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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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Analysis of African Plant Reveals Possible Treatment for Aging Brain

Analysis of African Plant Reveals Possible Treatment for Aging Brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Salk scientists find that a plant used for centuries by healers of São Tomé e Príncipe holds lessons for modern medicine.

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Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed

Link between vitamin D and dementia risk confirmed | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.
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New High Performance EEG Systems Help Advance Brain Research At UTSA - BioNews Texas

New High Performance EEG Systems Help Advance Brain Research At UTSA - BioNews Texas | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A U.S. Department of Defense grant has allowed The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to acquire two high-performance electroencephalogram (EEG) systems in aid of advancing research and education in the area of brain-machine interaction (BMI) . Understanding how the human brain functions and how this knowledge can benefit society is both a UTSA ...
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Drug reverses brain deficits of Alzheimer's in animal model

Drug reverses brain deficits of Alzheimer's in animal model | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers have discovered a new drug compound that reverses the brain deficits of Alzheimer's disease in an animal model.
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New information on transcranial ultrasound therapy

New information on transcranial ultrasound therapy | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland provides new information on the limitations and potential new directions for the future development of transcranial ultrasound therapy.
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Slow visual processing may lower IQ as we age

Slow visual processing may lower IQ as we age | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Speed of detecting visual cues predicts intelligence in seniors
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Implanted neurons become part of the brain

Implanted neurons become part of the brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have grafted neurons reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice for the first time with long-term stability.
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Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from The Psychogenyx News Feed
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Researchers find potential new predictor of stress-related illnesses

Researchers find potential new predictor of stress-related illnesses | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists studying depression in teens have discovered that subtle changes in a gene can predict how the brain reacts to stress, which can cause such health issues as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity.

Via Luis Valdes
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Uncovering the 3-D structure of a key neuroreceptor

Uncovering the 3-D structure of a key neuroreceptor | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
EPFL scientists reveal for the first time the 3D structure of a crucial neuroreceptor.
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Researchers show that two products of the gene DJ-1 can increase the survival of neurons against Parkinson's

Researchers show that two products of the gene DJ-1 can increase the survival of neurons against Parkinson's | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Parkinson's disease affects neurons in the Substantia nigra brain region – their mitochondrial activity ceases and the cells die.
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Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory

Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Abstract

Glial cells are an integral part of functional communication in the brain. Here we show that astrocytes contribute to the fast dynamics of neural circuits that underlie normal cognitive behaviors. In particular, we found that the selective expression of tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) in astrocytes significantly reduced the duration of carbachol-induced gamma oscillations in hippocampal slices. These data prompted us to develop a novel transgenic mouse model, specifically with inducible tetanus toxin expression in astrocytes. In this in vivo model, we found evidence of a marked decrease in electroencephalographic (EEG) power in the gamma frequency range in awake-behaving mice, whereas neuronal synaptic activity remained intact. The reduction in cortical gamma oscillations was accompanied by impaired behavioral performance in the novel object recognition test, whereas other forms of memory, including working memory and fear conditioning, remained unchanged. These results support a key role for gamma oscillations in recognition memory. Both EEG alterations and behavioral deficits in novel object recognition were reversed by suppression of tetanus toxin expression. These data reveal an unexpected role for astrocytes as essential contributors to information processing and cognitive behavior.

 


Via Alessandro Cerboni
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Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from Cognitive Neuroscience
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The Neurobiology of Resilience

The Neurobiology of Resilience | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Via Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, August 1, 2014 10:41 AM

how resilience is manifested and instrumented in brains:-)

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‘Thunder’ helps neuroscientists analyze ‘big data’

‘Thunder’ helps neuroscientists analyze ‘big data’ | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

According to a report from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), new technologies for monitoring brain activity are generating unparalleled quantities of information. That data could offer new insights into how the brain works, but only if researchers can interpret it.

 

To help organize the data, neuroscientists can now harness the power of distributed computing using “Thunder,” a library of tools developed at the HHMI Janelia Research Campus.  According to the Freeman Lab, Thunder is a library for analyzing large-scale neural data. It’s fast to run, easy to develop for, and can be used interactively.  It is built on Spark, a new framework for cluster computing.


Via Ashish Umre
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Dementia risk quadrupled in people with mild cognitive impairment

Dementia risk quadrupled in people with mild cognitive impairment | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
In a long-term, large-scale population-based study of individuals aged 55 years or older in the general population researchers found that those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) had a four-fold increased risk of developing dementia or...
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Could your brain be reprogrammed to work better?

Could your brain be reprogrammed to work better? | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from The University of Western Australia have shown that electromagnetic stimulation can alter brain organisation which may make your brain work better.
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Serotonin receptor structure revealed

Serotonin receptor structure revealed | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The structure of a serotonin receptor has been completely deciphered for the first time using crystallography.
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Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from Brain Imaging and Neuroscience: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
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Deficient approaches to human neuroimaging | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is the workhorse of imaging-based human cognitive neuroscience. The use of fMRI is ever-increasing; within the last 4 years more fMRI studies have been published than in the previous 17 years. This large body of research has mainly focused on the functional localization of condition- or stimulus-dependent changes in the blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signal. In recent years, however, many aspects of the commonly practiced analysis frameworks and methodologies have been critically reassessed. Here we summarize these critiques, providing an overview of the major conceptual and practical deficiencies in widely used brain-mapping approaches, and exemplify some of these issues by the use of imaging data and simulations. In particular, we discuss the inherent pitfalls and shortcomings of methodologies for statistical parametric mapping. Our critique emphasizes recent reports of excessively high numbers of both false positive and false negative findings in fMRI brain mapping. We outline our view regarding the broader scientific implications of these methodological considerations and briefly discuss possible solutions.

Via Donald J Bolger
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Phases of clinical depression could affect treatment

Phases of clinical depression could affect treatment | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New insights into clinical depression have been found that demonstrate there cannot be a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to treating the disease.
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How brain systems interact to carry out cognitive processes

How brain systems interact to carry out cognitive processes | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
People not only use their eyes to see, but also to move. It takes less than a fraction of a second to execute the loop that travels from the brain to the eyes, and then to the hands and/or arms.
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Analysis of African plant reveals possible treatment for aging brain

Analysis of African plant reveals possible treatment for aging brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
For hundreds of years, healers in São Tomé e Príncipe—an island off the western coast of Africa—have prescribed cata-manginga leaves and bark to their patients.
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Sending Red Light Through The Skull To Influence Brain Activity Using Red-Shifted Cruxhalorhodopsin named Jaws

Sending Red Light Through The Skull To Influence Brain Activity Using Red-Shifted Cruxhalorhodopsin named Jaws | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Genetically engineered protein responds remotely to red light.


A team of biological engineers has developed a light-sensitive protein that permits scientists to control activity inside the brains of mice from outside the rodents’ skulls. The protein, called Jaws, promises to expand scientists’ ability to study brain activity in experimental animals and -- eventually -- humans. Ultimately, it holds the prospect of facilitating treatment of human conditions such as epilepsy.


Researchers are also using the protein to treat eye disease in experimental animals. Here, an immediate goal is therapy for certain eye ailments in humans.


Scientists use optogenetics, as the technology is known, to study the behavior and pathology of experimental animals’ brains by shining light on proteins known as opsins. Introduced into the brain aboard viruses, the opsins respond to the light by suppressing or stimulating electrical signals in brain cells. Optogenetic inhibition of the electrical activity of neurons enables the causal assessment of their contributions to brain functions. Red light penetrates deeper into tissue than other visible wavelengths. The red-shifted cruxhalorhodopsin, Jaws, derived from Haloarcula (Halobacteriumsalinarum (strain Shark) and engineered to result in red light–induced photocurrents three times those of earlier silencers. Jaws exhibits robust inhibition of sensory-evoked neural activity in the cortex and results in strong light responses when used in retinas of retinitis pigmentosa model mice.


The opsins normally used in brain studies are sensitive to blue, green, or yellow light. Because bodily tissue absorbs those colors easily, the sources of such light must lie inside the brain. Typically, the light is delivered through an optical fiber implanted in an experimental animal’s brain. Jaws can noninvasively mediate transcranial optical inhibition of neurons deep in the brains of awake mice. The noninvasive optogenetic inhibition opened up by Jaws enables a variety of important neuroscience experiments and offers a powerful general-use chloride pump for basic and applied neuroscience.


A team led by Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, reporting in Nature Neuroscience, demonstrated that red light shone from outside a mouse’s head can influence the Jaws protein up to three millimeters deep inside the brain. In fact, Boyden said, "we think the light goes further into the brain." A mouse’s brain is only about four millimeters thick.


"This is a huge advance, in that it allows for much deeper penetration of effective light," said David Lyon, an associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Lyon was not involved in the research on Jaws.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The hidden power of smiling

The hidden power of smiling | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you'll live -- and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being?
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A map for eye disease: Most detailed molecular map of eye region associated with vision loss

A map for eye disease: Most detailed molecular map of eye region associated with vision loss | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Vision specialists have created the most detailed molecular map of a region of the human eye associated with disease, including age-related macular degeneration. The map catalogs more than 4,000 proteins in each of three areas of the choroid.
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Social heuristics shape intuitive cooperation

Social heuristics shape intuitive cooperation | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Cooperation is central to human societies. Yet relatively little is known about the cognitive underpinnings of cooperative decision making. Does cooperation require deliberate self-restraint? Or is spontaneous prosociality reined in by calculating self-interest? Here we present a theory of why (and for whom) intuition favors cooperation: cooperation is typically advantageous in everyday life, leading to the formation of generalized cooperative intuitions. Deliberation, by contrast, adjusts behaviour towards the optimum for a given situation. Thus, in one-shot anonymous interactions where selfishness is optimal, intuitive responses tend to be more cooperative than deliberative responses. We test this ‘social heuristics hypothesis’ by aggregating across every cooperation experiment using time pressure that we conducted over a 2-year period (15 studies and 6,910 decisions), as well as performing a novel time pressure experiment. Doing so demonstrates a positive average effect of time pressure on cooperation. We also find substantial variation in this effect, and show that this variation is partly explained by previous experience with one-shot lab experiments.

 


Via Ashish Umre
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Research finds hope for more accurate diagnosis of memory problems

Research finds hope for more accurate diagnosis of memory problems | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
More accurate tests could be created to diagnose diseases such as Alzheimer’s or memory problems stemming from head injuries, leading to earlier intervention, according to new findings from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
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