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BIDMC scientists shed light on how hunger affects the brain’s response to visual food cues

BIDMC scientists shed light on how hunger affects the brain’s response to visual food cues

Our brain pays more attention to food when we are hungry than when we are sated. Now a team of scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has shed light on how the needs of the body affect the way the brain processes visual food cues. [More]
UCSB neuroscientist provides new understanding of how the brain uses perception to guide action

UCSB neuroscientist provides new understanding of how the brain uses perception to guide action

A UC Santa Barbara researcher studying how the brain uses perception of the environment to guide action has a new understanding of the neural circuits responsible for transforming sensation into movement. [More]
New mice study identifies trick to enhance memories

New mice study identifies trick to enhance memories

Imagine if playing a new video game or riding a rollercoaster could help you prepare for an exam or remember other critical information. [More]
Research reveals new insights into happy hormone, dopamine

Research reveals new insights into happy hormone, dopamine

Dopamine is a so-called messenger substance or neurotransmitter that conveys signals between neurons. [More]
Basic cell biology research into neurodegeneration may fuel understanding of neurodegenerative diseases

Basic cell biology research into neurodegeneration may fuel understanding of neurodegenerative diseases

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says UC Santa Barbara neuroscientist Kenneth S. Kosik. [More]
Scientists activate neurons in the mouse brain by injecting virus containing light-sensitive proteins

Scientists activate neurons in the mouse brain by injecting virus containing light-sensitive proteins

Neurons that fire together really do wire together, says a new study in Science, suggesting that the three-pound computer in our heads may be more malleable than we think. [More]
MIT scientists design new microfluidic device that mimics neuromuscular junction

MIT scientists design new microfluidic device that mimics neuromuscular junction

MIT engineers have developed a microfluidic device that replicates the neuromuscular junction -- the vital connection where nerve meets muscle. [More]
Scientists demonstrate synapses between specific neuron types form clusters

Scientists demonstrate synapses between specific neuron types form clusters

The cerebral cortex resembles a vast switchboard. Countless lines carrying information about the environment, for example from the sensory organs, converge in the cerebral cortex. [More]
Neuroscientists identify two distinct populations of dopamine neurons involved in movement, reward

Neuroscientists identify two distinct populations of dopamine neurons involved in movement, reward

Two Northwestern University neuroscientists have identified the neurochemical signal likely missing in Parkinson's disease by being the first to discover two distinctly different kinds of neurons that deliver dopamine to an important brain region responsible for both movement and learning/reward behavior. [More]
New optogenetic manipulation technique could possibly reduce migraine headaches

New optogenetic manipulation technique could possibly reduce migraine headaches

Despite decades of research, migraines are often not well controlled with medication. For those prone to this type of debilitating headache, it sometimes seems nothing can stop the pain and the sensitivity to light. But what if light itself was key to their relief? [More]
Scientists use optogenetics technique to increase memory in mice brain

Scientists use optogenetics technique to increase memory in mice brain

Raül Andero Galí, one of the heads of the "Neurobiology of Stress and Addiction" research group at the Institut de Neurociències of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and researcher at Harvard University, published an article in which, for the first time in Spain, optogenetics was used to increase memory. [More]
Suppression of ventral pallidum neurons could be key to control binge behavior

Suppression of ventral pallidum neurons could be key to control binge behavior

Rats that responded to cues for sugar with the speed and excitement of binge-eaters were less motivated for the treat when certain neurons were suppressed, researchers discovered. [More]
Smell or taste of food can shorten lifespan by affecting sensory neurons

Smell or taste of food can shorten lifespan by affecting sensory neurons

Animals can perceive changes in many environmental factors such as temperature and the taste or smell of foods. This is achieved by specialized nerve cells called sensory neurons. Interestingly, sensory neurons have been known to control the rate of aging in various animals, including the tiny free living roundworm C. elegans. [More]
Study reveals brain mechanism involved in switching between habitual behavior and decision-making

Study reveals brain mechanism involved in switching between habitual behavior and decision-making

Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. It's a good thing, for example, that we can find our way home on "autopilot" or wash our hands without having to ponder every step. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders. [More]
Fast, new way to rule out potentially dangerous drugs using optogenetics

Fast, new way to rule out potentially dangerous drugs using optogenetics

A team of researchers at the George Washington University has developed a faster method to predict whether potential new drugs will cause heart arrhythmias using optogenetics, a technique that uses light to control cells. [More]
Light-sensitive serotonin receptors may help study causes of anxiety, depression

Light-sensitive serotonin receptors may help study causes of anxiety, depression

Anxiety and depression are two of the most frequently occurring mental disorders worldwide. Light-activated nerve cells may indicate how they are formed. [More]
Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Because billions of neurons are packed into our brain, the neuronal circuits that are responsible for controlling our behaviors are by necessity highly intermingled. This tangled web makes it complicated for scientists to determine exactly which circuits do what. Now, using two laboratory techniques pioneered in part at Caltech, Caltech researchers have mapped out the pathways of a set of neurons responsible for the kinds of motor impairments--such as difficulty walking--found in patients with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Non-invasive optogenetic therapy can help treat chronic pain

Non-invasive optogenetic therapy can help treat chronic pain

The potential of light as a non-invasive, highly-focused alternative to pain medication was made more apparent thanks to research conducted by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre. [More]
UNC scientists develop new optogenetic tool to study function of different proteins

UNC scientists develop new optogenetic tool to study function of different proteins

Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have developed a way to embed light-responsive switches into proteins so that researchers can use lasers to manipulate protein movement and activity within living cells and animals. [More]
Prior Scientific collaborates with Neurotar to produce in vivo microscopic imaging solution for neuroscientists

Prior Scientific collaborates with Neurotar to produce in vivo microscopic imaging solution for neuroscientists

Prior Scientific reports that its collaboration with Neurotar has produced a seamlessly integrated solution for in vivo microscopic imaging in the brain of awake and moving rodents. The solution is based upon Prior’s ultra-stable and easily adjustable Z-Deck platform. [More]
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