New Discovery in the Study of the Brain and Memory
Read the full article New Discovery in the Study of the Brain and Memory at NeuroscienceNews.com.
University of Haifa researchers find a functional link between the brain region responsible for taste memory and the area responsible for encoding the time and place we experienced the taste.
The research is in Journal of Neuroscience. (full access paywall)
Research: “Differential Contribution of Hippocampal Subfields to Components of Associative Taste Learning” by Adaikkan Chinnakkaruppan, Marie E. Wintzer, Thomas J. McHugh, and Kobi Rosenblum in Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0956-14.2014
Image: In the study the researchers sought to examine the relationship between the taste cortex (which is responsible for taste memory), and three different areas in the hippocampus: CA1, which is responsible for encoding the concept of space (where we are located); DG, the area responsible for encoding the time relationship between events; and CA3, responsible for filling in missing information. Credit University of Haifa.

New Discovery in the Study of the Brain and Memory

Read the full article New Discovery in the Study of the Brain and Memory at NeuroscienceNews.com.

University of Haifa researchers find a functional link between the brain region responsible for taste memory and the area responsible for encoding the time and place we experienced the taste.

The research is in Journal of Neuroscience. (full access paywall)

Research: “Differential Contribution of Hippocampal Subfields to Components of Associative Taste Learning” by Adaikkan Chinnakkaruppan, Marie E. Wintzer, Thomas J. McHugh, and Kobi Rosenblum in Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0956-14.2014

Image: In the study the researchers sought to examine the relationship between the taste cortex (which is responsible for taste memory), and three different areas in the hippocampus: CA1, which is responsible for encoding the concept of space (where we are located); DG, the area responsible for encoding the time relationship between events; and CA3, responsible for filling in missing information. Credit University of Haifa.

Compound from Hops Aids Cognitive Function in Young Animals
Read the full article Compound from Hops Aids Cognitive Function in Young Animals at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, has been shown in a new study to improve cognitive function in young mice, but not in older animals. 
The research is in Behavioral Brain Research. (full access paywall)
Research: “Xanthohumol improved cognitive flexibility in young mice” by Daniel R. Zamzow, Valerie Elias, LeeCole L. Legette, Jaewoo Choi, J. Fred Stevens, and Kathy R. Magnusson in Behavioral Brain Research. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.08.045 
Image: The new research studied use of xanthohumol in high dosages, far beyond what could be obtained just by diet. At least in young animals, it appeared to enhance their ability to adapt to changes in the environment. This cognitive flexibility was tested with a special type of maze designed for that purpose. Credit Oregon State University.

Compound from Hops Aids Cognitive Function in Young Animals

Read the full article Compound from Hops Aids Cognitive Function in Young Animals at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, has been shown in a new study to improve cognitive function in young mice, but not in older animals. 

The research is in Behavioral Brain Research. (full access paywall)

Research: “Xanthohumol improved cognitive flexibility in young mice” by Daniel R. Zamzow, Valerie Elias, LeeCole L. Legette, Jaewoo Choi, J. Fred Stevens, and Kathy R. Magnusson in Behavioral Brain Research. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.08.045 

Image: The new research studied use of xanthohumol in high dosages, far beyond what could be obtained just by diet. At least in young animals, it appeared to enhance their ability to adapt to changes in the environment. This cognitive flexibility was tested with a special type of maze designed for that purpose. Credit Oregon State University.

Neuroscientists Challenge Long Held Understanding of the Sense of Touch
Read the full article Neuroscientists Challenge Long Held Understanding of the Sense of Touch at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Different types of nerves and skin receptors work in concert to produce sensations of touch, University of Chicago neuroscientists argue. Their assertion challenges a long-held principle in the field—that separate groups of nerves and receptors are responsible for distinct components of touch, like texture or shape. They hope to change the way somatosensory neuroscience is taught and how the science of touch is studied. 
The research will appear in Trends in Neurosciences. 
Research: The research will appear in Trends in Neurosciences. 
Image: Perviously, the classification system has been supported by experiments using mechanical devices to elicit one or more of these specific components of touch. For example, responses to texture are often generated using a rotating, cylindrical drum covered with a Braille-like pattern of raised dots. Study subjects would place a finger on the drum as it rotated, and scientists recorded the neural responses. This image is for illustrative purposes only and is not connected to the research. Credit Lrcg2012.

Neuroscientists Challenge Long Held Understanding of the Sense of Touch

Read the full article Neuroscientists Challenge Long Held Understanding of the Sense of Touch at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Different types of nerves and skin receptors work in concert to produce sensations of touch, University of Chicago neuroscientists argue. Their assertion challenges a long-held principle in the field—that separate groups of nerves and receptors are responsible for distinct components of touch, like texture or shape. They hope to change the way somatosensory neuroscience is taught and how the science of touch is studied. 

The research will appear in Trends in Neurosciences

Research: The research will appear in Trends in Neurosciences

Image: Perviously, the classification system has been supported by experiments using mechanical devices to elicit one or more of these specific components of touch. For example, responses to texture are often generated using a rotating, cylindrical drum covered with a Braille-like pattern of raised dots. Study subjects would place a finger on the drum as it rotated, and scientists recorded the neural responses. This image is for illustrative purposes only and is not connected to the research. Credit Lrcg2012.

Blood Test May Help Determine Who Is at Risk for Psychosis
Read the full article Blood Test May Help Determine Who Is at Risk for Psychosis at NeuroscienceNews.com.
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers represents an important step forward in the accurate diagnosis of people who are experiencing the earliest stages of psychosis. 
The research is in Schizophrenia Bulletin. (full access paywall)
Research: “Towards a Psychosis Risk Blood Diagnostic for Persons Experiencing High-Risk Symptoms: Preliminary Results From the NAPLS Project” by Diana O. Perkins, Clark D. Jeffries, Jean Addington, Carrie E. Bearden, Kristin S. Cadenhead, Tyrone D. Cannon, Barbara A. Cornblatt, Daniel H. Mathalon, Thomas H. McGlashan, Larry J. Seidman, Ming T. Tsuang, Elaine F. Walker, Scott W. Woods and Robert Heinssen in Schizophrenia Bulletin. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu099
Image: The study concludes that the multiplex blood assay, if independently replicated and if integrated with studies of other classes of biomarkers, has the potential to be of high value in the clinical setting. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit PublicDomainPictures.

Blood Test May Help Determine Who Is at Risk for Psychosis

Read the full article Blood Test May Help Determine Who Is at Risk for Psychosis at NeuroscienceNews.com.

A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers represents an important step forward in the accurate diagnosis of people who are experiencing the earliest stages of psychosis. 

The research is in Schizophrenia Bulletin. (full access paywall)

Research: “Towards a Psychosis Risk Blood Diagnostic for Persons Experiencing High-Risk Symptoms: Preliminary Results From the NAPLS Project” by Diana O. Perkins, Clark D. Jeffries, Jean Addington, Carrie E. Bearden, Kristin S. Cadenhead, Tyrone D. Cannon, Barbara A. Cornblatt, Daniel H. Mathalon, Thomas H. McGlashan, Larry J. Seidman, Ming T. Tsuang, Elaine F. Walker, Scott W. Woods and Robert Heinssen in Schizophrenia Bulletin. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbu099

Image: The study concludes that the multiplex blood assay, if independently replicated and if integrated with studies of other classes of biomarkers, has the potential to be of high value in the clinical setting. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit PublicDomainPictures.

Brainwave Test Could Improve Autism Diagnosis and Classification
Read the full article Brainwave Test Could Improve Autism Diagnosis and Classification at NeuroscienceNews.com.
A new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University suggests that measuring how fast the brain responds to sights and sounds could help in objectively classifying people on the autism spectrum and may help diagnose the condition earlier. 
The research is in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. (full access paywall)
Research: “Neurophysiological Indices of Atypical Auditory Processing and Multisensory Integration are Associated with Symptom Severity in Autism” by Alice B. Brandwein, John J. Foxe, John S. Butler, Hans-Peter Frey, Juliana C. Bates, Lisa H. Shulman, and Sophie Molholmin Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2212-9
Image: Forty-three ASD children aged 6 to 17 were presented with either a simple auditory tone, a visual image (red circle), or a tone combined with an image, and instructed to press a button as soon as possible after hearing the tone, seeing the image or seeing and hearing the two stimuli together. Continuous EEG recordings were made via 70 scalp electrodes to determine how fast the children’s brains were processing the stimuli. Credit Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Brainwave Test Could Improve Autism Diagnosis and Classification

Read the full article Brainwave Test Could Improve Autism Diagnosis and Classification at NeuroscienceNews.com.

A new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University suggests that measuring how fast the brain responds to sights and sounds could help in objectively classifying people on the autism spectrum and may help diagnose the condition earlier. 

The research is in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. (full access paywall)

Research: “Neurophysiological Indices of Atypical Auditory Processing and Multisensory Integration are Associated with Symptom Severity in Autism” by Alice B. Brandwein, John J. Foxe, John S. Butler, Hans-Peter Frey, Juliana C. Bates, Lisa H. Shulman, and Sophie Molholmin Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2212-9

Image: Forty-three ASD children aged 6 to 17 were presented with either a simple auditory tone, a visual image (red circle), or a tone combined with an image, and instructed to press a button as soon as possible after hearing the tone, seeing the image or seeing and hearing the two stimuli together. Continuous EEG recordings were made via 70 scalp electrodes to determine how fast the children’s brains were processing the stimuli. Credit Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Researchers Track the Rise and Fall of Brain Volume Throughout Life
Read the full article Researchers Track the Rise and Fall of Brain Volume Throughout Life at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Stanford scientists have shown how the brain changes throughout life, and created a standard curve that can be used to assess whether patients are maturing and aging normally. This resource could help diagnose or monitor people with mental health conditions, learning delays or other diseases.
The research is in Nature Communications. (full access paywall)
Research: “Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter” by Jason D. Yeatman, Brian A. Wandell and Aviv A. Mezer in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5932
Image: Brian Wandell and his group looked at 24 brain regions to see how the composition changed from age 7 to 83. The regions in red changed the most, regions in blue changed the least. Credit Wandell Lab.

Researchers Track the Rise and Fall of Brain Volume Throughout Life

Read the full article Researchers Track the Rise and Fall of Brain Volume Throughout Life at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Stanford scientists have shown how the brain changes throughout life, and created a standard curve that can be used to assess whether patients are maturing and aging normally. This resource could help diagnose or monitor people with mental health conditions, learning delays or other diseases.

The research is in Nature Communications. (full access paywall)

Research: “Lifespan maturation and degeneration of human brain white matter” by Jason D. Yeatman, Brian A. Wandell and Aviv A. Mezer in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5932

Image: Brian Wandell and his group looked at 24 brain regions to see how the composition changed from age 7 to 83. The regions in red changed the most, regions in blue changed the least. Credit Wandell Lab.

Researchers Reveal Pathway that Contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease

Read the full article Researchers Reveal Pathway that Contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Researchers at Jacksonville’s campus of Mayo Clinic have discovered a defect in a key cell-signaling pathway they say contributes to both overproduction of toxic protein in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients as well as loss of communication between neurons — both significant contributors to this type of dementia.

The research is in Neuron. (full access paywall)

Research: “Deficiency in LRP6-Mediated Wnt Signaling Contributes to Synaptic Abnormalities and Amyloid Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease” by Chia-Chen Liu, Chih-Wei Tsai, Ferenc Deak, Justin Rogers, Michael Penuliar, You Me Sung, James N. Maher, Yuan Fu, Xia Li, Huaxi Xu, Steven Estus, Hyang-Sook Hoe, John D. Fryer, Takahisa Kanekiyo, and Guojun Bu in Neuron. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.048

Image: Loss of LRP6 in neurons leads to enhanced buildup of amyloid protein, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Credit Mayo Clinic.

2) Defective Wnt signaling resulting from loss of LRP6 causes dendritic spines and synapses to degenerate, thereby impairing communications among neurons in the brain. Credit Mayo Clinic.

Researchers Link Gene to Increased Dendritic Spines; A Signpost of Autism
Read the full article Researchers Link Gene to Increased Dendritic Spines; A Signpost of Autism at NeuroscienceNews.com.
By deleting the NrCAM gene, scientists have found a potential way to cut back on the neural connections implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The research is in Journal of Neuroscience. (full access paywall)
Research: “Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule NrCAM Regulates Semaphorin 3F-Induced Dendritic Spine Remodeling” by Galina P. Demyanenko, Vishwa Mohan, Xuying Zhang, Leann H. Brennaman, Katherine E.S. Dharbal, Tracy S. Tran, Paul B. Manis, and Patricia F. Maness in Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1774-14.2014
Image: A comparison of a dendrite with the protein NrCAM (top) and a dendrite without the protein (bottom), which has a greater density of spines that neurons use to form synaptic connections. Credit UNC Health Care.

Researchers Link Gene to Increased Dendritic Spines; A Signpost of Autism

Read the full article Researchers Link Gene to Increased Dendritic Spines; A Signpost of Autism at NeuroscienceNews.com.

By deleting the NrCAM gene, scientists have found a potential way to cut back on the neural connections implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The research is in Journal of Neuroscience. (full access paywall)

Research: “Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule NrCAM Regulates Semaphorin 3F-Induced Dendritic Spine Remodeling” by Galina P. Demyanenko, Vishwa Mohan, Xuying Zhang, Leann H. Brennaman, Katherine E.S. Dharbal, Tracy S. Tran, Paul B. Manis, and Patricia F. Maness in Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1774-14.2014

Image: A comparison of a dendrite with the protein NrCAM (top) and a dendrite without the protein (bottom), which has a greater density of spines that neurons use to form synaptic connections. Credit UNC Health Care.

Sensing Neuronal Activity With Light
Read the full article Sensing Neuronal Activity With Lightat NeuroscienceNews.com.
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. Researchers at Caltech have developed one such tool that provides a new way of mapping neural networks in a living organism.
The research is in Nature Communications and PNAS. (full access paywall)
Research:  “Directed evolution of a far-red fluorescent rhodopsin” by R. Scott McIsaac, Martin K. M. Engqvist, Timothy Wannier, Adam Z. Rosenthal, Lukas Herwig, Nicholas C. Flytzanis, Eleonora S. Imasheva, Janos K. Lanyi, Sergei P. Balashov, Viviana Gradinaru, and Frances H. Arnold in PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413987111 
“Archaerhodopsin variants with enhanced voltage-sensitive fluorescence in mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans neurons” by Nicholas C. Flytzanis, Claire N. Bedbrook, Hui Chiu, Martin K. M. Engqvist, Cheng Xiao, Ken Y. Chan, Paul W. Sternberg, Frances H. Arnold and Viviana Gradinaru in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5894
Image: Archer1 fluorescence in a cultured rat hippocampal neuron. By monitoring changes in this fluorescence at up to a thousand frames per second, researchers can track the electrical activity of the cell. Credit Nicholas Flytzanis, Claire Bedbrook and Viviana Gradinaru/Caltech.

Sensing Neuronal Activity With Light

Read the full article Sensing Neuronal Activity With Lightat NeuroscienceNews.com.

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. Researchers at Caltech have developed one such tool that provides a new way of mapping neural networks in a living organism.

The research is in Nature Communications and PNAS. (full access paywall)

Research:  “Directed evolution of a far-red fluorescent rhodopsin” by R. Scott McIsaac, Martin K. M. Engqvist, Timothy Wannier, Adam Z. Rosenthal, Lukas Herwig, Nicholas C. Flytzanis, Eleonora S. Imasheva, Janos K. Lanyi, Sergei P. Balashov, Viviana Gradinaru, and Frances H. Arnold in PNAS. doi:10.1073/pnas.1413987111 

“Archaerhodopsin variants with enhanced voltage-sensitive fluorescence in mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans neurons” by Nicholas C. Flytzanis, Claire N. Bedbrook, Hui Chiu, Martin K. M. Engqvist, Cheng Xiao, Ken Y. Chan, Paul W. Sternberg, Frances H. Arnold and Viviana Gradinaru in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5894

Image: Archer1 fluorescence in a cultured rat hippocampal neuron. By monitoring changes in this fluorescence at up to a thousand frames per second, researchers can track the electrical activity of the cell. Credit Nicholas Flytzanis, Claire Bedbrook and Viviana Gradinaru/Caltech.

A New Piece in the Autism Puzzle
Read the full article A New Piece in the Autism Puzzle at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Spontaneous mutations in key brain gene are a cause of the disorder.
The research is in Nature Communications. (full access paywall)
Research: “De novo TBR1 mutations in sporadic autism disrupt protein functions” by Pelagia Deriziotis, Brian J. O’Roak, Sarah A. Graham, Sara B. Estruch, Danai Dimitropoulou, Raphael A. Bernier, Jennifer Gerdts, Jay Shendure, Evan E. Eichler and Simon E. Fisher in Nature Communications. Published online September 18 2014 doi:10.1038/ncomms5954
Image: Mutations in the TBR1 gene in children with autism affect the location of the TBR1 protein in human cells. In cells, the normal TBR1 protein, shown in red, is found together with DNA, shown in blue. In contrast, the mutant TBR1 protein is found throughout the cell. Credit Pelagia Deriziotis.

A New Piece in the Autism Puzzle

Read the full article A New Piece in the Autism Puzzle at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Spontaneous mutations in key brain gene are a cause of the disorder.

The research is in Nature Communications. (full access paywall)

Research: “De novo TBR1 mutations in sporadic autism disrupt protein functions” by Pelagia Deriziotis, Brian J. O’Roak, Sarah A. Graham, Sara B. Estruch, Danai Dimitropoulou, Raphael A. Bernier, Jennifer Gerdts, Jay Shendure, Evan E. Eichler and Simon E. Fisher in Nature Communications. Published online September 18 2014 doi:10.1038/ncomms5954

Image: Mutations in the TBR1 gene in children with autism affect the location of the TBR1 protein in human cells. In cells, the normal TBR1 protein, shown in red, is found together with DNA, shown in blue. In contrast, the mutant TBR1 protein is found throughout the cell. Credit Pelagia Deriziotis.