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Shedding New Light on Calcium's Role in Memory and Learning

While calcium's importance for our bones and teeth is well known, its role in neurons--in particular, its effects on processes such as learning and memory--has been less well defined.

The research is in Cell Reports. (full open access)

#memory #learning #neuroscience

Summary: A new study reports on how calcium in mitochondria can impact brain development and adult cognition.Source: Scripps Research Institute.While calcium's importance for our bones and tee
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Coffee Drinking Habits Can Be Written in Our DNA

Researchers have identified a gene that appears to curb coffee consumption.

The research is in Scientific Reports. (full open access)

#coffee #genetics
Summary: Researchers report people with a specific DNA variation tend to consume fewer cups of coffee per day than those without the variation.Source: University of Edinburgh.Researchers have
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Brain Uses Backward Instant Replay to Recall Important Travel Routes

Experiments with food rewards show how rats form some memories.

The research is in Neuron. (full open access)

#neuroscience #memory
Summary: Using a chocolatey reward, researchers discover how rats form some memories.Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine.Experiments with food rewards show how rats form some memories.You're sh
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Memory Activation Before Exposure Reduces Life-Long Fear of Spiders

Studies show that up to 30 per cent of all people suffer an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Anxiety leads to great suffering for those affected, but can be treated with exposure therapy, in which the patient is gradually exposed to the object or context that provokes the reactions. If exposure therapy is successful, a new 'safe' memory is formed, which overshadows the old fear memory. But not everyone is helped by this treatment, in part because the learning that takes place during the treatment is not permanent; the memory may return at some point later on after an initially successful exposure. Memory researchers have now demonstrated that the improvement can be made more lasting.

The research is in Current Biology. (full access paywall)

#fear #spiders #psychology
Summary: Researchers report the effect of exposure therapy can be improved by disrupting the recreation of fear memories in arachnophobes.Source: Uppsala University.Many people suffer from anx
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Mapping the Brain's Action Center

When you reach for that pan of brownies, a ball-shaped brain structure called the striatum is critical for controlling your movement toward the reward. A healthy striatum also helps you stop yourself when you've had enough.

The research is in Neuron. (full access paywall)
Summary: Researchers have developed a new technique to map the connectivity of neurons in the striatum.Source: Salk Institute.When you reach for that pan of brownies, a ball-shaped brain struc
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How Do Antidepressants Trigger Fear and Anxiety?

UNC School of Medicine researchers map the anxiety circuit in the brain and use a compound to limit fearful behavior – an acute side effect of commonly prescribed SSRI antidepressants.

The research is in Nature. (full access paywall)

#psychology #antidepressants
Summary: Researchers have mapped out a serotonin-driven anxiety circuit that may explain the side effects of anxiety and fear experienced by some patients taking SSRIs.Source: University of Nort
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Next Steps in Understanding Brain Function

How understanding brain function has become more than brain science.

The research is in Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. (full open access)

#neuroscience
Summary: A new paper reports on how understanding brain function has become more than a brain science.Source: Frontiers.How understanding brain function has become more than brain science.
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Elevating Brain Protein Allays Symptoms of Alzheimer's and Improves Memory

Boosting levels of a specific protein in the brain alleviates hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model of the disorder.

The research is in Scientific Reports. (full open access)

#alzheimers
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Researchers Report New Zika Complication

Dr. John England, Professor and Chair of Neurology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and colleagues in Honduras and Venezuela have reported a new neurological complication of infection with the Zika virus.

The research is in Journal of the Neurological Sciences. (full access paywall)

#zika
Summary: Researchers have identified a new neurological complication associated with Zika infection.Source: LSU.Dr. John England, Professor and Chair of Neurology at LSU Health New Orleans Sch
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+julian alpizar that's crazy.
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A New Role For Cannabinoids in Vision

A multidisciplinary team including researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute has improved our understanding of how cannabinoids, the active agent in marijuana, affect vision in vertebrates.

The research is in eLife. (full open access)

#cannabinoids #vision
Summary: Researchers report activating cannabinoid signalling can increase activity in retinal ganglion cells.Source: McGill University.Chemicals shown to improve low-light vision of tadpoles
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Cannabinoids not THC, ingested not smoked. LOL
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How Postsynaptic Density Forms and Why Defects Can Cause Autism

All neurons in our brain are wired via a micron-sized connection unit called synapse, and each synapse contains a layer of densely-packed, protein rich compartment called postsynaptic density (PSD), which is responsible for brain signal processing and transmission. Mutations of genes encoding PSD proteins are major causes of psychiatric disorders including autisms, schizophrenia, and intellectual disabilities (ID). While the existence of PSDs has been known to scientists for 60 years, how PSDs form and change in response to brain activities are poorly understood.

The research will appear in Cell.

#autism
Summary: A new study provides insights into why mutations altering the SynGAP/PSD-95 interaction can contribute to various brain disorders.Source: HKUST.All neurons in our brain are wired via
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Brain Reduces Cell Production to Help Us Cope in Unstable Times

People who experience job loss, divorce, death of a loved one or any number of life's upheavals often adopt coping mechanisms to make the situation less traumatic.

The research is in Journal of Neuroscience. (full access paywall)
Summary: A new study reports the brains of animals faced with disruptions in their social hierarchy produced far fewer new neurons in the hippocampus.Source: Princeton.People who experience jo
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