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New technologies can improve memory, learning in cognitive deficit patients

New technologies can improve memory, learning in cognitive deficit patients

People are using brain-machine interfaces to restore motor function in ways never before possible - through limb prosthetics and exoskletons. But technologies to repair and improve cognition have been more elusive. That is rapidly changing with new tools - from fully implantable brain devices to neuron-eavesdropping grids atop the brain - to directly probe the mind. [More]
Cognitive neuroscientists testing potential benefits of brain training tools

Cognitive neuroscientists testing potential benefits of brain training tools

The draw is huge: Play video games and get smarter. For the past decade, various groups have claimed that their cognitive training programs do everything from staving off neurodegenerative disease to enhancing education and improving daily functioning. Absent from many of these claims has been neuroscientific evidence. Cognitive neuroscientists are now rigorously testing the potential benefits of such "brain training" tools. [More]
Liraglutide drug makes highly desirable foods less appealing to people

Liraglutide drug makes highly desirable foods less appealing to people

Understanding the motivations that drive humans to eat is an important consideration in the development of weight loss therapies. Now a study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center helps explain how the diabetes and weight loss drug liraglutide acts on brain receptors to make enticing foods seems less desirable. [More]
Understanding neuronal feedback could provide new insight into visual perception

Understanding neuronal feedback could provide new insight into visual perception

Ever see something that isn't really there? Could your mind be playing tricks on you? The "tricks" might be your brain reacting to feedback between neurons in different parts of the visual system, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience by Carnegie Mellon University Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Sandra J. Kuhlman and colleagues. [More]
Network of connections between neurons reveals how brain circuits are organized

Network of connections between neurons reveals how brain circuits are organized

Even the simplest networks of neurons in the brain are composed of millions of connections, and examining these vast networks is critical to understanding how the brain works. [More]
Stem cell-derived neurons used to regenerate lost tissue in damaged corticospinal tracts of rats

Stem cell-derived neurons used to regenerate lost tissue in damaged corticospinal tracts of rats

Writing in the March 28, 2016 issue of Nature Medicine, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, with colleagues in Japan and Wisconsin, report that they have successfully directed stem cell-derived neurons to regenerate lost tissue in damaged corticospinal tracts of rats, resulting in functional benefit. [More]
MGH study finds that the brains of young marijuana users react differently to social exclusion

MGH study finds that the brains of young marijuana users react differently to social exclusion

A study from Massachusetts General Hospital researchers finds that the brains of young adult marijuana users react differently to social exclusion than do those of non-users. In a report published in the March issue of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, the team reports that activation of the insula, a region of the brain that is usually active during social rejection, was reduced in young marijuana users when they were being excluded from participation in virtual game of catch. [More]
Researchers propose new theory for genuine pain

Researchers propose new theory for genuine pain

Grimacing, we flinch when we see someone accidentally hit their thumb with a hammer. But is it really pain we feel? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and other institutions have now proposed a new theory that describes pain as a multi-layered gradual event which consists of specific pain components, such as a burning sensation in the hand, and more general components, such as negative emotions. [More]
Defective PTCHD1 gene in brain creates symptoms associated with autism and ADHD

Defective PTCHD1 gene in brain creates symptoms associated with autism and ADHD

Evidence is mounting that a gene called PTCHD1 helps the brain sort between important sights and sounds — and distractions. This gene is active in a brain region that attaches more attention to a conversation with your boss, for instance, than to an air conditioner buzzing in the background. [More]
Wide-field imaging approach can help study underlying mechanisms of brain function

Wide-field imaging approach can help study underlying mechanisms of brain function

University of Oregon scientists have looked into the brains of living mice to see in real time the processing of sensory information and generation of behavioral responses. [More]
Transcranial magnetic stimulation of STS can change behaviour of gaze

Transcranial magnetic stimulation of STS can change behaviour of gaze

A study financed by the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris has been conducted under the direction of Monica Zilbovicius in the Inserm Unit 1000 on a particular region of the brain, the superior temporal sulcus (STS), influencing perception and behaviour of the gaze. [More]
Healthy brain metabolism communicates with fluid intelligence in young adults

Healthy brain metabolism communicates with fluid intelligence in young adults

A healthy brain is critical to a person's cognitive abilities, but measuring brain health can be a complicated endeavor. A new study by University of Illinois researchers reports that healthy brain metabolism corresponds with fluid intelligence - a measure of one's ability to solve unusual or complex problems - in young adults. [More]
MU researchers use MRI to study effects of Phenylketonuria

MU researchers use MRI to study effects of Phenylketonuria

All children are screened for a host of conditions at birth, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder that is passed by mutated genes from both parents to their offspring. PKU is rare, only affecting one in every 10,000 children in the U.S.; therefore, it is seldom studied. [More]
Synchronized waves of calcium in the brain can reduce depressive symptoms

Synchronized waves of calcium in the brain can reduce depressive symptoms

Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered that the benefits of stimulating the brain with direct current come from its effects on astrocytes -- not neurons -- in the mouse brain. [More]
Sleep suppresses homeostatic rebalancing of brain activity

Sleep suppresses homeostatic rebalancing of brain activity

Why humans and other animals sleep is one of the remaining deep mysteries of physiology. One prominent theory in neuroscience is that sleep is when the brain replays memories "offline" to better encode them ("memory consolidation"). [More]
Study identifies nerve cells and brain region behind innate fear response

Study identifies nerve cells and brain region behind innate fear response

The odor of bobcat urine, if you ever get a chance to take a whiff, is unforgettable -- like rotten meat combined with sweat, with something indescribably feral underlying it. To humans, it's just nose-wrinklingly disgusting.But to mice, it smells like one thing: fear. [More]

Study points to potential way to make people behave in less selfish, more altruistic ways

It's an age-old quandary: Are we born "noble savages" whose best intentions are corrupted by civilization, as the 18th century Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau contended? Or are we fundamentally selfish brutes who need civilization to rein in our base impulses, as the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued? After exploring the areas of the brain that fuel our empathetic impulses -- and temporarily disabling other regions that oppose those impulses -- two UCLA neuroscientists are coming down on the optimistic side of human nature. [More]
New type of nerve cells appears to control feeding behaviors in mice

New type of nerve cells appears to control feeding behaviors in mice

While researching the brain's learning and memory system, scientists at Johns Hopkins say they stumbled upon a new type of nerve cell that seems to control feeding behaviors in mice. The finding, they report, adds significant detail to the way brains tell animals when to stop eating and, if confirmed in humans, could lead to new tools for fighting obesity. Details of the study will be published by the journal Science on March 18. [More]
Transcranial direct current stimulation assists chronic stroke rehabilitation

Transcranial direct current stimulation assists chronic stroke rehabilitation

Adding ipsilesional anodal transcranial direct current stimulation to upper limb rehabilitation delivers motor improvements in chronic stroke patients that last for at least 3 months, a randomised trial shows. [More]
New study provides insight into working memory

New study provides insight into working memory

When you hold in mind a sentence you have just read or a phone number you're about to dial, you're engaging a critical brain system known as working memory. [More]
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