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Posts Tagged "neurons"

Guest Blog

Glia: The new frontier in brain science

astrocytes

The current issue of the journal Science (November 5) marks a turning point in research on the brain. This event is fascinating not only for the wealth of new information about how the brain functions and how it fails in mental and neurological illness, but equally as a rare display of a field of science [...]

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Observations

How Do Our Brains Remember? [Video]

Kandel_06 crop

Each of us has a unique experience on this earth. A major reason for that is the buildup of our memories over time, which forms the ongoing narrative that we know as our life. Memories are also central to learning. But how does the brain—a collection of cells, neurons chief among them—remember and learn? Eric [...]

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Observations

Searching for the Onset of Autism

Diffusion Tensor Image of Brain at Risk for Autism

Early behavioral intervention has shown some promise as a way to help children with autism. But it’s difficult to see the hallmarks of autism before two years of age with today’s diagnostic criteria. Could we find other methods? Seeking to answer that question is Jed Elison at the California Institute of Technology, who is working [...]

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Observations

Spine Tuning: Finding Physical Evidence of How Practice Rewires the Brain

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In kindergarten, several of my friends and I were very serious about learning to tie our shoes. I remember sitting on the edge of the playground, looping laces into bunny ears and twisting them into a knot over and over again until I had it just right. A few years later, whistling became my new [...]

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Observations

Cell phone emissions change brain metabolism

man on cell phone, brain activity metabolism change

Cell phones have not been convincingly linked to brain cancer, but that doesn’t mean that their associated radiation has no effect on our bodies. A new study shows that these pervasive devices can alter the brain’s glucose metabolism, a marker of neuronal activity. The findings will be published in the February 23 issue of JAMA, [...]

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Observations

Does diabetes hamper cognitive function by lowering the brain’s cholesterol?

diabetes could change cholesterol in brain

Low cholesterol is generally a good thing. But decreasing the amount of low-density lipoprotein—LDL, the "bad cholesterol"—is only one part of the body’s equation for a healthy balance of lipids. And although lowering cholesterol can be good for the heart, it’s not always great for the brain, which contains about a quarter of the body’s [...]

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Observations

Plants cannot “think and remember,” but there’s nothing stupid about them: They’re shockingly sophisticated

New research shows that plants "can think and remember," according to a news story published this week. Plants can transmit information "from leaf to leaf in a very similar way to our own nervous systems," BBC News wrote. The article continues to assert that plants remember information and use "information encrypted in the light to [...]

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Observations

New evidence that fMRI experiments are valid measure of neuron activity

fmri brain scan validation stimulation region brain activity

Among the more than a quarter of a million published functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies are assays that have purported to locate our mental experiences of religion, love and even the future in the brain. Recently, researchers even investigated the reliability of the scans to find out whether they should hold up in court [...]

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Talking back

Neuroplasticity: New Clues to Just How Much the Adult Brain Can Change

Popular neuroscience books have made much in recent years of the possibility that the adult brain is capable of restoring lost function or even enhancing cognition through sustained mental or physical activities. One piece of evidence often cited is a 14-year-old study that that shows that London taxi drivers have enlarged hippocampi, brain areas that [...]

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