Schizophrenia’s Genetic Architecture Revealed
Read the full article Schizophrenia’s Genetic Architecture Revealed at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Queensland scientists are closer to effective treatments for schizophrenia after uncovering dozens of sites across the human genome that are strongly associated with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.
The research is in Nature. (full open access)
Research: “Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci” by Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium in Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13595
Image: Using DNA samples from 36,989 schizophrenia patients, researchers used a genome-wide association study to find genetic variations between the patients and 113,075 control samples. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit PublicDomainPictures.

Schizophrenia’s Genetic Architecture Revealed

Read the full article Schizophrenia’s Genetic Architecture Revealed at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Queensland scientists are closer to effective treatments for schizophrenia after uncovering dozens of sites across the human genome that are strongly associated with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

The research is in Nature. (full open access)

Research: “Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci” by Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium in Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13595

Image: Using DNA samples from 36,989 schizophrenia patients, researchers used a genome-wide association study to find genetic variations between the patients and 113,075 control samples. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit PublicDomainPictures.

The Dopamine Transporter
Read the full article The Dopamine Transporter at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Recent published research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation demonstrates how changes in dopamine signaling and dopamine transporter function are linked to neurological and psychiatric diseases, including early-onset Parkinsonism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The research is in Journal of Clinical Investigation. (full open access)
Research: “Missense dopamine transporter mutations associate with adult parkinsonism and ADHD” by Freja H. Hansen, Tina Skjørringe, Saiqa Yasmeen, Natascha V. Arends, Michelle A. Sahai, Kevin Erreger, Thorvald F. Andreassen, Marion Holy, Peter J. Hamilton, Viruna Neergheen, Merete Karlsborg, Amy H. Newman, Simon Pope, Simon J.R. Heales, Lars Friberg, Ian Law, Lars H. Pinborg, Harald H. Sitte, Claus Loland, Lei Shi, Harel Weinstein, Aurelio Galli, Lena E. Hjermind, Lisbeth B. Møller, and Ulrik Gether in Journal of Clinical Investigation. doi:10.1172/JCI73778 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI73778)
Image: The study found that mutations can produce typical effects including debilitating tremors, major loss of motor control, and depression. The study also provides additional support for the idea that dopamine transporter mutations are a risk factor for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Credit UT Austin.

The Dopamine Transporter

Read the full article The Dopamine Transporter at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Recent published research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation demonstrates how changes in dopamine signaling and dopamine transporter function are linked to neurological and psychiatric diseases, including early-onset Parkinsonism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The research is in Journal of Clinical Investigation. (full open access)

Research: “Missense dopamine transporter mutations associate with adult parkinsonism and ADHD” by Freja H. Hansen, Tina Skjørringe, Saiqa Yasmeen, Natascha V. Arends, Michelle A. Sahai, Kevin Erreger, Thorvald F. Andreassen, Marion Holy, Peter J. Hamilton, Viruna Neergheen, Merete Karlsborg, Amy H. Newman, Simon Pope, Simon J.R. Heales, Lars Friberg, Ian Law, Lars H. Pinborg, Harald H. Sitte, Claus Loland, Lei Shi, Harel Weinstein, Aurelio Galli, Lena E. Hjermind, Lisbeth B. Møller, and Ulrik Gether in Journal of Clinical Investigation. doi:10.1172/JCI73778 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI73778)

Image: The study found that mutations can produce typical effects including debilitating tremors, major loss of motor control, and depression. The study also provides additional support for the idea that dopamine transporter mutations are a risk factor for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Credit UT Austin.

Study Links Enzyme to Autistic Behaviors
Read the full article Study Links Enzyme to Autistic Behaviorsat NeuroscienceNews.com.
Mouse study shows that deleting the enzyme favorably impacts behaviors associated with Fragile X syndrome.
The research is in Journal of Neuroscience. (full access paywall)
Research: “Genetic Removal of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Rescues the Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome in a Mouse Model” by Harpreet Sidhu, Lorraine E. Dansie, Peter W. Hickmott, Douglas W. Ethell, and Iryna M. Ethell in Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1162-14.2014
Image: Iryna Ethell is a professor of biomedical sciences in the UC Riverside School of Medicine. Credit L. DUKA.

Study Links Enzyme to Autistic Behaviors

Read the full article Study Links Enzyme to Autistic Behaviorsat NeuroscienceNews.com.

Mouse study shows that deleting the enzyme favorably impacts behaviors associated with Fragile X syndrome.

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

Research: “Genetic Removal of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Rescues the Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome in a Mouse Model” by Harpreet Sidhu, Lorraine E. Dansie, Peter W. Hickmott, Douglas W. Ethell, and Iryna M. Ethell in Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1162-14.2014

Image: Iryna Ethell is a professor of biomedical sciences in the UC Riverside School of Medicine. Credit L. DUKA.

Missing Sleep May Hurt Your Memory
Read the full article Missing Sleep May Hurt Your Memory at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory, finds a new study by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine.
The research is in Psychological Science. (full access paywall)
Research: “Sleep Deprivation and False Memories” by Steven J. Frenda, Lawrence Patihis, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Holly C. Lewis, and Kimberly M. Fenn in Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797614534694
Image: The Sleep and Learning Lab in Michigan State University’s Department of Psychology studies the relationship between sleep and learning and memory. Credit G.L. Kohuth.

Missing Sleep May Hurt Your Memory

Read the full article Missing Sleep May Hurt Your Memory at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory, finds a new study by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine.

The research is in Psychological Science. (full access paywall)

Research: “Sleep Deprivation and False Memories” by Steven J. Frenda, Lawrence Patihis, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Holly C. Lewis, and Kimberly M. Fenn in Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797614534694

Image: The Sleep and Learning Lab in Michigan State University’s Department of Psychology studies the relationship between sleep and learning and memory. Credit G.L. Kohuth.

Same Genes Drive Maths and Reading Ability
Read the full article Same Genes Drive Maths and Reading Ability at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Around half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists from UCL, the University of Oxford and King’s College London who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits.
The research is in Nature Communications. (full open access)
Research: “The correlation between reading and mathematics ability at age twelve has a substantial genetic component ” by Oliver S. P. Davis, Gavin Band, Matti Pirinen, Claire M. A. Haworth, Emma L. Meaburn, Yulia Kovas, Nicole Harlaar, Sophia J. Docherty, Ken B. Hanscombe, Maciej Trzaskowski, Charles J. C. Curtis, Amy Strange, Colin Freeman, Céline Bellenguez, Zhan Su, Richard Pearson, Damjan Vukcevic, Cordelia Langford, Panos Deloukas, Sarah Hunt, Emma Gray, Serge Dronov, Simon C. Potter, Avazeh Tashakkori-Ghanbaria, Sarah Edkins, Suzannah J. Bumpstead, Jenefer M. Blackwell, Elvira Bramon, Matthew A. Brown, Juan P. Casas, Aiden Corvin, Audrey Duncanson, Janusz A. Z. Jankowski, Hugh S. Markus, Christopher G. Mathew, Colin N. A. Palmer, Anna Rautanen, Stephen J. Sawcer, Richard C. Trembath, Ananth C. Viswanathan, Nicholas W. Wood, Ines Barroso, Leena Peltonen, Philip S. Dale, Stephen A. Petrill, Leonard S. Schalkwyk, Ian W. Craig, Cathryn M. Lewis, Thomas S. Price, Peter Donnelly, Robert Plomin and Chris C. A. Spencer in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5204(http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5204)
Image: Twins and unrelated children were tested for reading comprehension and fluency, and answered mathematics questions based on the UK national curriculum. The information collected from these tests was combined with DNA data, showing a substantial overlap in the genetic variants that influence mathematics and reading. Credit cybrarian77.

Same Genes Drive Maths and Reading Ability

Read the full article Same Genes Drive Maths and Reading Ability at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Around half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists from UCL, the University of Oxford and King’s College London who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits.

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

Research: “The correlation between reading and mathematics ability at age twelve has a substantial genetic component ” by Oliver S. P. Davis, Gavin Band, Matti Pirinen, Claire M. A. Haworth, Emma L. Meaburn, Yulia Kovas, Nicole Harlaar, Sophia J. Docherty, Ken B. Hanscombe, Maciej Trzaskowski, Charles J. C. Curtis, Amy Strange, Colin Freeman, Céline Bellenguez, Zhan Su, Richard Pearson, Damjan Vukcevic, Cordelia Langford, Panos Deloukas, Sarah Hunt, Emma Gray, Serge Dronov, Simon C. Potter, Avazeh Tashakkori-Ghanbaria, Sarah Edkins, Suzannah J. Bumpstead, Jenefer M. Blackwell, Elvira Bramon, Matthew A. Brown, Juan P. Casas, Aiden Corvin, Audrey Duncanson, Janusz A. Z. Jankowski, Hugh S. Markus, Christopher G. Mathew, Colin N. A. Palmer, Anna Rautanen, Stephen J. Sawcer, Richard C. Trembath, Ananth C. Viswanathan, Nicholas W. Wood, Ines Barroso, Leena Peltonen, Philip S. Dale, Stephen A. Petrill, Leonard S. Schalkwyk, Ian W. Craig, Cathryn M. Lewis, Thomas S. Price, Peter Donnelly, Robert Plomin and Chris C. A. Spencer in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5204(http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5204)

Image: Twins and unrelated children were tested for reading comprehension and fluency, and answered mathematics questions based on the UK national curriculum. The information collected from these tests was combined with DNA data, showing a substantial overlap in the genetic variants that influence mathematics and reading. Credit cybrarian77.

Virtual Finger Enables Scientists to Navigate and Analyze 3D Images of Complex Biological Structures
Read the full article Virtual Finger Enables Scientists to Navigate and Analyze 3D Images of Complex Biological Structures at NeuroscienceNews.com.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science and research partners collaborate to introduce a cost- and time-efficient technology that extends beyond neuroscience to other global experimental areas of biology.
The research is in Nature Communications. (full open access)
Research: “Virtual finger boosts three-dimensional imaging and microsurgery as well as terabyte volume image visualization and analysis ” by Hanchuan Peng, Jianyong Tang, Hang Xiao, Alessandro Bria, Jianlong Zhou, Victoria Butler, Zhi Zhou, Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido, Seung W. Oh, Jichao Chen, Ananya Mitra, Richard W. Tsien, Hongkui Zeng, Giorgio A. Ascoli, Giulio Iannello, Michael Hawrylycz, Eugene Myers and Fuhui Long in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5342(http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5342)
Image: In sharp contrast, Virtual Finger allows scientists to digitally reach into three-dimensional images of small objects like single cells to access the information they need much more quickly and intuitively. Credit Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Virtual Finger Enables Scientists to Navigate and Analyze 3D Images of Complex Biological Structures

Read the full article Virtual Finger Enables Scientists to Navigate and Analyze 3D Images of Complex Biological Structures at NeuroscienceNews.com.

The Allen Institute for Brain Science and research partners collaborate to introduce a cost- and time-efficient technology that extends beyond neuroscience to other global experimental areas of biology.

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

Research: “Virtual finger boosts three-dimensional imaging and microsurgery as well as terabyte volume image visualization and analysis ” by Hanchuan Peng, Jianyong Tang, Hang Xiao, Alessandro Bria, Jianlong Zhou, Victoria Butler, Zhi Zhou, Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido, Seung W. Oh, Jichao Chen, Ananya Mitra, Richard W. Tsien, Hongkui Zeng, Giorgio A. Ascoli, Giulio Iannello, Michael Hawrylycz, Eugene Myers and Fuhui Long in Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms5342(http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5342)

Image: In sharp contrast, Virtual Finger allows scientists to digitally reach into three-dimensional images of small objects like single cells to access the information they need much more quickly and intuitively. Credit Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Brain Activity in Sex Addiction Mirrors That of Drug Addiction
Read the full article Brain Activity in Sex Addiction Mirrors That of Drug Addiction at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour – known commonly as sex addiction – similar to that triggered by drugs in the brains of drug addicts, according to a University of Cambridge study published in the journal PLOS ONE. However, the researchers caution that this does not necessarily mean that pornography itself is addictive.
The research is in PLOS ONE. (full open access)
Research: “Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours” by Valerie Voon, Thomas B. Mole, Paula Banca, Laura Porter, Laurel Morris, Simon Mitchell, Tatyana R. Lapa, Judy Karr, Neil A. Harrison, Marc N. Potenza, and Michael Irvine in PLOS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102419 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102419)
Image: Patients with compulsive sexual behaviour showed higher levels of desire towards the sexually explicit videos, but did not necessarily rate them higher on liking scores. In the patients, desire was also correlated with higher interactions between regions within the network identified – with greater cross-talk between the dorsal cingulate, ventral striatum and amygdala – for explicit compared to sports videos. Credit Nick Olejniczak.

Brain Activity in Sex Addiction Mirrors That of Drug Addiction

Read the full article Brain Activity in Sex Addiction Mirrors That of Drug Addiction at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour – known commonly as sex addiction – similar to that triggered by drugs in the brains of drug addicts, according to a University of Cambridge study published in the journal PLOS ONE. However, the researchers caution that this does not necessarily mean that pornography itself is addictive.

The research is in PLOS ONE. (full open access)

Research: “Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours” by Valerie Voon, Thomas B. Mole, Paula Banca, Laura Porter, Laurel Morris, Simon Mitchell, Tatyana R. Lapa, Judy Karr, Neil A. Harrison, Marc N. Potenza, and Michael Irvine in PLOS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102419 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102419)

Image: Patients with compulsive sexual behaviour showed higher levels of desire towards the sexually explicit videos, but did not necessarily rate them higher on liking scores. In the patients, desire was also correlated with higher interactions between regions within the network identified – with greater cross-talk between the dorsal cingulate, ventral striatum and amygdala – for explicit compared to sports videos. Credit Nick Olejniczak.

Study Sheds New Light on Second Language Learning in Adulthood
Read the full article Study Sheds New Light on Second Language Learning in Adulthood at NeuroscienceNews.com.
A recent study shows that assimilation of L2 vowels to L1 phonemes governs language learning in adulthood; researchers urge development of novel methods of second language teaching.
The research is in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (full open access)
Research: “Assimilation of L2 vowels to L1 phonemes governs L2 learning in adulthood: a behavioral and ERP study” by Mirko Grimaldi, Bianca Sisinni, Barbara Gili Fivela, Sara Invitto, Donatella Resta, Paavo Alku and Elvira Brattico in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00279 (http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00279)
Image: The EEG recordings were used to extract the auditory event-related potential, namely the succession of neural events necessary to the processing and representation of sound, originating from the auditory cortex. This image shows data from the study. Credit Aalto University.

Study Sheds New Light on Second Language Learning in Adulthood

Read the full article Study Sheds New Light on Second Language Learning in Adulthood at NeuroscienceNews.com.

A recent study shows that assimilation of L2 vowels to L1 phonemes governs language learning in adulthood; researchers urge development of novel methods of second language teaching.

The research is in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (full open access)

Research: “Assimilation of L2 vowels to L1 phonemes governs L2 learning in adulthood: a behavioral and ERP study” by Mirko Grimaldi, Bianca Sisinni, Barbara Gili Fivela, Sara Invitto, Donatella Resta, Paavo Alku and Elvira Brattico in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00279 (http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00279)

Image: The EEG recordings were used to extract the auditory event-related potential, namely the succession of neural events necessary to the processing and representation of sound, originating from the auditory cortex. This image shows data from the study. Credit Aalto University.

Virtual Humans Inspire Patients to Open Up
Read the full article Virtual Humans Inspire Patients to Open Up at NeuroscienceNews.com.
A new USC study suggests that patients are more willing to disclose personal information to virtual humans than actual ones, in large part because computers lack the proclivity to look down on people the way another human might.
The research is in Computers in Human Behavior. (full access research)
Research: “It’s only a computer: Virtual humans increase willingness to disclose” by Gale M. Lucas, Jonathan Gratch, Aisha King, and Louis-Philippe Morency in Computers in Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.04.043
Image: Subjects were interviewed as part of an evaluation of SimSensei, a virtual human application that can be used to identify signals of depression and other mental health issues. Credit ICT.

Virtual Humans Inspire Patients to Open Up

Read the full article Virtual Humans Inspire Patients to Open Up at NeuroscienceNews.com.

A new USC study suggests that patients are more willing to disclose personal information to virtual humans than actual ones, in large part because computers lack the proclivity to look down on people the way another human might.

The research is in Computers in Human Behavior. (full access research)

Research: “It’s only a computer: Virtual humans increase willingness to disclose” by Gale M. Lucas, Jonathan Gratch, Aisha King, and Louis-Philippe Morency in Computers in Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.04.043

Image: Subjects were interviewed as part of an evaluation of SimSensei, a virtual human application that can be used to identify signals of depression and other mental health issues. Credit ICT.

Understanding Consciousness
REad the full article Understanding Consciousness at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Researchers advocate for more scientific research on consciousness.
The research is in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. (full access research)
Research: “The Source of Consciousness” by Ken A. Paller and Satoru Suzuki in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2014.05.012
Image: The authors write that unconscious processing can influence our conscious decisions in ways we never suspect. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit geralt.

Understanding Consciousness

REad the full article Understanding Consciousness at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Researchers advocate for more scientific research on consciousness.

The research is in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. (full access research)

Research: “The Source of Consciousness” by Ken A. Paller and Satoru Suzuki in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2014.05.012

Image: The authors write that unconscious processing can influence our conscious decisions in ways we never suspect. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit geralt.