A Nucleotide Change Could Initiate Fragile X Syndrome
Read the full article A Nucleotide Change Could Initiate Fragile X Syndrome at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide, the basic building block of DNA, could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. 
The research is in Journal of Cell Biology. (full access paywall)
Research: “Cis-acting DNA sequence at a replication origin promotes repeat expansion to fragile X full mutation” by Jeannine Gerhardt, Nikica Zaninovic, Qiansheng Zhan, Advaitha Madireddy, Sarah L. Nolin, Nicole Ersalesi, Zi Yan, Zev Rosenwaks, and Carl L. Schildkraut in Journal of Cell Biology. doi:10.1083/jcb.201404157
Image: Researchers used genetic mapping to determine that stem cells derived from mothers carrying a fragile X premutation (above) show a normal pattern of DNA replication when a nearby DNA sequence is similar to normal stem cells. Credit Gerhardt et al.

A Nucleotide Change Could Initiate Fragile X Syndrome

Read the full article A Nucleotide Change Could Initiate Fragile X Syndrome at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide, the basic building block of DNA, could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability. 

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

Research: “Cis-acting DNA sequence at a replication origin promotes repeat expansion to fragile X full mutation” by Jeannine Gerhardt, Nikica Zaninovic, Qiansheng Zhan, Advaitha Madireddy, Sarah L. Nolin, Nicole Ersalesi, Zi Yan, Zev Rosenwaks, and Carl L. Schildkraut in Journal of Cell Biology. doi:10.1083/jcb.201404157

Image: Researchers used genetic mapping to determine that stem cells derived from mothers carrying a fragile X premutation (above) show a normal pattern of DNA replication when a nearby DNA sequence is similar to normal stem cells. Credit Gerhardt et al.

Researchers Identify Process Producing Neuronal Diversity in Fruit Flies’ Visual System
Read the full article Researchers Identify Process Producing Neuronal Diversity in Fruit Flies’ Visual System at NeuroscienceNews.com.
New York University biologists have identified a mechanism that helps explain how the diversity of neurons that make up the visual system is generated.
The research is in Cell. (full access paywall)
Research: “Temporal Patterning of Neuroblasts Controls Notch-Mediated Cell Survival through Regulation of Hid or Reaper” by Claire Bertet, Xin Li, Ted Erclik, Matthieu Cavey, Brent Wells, and Claude Desplan in Cell. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.07.045
Image: The researchers demonstrate that in addition to specifying the production of distinct neural cell type over time, temporal factors also determine the survival or death of these cells as well as the mode of division of progenitors. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit Brian Gratwicke.

Researchers Identify Process Producing Neuronal Diversity in Fruit Flies’ Visual System

Read the full article Researchers Identify Process Producing Neuronal Diversity in Fruit Flies’ Visual System at NeuroscienceNews.com.

New York University biologists have identified a mechanism that helps explain how the diversity of neurons that make up the visual system is generated.

The research is in Cell. (full access paywall)

Research: “Temporal Patterning of Neuroblasts Controls Notch-Mediated Cell Survival through Regulation of Hid or Reaper” by Claire Bertet, Xin Li, Ted Erclik, Matthieu Cavey, Brent Wells, and Claude Desplan in Cell. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.07.045

Image: The researchers demonstrate that in addition to specifying the production of distinct neural cell type over time, temporal factors also determine the survival or death of these cells as well as the mode of division of progenitors. This image is for illustrative purposes only. Credit Brian Gratwicke.

Researchers Identify Origin and Purpose of the Facial Expression for Anger
Read the full article Researchers Identify Origin and Purpose of the Facial Expression for Anger at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara and at Griffith University in Australia have identified the functional advantages that caused the specific appearance of the anger face to evolve. Their findings appear in the current online edition of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.
The research is in Evolution and Human Behavior. (full access paywall)
Research: “The human anger face evolved to enhance cues of strength” by Aaron Sell, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby in Evolution and Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.05.008
Image: The anger face is a constellation of features, each of which makes a person appear physically stronger. Credit UCSB.

Researchers Identify Origin and Purpose of the Facial Expression for Anger

Read the full article Researchers Identify Origin and Purpose of the Facial Expression for Anger at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara and at Griffith University in Australia have identified the functional advantages that caused the specific appearance of the anger face to evolve. Their findings appear in the current online edition of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

The research is in Evolution and Human Behavior. (full access paywall)

Research: “The human anger face evolved to enhance cues of strength” by Aaron Sell, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby in Evolution and Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.05.008

Image: The anger face is a constellation of features, each of which makes a person appear physically stronger. Credit UCSB.

Electric Current to Brain Boosts Memory
Read the full article Electric Current to Brain Boosts Memory at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Stimulating a particular region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.
The research is in Science. (full access paywall)
Research: “Targeted enhancement of cortical-hippocampal brain networks and associative memory” by Jane X. Wang, Lynn M. Rogers, Evan Z. Gross, Anthony J. Ryals, Mehmet E. Dokucu, Kelly L. Brandstatt, Molly S. Hermiller, and Joel L. Voss in Science. doi:10.1126/science.1252900
Image: When TMS was used to stimulate this spot, regions in the brain involved with the hippocampus became more synchronized with each other, as indicated by data taken while subjects were inside an MRI machine, which records the blood flow in the brain as an indirect measure of neuronal activity. Credit Northwestern University.

Electric Current to Brain Boosts Memory

Read the full article Electric Current to Brain Boosts Memory at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Stimulating a particular region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The research is in Science. (full access paywall)

Research: “Targeted enhancement of cortical-hippocampal brain networks and associative memory” by Jane X. Wang, Lynn M. Rogers, Evan Z. Gross, Anthony J. Ryals, Mehmet E. Dokucu, Kelly L. Brandstatt, Molly S. Hermiller, and Joel L. Voss in Science. doi:10.1126/science.1252900

Image: When TMS was used to stimulate this spot, regions in the brain involved with the hippocampus became more synchronized with each other, as indicated by data taken while subjects were inside an MRI machine, which records the blood flow in the brain as an indirect measure of neuronal activity. Credit Northwestern University.

This is Your Brain’s Blood Vessels on Drugs
Read the full article This is Your Brain’s Blood Vessels on Drugs at NeuroscienceNews.com.
New imaging technique shows how cocaine shuts down blood flow in mouse brains.
The research is in Biomedical Optics Express. (full open access)
Research: “Optical coherence Doppler tomography for quantitative cerebral blood flow imaging” by Jiang You, Congwu Du, Nora D. Volkow, and Yingtian Pan in Biomedical Optics Express. Published online August 2014 doi:10.1364/BOE.5.003217 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.5.003217)
Image: A side-by-side comparison of blood flow in a healthy mouse brain vs. a mouse brain exposed to cocaine. The image on the left (a) shows the mouse brain blood vessels before cocaine. The image on the right (b) shows the blood vessels after, revealing that many of the vessels are now darker, which signifies lower blood flow. FOV:1.2 x 2.0 x1.0 mm3. Credit Biomedical Optics Express.

This is Your Brain’s Blood Vessels on Drugs

Read the full article This is Your Brain’s Blood Vessels on Drugs at NeuroscienceNews.com.

New imaging technique shows how cocaine shuts down blood flow in mouse brains.

The research is in Biomedical Optics Express. (full open access)

Research: “Optical coherence Doppler tomography for quantitative cerebral blood flow imaging” by Jiang You, Congwu Du, Nora D. Volkow, and Yingtian Pan in Biomedical Optics Express. Published online August 2014 doi:10.1364/BOE.5.003217 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.5.003217)

Image: A side-by-side comparison of blood flow in a healthy mouse brain vs. a mouse brain exposed to cocaine. The image on the left (a) shows the mouse brain blood vessels before cocaine. The image on the right (b) shows the blood vessels after, revealing that many of the vessels are now darker, which signifies lower blood flow. FOV:1.2 x 2.0 x1.0 mm3. Credit Biomedical Optics Express.

Neuroscientists Watch Imagination Happening in the Brain
Read the full article Neuroscientists Watch Imagination Happening in the Brain at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Researchers devised experiments using MRI technology that would help them distinguish pure imagination from related processes like remembering.
The research is in Nature Communications. (full open access)
Research: “Remembering and imagining differentially engage the hippocampus: A multivariate fMRI investigation” by C. Brock Kirwan, Stefania R. Ashby and Michelle I. Nash in Cognitive Neuroscience. doi:10.1080/17588928.2014.933203
Image: The researchers showed people their own photographs during an MRI session to elicit brain activity that is strictly memory-based. Credit Mark A. Philbrick.

Neuroscientists Watch Imagination Happening in the Brain

Read the full article Neuroscientists Watch Imagination Happening in the Brain at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Researchers devised experiments using MRI technology that would help them distinguish pure imagination from related processes like remembering.

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

Research: “Remembering and imagining differentially engage the hippocampus: A multivariate fMRI investigation” by C. Brock Kirwan, Stefania R. Ashby and Michelle I. Nash in Cognitive Neuroscience. doi:10.1080/17588928.2014.933203

Image: The researchers showed people their own photographs during an MRI session to elicit brain activity that is strictly memory-based. Credit Mark A. Philbrick.

Researchers Publish First Study of Brain Activation in MS Using fNIRS
Read the full article Researchers Publish First Study of Brain Activation in MS Using fNIRS at NeuroscienceNews.com.
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. The article, “Neuroimaging and cognition using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in multiple sclerosis,” was published online on June 11 by Brain Imaging and Behavior. 

The research is in Brain Imaging and Behavior. (full access paywall)
Research: “Neuroimaging and cognition using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in multiple sclerosis” by Jelena Stojanovic-Radic, Glenn Wylie, Gerald Voelbel, Nancy Chiaravalloti, and John DeLuca in Brain Imaging and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s11682-014-9307-y
Image: Results showed differences in activation between the groups that were dependent on task load. The MS group had an increase in activation at low task difficulty and a decrease in activation at high task difficulty. This image is for illustrative purposes only and shows a person using an fNIRS machine. Credit fNIRS Cognitive State Monitoring Lab/NASA.

Researchers Publish First Study of Brain Activation in MS Using fNIRS

Read the full article Researchers Publish First Study of Brain Activation in MS Using fNIRS at NeuroscienceNews.com.

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. The article, “Neuroimaging and cognition using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in multiple sclerosis,” was published online on June 11 by Brain Imaging and Behavior. 

The research is in Brain Imaging and Behavior. (full access paywall)

Research: “Neuroimaging and cognition using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in multiple sclerosis” by Jelena Stojanovic-Radic, Glenn Wylie, Gerald Voelbel, Nancy Chiaravalloti, and John DeLuca in Brain Imaging and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s11682-014-9307-y

Image: Results showed differences in activation between the groups that were dependent on task load. The MS group had an increase in activation at low task difficulty and a decrease in activation at high task difficulty. This image is for illustrative purposes only and shows a person using an fNIRS machine. Credit fNIRS Cognitive State Monitoring Lab/NASA.

Marijuana Compound May Offer Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
Read the full article Marijuana Compound May Offer Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.
The research is in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. (full access paywall)
Research: “The Potential Therapeutic Effects of THC on Alzheimer’s Disease” by Chuanhai Cao, Yaqiong Li, Hui Liu, Ge Bai, Jonathan Mayl, Xiaoyang Lin, Kyle Sutherland, Neel Nabar, and Jianfeng Cai in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. doi:10.3233/JAD-140093
Image: Researchers point out that at the low doses studied, the therapeutic benefits of THC appear to prevail over the associated risks of THC toxicity and memory impairment. This image is for illustrative purposes only and shows a plastinated brain of an Alzheimer’s patient. Credit SunOfErat.

Marijuana Compound May Offer Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

Read the full article Marijuana Compound May Offer Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.

The research is in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. (full access paywall)

Research: “The Potential Therapeutic Effects of THC on Alzheimer’s Disease” by Chuanhai Cao, Yaqiong Li, Hui Liu, Ge Bai, Jonathan Mayl, Xiaoyang Lin, Kyle Sutherland, Neel Nabar, and Jianfeng Cai in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. doi:10.3233/JAD-140093

Image: Researchers point out that at the low doses studied, the therapeutic benefits of THC appear to prevail over the associated risks of THC toxicity and memory impairment. This image is for illustrative purposes only and shows a plastinated brain of an Alzheimer’s patient. Credit SunOfErat.

Gamblers Are Greedy Bird-Brains
Read the full article Gamblers Are Greedy Bird-Brains at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Gamblers show the same tendencies as pigeons when they make risky decisions, new research has shown.
The research is in Biology Letters. (full open access)
Research: “Reward context determines risky choice in pigeons and humans” by Elliot A. Ludvig, Christopher R. Madan, Jeffrey M. Pisklak and Marcia L. Spetch in Biology Letters. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2014.0451(http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/8/20140451.full)
Image: A pigeon participating in a test to find out how they make risky decisions. Credit University of Warwick.

Gamblers Are Greedy Bird-Brains

Read the full article Gamblers Are Greedy Bird-Brains at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Gamblers show the same tendencies as pigeons when they make risky decisions, new research has shown.

The research is in Biology Letters. (full open access)

Research: “Reward context determines risky choice in pigeons and humans” by Elliot A. Ludvig, Christopher R. Madan, Jeffrey M. Pisklak and Marcia L. Spetch in Biology Letters. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2014.0451(http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/10/8/20140451.full)

Image: A pigeon participating in a test to find out how they make risky decisions. Credit University of Warwick.

Erasing Traumatic Memories
Read the full article Erasing Traumatic Memories at NeuroscienceNews.com.
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital are reporting that xenon gas, used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging, has the potential to become a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders.
The research is in PLOS ONE. (full open access)
Research: “Xenon Impairs Reconsolidation of Fear Memories in a Rat Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” by Edward G. Meloni, Timothy E. Gillis, Jasmine Manoukian, and Marc J. Kaufman in PLOS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106189 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106189)
Image: “In our study, we found that xenon gas has the capability of reducing memories of traumatic events,” said Edward G. Meloni, an assistant psychologist at McLean. Xenon gas is currently used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging. Credit McLean Hospital.

Erasing Traumatic Memories

Read the full article Erasing Traumatic Memories at NeuroscienceNews.com.

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital are reporting that xenon gas, used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging, has the potential to become a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders.

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

Research: “Xenon Impairs Reconsolidation of Fear Memories in a Rat Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)” by Edward G. Meloni, Timothy E. Gillis, Jasmine Manoukian, and Marc J. Kaufman in PLOS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106189 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106189)

Image: “In our study, we found that xenon gas has the capability of reducing memories of traumatic events,” said Edward G. Meloni, an assistant psychologist at McLean. Xenon gas is currently used in humans for anesthesia and diagnostic imaging. Credit McLean Hospital.