Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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Zapping Sleepers' Brains Causes Lucid Dreaming - IEEE Spectrum

Zapping Sleepers' Brains Causes Lucid Dreaming - IEEE Spectrum | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Stimulating brain regions associated with self-awareness can make dreamers realize they're dreaming
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Blasts of Ultrasound Could Get Needed Drugs Into the Brain - IEEE Spectrum

Blasts of Ultrasound Could Get Needed Drugs Into the Brain - IEEE Spectrum | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
New focused ultrasound arrays can temporarily breach the blood-brain barrier
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Scientists May Have Found A Way To Bring Back Memories Of Dementia Patients

Scientists May Have Found A Way To Bring Back Memories Of Dementia Patients | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
"Since our work shows we can reverse the processes that weaken synapses, we could potentially counteract some of the beta amyloid's effects of Alzheimer's."




The scientists found they could then re-activate the lost memory by re-stimulating the same nerves with a memory-forming, high-frequency train of optical pulses.


Via Gust MEES
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Gust MEES's curator insight, June 1, 2014 5:24 PM

The scientists found they could then re-activate the lost memory by re-stimulating the same nerves with a memory-forming, high-frequency train of optical pulses.


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Neurons identified that determine whether an individual will be depressed or resilient

Neurons identified that determine whether an individual will be depressed or resilient | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
We all deal with stress differently. For many of us, stress is a great motivator, spurring a renewed sense of vigor to solve life's problems. But for others, stress triggers depression.

Via Ruth Obadia, Tiago
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Uncovering clues to the genetic cause of schizophrenia

Uncovering clues to the genetic cause of schizophrenia | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The overall number and nature of mutations—rather than the presence of any single mutation—influences an individual's risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a discovery by Columbia University Medical Center...
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Opening paths to novel analgesics: the role of potassium channels in chronic pain

Opening paths to novel analgesics: the role of potassium channels in chronic pain | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Highlights- Potassium (K+) channels are crucial determinants of neuronal excitability.- Nerve injury or inflammation alters K+ channel activity in neurons of the pain pathway.- These changes can render neurons hyperexcitable and cause chronic pain.- Therapies targeting K+ channels may provide improved pain relief in these states. (...) - By Tsantoulas C & McMahon SB, Trends in Neurosciences, Volume 37, Issue 3, March 2014, Pages 146–158


Via Julien Hering, PhD
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Julien Hering, PhD's curator insight, May 27, 2014 11:01 AM

The exceptional abundance and breadth of function encountered in K+ channels has complicated efforts to untangle explicit roles in pain syndromes. Owing to advances in molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological, and genetic methods, however, we can now appreciate the involvement of specific subunits in maladaptive pain signaling after injury or inflammation. Nevertheless, there are many potential avenues of K+ involvement that have hardly been explored. It seems likely that unknown mutations in K+channel genes might contribute to inherited pain syndromes. There are many ‘silent’ K+ channel subunits for which we have little idea of whether and how they might affect pain processing. Auxiliary subunits can provide alternative substrates for pharmacological modulation; however, our understanding of these interactions in the PNS is also limited. In many chronic pain models an extensive dysregulation of several K+channels is seen, and it is unknown whether a common epigenetic control exists.

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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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Electrical Spine Stimulation Helps Paralyzed Patients Regain Some Movement - IEEE Spectrum

Electrical Spine Stimulation Helps Paralyzed Patients Regain Some Movement - IEEE Spectrum | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Researchers demonstrate that a groundbreaking pilot study wasn't an anomaly
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Researchers create highly detailed 3D model of an individual neural synapse (w/ Video)

Researchers create highly detailed 3D model of an individual neural synapse (w/ Video) | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers in Germany has created a very highly detailed 3D computer model of an individual rat synapse showing the distribution of approximately 30,000 proteins involved in the process of sending a message from one neuron to another. In their paper published in the journal ...
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Lifestyle Changes May Lengthen Telomeres, A Measure of Cell Aging | ucsf.edu

Lifestyle Changes May Lengthen Telomeres, A Measure of Cell Aging | ucsf.edu | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
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Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation

Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—In a new study, published in this week's issue of the journal Science, researchers show for the first time how the brain re-wires and fine-tunes its connections differently depending on the relative timing of sensory stimuli.
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Depressed Mice Have Excitable Neurons

Depressed Mice Have Excitable Neurons | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
A new study pinpoints the cells involved in coping with stress, which can result in the development of mood disorders
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Neurons can use local stores for communication needs

Neurons can use local stores for communication needs | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Neurons can utilize a supremely localized internal store of calcium to initiate the secretion of neuropeptides, one class of signaling molecules through which neurons communicate with each other and with other cells, researchers have shown.
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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

Via Gaye Rosier
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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.


Via iPamba
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