Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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This Scientist Discovered Coffee Was Reorganizing His Brain

This Scientist Discovered Coffee Was Reorganizing His Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
His 18-month study uncovered a lot about how his brain -- and others -- works.
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Fit elderly fall as much as their couch-potato peers

Fit elderly fall as much as their couch-potato peers | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
It's not enough to stay fit as you age if you want to avoid falls, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have found. When they looked at how many hours older people exercised and how well they ...

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Do stress factors alter DNA methylation during aging?

Do stress factors alter DNA methylation during aging? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Genome Biology has published research investigating the effect of lifetime stressors on DNA methylation-based age predictors. We asked co-author Anthony Zannas to explain more about what it means.


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First serotonin neurons made from human stem cells

First serotonin neurons made from human stem cells | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Su-Chun Zhang, a pioneer in developing neurons from stem cells at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has created a specialized nerve cell that makes serotonin, a signaling chemical with a broad role in the brain.

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MRI shows 'brain scars' in military personnel with blast-related concussion

MRI shows 'brain scars' in military personnel with blast-related concussion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
MRI shows brain damage in a surprisingly high percentage of active duty military personnel who suffered blast-related mild traumatic brain injury, according to a new study.
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Lending a Helping Hand to Others Dampens Effects of Everyday Stress

Lending a Helping Hand to Others Dampens Effects of Everyday Stress | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Neuroscience News has recent neuroscience research articles, brain research news, neurology studies and neuroscience resources for neuroscientists, students, and science fans and is always free to join. Our neuroscience social network has science groups, discussion forums, free books, resources, science videos and more.

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Learning and Brain Activity Are Boosted by a Dose of a Small-Molecule Compound

Learning and Brain Activity Are Boosted by a Dose of a Small-Molecule Compound | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

In people, a molecule called d-cycloserine improved test performance and strengthened brain cell connections

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Visual Evoked Potentials in Alzheimer's Disease: Electrophysiological Study of the Visual Pathways and Neuropsychological Correlates | Open Access | OMICS International

Visual Evoked Potentials in Alzheimer's Disease: Electrophysiological Study of the Visual Pathways and Neuropsychological Correlates | Open Access | OMICS International | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Visual Evoked Potentials in Alzheimer's Disease:
Visual Evoked Potentials [VEP] abnormalities are reported in Alzheimer’s Disease [AD] patients. It is necessary to understand the pathophysiology, clinical relevance and the relationship with the different visual pathways. We performed a study on AD patients compared to Multi-Infarct Dementia [MID] patients by means of different visual stimuli considered selective in stimulating Magnocellular [M], Parvocellular [P] and Koniocellular [K] system. All the patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment and evaluation of disability. Our results seem to confirm major involvement of both the M system and the K system in AD patients, in accordance with the pathophysiological hypotheses regarding visual disturbances in AD. Moreover, the neurophysiological data seem to be related both to the neuropsychological features of dysexecutive syndrome and apraxia and also to disability.


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Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, December 12, 2015 12:40 AM

Citation: Ciuffini R, Marrelli A, Necozione S, Marini C, Cavicchio A, et al. (2014) Visual Evoked Potentials in Alzheimer’s Disease: Electrophysiological Study of the Visual Pathways and Neuropsychological Correlates. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 4:158. doi: 10.4172/2161-0460.1000158

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Gut bacteria make pomegranate metabolites that may protect against Alzheimer's disease

Gut bacteria make pomegranate metabolites that may protect against Alzheimer's disease | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In a quest to stay healthy, many people are seeking natural ways to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies show that pomegranate extract, which is a rich source of disease-fighting polyphenols, can help protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease. But researchers weren't sure which molecules to thank. A team reports in ACS Chemical Neuroscience that the responsible compounds may be urolithins, which are made when gut bacteria break down the polyphenols in the extract.

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Pharma Watch: The Promise of Alzheimer's Drugs Revived

Pharma Watch: The Promise of Alzheimer's Drugs Revived | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New data shows monoclonal antibodies may indeed slow the disease when given early

 

In July three research teams presented data at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., suggesting that monoclonal antibodies could potentially stall Alzheimer's relentless progression—provided they could be given early enough and at high-enough doses. These experimental drugs all target beta-amyloid, a protein fragment at the heart of a widely accepted theory about how Alzheimer's destroys memory. Every cell in the body produces beta-amyloid, but if the brain cannot clear it fast enough, it starts to clump together, gumming up synapses and amassing into neuron-killing plaques. Antiamyloid monoclonal antibodies are designed to bind to the fragments and flag them for removal by the immune system.


And scientists at Hoffmann–La Roche have described new findings about yet another antiamyloid drug, gantenerumab. A large trial of this monoclonal antibody was canceled in December 2014, when it failed to show any measurable effects. Yet when the researchers reanalyzed the data, considering only patients with very early and rapidly progressing disease, they found that gantenerumab had reduced beta-amyloid on PET scans for that group. It also reduced levels of tau—another protein that builds up inside neurons as Alzheimer's advances, forming tangles that fritz normal cell function.


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Krishan Maggon 's curator insight, December 8, 2015 1:39 AM

Scientific American

 

At the meeting, pharmaceutical company Biogen presented new findings from an ongoing study of its monoclonal candidate, aducanumab. Biogen had announced with much fanfare in March that the drug significantly reduced beta-amyloid plaques seen on PET scans and slowed cognitive impairment in 166 patients with mild Alzheimer's. Patients on the top dose tested—10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight—maintained the highest memory scores but also experienced more localized brain swelling, a side effect linked to leaky blood vessels. So midtrial they introduced what they hoped would be a Goldilocks dose—not too much, not too little. But it was not just right. Biogen's researchers revealed that six milligrams produced even less benefit than three milligrams on one measure of cognitive function. The search for the perfect dose, and definitive proof of the drug's potency, will continue during an upcoming five-year study.

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Four studies explore memory decline in people with epilepsy

Four studies presented at the American Epilepsy Society's (AES) 69th Annual Meeting uncover the biological factors that mediate memory decline in people with epilepsy, particularly those with seizures that affect the temporal lobe.
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Theory of Mind, Empathy, Mindblindness

Theory of Mind, Empathy, Mindblindness | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

 

Summary: Theory of mind refers to the ability to perceive the unique perspective of others and its influence on their behavior – that is, other people have unique thoughts, plans, and points of view that are different than yours.


Originators and key contributors: Jean Piaget (1896- 1980), a Swiss psychologist, described the inability of young children to perceive others’ points of view due to ‘egocentrism.’ David Premack and Guy Woodruff developed the term


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A breakdown product of aspirin blocks cell death associated with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases

A breakdown product of aspirin blocks cell death associated with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study finds that a component of aspirin binds to an enzyme called GAPDH, which is believed to play a major role in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.
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The terrifying truth about air pollution and dementia

The terrifying truth about air pollution and dementia | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Scientists now suspect that a major cause of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's could be the air we breathe.

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Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severity, study says

Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severity, study says | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ears, affects nearly one-third of adults over age 65. The condition can develop as part of age-related hearing loss or from a traumatic injury. In either case, the resulting persistent ...

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NeuroQuest to Begin US Clinical Validation Trials for Alzheimer's Blood Test

NeuroQuest to Begin US Clinical Validation Trials for Alzheimer's Blood Test | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

NeuroQuest's blood-based biomarker test for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease exceeded U.S. Alzheimer's Association standards during recent pilot study in Australia. NeuroQuest has contracted with a major U.S.


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DNA Repair Protein BRCA1 Implicated in Cognitive Function and Dementia

DNA Repair Protein BRCA1 Implicated in Cognitive Function and Dementia | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have shown for the first time that the protein BRCA1 is required for normal learning and memory and is depleted by Alzheimer’s disease.


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The 24 Best Interactive Websites of 2015 | Visually Blog

The 24 Best Interactive Websites of 2015 | Visually Blog | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Everyone’s been raving about the popularity of web video this year, but a less talked-about form of visual content—interactive websites—can be way more engaging. These sites draw the viewer inside rich stories with stunning photography, videos, words, and interactive elements that create a stimulating personal experience.

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Experimental Alzheimer's drug shows unexpected anti-aging effects

Experimental Alzheimer's drug shows unexpected anti-aging effects | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

A team of researchers has tested an experimental drug on rapidly aging mice, with the treatment designed to combat aspects of aging closely associated with Alzheimer's.

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Bankers and the neuroscience of greed | Ian Robertson | Opinion | The Guardian

Bankers and the neuroscience of greed | Ian Robertson | Opinion | The Guardian | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
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So Lonely It Hurts - The New York Times

So Lonely It Hurts - The New York Times | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The column appeared in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015.

For early humans, being alone was no way to live. Those on the tribe’s periphery faced increased risks of starvation, predation and early death. And so humans (like other communal creatures) evolved what seem to be specific biological reactions to social threats. A social animal that feels itself to be isolated from its kind begins to behave nervously and experiences unhealthy physiological responses. The body produces more stress-­related biochemicals, leading to inflammation and a reduced ability to fight viral infections. These adaptations might help explain why many chronically lonely people have an overabundance of stress-­related cells and weakened immune systems. But how they see the world — how loneliness affects their thinking — may be just as consequential to their health.

This conclusion finds support in a study recently conducted by researchers at the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. They began with a group of healthy young volunteers who completed a loneliness questionnaire: 32 were categorized as socially well ­integrated and 38 as lonely, perceiving themselves as lacking intimate connections with another person. The subjects were all equipped with sensors that register electrical activity in the brain and then watched words in various colors flash across a computer screen. Some of the words reflected general positive and negative emotions, like ‘‘pleasure’’ and ‘‘misery.’’ Others referred overtly to positive and negative social interactions — ‘‘accepted’’ and ‘‘unwanted,’’ for example.

Among the lonely, the areas of their brains related to attention lit up much more quickly than those of the other subjects when they saw words related to social isolation like ‘‘excluded,’’ ‘‘foe’’ and ‘‘detached’’ than when they saw generally negative words like ‘‘frustrated’’ and ‘‘vomit.’’ Their brains were also far less engaged by words with a positive connotation compared with those of the socially connected volunteers. The findings were unchanged when the researchers adjusted for depression and other factors. (Lonely people aren’t necessarily depressed, and vice versa.)

The results show that the lonelier you are, the more your attention is drawn toward negative social information, says one of the researchers, John Cacioppo, whose colleague and wife, Stephanie, led the study, which appeared in the journal Cortex. Lonely people seemed inadvertently hypervigilant to social threats. Rather poignantly, such thinking itself most likely makes the loneliness worse, he says, by nudging the lonely to ‘‘unknowingly act in a more defensive, hostile way toward the others with whom they would like to connect.’’

There are lessons in this data for both the isolated and the communal, and they seem less facile now that they are backed by research. Be nice and gently welcoming to the curmudgeons you meet. Invite them to share coffee. Don’t push for reciprocal invitations, perhaps. And if you happen to be the curmudgeon, accept that invitation. It isn’t coming from a predator out to devour you.
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Pesticide found in milk decades ago may be associated with signs of Parkinson's

Pesticide found in milk decades ago may be associated with signs of Parkinson's | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A pesticide used prior to the early 1980s and found in milk at that time may be associated with signs of Parkinson's disease in the brain, according to a study published in the December 9, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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kalexandera's curator insight, December 10, 2015 2:16 AM

Non-linear consequences....

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Mindfulness-based stress reduction diminishes chemo brain

Mindfulness-based stress reduction diminishes chemo brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program yields robust and sustained improvement in cancer-related cognitive impairment, a prevalent and potentially debilitating condition that affects attention, memory and executive function in survivors, according to a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine.

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Personalized medicine studies reveal gene targets for epilepsy

Personalized medicine studies reveal gene targets for epilepsy | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Technological advances ranging from gene editing to next-generation sequencing offer unprecedented access to the human genome and promise to reshape the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.
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Untangling the Wiring of the Neocortex

Untangling the Wiring of the Neocortex | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Our brains contain billions of neurons linked through trillions of synaptic connections, and although disentangling this wiring may seem like mission impossible, a research team from Baylor College of Medicine took on the task. Researchers worked to decipher the wiring of the mouse neocortex, the outermost part of the brain that is thought to be responsible for cognition and perception.

Their hope was that this complex wiring could be broken down to a set of rules governing the assembly of neocortical networks. Their findings, which appear in the current edition of Science, show that the basic wiring of the local circuitry of the neocortex can indeed be captured using a few connectivity rules that are recycled across the layers of the neocortex.

“To our knowledge this is the most comprehensive study ever attempted to map out the canonical circuit diagram of the mature neocortex,” said Dr. Xiaolong Jiang, assistant professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and first author on the study. “We were able to determine the cell types found in the neocortex and create a wiring diagram of its local circuit.”

Using cutting-edge methods for tissue slicing and a novel protocol to recover the morphology of neurons, Jiang, working in Andreas Tolias’ lab at Baylor, and his colleagues identified 15 types of inhibitory neurons (the neurons that inhibit electrical firing in brain circuits). Using simultaneous multiple whole-cell recordings they also characterized their electrophysiological properties and mapped the connectivity diagram between them, and also how they connect with nearby excitatory neurons.

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