Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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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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Study: Long-term meditation can help slow down aging-related brain volume decline | SharpBrains

Study: Long-term meditation can help slow down aging-related brain volume decline | SharpBrains | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
“Peo­ple who reported med­i­tat­ing for an aver­age of 20 years had higher brain vol­umes than the aver­age per­son, researchers report in Fron­tiers in Psychology.

Kurth and his col­leagues write that they can’t say med­i­ta­tion caused its prac­ti­tion­ers to lose less brain vol­ume, how­ever. Other habits of long-term med­i­ta­tors may also influ­ence brain volume…

Nearly 18 mil­lion adults and 1 mil­lion chil­dren prac­ticed med­i­ta­tion in the U.S. in 2012, accord­ing to a sur­vey on com­ple­men­tary med­i­cine from the National Insti­tutes of Health and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention…

Over­all, the vol­ume of gray mat­ter shown on the brain scans decreased as the age of the par­tic­i­pants increased. But the med­i­ta­tors’ brains appeared bet­ter pre­served than aver­age peo­ple of the same age…

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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, February 28, 2015 5:14 PM

This is an interesting abstract and link.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Left or Right? The Brain Knows Before You Move

Left or Right? The Brain Knows Before You Move | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study reports researchers have identified a neural circuit which connects motor planning to movement.
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New compounds protect nervous system from the structural damage of MS

New compounds protect nervous system from the structural damage of MS | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A newly characterized group of pharmacological compounds block both the inflammation and nerve cell damage seen in mouse models of multiple sclerosis, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published...
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Researchers discover a gene for human brain size - only found in humans

Researchers discover a gene for human brain size - only found in humans | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have one important difference: The brain of humans is three times as big as the chimpanzee brain. During evolution our genome must have changed in order to trigger such brain growth. Wieland Huttner, Director and Research Group Leader a the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), and his team identified for the first time a gene that is only present in humans and contributes to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex. The researchers isolated different subpopulations of human brain stem cells and precisely identified, which genes are active in which cell type. In doing so, they noticed the gene ARHGAP11B: it is only found in humans and in our closest relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisova-Humans, but not in chimpanzees. This gene manages to trigger brain stem cells to form a bigger pool of stem cells. In that way, during brain development more neurons can arise and the cerebrum can expand. The cerebrum is responsible for cognitive functions like speaking and thinking.


Wieland Huttner’s researchers developed a method that isolates and identifies special subpopulations of brain stem cells from the developing human cerebrum. No one has managed to do this so far. The scientists first isolated different stem and progenitor cell types from fetal mice and human cerebrum tissue. In contrast to the big and folded human brain, the brain of mice is small and smooth. After the isolation, the researchers compared the genes that are active in the various cell types and were able to identify 56 genes that are only present in humans and which play a role in brain development. “We noticed that the gene ARHGAP11B is especially active in basal brain stem cells. These cells are really important for the expansion of the neocortex during evolution,” says Marta Florio, PhD student in Wieland Huttner’s lab, who carried out the main part of the study.


The human-specific gene also works in mice: In the further course of the study, the researchers focused on the function of this special gene. The researchers suspected that if it was responsible for a bigger pool of brain stem cells in humans and thereby for an expanded cerebrum, then this human-specific gene should trigger a similar development in the smaller brain of a mouse. They introduced the gene into mice embryos and indeed: Under the influence of the human-specific gene, the mice produced significantly more brain stem cells and in half of all cases even a folding of the neocortex, which is typical for human brains. All these results suggest that the gene ARHGAP11B plays a key role in the evolutionary expansion of the human neocortex.


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The Science of Changing Behavior with Compassionate Coaching

The Science of Changing Behavior with Compassionate Coaching | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Coaching with Compassion Activates the PEA
Now you know what these modes mean for your mood and your body – what do they mean for coaching someone?

Dr. Anthony Jack, the principal investigator of the Brain, Mind, and Consciousness Lab at CWRU, collaborated with Dr. Boyatzis on a coaching study using functional MRI (fMRI) technology.¹ In this study, they divided student volunteers into two groups. Group one experienced traditional coaching for compliance. In other words, the coaches asked volunteers to focus on the challenges they face in their academic performance and used problem-solving techniques. Group two experienced coaching with compassion.


When being coached with compassion, volunteers are asked questions to help them imagine a positive vision of their future.


by:Jessica Worny Janicki



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Jessica Starkman's curator insight, April 29, 2015 8:22 PM

Watch the video.  It provides a good overview of PEA and NEA.

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Brain makes decisions with same method used to break WW2 Enigma code (w/ Video)

Brain makes decisions with same method used to break WW2 Enigma code (w/ Video) | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
When making simple decisions, neurons in the brain apply the same statistical trick used by Alan Turing to help break Germany's Enigma code during World War II, according to a new study in animals by researchers at Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and Department ...
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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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Study Identifies Neurons That Help Predict What Another Individual Will Do

Study Identifies Neurons That Help Predict What Another Individual Will Do | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study reports researchers have identified two groups of neurons which appear to play key roles in social interaction.
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Neurogenesis: How To Grow New Brain Cells

Neurogenesis: How To Grow New Brain Cells | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Adults can still grow new brain cells -- neurogenesis -- but what are they for?
Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog.
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Breaking Research: Separable short- and long-term memories can form after a momentous occasion

Breaking Research: Separable short- and long-term memories can form after a momentous occasion | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Imagine that you are a starving fruit fly, desperately searching for food in a new area. Suddenly, you encounter a mysterious new odor and discover a nearby source of life-sustaining food. After a single experience such as this, flies can instantly form an association between that new odor and food, and will follow the odor if it encounters it again (Figure 1-1). Yamagata et al. took advantage of this instinctual behavior to study how the fly brain stores a long-term memory after one event.

They trained groups of flies to associate a particular odor (A) with a sugar reward by presenting them with both stimuli at the same time. They confirmed that the flies formed a memory by giving them a choice between odor A and a different odor (B), and found that flies preferably flocked to an area scented with odor A.

They also identified a large group of dopamine neurons (known as PAM neurons) that were activated by the sugar reward. If the researchers activated the PAM neurons instead of providing sugar when the flies encountered odor A, the flies still associated that odor with a reward (Figure 1-2).

Now the question: how does PAM neuron activity paired with an odor form a long-term memory?  The researchers found that the PAM neurons could actually be grouped into two types. When they activated one type, which they dubbed stm-PAM, the flies only formed a short-term memory. The researchers tested their memory immediately after training and found most of the flies hanging around odor A. But 24 hours later, the memory was gone.

Surprisingly, when the researchers activated the other type of PAM neurons during training (called ltm-PAM), the flies only formed a long-term memory! The flies weren’t particularly interested in odor A immediately after training, but 24 hours later the flies flocked toward it. This incredible result showed that long-term memory doesn’t necessarily require a short-term counterpart. So, instead of the reward pathway forming a short-term memory that later transforms into a long-term memory, this sugar reward formed two complementary memories.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Sex redefined

Sex redefined | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.


http://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943


Via Complexity Digest
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Bernard Ryefield's comment, February 27, 2015 11:14 AM
Nature and sex redefined – we have never been binary
A recent article in Nature suggests that biologists ‘now think’ the idea of two sexes is inaccurate; in fact, says Vanessa Heggie, for decades biologists have been at the forefront of campaigns against this simplistic understanding of sex: http://www.theguardian.com/science/the-h-word/2015/feb/19/nature-sex-redefined-we-have-never-been-binary
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Empathy, Compassion & Neuroscience Part 1 - YouTube

Professor Al Kaszniak's talk to the UA Psychology Department (not to AMRIG) on 4/2/10.

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