Weekly Neuroscience Update

New research from Weizmann Institute, published in Nature Neuroscience has discovered that people can actually learn during sleep, which can unconsciously modify their behavior while awake.

Studies have shown that listening to music can soothe hospital patients, improve stroke outcomes and promote the releaseof the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain sending pleasure signals throughout the body. Now findings recently presented at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness suggest that playing familiar music could enhance cognitive response among patients with brain damage.

In a major development  Bionic Vision Australia researchers have successfully performed the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes.

Researchers have discovered two gene variants that raise the risk of the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma. Using automated technology to perform genome-wide association studies on DNA from thousands of subjects, the study broadens understanding of how gene changes may make a child susceptible to this early childhood cancer, as well as causing a tumor to progress.

In a study published in the Journal of Neurology, researchers claim that because Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) each involve ocular control and attention dysfunctions, they can be easily identified through an evaluation of how patients move their eyes while they watch television.

A new study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine reveals for the first time that metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with cognitive and brain impairments in adolescents and calls for pediatricians to take this into account when considering the early treatment of childhood obesity.

People whose blood sugar is on the high end of the normal range may be at greater risk of brain shrinkage that occurs with aging and diseases such as dementia, according to new research published in the September 4, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

TEDMED: Matters of the Mind

Here’s another very interesting TEDMED Scribe from last week’s TEDMED meeting. Artists and neuroscientists illuminate the mind in Session 5, giving us access to the musical symphonies that heal, the symphonic sounds our brains make, and the thoughts and yearnings of the minds of the nonverbal.