Interactive Brain Map

Visit Thinglink to learn about the five parts of the brain –  the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, the cerebellum, the occipital lobe, and the temporal lobe.

 


Weekly Neuroscience Update

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A research team has used neuroimaging techniques to investigate how being in a romantic relationship produces alterations in the architecture of the brain. They found that being in love is associated with increased connectivity between regions of the brain associated with reward, motivation, emotion regulation, and social cognition.

Research from McGill University reveals that the brain’s motor network helps people remember and recognize music that they have performed in the past better than music they have only heard.

The human brain can select relevant objects from a flood of information and edit out what is irrelevant. It also knows which parts belong to a whole. If, for example, we direct our attention to the doors of a house, the brain will preferentially process its windows, but not the neighbouring houses. Psychologists have now discovered that this also happens when parts of the objects are merely maintained in our memory.

Researchers have found that teens who smoked marijuana daily for several years have an abnormally shaped hippocampus and do poorly on tasks involving long-term memory.

A new study has shown how intentional recall is beyond a simple reawakening of a memory; and actually leads us to forget other competing experiences that interfere with retrieval.

Researchers have identified key cells within the brain that are critical for determining circadian rhythms, the 24-hour processes that control sleep and wake cycles, as well as other important body functions such as hormone production, metabolism, and blood pressure

New York University researchers have devised a computer model to explain how a neural circuit learns to classify sensory stimuli into discrete categories, such as “car vs. motorcycle.” Their findings, which appear in the journal Nature Communications, shed new light on the brain processes underpinning judgments we make on a daily basis.

Queensland scientists have found that non-invasive ultrasound technology can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and restore memory.

Researchers at MIT have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles — a technique allowing direct stimulation of neurons, which could be an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases, without the need for implants or external connections.

Researchers have come up with a new way to evaluate how well computers can divine information from images. The team describes its new system as a “visual Turing test,” after the legendary computer scientist Alan Turing’s test of the extent to which computers display human-like intelligence.

Thousands of genetic “dimmer” switches, regions of DNA known as regulatory elements, were turned up high during human evolution in the developing cerebral cortex, according to new research from the Yale School of Medicine.

Finally this week, a new study finds that giving a drug that changes the neurochemical balance in the brain causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.


5 Ways to Prepare The Doctors of The Future

Originally posted on ScienceRoll:

Years ago when I was a medical student I felt that lexical knowledge was more important than actually being able to find the information I need. And now there are 23 million peer-reviewed papers on Pubmed.com so the skill of being able to find information is becoming even more important than ever.

I thought that medical curriculum should be redesigned in a way that now we can serve this new need for skills such as digital literacy. That is why I launched the world’s first university course focusing on social media, mobile health and the future of medicine. The course is still running with full house.

In my new video, I described methods that help us prepare students for becoming physicians who can take care of their patients in a technological world. Here is the video and then summaries of the 5 methods.

Developing e-learning platforms

I launched an e-learning…

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Image of the Week: Smartphone Microscope

Originally posted on Wellcome Trust Blog:

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2015 is the UN’s International Year of Light, and to celebrate, the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering at Heriot-Watt University is launching a smartphone microscope competition for students.

‘Enlightenment: Build it, See it, Show it’ aims to get schoolchildren across Scotland building their own microscopes from kits, and using them to take amazing close-up images to reveal the hidden details of the world around them.

The Enlightenment team recently demonstrated the smartphone microscopes at the Scottish launch of the International Year of Light, which took place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The image above shows a smartphone that has been transformed into a microscope being used to examine a leaf.

School pupils and adults alike were amazed by what they could see using their own phones and a simple piece of kit. We took visitors on a hands-on journey of fluorescent microscopy, demonstrating how animals such as…

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Weekly Neuroscience Update

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Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists have identified a new pathway by which several brain areas communicate within the brain’s striatum.

An over-active habit system may be at the root of many psychological problems involving repetitive behaviours like OCD, alcoholism and binge eating, new research suggests. The neuroimaging study, which is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) had difficulty controlling their habits.

A new study suggests that the right hemisphere of the brain may be able to assist a damaged left hemisphere in protecting visual attention after a stroke.

Computer based ‘brain training’ can boost memory and thinking skills in older adults, but many programs promoted by the $1 billion brain training industry are ineffective, reveals new research by the University of Sydney.

Researchers have found that navigational brain cells that help sense direction are as electrically active during deep sleep as they are during wake time—and have visual and vestibular cues to guide them. Such information could be useful in treating navigational problems, among the first major symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.

New technology could help researchers advance blood biomarker capabilities that show changes in low concentrations of specific proteins present following a neurological injury.

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 neuron activity, recent studies suggest that these waves may play a critical role in communication between different parts of the brain.

Thousands of genetic “dimmer” switches, regions of DNA known as regulatory elements, were turned up high during human evolution in the developing cerebral cortex, according to new research from the Yale School of Medicine.

People with anorexia nervosa and with body dysmorphic disorder have similar abnormalities in their brains that affect their ability to process visual information, a new study reveals.

Finally this week, overall fluid intelligence — the ability to analyze information, engage in critical thinking, and solve problems — is thought to peak in early adulthood, but a new study suggests that different aspects of fluid intelligence peak at different ages.

 

 

 

 


How does the brain change with age?

Some people’s minds remain sharp and intact well into their 80s and 90s, whereas others can slide into cognitive decline from their early 50s. Why such a divergence? And then there are the people struck by the spectrum of conditions known as Alzheimer’s disease; why do some people succumb to such a slow and debilitating fate, while others live longer, healthier lives?

A major £5M grant from BBSRC has established a new team called the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) that seeks answers to these questions. By studying the brain and its cognitive functions using advanced brain imaging techniques and cognitive experiments, the team of researchers, based at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, hope to unravel the mechanisms and processes of healthy brain ageing.


Inside The Sleeping Brain

We spend about one-third of our time on Planet Earth asleep. That’s about 16 hours a night as infants, 9 hours as teens and 7 to 8 hours as adults. Until 25 years ago, scientists knew little about this nighttime habit of ours. In this infographic experts in the Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center share some interesting facts about sleep.

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Weekly Neuroscience Update

Neurons (stock image). "New neurons may serve as a means to fine-tune the hippocampus to the predicted environment," Opendak says. "In particular, seeking out rewarding experiences or avoiding stressful experiences may help each individual optimize his or her own brain.

Neurons (stock image). “New neurons may serve as a means to fine-tune the hippocampus to the predicted environment,” Opendak says. “In particular, seeking out rewarding experiences or avoiding stressful experiences may help each individual optimize his or her own brain.

The discovery that the human brain continues to produce new neurons in adulthood challenged a major dogma in the field of neuroscience, but the role of these neurons in behavior and cognition is still not clear. In a review article, researchers synthesize the vast literature on this topic, reviewing environmental factors that influence the birth of new neurons in the adult hippocampus.

An analysis of how nerve fibers make vital connections during brain development could aid the understanding of how some cognitive disorders occur.

Our hearing has a secret bodyguard, a newly discovered connection from the cochlea to the brain that warns of intense incoming noise that causes tissue damage and hearing loss, according to new research.

In a recent study scientists have found evidence of neuroinflammation in key regions of the brains of patients with chronic pain.

Three Austrian men have become the first in the world to undergo a new technique called “bionic reconstruction”, enabling them to use a robotic prosthetic hand controlled by their mind, according to new research

New research shows that infants learning more than one language do more lip-reading than infants learning a single language.

Finally this week, a new study confirms what has long been suspected: highly processed foods like chocolate, pizza and French fries are among the most addictive.


How the Brain Makes Memories

 

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Here’s a nice infographic on how the brain makes memories. It was created by Dwayne Godwin, a neuroscientist and Jorge Cham of www.phdcomics.com.

Click here for a higher image resolution.


Could your brain direct an Oscar winner?

Neuroscience is being used in Hollywood to measure and predict audience reactions.


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