Neuroscience News

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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DNA Mutations Can Be Good in Brain Tumors

March 25, 2015

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Possible Personalized Treatments for More Aggressive Forms of Brain Cancer

New research from Yale University reveals that it may be possible to develop personalized treatments for more aggressive forms of brain cancer. DNA mutations can cause cancer but in some cases, more mutations may mean a better prognosis for patients. A Yale-led comprehensive genomic analysis of more than 700 brain tumors has revealed one such […]

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New Technique Offers Direct Stimulation of Neurons Without External Connections

March 13, 2015

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New Technique Could Lead to Long-Lasting Localized Stimulation of Brain Tissue

Using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles, a new technique developed by researchers at MIT could lead to long-lasting localized stimulation of brain tissue without external connections. This video shows a calcium ion influx into neurons as a result of magnetothermal excitation with alternating magnetic fields in the presence of magnetic nanoparticles. Neurons on […]

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Neuroscientists Find That Cognitive Skills Peak at Different Ages

March 10, 2015

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Cognitive Skills Peak at Different Ages Across Adulthood

New research from neuroscientists at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital reveals that different parts of the brain work best at different ages. Scientists have long known that our ability to think quickly and recall information, also known as fluid intelligence, peaks around age 20 and then begins a slow decline. However, more recent findings, including […]

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Yale Study Reveals Connection Between Genes That Contribute to Autism

March 10, 2015

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Study Shows Connection Between Key Autism Risk Genes

A newly published study from Yale University reveals an important connection between key autism risk genes in the human brain, a major step toward understanding how brain development goes awry in some individuals with the disorder. The research shows that CHD8, a gene that is strongly linked to autism, acts as a master regulator in […]

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Hypothalamic Agrp Neurons Also Control Compulsive Behaviors

March 6, 2015

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Study Shows Hunger Neurons also Control Compulsive Behaviors

A newly published study from Yale University shows that in the absence of food Agrp neurons trigger foraging and repetitive behaviors in mice. In the absence of food, neurons that normally control appetite initiate complex, repetitive behaviors seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anorexia nervosa, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine […]

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Yale Maps Evolutionary Changes of the Human Brain

March 6, 2015

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Researchers Map Switches That Shaped the Evolution of the Human Brain

New research from Yale University reveals a detailed catalog of human-specific changes in gene regulation and pinpoints several biological processes potentially guided by these regulatory elements that are crucial to human brain development. Thousands of genetic “dimmer” switches, regions of DNA known as regulatory elements, were turned up high during human evolution in the developing […]

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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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