Neuroscience News

Researchers Reveal That Cost Considerations Are Wired Into The Learning of Habits

August 21, 2015

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Researchers Discover Neurons That Drive Habits

A newly published study from MIT shows that habit formation in primates is driven by neurons that represent the cost of a habit, as well as the reward. We are creatures of habit, nearly mindlessly executing routine after routine. Some habits we feel good about; others, less so. Habits are, after all, thought to be […]

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Researchers Identify a Potential Marker for Schizophrenia

August 12, 2015

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New Study Shows Brain Abnormalities Are Present Even Before Onset of Schizophrenia

New research from Yale University reveals that even before the onset of schizophrenia, irregularities in key brain areas are already present in individuals at higher risk of developing psychosis. The findings identify a potential marker for the debilitating disease that afflicts 1% of the world’s population and suggest at least a partial explanation for why […]

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Researchers Discover a Group of Local, Inhibitory Interneurons in the Fruit Fly

July 21, 2015

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A New Type of Neuron is Responsible for Selective Motion Vision

A team of researchers has discovered a new type of neuron is responsible for selective motion vision in fruit flies. Motion despite immobility. The illusion of self-motion is created, for example, in an IMAX cinema with the help of large-format movies. This is possible, because the brain calculates self-motion from the visual surround moving past […]

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Scientists Engineer Brain Cells to Produce Light

July 16, 2015

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Scientists Engineer Brain Cells to Produce Light like Fireflies

Neuroscientists from Brown University and Central Michigan University are working to make optogenetics even more powerful in the brain and beyond. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — The revolution that optogenetics technology has brought to biology — neuroscience in particular — could be transformed all over again if a new project getting underway at Brown […]

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New Research Shows Nitrous Oxide Changes Brainwaves

July 6, 2015

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Researchers Reveal Brainwave Changes in Patients Receiving Nitrous Oxide

New research from MIT details brainwave changes in patients receiving nitrous oxide, revealing that EEG recordings show large-amplitude slow-delta waves after the administration of nitrous oxide at anesthetic doses. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” has been used in anesthesiology practice since the 1800s, but the way it works to create altered states is […]

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Lysosomes May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease

June 30, 2015

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Lysosomes May Contribute to Alzheimer's

New research from Yale University shows lysosomes, the “garbage disposal” systems of cells, can fail and perhaps contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Lysosomes, the “garbage disposal” systems of cells, are found in great abundance near the amyloid plaques in the brain that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have long assumed that their presence was […]

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Neuroscientists Show Multiple Cortical Regions Are Needed to Process Information

June 19, 2015

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Scientists Show Multiple Cortical Regions Needed to Process Information

Neuroscientists from MIT show that multiple cortical regions work together simultaneously to process sensorimotor information despite their predetermined specialized roles. Researchers at MIT have proven that the brain’s cortex doesn’t process specific tasks in highly specialized modules — showing that the cortex is, in fact, quite dynamic when sharing information. Previous studies of the brain […]

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Artificially Reactivating Positive Memories Can Reverse Depression

June 18, 2015

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Recalling Happier Memories to Reverse Depression

By artificially reactivating happy memories that were formed before the onset of depression, MIT neuroscientists have shown that they can cure the symptoms of depression in mice. The findings, described in the June 18 issue of Nature, offer a possible explanation for the success of psychotherapies in which depression patients are encouraged to recall pleasant […]

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Pupil Diameter Linked to Task Performance

June 15, 2015

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Pupil Diameter Predicts Task Performance

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine reveal how changes in the activity of individual neurons during performance of a task correspond exactly to the diameter of the pupil, showing signatures of high arousal for a wide diameter and low arousal for a small diameter. If you want to know who is ready to perform […]

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Study Shows Poor Sleep Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

June 3, 2015

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Poor Sleep Linked to Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss

A newly published study from UC Berkeley reveals a new pathway through which Alzheimer’s disease may cause memory decline later in life. UC Berkeley scientists have found compelling evidence that poor sleep — particularly a deficit of the deep, restorative slumber needed to hit the save button on memories — is a channel through which […]

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Key Areas of the Brain Develop Differently in Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

May 29, 2015

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Brain Development During Adolescence in Bipolar Disorder

A newly published study from Yale University shows that key areas of the brain that help regulate emotions develop differently in adolescents with bipolar disorder. In brain areas that regulate emotions, adolescents with bipolar disorder lose larger-than-anticipated volumes of gray matter, or neurons, and show no increase in white matter connections, which is a hallmark […]

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Neuroscientists Identify Brain Circuit That Controls Decision-Making Under Conflict

May 28, 2015

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Scientists Identify Brain Circuit that Controls Emotional Decisions

A newly published study details how neuroscientists from MIT identified a neural circuit that controls decision-making under conflict. Some decisions arouse far more anxiety than others. Among the most anxiety-provoking are those that involve options with both positive and negative elements, such choosing to take a higher-paying job in a city far from family and […]

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Brain Activity Predicts Weight Gain

May 20, 2015

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New Study Shows How the Brain Responds to Food Cues

A new study set to appear in The Journal Neuroscience illustrates that it is the way the brain responds to food cues when individuals are not hungry that predicts weight gain and that the reasons why people gain weight can be fundamentally different. The way the brain responds while sipping a delicious milkshake can predict […]

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Galactic Cosmic Rays Can Cause Dementia-Like Symptoms During Extended Space Travel

May 14, 2015

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Study Shows Extended Space Travel May Warp Astronauts' Brains

A new study from UC Irvine shows that galactic cosmic rays can cause dementia-like symptoms, making extended space trips to locations such as Mars more difficult to accomplish. What happens to an astronaut’s brain during a mission to Mars? Nothing good. It’s besieged by destructive particles that can forever impair cognition, according to a UC […]

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Neuroscientists Pinpoint Neurons That Help Tell Faces Apart

May 8, 2015

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Neuroscientists Pinpoint Neurons That Help Primates Tell Faces Apart

Using optogenetics, neuroscientists from MIT have provided the first evidence that directly links FD neurons to face-discrimination in primates — specifically, differentiating between males and females. How do primates, including humans, tell faces apart? Scientists have long attributed this ability to so-called “face-detector” (FD) neurons, thought to be responsible for distinguishing faces, among other objects. […]

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Neuroscientists Show How Brain Cells Control the Flood of Information

April 27, 2015

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Controlling the Thalamus with Dynamic Synapses

Neuroscientists from Brown University show how cells in the brain’s cortex can either stifle or enhance sensory information incoming from the thalamus, thereby allowing it to focus on just some of the many sensory inputs it might choose to consider. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — We consider only some of the sights, sounds, and […]

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New Method of High-Resolution Whole-Brain Staining

April 13, 2015

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New Staining Method to Reveal Circuit Diagram of the Brain

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have developed a special staining method that brings the reconstruction of all nerve cells and their connections within reach. Learning, it is widely believed is based on changes in the connections between nerve cells. The knowing which nerve cells is connected to which other nerve cell would […]

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AZD05030 Restores Memory and Synapse Loss in Alzheimer Mice

April 2, 2015

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Experimental Cancer Drug Restores Memory

New research from Yale University reveals that the experimental cancer drug AZD05030 blocks damage triggered during the formation of amyloid-beta plaques, restoring synaptic connections and memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s. Memory and as well as connections between brain cells were restored in mice with a model of Alzheimer’s given an experimental cancer drug, […]

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