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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 7

May 1, 2019

Brain mapping: New technique reveals how information is processed

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, neuroscience

Scientists have discovered a new method for quickly and efficiently mapping the vast network of connections among neurons in the brain.

Researchers combined infrared laser stimulation techniques with functional magnetic resonance imaging in animals to generate mapping of connections throughout the brain. The technique was described in a study published in the journal Science Advances.

“This is a revolution in detecting connections in the brain,” said senior author Anna Wang Roe, Ph.D., a professor in the Division of Neuroscience at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center. “The ability to easily map connections in the living brain with high precision opens doors for other applications in medicine and engineering.”

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May 1, 2019

How live recordings of neural electricity could revolutionize how we see the brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Red and blue lights flash. A machine whirs like a distant swarm of bees. In a cubicle-sized room, Yoav Adam, a microscope, and a video projector capture something no one has ever seen before: neurons flashing in real time, in a walking, living creature.

For decades scientists have been searching for a way to watch a live broadcast of the brain. Neurons send and receive massive amounts of information—Toe itches! Fire hot! Garbage smells!—with impressive speed. Electrical signals can travel from cell to cell at up to 270 miles per hour.

But, neural electricity is just as hard to see as electricity in a telephone wire: To the unassisted eye, the busy brain looks as lifeless as rubber. So, to observe how neurons turn information (toe itches) into thoughts (“itching powder”), behaviors (scratching), and emotions (anger), we need to change the way we see.

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May 1, 2019

Who’s The Decision Maker: Your Brain Or You?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The pioneering work of Benjamin Libet showed that our brain begins preparing for movement even before we consciously decide to move. One wonders if someone were to monitor my brain, would they know, even before I do, what action I’m going to take?


It seems an unlikely place to find a discussion on free will, but neuroscientists often grapple with the question of who is making your life choices: Your brain or your consciousness? More importantly, what’s the difference?

A classic experiment from the 1970s and early 1980s that is referenced frequently in these discussions is the work of Benjamin Libet, which showed that the brain begins preparing for movement even before we consciously decide to move. In Libet’s experiment, people were asked to move a finger whenever they were ready. When they had the urge to move, all they had to do was check where the second hand was on the clock. Meanwhile, Libet measured the activity in his subjects’ brains and found that while the conscious decision to move the hand happened on average 200 milliseconds before the person moved their hand, the brain had already begun preparing for this movement a whole second in advance.

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Apr 30, 2019

The Microbots Are on Their Way

Posted by in categories: electronics, neuroscience

Tiny sensors with tinier legs, stamped out of silicon wafers, could one day soon help fix your cellphone battery or study your brain.

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Apr 30, 2019

NMN Improves Cognitive Function in Aged Mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Researchers have tested nicotinamide mononucleotide on aged mice to see if it can help reverse age-related cognitive decline by improving blood flow in the brain.

The brain is a hungry organ

Healthy brain function relies on efficient cerebral blood flow (CBF) to wash away harmful waste products for disposal and supply the brain with an adequate supply of oxygen and sufficient nutrients.

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Apr 29, 2019

Why does insomnia worsen distress of unpleasant memories?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

For people with insomnia, sleep does not reduce the shame of an embarrassing experience. For them, the distress does not fade; in fact, it can get worse with recall.


Brain activity differences may help explain why distress from bad memories grows stronger in people with insomnia but fades in those without insomnia.

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Apr 29, 2019

New view on the mechanisms of how the brain works

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The researchers conducted in-depth analyses of how touch signals are transferred and processed in neurons of various parts of the brain and the latest studies have been published in Cell Reports and Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. The experiments were conducted on anaesthetised rats.

“We immediately realised that our findings deviated strongly from the accepted view that different parts of the brain are responsible for different specific functions,” says Henrik Jörntell, one of the researchers behind the study.

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Apr 29, 2019

Study paves way for innovative treatment of epilepsy

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A drug commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis may, after necessary modifications, one day be used to treat patients with epilepsy, researchers in Prof. Inna Slutsky’s lab at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University have discovered.

This is good news for patients with Dravet syndrome, one of the most dangerous forms of childhood epilepsy, for which there is currently no .

According to a new study published on April 29 in Neuron, Tel Aviv University researchers uncovered a piece of a puzzle that has eluded scientists for 100 years of studying homeostasis: What is the mechanism that maintains activity set points in ?

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Apr 29, 2019

We survive because reality may be nothing like we think it is

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman asserts that not only do we invent our own personal views of reality, it’s an evolutionary necessity.

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Apr 29, 2019

‘It’s the next rising platform’: 2 promising technologies backed by billion-dollar drugmakers could transform the human body into a disease-destroying machine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

MeiraGTx’s founders were interested in those uses; the biotech’s programs today are in diseases of the eye, salivary gland and brain.

But “we wanted to have a broader perspective on how you could potentially use gene therapy” too, CEO Alexandria Forbes says.

That vision is a high-tech, futuristic one, in which the human body can essentially become a medicine-making factory, enabled by gene therapy. But it’ll require more research, and is still years from fruition.

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