Neuroscience News

Neuroscientists Examine How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

February 23, 2015

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Neuroscientists Reveal How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

New research from MIT shows that the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex use two different brain-wave frequencies to communicate as the brain learns to associate unrelated objects. Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of […]

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Yale Neurobiologists Discover Surprising Trigger of New Brain Cell Growth

February 19, 2015

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Researchers Find Trigger of New Brain Cell Growth

A newly published study from Yale University shows that adult hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) express vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 3 and its ligand VEGF-C, which activates quiescent NSCs to enter the cell cycle and generate progenitor cells. Scientists have discovered that the human brain can produce new neurons, but exactly how those […]

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Marijuana Munchies: How the Appetite Center of the Brain Responds to Marijuana

February 18, 2015

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Marijuana Munchies How the Brain Flips the Hunger Switch

A new study from Yale University observes how the appetite center of the brain responds to marijuana, revealing what drives the hunger brought about by cannabis and how that same mechanism that normally turns off feeding becomes a driver of eating. The “munchies,” or that uncontrollable urge to eat after using marijuana, appear to be […]

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Nano-Antioxidants Quickly Neutralize Superoxides

February 12, 2015

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Study Shows How Particles Quench Damaging Superoxides

A new Rice-led study reveals how nanoparticles can quickly neutralize superoxides that are overexpressed by the body’s cells in response to an injury. Injectable nanoparticles that could protect an injured person from further damage due to oxidative stress have proven to be astoundingly effective in tests to study their mechanism. Scientists at Rice University, Baylor […]

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Key Process in Brain Development Identified

February 6, 2015

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Yale Identifies Key Process in Brain Development

By studying miR-107 in zebrafish, Yale researchers have discovered that miR-107 plays a key role in early brain development, and perhaps in the development of brain-related disease. MicroRNA are the tiny non-coding RNA molecules that help determine whether genes are expressed or silenced. One particular microRNA — miR-107 — plays a key role in early […]

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New Research Shows Seizures Knock Out Brain Arousal Centers

February 5, 2015

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Seizures Knock Out Brain Arousal Centers

Researchers from Yale University found that during seizures the arousal centers in the brain stem are actually suppressed, leading to a loss of consciousness. People with epilepsy who experience focal seizures sometimes remain mobile but are unable to hear or respond to their environment. Yale School of Medicine researchers have discovered a surprising explanation for […]

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Brain Scans Help Reveal How the Brain Ignores Distractions

February 4, 2015

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How the Brain Ignores Distractions

By scanning the brains of people engaged in selective attention to sensations, researchers from Brown University have learned how the brain appears to coordinate the response needed to ignore distractions. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — When we concentrate on something, we also engage in the unsung, parallel act of purposefully ignoring other things. A […]

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Yale Research Shows Immune Cells Are an Ally, Not Enemy, in Battle Against Alzheimer’s

January 29, 2015

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Study Shows Immune Cells Are An Ally Against Alzheimer’s

New research in battle against Alzheimer’s shows that brain immune cells (called microglia) seem to protect the brain by keeping amyloid plaques corralled, and are not re responsible for inflammation and damage to surrounding brain cells as previously thought. Beta-amyloid is a sticky protein that aggregates and forms small plaques in the brains of the […]

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New Technique Enlarges Tissue Samples, Making Them Easier to Image

January 16, 2015

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New Technique Enables Nanoscale-Resolution Microscopy

By physically enlarging the specimen itself, researchers from MIT have invented a new way to visualize the nanoscale structure of the brain and other tissues. Beginning with the invention of the first microscope in the late 1500s, scientists have been trying to peer into preserved cells and tissues with ever-greater magnification. The latest generation of […]

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Duke Study Provides Close-Up of Synapse Refinement

January 12, 2015

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Study Pinpoints Autism-Linked Protein for Sculpting Brain Connections

A new study from Duke University provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies that the protein hevin is crucial in this process. Durham, North Carolina – Shortly after birth, human brains expand rapidly with the experience of an entirely new world. During this period, neurons in the newborn brain compete with one another to […]

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Onset of Schizophrenia Linked to Elevated Neural Links

January 7, 2015

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Schizophrenia Onset Linked to Elevated Neural Links

New research from Yale scientists, in conjunction with colleagues at the Huaxi Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Sichuan University in China, reveals that that the onset of the schizophrenia is marked by an abnormal spike in neural connections. In its chronic stage, schizophrenia is typically marked by a dearth of links between brain cells in […]

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New Research Identifies Enzyme Crucial to the Shaping and Division of Brain Cells

January 5, 2015

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Study Identifies Enzyme Crucial to the Shaping and Division of Brain Cells

A newly published study identifies a “cutting” enzyme crucial to the shaping and division of brain cells as well as the replenishment of neural stem cells. The study, appearing online December 17 in the journal Neuron, helps explain the molecular basis of complex brain abnormalities, including small brain size (microcephaly) observed in children who were […]

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Study Shows Digital Books Can Adversely Impact Overall Health

December 31, 2014

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E-Readers Foil Good Night’s Sleep

A newly published study from Harvard Medical School reveals that using light-emitting electronic devices before bedtime can adversely impact overall health. Use of a light-emitting electronic book (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness and the circadian clock, which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, […]

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New Non-Invasive MRI Technology Detects Alzheimer’s Disease Early

December 23, 2014

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New Non-Invasive Method Can Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Early

A newly published study details how a new MRI probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure with an antibody can detect Alzheimer’s disease early. Evanston, Illinois — No methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern […]

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New Computer Neural Networks Identify As Well As The Primate Brain

December 19, 2014

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New Computer Neural Networks Can Visually Identify as Well as the Primate Brain

A new study from MIT neuroscientists shows that the newest computer neural networks can identify visual objects as well as the primate brain. For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer […]

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Neuroscientists Reveal Fundamental Discovery about Cortical Neurons

December 11, 2014

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Neuroscientists Reveal Fundamental Discovery about Cortical Neurons

Neuroscientists from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory uncover a fundamental discovery about cortical neurons, showing that inhibitory neuron functionality is not an immutable property of cortical cells, but a consequence of more complex network dynamics. The two major types of neuron in the brain’s cerebral cortex are connected by intricate cortical circuits that […]

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Brain’s Response to Smoking is Different in Men and Women

December 10, 2014

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Men and Women Respond Differently to Cigarettes

New research from Yale University shows that men and women respond to cigarettes differently, demonstrating for the first time that smoking-induced dopamine activation occurs in a different brain region and much faster in nicotine-dependent men than women. Yale researchers using a new brain imaging analysis method have confirmed that smoking cigarettes activates a dopamine-driven pleasure […]

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