Weekly Neuroscience Update

The research revealed that sounds that came from the left were processed in the right inferior colliculus and thalamus and vice versa. Image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit: AxelBoldt.

The research revealed that sounds that came from the left were processed in the right inferior colliculus and thalamus and vice versa. Image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit: AxelBoldt.

Some parts of our brain that process sound have a subsequent spot for each pitch, just like the keyboard on a piano. One part – the auditory part of the thalamus – even processes each sound on two ‘keyboards’ next to each other. That is one of the discoveries brain researcher Michelle Moerel of Maastricht University made while carrying out measurements into human sound processing at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) in Minneapolis (USA) with Rubicon funding from NWO Social Sciences.

A new scientific model that incorporates the myriad drivers of depression could lead to more precise treatment for an illness that affects 350 million worldwide.

Targeted magnetic pulses to the brain were shown to reduce craving and substance use in cocaine-addicted patients, report scientists. The results of this pilot study suggest that this may become an effective medical treatment for patients with cocaine addiction, although a larger trial is needed to confirm the initial findings.

A gene which slows the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by 17 years has been discovered by scientists leading to hopes that its effects could be mimicked with drugs to delay the devastating condition.

A new study finds that a component of aspirin binds to an enzyme called GAPDH, which is believed to play a major role in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

Learning, memory, and brain repair depend on the ability of our neurons to change with experience. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on December 7 have evidence from a small study in people that exercise may enhance this essential plasticity of the adult brain.

Concentrating attention on a visual task can render you momentarily ‘deaf’ to sounds at normal levels, reports a new UCL study funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Finally, this week young people with behavioural problems, such as antisocial and aggressive behaviour, show reduced grey matter volume in a number of areas of the brain, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

 

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