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Sensing neuronal activity with light

Sensing neuronal activity with light

For years, neuroscientists have been trying to develop tools that would allow them to clearly view the brain’s circuitry in action — from the first moment a neuron fires to the resulting behavior in a whole organism. To get this complete picture, neuroscientists are working to develop a range of new tools to study the brain. Continue reading

Brain scans used to forecast early reading difficulties

Brain scans used to forecast early reading difficulties

UC San Francisco researchers have used brain scans to predict how young children learn to read, giving clinicians a possible tool to spot children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties before they experience reading challenges. In the United States, children usually learn to read for the first time in kindergarten and become proficient readers by third grade, according to the authors Continue reading

Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment

Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment

Using a zebrafish model of a human genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF1), a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the learning and memory components of the disorder are distinct features that will likely need different treatment approaches. They published their results this month in Cell Reports . Continue reading

Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment

Zebrafish Model of a Learning and Memory Disorder Shows Better Way to Target Treatment

Using a zebrafish model of a human genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF1), a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the learning and memory components of the disorder are distinct features that will likely need different treatment approaches. They published their results this month in Cell Reports . Continue reading

Brain inflammation dramatically disrupts memory retrieval networks, study finds

Brain inflammation dramatically disrupts memory retrieval networks, study finds

Brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences, according to UC Irvine neuroscientists Jennifer Czerniawski and John Guzowski. Continue reading

Multiple sclerosis researchers find role for working memory in cognitive reserve

Multiple sclerosis researchers find role for working memory in cognitive reserve

Kessler Foundation scientists have shown that working memory may be an underlying mechanism of cognitive reserve in multiple sclerosis (MS). This finding informs the relationships between working memory, intellectual enrichment (the proxy measure for cognitive reserve) and long-term memory in this population. “Working memory mediates the relationship between intellectual enrichment and long-term memory in multiple sclerosis: An exploratory analysis of cognitive reserve”  was published online ahead of print by the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society on July 14. Continue reading

The yin and yang of overcoming cocaine addiction

The yin and yang of overcoming cocaine addiction

Yaoying Ma says that biology, by nature, has a yin and a yang — a push and a pull. Addiction, particularly relapse, she finds, is no exception Continue reading

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform. This is according to a study from Umeå University in Sweden published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. A fundamental characteristic of neurons that extend into the skin and record touch, so-called first-order neurons in the tactile system, is that they branch in the skin so that each neuron reports touch from many highly-sensitive zones on the skin Continue reading

Evidence mounting that older adults who volunteer are happier, healthier

Evidence mounting that older adults who volunteer are happier, healthier

Older adults who stay active by volunteering are getting more out of it than just an altruistic feeling — they are receiving a health boost! A new study, led by the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences and published online this week in Psychological Bulletin , is the first to take a broad-brush look at all the available peer-reviewed evidence regarding the psychosocial health benefits of formal volunteering for older adults. Continue reading

First study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS

First study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), Kessler Foundation researchers have shown differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls. This is the first MS study in which brain activation was studied using fNIRS while participants performed a cognitive task Continue reading