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How kids’ brain structures grow as memory develops

How kids’ brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring how these brain regions develop at this crucial time. Eventually, that could give insights into disorders that typically emerge in the transition into and during adolescence and affect memory, such as schizophrenia and depression Continue reading

How kids’ brain structures grow as memory develops

How kids’ brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring how these brain regions develop at this crucial time Continue reading

How smells stick to your memories: Your nose can be a pathfinder

How smells stick to your memories: Your nose can be a pathfinder

Waves in your brain make smells stick to your memories and inner maps: When I was a child I used to sit in my grandfather’s workshop, playing with wood shavings. Continue reading

Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults: More ‘joints’ equal more damage

Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults: More ‘joints’ equal more damage

The size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to a study published April 16 in The Journal of Neuroscience . The findings suggest that recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes, and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with an estimated 18.9 million people reporting recent use, according to the most current analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health. Continue reading

Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults: More ‘joints’ equal more damage

Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults: More ‘joints’ equal more damage

The size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to a study published April 16 in The Journal of Neuroscience . The findings suggest that recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes, and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with an estimated 18.9 million people reporting recent use, according to the most current analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health. Continue reading

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals: Depending on the input signal, neurons generate action potentials either near or far away from the cell body. Continue reading

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals

How nerve cells flexibly adapt to acoustic signals: Depending on the input signal, neurons generate action potentials either near or far away from the cell body. Continue reading

Online registry to drive brain disease research

Online registry to drive brain disease research

A new online project led by researchers at UC San Francisco promises to dramatically cut the time and cost of conducting clinical trials for brain diseases, while also helping scientists analyze and track the brain functions of thousands of volunteers over time. With easy online registration, the Brain Health Registry is designed to create a ready pool of research subjects for studies on neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and many other brain ailments. Continue reading

Key cells in touch sensation identified: Skin cells use new molecule to send touch information to the brain

Key cells in touch sensation identified: Skin cells use new molecule to send touch information to the brain

In a study published in the April 6 online edition of the journal Nature , a team of Columbia University Medical Center researchers led by Ellen Lumpkin, PhD, associate professor of somatosensory biology, solve an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin surface enable us to feel fine details and textures. Continue reading

Epilepsy drug target implications for sleep disruption in brain disorders

Epilepsy drug target implications for sleep disruption in brain disorders

A new study in a mutant fruitfly called sleepless (sss) confirmed that the enzyme GABA transaminase, which is the target of some epilepsy drugs, contributes to sleep loss. The findings, published online in Molecular Psychiatry , were led by Amita Sehgal, PhD, head of the Chronobiology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine Continue reading