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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Promising approach to slow brain degeneration in Huntington's disease uncovered

Promising approach to slow brain degeneration in Huntington's disease uncovered | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Blocking a specific class of glutamate receptors can improve motor learning and coordination, and prevent cell death in animal models of Huntington's disease, research shows.
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Sound and vision: Visual cortex processes auditory information too

Sound and vision: Visual cortex processes auditory information too | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists studying brain process involved in sight have found the visual cortex also uses information gleaned from the ears as well as the eyes when viewing the world.
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Mice with MS-like condition walk again after neural stem-cell treatment

Mice with MS-like condition walk again after neural stem-cell treatment | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

When scientists transplanted human neural stem cells into mice with multiple sclerosis (MS), within a remarkably short period of time, 10 to 14 days, the mice had regained motor skills.


Six months later, they showed no signs of slowing down.

Results from the study demonstrate that the mice experience at least a partial reversal of symptoms. Immune attacks are blunted, and the damaged myelin is repaired, explaining their dramatic recovery.

The finding, which uncovers potential new avenues for treating MS, was published May 15, 2014 in the journal Stem Cell Reports (open access).


How they did it: Ronald Coleman (a graduate student of Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., co-senior author and director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute and co-first author on the publication) changed the normal protocol and grew the neural stem cells so they were less crowded on a Petri dish than usual.


That yielded a human neural stem cell type that turned out to be extremely potent. The experiments have since been successfully repeated with cells produced under the same conditions, but by different laboratories.


The human neural stem cells send chemical signals that instruct the mouse’s own cells to repair the damage caused by MS. Experiments by Lane’s team suggest that TGF-beta proteins comprise one type of signal, but there are likely others. This realization has important implications for translating the work to clinical trials in the future.


“Rather than having to engraft stem cells into a patient, which can be challenging from a medical standpoint, we might be able to develop a drug that can be used to deliver the therapy much more easily,” said Tom Lane, Ph.D., a professor of pathology at the University of Utah.


With clinical trials as the long-term goal, the next steps are to assess the durability and safety of the stem cell therapy in mice. “We want to try to move as quickly and carefully as possible,” he said. “I would love to see something that could promote repair and ease the burden that patients with MS have.”


“The aspect I am most interested is to define what is being secreted from the human cells that influence demyelination,” Lane told KurzweilAI in an email interview. “Other studies have shown either effects on neuroinflammation or demyelination; ours is one of a select few to show that stem cells influence both.”


However, it is too soon to say when can we expect this innovation to be available for MS patients, Lane added.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Mini-sensor measures magnetic activity in human brain

Mini-sensor measures magnetic activity in human brain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A miniature atom-based magnetic sensor has passed an important research milestone by successfully measuring human brain activity. The lightweight sensor potentially could be used for biomedical applications such as studying mental processes and advancing the understanding of neurological diseases.
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Empathy Conference October 16–17, 2015 Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience - Flint, Michigan

Empathy Conference October 16–17, 2015 Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience - Flint, Michigan | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The theme should be interpreted broadly. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • What is empathy? It is a cognitive process? an emotion? an attitude?
  • Is empathy a natural condition/capacity or a social condition/capacity?
  • Is it possible to verify that a person is empathetic or is feeling empathy?
  • Do mirror neurons provide insight into how empathy is experienced or the role it plays in our treatment of and attitudes about others? How useful is studying mirror neurons for understanding empathy?
  • Is there a clear difference between affective and cognitive empathy?
  • What exactly is Theory of Mind? What exactly do Sally-Anne test results show? Is having a compromised Theory of Mind (if that is possible) relevant to one’s ability to be empathetic?
  • At what age do people develop the capacity to be empathetic? In what way, if at all, does developing empathy facilitate other cognitive and emotional processes or abilities?
  • Can we teach people to be more empathetic? If so, how?
  • What social conditions foster or damage empathy?
  • Does society have an obligation to ensure conditions are met so that people can most successfully develop a capacity to be empathetic? If so, what would that mean?
  • What are the consequences of lacking empathy?
  • What is the connection between being moral or ethical and having empathy? Is empathy a necessary condition, sufficient condition, or only incidentally relevant to morality/ethics? Can empathy impede or prevent a person from acting morally or ethically?
  • Can empathy cause immoral or unethical behavior? If so, how or when?
  • If non-humans are capable of experiencing empathy, does that imply that non-humans are capable of morality? Why or why not?
  • Are humans the only beings capable of empathy? What evidence is relevant to that claim?
  • If humans are incapable of feeling empathy, does that mean they are incapable of being morally good or ethical?

Via Edwin Rutsch
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Barbara Kerr's curator insight, May 24, 2014 12:05 PM

Many great questions to ponder on the topic of empathy. 

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Altered Hippocampus a Key Player in Psychotic Disorders: Medial Temporal Lobe and Hippocampal Subfields

Altered Hippocampus a Key Player in Psychotic Disorders: Medial Temporal Lobe and Hippocampal Subfields | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Research from JAMA Psychiatry — Medial Temporal Lobe Structures and Hippocampal Subfields in Psychotic Disorders — Findings From the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP) Study
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Training brain patterns of empathy using functional brain imaging

Training brain patterns of empathy using functional brain imaging | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
An unprecedented research conducted by a group of neuroscientists has demonstrated that it is possible to train brain patterns associated with empathic feelings.
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Device for stopping uncontrolled seizures implanted in patient

Device for stopping uncontrolled seizures implanted in patient | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Last month the first hospital outside of a clinical trial site implanted a pacemaker-like device in the brain of a patient. This may be a game-changer for patients with epilepsy.
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For the best retirement, build a ‘social portfolio’ Elizabeth O'Brien's Retire Well

For the best retirement, build a ‘social portfolio’ Elizabeth O'Brien's Retire Well | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Research shows that having a broad network of friends can increase your odds of a healthy retirement; it can even benefit you financially in times of need. Elizabeth O’Brien explains how to build a diversified ‘social portfolio.’
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Translational Psychiatry - Genetic risk prediction and neurobiological understanding of alcoholism

Translational Psychiatry - Genetic risk prediction and neurobiological understanding of alcoholism | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Translational Psychiatry explores the more translational area between the research in neuroscience and conceptually novel treatments
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Optical Brain Scanner Goes Where Other Brain Scanners Can’t

Optical Brain Scanner Goes Where Other Brain Scanners Can’t | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists have advanced a brain-scanning technology that tracks what the brain is doing by shining dozens of tiny LED lights on the head. This avoids the radiation exposure and bulky magnets the others require.

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The Social Brain: Ralph Adolphs at TEDxCaltech - YouTube

Ralph Adolphs obtained his Ph.D. at Caltech in 1993, subsequently conducted postdoctoral work with Antonio Damasio in lesion patients, and has been on the fa...

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Astrocyte Calcium Signaling Leads to More Brain Complexity

Astrocyte Calcium Signaling Leads to More Brain Complexity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
With many different types of astrocytes and many different signaling compartments, astrocyte calcium signaling leads to more brain complexity
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Brains of simple sea animals could help cure neural disorders

Brains of simple sea animals could help cure neural disorders | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida scientist studying simple sea animals called comb jellies has found the road map to a new form of brain development that could lead to treatments for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's

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Images of Brains Listening to Music Show Just How Powerful It Can Be

Images of Brains Listening to Music Show Just How Powerful It Can Be | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Music is much more than art.
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New sensor could light the way forward in low-cost medical imaging

New sensor could light the way forward in low-cost medical imaging | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new type of light sensor that could allow medical and security imaging via low cost cameras has been developed by researchers. Near infrared light can be used to perform non-invasive medical procedures, such as measuring the oxygen level in tissue and detecting tumors. It is also already commonly used in security camera systems and for quality control in the agriculture and food industry.
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Releasing the Brakes for Learning

Releasing the Brakes for Learning | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Example of a dendrite of a principal neuron (white) and synaptic contacts (yellow arrowheads) from SOM1 interneurons. Credit Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research.


Researchers discover learning processes in the brain are dynamically regulated by various types of interneurons.

 

Learning can only occur if certain neuronal “brakes” are released. As the group led by Andreas Lüthi at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research has now discovered, learning processes in the brain are dynamically regulated by various types of interneurons. The new connections essential for learning can only be established if inhibitory inputs from interneurons are reduced at the right moment. These findings have now been published in Nature.


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A new target for alcoholism treatment: Kappa opioid receptors

A new target for alcoholism treatment: Kappa opioid receptors | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The list of brain receptor targets for opiates reads like a fraternity: Mu Delta Kappa. The mu opioid receptor is the primary target for morphine and endogenous opioids like endorphin, whereas the delta opioid receptor shows the highest affinity for endogenous enkephalins. The kappa opioid receptor ...

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Functional nerve cells from skin cells

Functional nerve cells from skin cells | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Research will make the study of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's easier, and could lead to personalized therapies for a variety of neurodegenerative disorders.
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Compound reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mice

Compound reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mice | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Research in an animal model supports the potential therapeutic value of an antisense compound to treat Alzheimer's disease. The molecule also reduced inflammation in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The article is the second mouse study that supports the potential therapeutic value of an antisense compound in treating Alzheimer's disease in humans.
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Dr. Dan Siegel - Mirror Neurons: 'The Discovery' - YouTube


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It's official: drummers are smarter than you (and everybody else)

It's official: drummers are smarter than you (and everybody else) | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Research proves the rhythm section is more intelligent than the rest of us.

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Kv7 channels as targets for anti-epileptic and psychiatric drug-development

Kv7 channels as targets for anti-epileptic and psychiatric drug-development | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The Kv7 channels, a family of voltage-dependent K+ channels (Kv7.1–Kv7.5), have gained much attention in drug discovery especially because four members are genetically linked to diseases. For disorders of the CNS focus was originally on epilepsy and pain, but it is becoming increasingly evident that Kv7 channels can also be valid targets for psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and mania. The common denominator is probably neuronal hyperexcitability in different brain areas, which can be successfully attenuated by pharmacological increment of Kv7 channel activity. This perspective attempts to review the current status and challenges for CNS drug discovery based on Kv7 channels as targets for neurological and psychiatric indications with special focus on selectivity and mode-of-actions. - by Grunnet M. et al., European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 726, 5 March 2014, Pages 133–137


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Watch "The Social Brain And Its Superpowers : Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. at TEDxStLouis" Video at TEDxTalks

Watch "The Social Brain And Its Superpowers : Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. at TEDxStLouis" Video at TEDxTalks | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman explains that through his studies he's learned that our kryptonite is ignoring the importance of our social superpowers and ...

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