Self-Image The Result Of Visual Brain Glitch, Study Finds

Scientific Frontline® / Distorted Self-Image The Result Of Visual Brain Glitch, Study Finds | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
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Carnegie Mellon Researchers Reveal How Mindfulness Training Affects Health-Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Reveal How Mindfulness Training Affects Health-Carnegie Mellon News - Carnegie Mellon University | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Over the past decade, there have been many encouraging findings suggesting that mindfulness training can improve a broad range of mental and physical health problems. Yet, exactly how mindfulness positively impacts health is not clear.

Carnegie Mellon University’s J. David Creswell — whose cutting-edge work has shown how mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults and alleviates stress — and his graduate student Emily K. Lindsay have developed a model suggesting that mindfulness influences health via stress reduction pathways. Their work, published in “Current Directions in Psychological Science,” describes the biological pathways linking mindfulness training with reduced stress and stress-related disease outcomes.

“If mindfulness training is improving people’s health, how does it get under the skin to affect all kinds of outcomes?” asked Creswell, associate professor of psychology in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We offer one of the first evidence-based biological accounts of mindfulness training, stress reduction and health.”

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BrainHub - Carnegie Mellon University

BrainHubSM: Harnessing the technology that helps the world explore brain and behavior.
What is happening in the brains of people with autism or neurodegenerative diseases? How do we get our brain to learn new information, or to even heal itself?
Carnegie Mellon University knows that the answers to these, and other, critical brain science questions lie at a pivotal intersection between biology, neuroscience, psychology, computer science, statistics and engineering – areas where CMU excels.
And the world has taken notice of CMU’s excellence, putting the university at the hub of unique global partnerships focused on brain research.
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Computer Model Reveals How Brain Represents Meaning - Carnegie Mellon University | CMU

Computer Model Reveals How Brain Represents Meaning - Carnegie Mellon University | CMU | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
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Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tests Inch Forward, but Treatments Are Still Lacking

Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tests Inch Forward, but Treatments Are Still Lacking | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers are trying to develop ways to more quickly and accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s, which might lead to better treatments and understanding in the future

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Study Shows How the Brain Can Trigger a Deep Sleep

Study Shows How the Brain Can Trigger a Deep Sleep | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
According to a new study, deeper sleep can be triggered by chemically 'switching on' neurons in the preoptic hypothalamus.

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