Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Could melatonin drug treat neuropathic pain? - Futurity

Could melatonin drug treat neuropathic pain? - Futurity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Drugs that target a specific melatonin receptor appear to relieve chronic pain that results from nerve damage.

This condition, known as neuropathic pain, is often severe and can be permanent. It develops after nerve damage from conditions such as shingles, injury, amputation, autoimmune inflammation, and cancer.

Melatonin, a neurohormone present in mammals, acts on the brain by activating two receptors called MT1 and MT2. Those receptors are responsible for regulating several functions, including sleep, depression, anxiety, and circadian rhythms.

A team led by Gabriella Gobbi, associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University, demonstrated that a drug called UCM924, which targets the MT2 receptors, relieves chronic pain in animal models. The team also identified the drug’s mechanism in the brain.

The drug is able to switch off the neurons that trigger pain and switch on the ones that turn off pain by activating the MT2 receptors in the periaqueductal grey (a brain area controlling pain). The findings are reported in the February issue of the journal PAIN.

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Marijuana Flips Appetite Switch in Brain

Marijuana Flips Appetite Switch in Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Smoking marijuana may stoke a yearning for crisps, but understanding how it affects hunger is relevant not just to those who indulge in it. The drug has yielded a ripe target for scientists who seek to stimulate or suppress appetite: the receptor CB1, found in cells throughout the body.

When activated by the anti-nausea drug dronabinol—which is also a component of marijuana (Cannabis sativa)—CB1 prompts the release of hunger-promoting hormones. And suppressing its activity is thought to aid in weight loss. But the mechanism by which the receptor kills or kindles appetite is not entirely understood.

Now neuroscientist Tamas Horvath, of Yale University in New Haven, and colleagues report in Nature that nerve cells called pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons play a key role in this process. POMC had generally been thought to promote satiation, but Horvath's team found that POMC neurons in the brain release not just a hunger-suppressing hormone, but also one that promotes appetite.

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Scientists learn to monitor neural stem cells that might help repair neurological damage

Scientists learn to monitor neural stem cells that might help repair neurological damage | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A labeling compound identified at A*STAR that specifically marks neuronal stem cells is not only a useful research tool, but could also assist clinical efforts to repair neurological damage in patients.
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How spontaneous brain activity keeps you alive - Nathan S. Jacobs

How spontaneous brain activity keeps you alive - Nathan S. Jacobs | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The wheels in your brain are constantly turning, even when you're asleep or not paying attention. In fact, most of your brain’s activities are ones you’d never be aware of … unless they suddenly stopped. Nathan S. Jacobs takes us inside the always active, surprisingly spontaneous brain.

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Gene sweep finds variants that make your brain unique

Gene sweep finds variants that make your brain unique | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A large international study has identified variations in the human genome that influence the size of structures deep within the brain.

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A New Neural Circuit Controls Fear in the Brain

A New Neural Circuit Controls Fear in the Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

A team of researchers at CSHL has discovered a novel circuit in the mouse brain that controls fear. The red cells are neurons identified by a “trans-synaptic tracing technique”, which allows scientists to trace the neuronal circuit between two regions of the brain (shown here, called the PVT and CeL). Disrupting the circuit is enough to dramatically reduce fear, while strengthening the neuronal interactions can trigger an unwarranted fear response. The researchers suggest that this circuit represents an ideal target for new therapies to treat anxiety disorders. Image credit: Bo Li, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

 

 

Researchers discover a pathway in that mouse brain that regulates fear memory and behavior.

Some people have no fear, like that 17-year-old kid who drives like a maniac. But for the nearly 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, an overabundance of fear rules their lives. Debilitating anxiety prevents them from participating in life’s most mundane moments, from driving a car to riding in an elevator. Today, a team of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) describes a new pathway that controls fear memories and behavior in the mouse brain, offering mechanistic insight into how anxiety disorders may arise.

It is hard to imagine that an intangible emotion like fear is encoded within neuronal circuits, but researchers have found that fear is stored within a distinct region of the brain. “In our previous work, we discovered that fear learning and memory are orchestrated by neurons in the central amygdala,” explains CSHL Associate Professor Bo Li, who led the team of researchers. But what controls the central amygdala?


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Human Neural Stem Cells Restore Cognitive Functions Impaired by Chemotherapy

Human Neural Stem Cells Restore Cognitive Functions Impaired by Chemotherapy | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study reports human neural stem cells show promise for reversing cognitive impairments following chemotherapy.
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How We Know Where We Are

How We Know Where We Are | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers use EEG in order to identify the neural mechanisms of spatial navigation.
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Lucid Dreams and Metacognition

Lucid Dreams and Metacognition | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
According to new research, the brain area which enables self reflection is larger in those who have lucid dreams.
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Study: Harnessing a virtual reality brain training game to diagnose mild cognitive impairment (MCI) | SharpBrains

Study: Harnessing a virtual reality brain training game to diagnose mild cognitive impairment (MCI) | SharpBrains | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Vir­tual real­ity brain train­ing game can detect mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment, a con­di­tion that often pre­dates Alzheimer’s dis­ease (press release):

“Geek researchers demon­strated the poten­tial of a vir­tual super­mar­ket cog­ni­tive train­ing game as a screen­ing tool for patients with mild cog­ni­tive impair­ment (MCI) among a sam­ple of older adults…

In an arti­cle pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, the researchers have indi­cated that the vir­tual super­mar­ket (VSM) appli­ca­tion displayed…a level of diag­nos­tic accu­racy sim­i­lar to stan­dard­ized neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal tests, which are the gold stan­dard for MCI screen­ing. Patients with MCI can live inde­pen­dently and not all such patients progress to AD. There­fore the global effort against cog­ni­tive dis­or­ders is focused on early detec­tion at the MCI stage…

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Sure, pills don't fix everything. But antidepressants rescue some patients from torment | Ranjana Srivastava

Sure, pills don't fix everything. But antidepressants rescue some patients from torment | Ranjana Srivastava | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Peter Gotzsche, a campaigner against antidepressants, says they have more risks than benefits. Sometimes though, the search for a pill leads us back to health

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Broca’s Area Is the Brain’s Scriptwriter, Shaping Speech, Study Finds

Broca’s Area Is the Brain’s Scriptwriter, Shaping Speech, Study Finds | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
What is happening in the brain of an actor reciting Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy or of the person next to you at lunch saying, “Please pass the salt”? For 150 years, scientists have known that a brain region called Broca’s area plays a key role in speech production, but exactly what it does and how it does it have been a mystery.

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New findings reveal genetic brain disorders converge at the synapse

New findings reveal genetic brain disorders converge at the synapse | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Picower Institute researchers show that different causes of autism and intellectual disability respond to the same treatment.

 

Summary from Learning & the Brain Society Newsletter - Feb 2015

New findings reveal genetic brain disorders converge at the synapse 

MIT News Office

 

Historically, these genetic brain diseases were viewed as untreatable. However, in recent years neuroscientists have shown in animal models that it is possible to reverse the debilitating effects of these gene mutations. But the question remained whether different gene mutations disrupt common physiological processes. If this were the case, a treatment developed for one genetic cause of autism and intellectual disability might be useful for many others. Bear's lab tested this idea in mice, and found that inhibiting mGluR5 restored balanced protein synthesis and reversed many defects in the animal models. The implication, according to Bear, is that "some cognitive aspects of this disease, previously believed to be an intractable consequence of altered early brain development, might instead arise from ongoing alterations in synaptic signaling that can be corrected by drugs."


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Stepanov Sergey Mikhailovich's curator insight, May 7, 2015 5:43 AM

 

 

Reflection

Synapse transmission between neurons in different systems of dimension

 

Neuromusic for Kids

Math & Music .Kids of new generation should have different methods of training.They are capable to perceive information faster, with cross-modal transfer, activating all senses at once : visual recognition, audio perception, neuromotor functions. 

http://stepanovreflection.podomatic.com/entry/2014-12-17T07_51_58-08_00

 http://educationinjapan.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/considering-the-benefits-of-digital-music-grammar-in-a-music-educational-program/  ;

      NeuromusicGroup Reflection      Ukraine

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New Treatment For Muscle Cramps And Neuromuscular Disorder Spasms May Lower Intensity By 3 Times

Neuromuscular disorder patients and nighttime leg cramp sufferers may soon find relief with a new treatment.
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Neuroscientists Improve Cognition in Brains Riddled With Alzheimer’s Toxins — PsyBlog

Neuroscientists Improve Cognition in Brains Riddled With Alzheimer’s Toxins — PsyBlog | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders. 

A life-extending protein called ‘klotho’ can increase learning and memory and ward off Alzheimer’s a new study reports.

Scientists at the University of California and the Gladstone Institutes have found that increasing the levels of klotho boosted learning and cognition in mice with Alzheimer’s toxins in their brains.

Klotho is an enzyme that naturally occurs in humans which is thought to be involved in the ageing process.

It takes its name from the entity in Greek mythology called ‘Clotho’, who was one of the ‘fates’ who were supposed to control the thread of people’s lives.


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High-powered X-ray laser unlocks mechanics of pain relief without addiction

High-powered X-ray laser unlocks mechanics of pain relief without addiction | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Using a newly developed X-ray source, scientists have revealed how a new type of pain-relievers works - bonding to the same neuroreceptors that morphine does, but without the accompanying physical dependence.
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Depression Tweaks the Brain's Disappointment Circuit

Depression Tweaks the Brain's Disappointment Circuit | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
An unusual chemical balancing act helps explain why people with depression attend more closely to negative information

"People with depression process emotional information more negatively than healthy people. They show increased sensitivity to sad faces, for instance, or a weaker response to happy faces. What has been missing is a biological explanation for these biases. Now a study reveals a mechanism: an unusual balance of chemicals in a brain area crucial for the feeling of disappointment."


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How the brain remembers to fear danger - Futurity

How the brain remembers to fear danger - Futurity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study with mice identifies a life-preserving circuit that's responsible for recognizing and remembering threats.

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What Architecture Is Doing to Your Brain - Buildings Have Measurable Effects on Your Mental State

What Architecture Is Doing to Your Brain - Buildings Have Measurable Effects on Your Mental State | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

"Looking at buildings designed for contemplation—like museums, churches, and libraries—may have positive, measurable effects on your mental state."

 

Summary from BrainHQ - Brain Fitness News November 2014

Your Brain on Architecture
You may not have considered how the Eiffel Tower or a modernist library might be affecting your brain, but researcher Julio Bermudez has found that different types of architecture can shape and affect your mental state. He has found that beautiful buildings can induce a meditative-like state and produce measurable brain change. 


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Tau Associated MAPT Gene Increases Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Tau Associated MAPT Gene Increases Risk for Alzheimer's Disease | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The findings reported in a new study could help improve the diagnosis and develop new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
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The Neural Basis of "Being in the Mood"

The Neural Basis of "Being in the Mood" | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Hippocampal neurons combine social information with hormonal state in female mice, a new study reports.
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Bilingualism delays Alzheimer's manifestation by more than four years

Bilingualism delays Alzheimer's manifestation by more than four years | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

"A new study at Ghent University has established that the symptoms of Alzheimer disease (AD) manifest themselves about four to five years later in bilinguals as opposed to monolinguals. In bilinguals, the disease onset was estimated at the age of 77, while in monolinguals, this was at the age of 73.

"Between March 2013 and May 2014, 69 monolingual and 65 bilingual Belgian patients suffering from probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) participated in the study. Psychologists Evy Woumans, Michaël Stevens, and Wouter Duyck, together with neurologists Patrick Santens, Anne Sieben, and Jan Versijpt determined the age of AD manifestation and AD diagnosis for both language groups."

 

Summary from Learning & the Brain Society Newsletter - January 2015

Bilingualism delays Alzheimer's manifestation by more than four years 

Science Daily

 

A new study at Ghent University has established that the symptoms of Alzheimer disease (AD) manifest themselves about four to five years later in bilinguals as opposed to monolinguals. In bilinguals, the disease onset was estimated at the age of 77, while in monolinguals, this was at the age of 73. Results showed that the age of AD manifestation was 71.5 in monolinguals and 76.1 in bilinguals. A similar difference was found for the age of AD diagnosis; for monolinguals this was 72.5 and for bilinguals it was 77.3. Analyses controlled for other confounding factors, such as education, profession & socioeconomic status, which actually had a negative effect.


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Mari Arellano's comment, May 10, 5:18 PM
Wow!! this is another factor why educators should support dual immersion programs.
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Brain Scans Predict Effectiveness of Talk Therapy to Treat Depression

Brain Scans Predict Effectiveness of Talk Therapy to Treat Depression | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
UNC School of Medicine researchers have shown that brain scans can predict which patients with clinical depression are most likely to benefit from a specific kind of talk therapy.

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How the Brain Listens to Literature

How the Brain Listens to Literature | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

"Brain maps illustrating activation clusters for the Mentalizing regressor contrasted against the Action regressor (red) and the Action regressor contrasted against the Mentalizing regressor (blue). All activations are corrected for the multiple comparisons at p less than 0.05. Image credit: Annabel D. Nijhof/Roel M. Willems/PLOS ONE."


"When we listen to stories, we immerse ourselves into the situations described and empathise with the feelings of the characters. Only recently has it become possible to find out how exactly this process works in the brain. Roel Willems and Annabel Nijhof have now succeeded using an fMRI scanner to measure how people listen to a literary story. Scientific journal PLOS ONEpublishes the results on February 11."

 

"Researchers use neuroimaging technology to measure how people immerse themselves in situations and empathize with characters when listening to literature."


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Natural 'high' could avoid chronic marijuana use

Natural 'high' could avoid chronic marijuana use | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Replenishing the supply of a molecule that normally activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain could relieve mood and anxiety disorders and enable some people to quit using marijuana, a new study suggests.

 

Summary from Learning & the Brain Society Newsletter - Feb 2015

Natural 'high' could avoid chronic marijuana use, study finds 

Vanderbilt University

 

Cannabinoid receptors are normally activated by compounds in the brain called endocannabinoids, the most abundant of which is 2-AG. They also are "turned on" by the active ingredient in marijuana. Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues developed a genetically modified mouse with impaired ability to produce 2-AG in the brain. The mice exhibited anxiety-like behaviors, and female mice also displayed behaviors suggestive of depression. When an enzyme that normally breaks down 2-AG was blocked, and the supply of the endocannabinoid was restored to normal levels, these behaviors were reversed, the researchers reported in the journal 


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