Popular Neuron News and Current Events

Popular Neuron News and Current Events, Neuron News Articles.
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Easy on the eyes
New computer program uses artificial intelligence to determine what visual neurons like to see. Algorithm generates synthetic images that morph into 'super stimulus' for neurons, removing inherent bias of using natural images to gauge preferences. The approach could shed light on learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other neurologic conditions. (2019-05-02)

Watching neurons in action
OIST scientists have devised a way of observing the working of single neurons in unsurpassed detail in a live animal. (2018-08-23)

Brain region central to placebo effect identified
Researchers have pinpointed a brain region central to the machinery of the placebo effect -- the often controversial phenomenon in which a person's belief in the efficacy of a treatment such as a painkilling drug influences its effect. (2007-07-18)

Brain neurons help keep track of time
Turning the theory of how the human brain perceives time on its head, a novel analysis in mice reveals that dopamine neuron activity plays a key role in judgment of time, slowing down the internal clock. (2016-12-08)

During infancy, neurons are still finding their places
Researchers have identified a large population of previously unrecognized young neurons that migrate in the human brain during the first few months of life, contributing to the expansion of the frontal lobe, a region important for social behavior and executive function. (2016-10-06)

How many types of neurons are there in the brain?
For decades, scientists have struggled to develop a comprehensive census of cell types in the brain. Now, researchers describe powerful new approaches to systematically identify individual classes of neurons in the spinal cord. In doing so, they reveal elements of the underlying circuit architecture through which these neurons shape movement -- and highlight how statistical approaches could provide neuroscientists with a critical tool to quantify the cellular diversity of any region of the brain. (2016-03-03)

Neurons that regenerate, neurons that die
In a new study published in Neuron, investigators report on a transcription factor that they have found that can help certain neurons regenerate, while simultaneously killing others. (2017-06-21)

How neurons use crowdsourcing to make decisions
When many individual neurons collect data, how do they reach a unanimous decision? New research from the Santa Fe Institute's collective computation group suggests a two-phase process. (2017-06-06)

A turbo engine for tracing neurons
Putting a turbo engine into an old car gives it an entirely new life -- suddenly it can go further, faster. That same idea is now being applied to neuroscience, with a software wrapper that can be used on existing neuron tracing algorithms to boost their ability to handle not just big, but enormous sets of data. The wrapper, called UltraTracer, is highlighted this month in Nature Methods. (2017-04-27)

New brain mapping technique highlights relationship between connectivity and IQ
A new and relatively simple technique for mapping the wiring of the brain has shown a correlation between how well connected an individual's brain regions are and their intelligence, say researchers at the University of Cambridge. (2018-01-02)

A vision for revamping neuroscience education
The expanding scope and growing number of tools used for neuroscience is moving beyond what is taught in traditional graduate programs, say leaders in American neuroscience education, funding, and policy. In a paper published June 1, 2016 in Neuron, the authors call for reinvestment in neuroscience graduate and post-graduate training to meet the challenges of this new era in brain science -- such as creating programs to broaden student experiences across disciplines and reimagining scientific staff positions. (2016-06-01)

Mild traumatic brain injury causes long-term damage in mice
A new Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology study in mice found that mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can precipitate not only acute damage but also a lifelong degenerative process. (2017-12-14)

Balancing time & space in the brain: New model holds promise for predicting brain dynamics
A team of scientists has extended the balanced network model to provide deep and testable predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity. (2016-10-31)

New way to study swallowing could one day lead to improved treatments for ALS
There is no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, but new findings from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine are deepening researchers' understanding of a common ALS symptom: swallowing problems. (2018-11-14)

Artificial intelligence singles out neurons faster than a human can
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed an automated process that can track and map active neurons as accurately as a human can, but in a fraction of the time. This new technique, based on a deep learning algorithm, addresses a critical roadblock in neuron analysis, allowing researchers to rapidly gather and process neuronal signals for real-time behavioral studies. (2019-04-12)

High-resolution brain imaging provides clues about memory loss in older adults
As we get older, it's not uncommon to experience 'senior moments.' But currently, it's difficult to determine which memory lapses are normal parts of aging and which may signal the early stages of a severe disorder like Alzheimer's disease. In a study appearing March 7 in the journal Neuron, researchers report that high-resolution functional brain imaging can be used to show some of the underlying causes for memory proficiency differences between older and younger adults. (2018-03-07)

The adolescent brain is adapted to learning
Teenagers are often portrayed as seeking immediate gratification, but new work suggests that their sensitivity to reward could be part of an evolutionary adaptation to learn from their environment. In a Neuron study publishing Oct. 5, adolescents performed better than adults in a picture-based game that required learning from positive and negative reinforcement cues. The hippocampus and striatum were associated with this learning circuit in the teen brain. (2016-10-05)

A new way of thinking about tau kinetics, an essential component of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is most often characterized by two different pathologies in the brain: plaque deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid and tangles of another protein called tau. A paper appearing March 21 in the journal Neuron offers new insight: tau production and secretion from nerve cells appears to be an active process in the natural course of Alzheimer's disease, which may explain why experimental treatments targeting tau have had disappointing results. (2018-03-21)

New algorithm tracks neurons in bendy brain of freely crawling worm
Scientists at Princeton University have developed a new algorithm to track neurons in the brain of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans while it crawls. The algorithm, presented in PLOS Computational Biology by Jeffrey Nguyen and colleagues, could save hundreds of hours of manual labor in studies of animal behavior. (2017-05-18)

Blue Brain solves a century-old neuroscience problem
In a front-cover paper published in Cerebral Cortex, EPFL's Blue Brain Project, a Swiss Brain Research Initiative, explains how the shapes of neurons can be classified using mathematical methods from the field of algebraic topology. Neuroscientists can now start building a formal catalogue for all the types of cells in the brain. Onto this catalogue of cells, they can systematically map the function and role in disease of each type of neuron in the brain. (2019-03-21)

From healthcare to warfare: How to regulate brain technology
Ethicists from the University of Basel have outlined a new biosecurity framework specific to neurotechnology. While the researchers declare an outright ban of dual-use technology ethically unjustified, they call for regulations aimed at protecting the mental privacy and integrity of humans. The journal Neuron has published the study. (2018-01-18)

Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed
A research group from Tohoku University has developed spintronics devices which are promising for future energy-efficient and adoptive computing systems, as they behave like neurons and synapses in the human brain. (2019-04-17)

Brain's 'sixth sense' for calories discovered
The brain can sense the calories in food, independent of the taste mechanism, researchers have found in studies with mice. Their finding that the brain's reward system is switched on by this (2008-03-26)

Researchers discover key link between mitochondria and cocaine addiction
Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine identified significant mitochondrial changes that take place in cocaine addiction, and they have been able to block them. (2017-12-20)

What gives bees their sweet tooth?
Scientists have discovered bees linger on a flower, emptying it of nectar, because they have sugar-sensing taste neurons which work together to prolong the pleasure of the sweetness. (2018-05-10)

Changing size of neurons could shed light on new treatments for motor neurone disease
New research published in The Journal of Physiology improves our understanding of how motor nerve cells (neurons) respond to motor neurone disease, which could help us identify new treatment options. (2018-03-04)

The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs. This allows the tissues to renew and to heal after injury. This amazing multipotency makes stem cells in the adult body key tools for regenerative medicine. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now publish in the journal Nature how brain stem cells make the decision to transform into new nerve cells. (2019-01-31)

General anesthesia hijacks sleep circuitry to knock you out
In a study published online April 18 in Neuron, researchers found that general anesthesia induces unconsciousness by hijacking the neural circuitry that makes us fall sleep. They traced this neural circuitry back to a cluster of cells at the base of the brain responsible for churning out hormones to regulate bodily functions, mood, and sleep. The finding could lead to better drugs capable of putting people to sleep with fewer side effects. (2019-04-18)

New mechanism of action for DISC1, psychiatric disorder agent, revealed by scientists
scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in a close collaboration with a team from the Perelman School for Medicine, University of Pennsylvania solved the high-resolution structure of DISC1 in complex with Ndel1, uncovering a new mechanism of action for DISC1 based on its structure, which can lead to implications for how genetic insults may contribute to psychiatric disorders (2017-12-13)

Three ways neuroscience can advance the concussion debate
While concussion awareness has improved over the past decade, understanding the nuances of these sports injuries, their severity, symptoms, and treatment, is still a work in progress. In the June 21 issue of Neuron, UCLA neurologists and neurotraumatologists review the science of concussions and outline several areas where neuroscience and clinical research can help create consensus in the field: definitions of what acute and chronic concussions are, diagnostics, and management and treatment. (2017-06-21)

Making fat mice lean: Novel immune cells control neurons responsible for fat breakdown
The biological causes underlying obesity have been under intense scrutiny with studies suggesting a link between the nervous and the immune systems. Now, in a breakthrough study to be published in Nature Medicine on Oct. 9, a research team led by Ana Domingos, from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, discovered an unforeseen population of immune cells associated with neurons that play a direct role in obesity. (2017-10-09)

Comparison of primate brains hints at what makes us human
A detailed comparative analysis of human, chimpanzee and macaque brains reveals elements that make the human brain unique, including cortical circuits underlying production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. (2017-11-23)

Going the distance: Brain cells for 3D vision discovered
Scientists at Newcastle University have discovered neurons in insect brains that compute 3D distance and direction. Understanding these could help vision in robots. (2019-06-28)

A new glimpse into working memory
MIT study finds bursts of neural activity as the brain holds information in mind, overturns a long-held model. (2016-03-17)

New device uses biochemistry techniques to detect rare radioactive decays
UTA researchers are now taking advantage of a biochemistry technique that uses fluorescence to detect ions to identify the product of a radioactive decay called neutrinoless double-beta decay that would demonstrate that the neutrino is its own antiparticle. (2018-03-27)

The brain learns completely differently than we've assumed since the 20th century
Based on experimental evidence physicists publish revolutionary new theory on brain learning that contradicts the most common assumption in neuroscience, will transform our understanding of brain function, and open new horizons for advanced deep learning algorithms. (2018-03-23)

'Mindreading' neurons simulate decisions of social partners
Scientists have identified special types of brain cells that may allow us to simulate the decision-making processes of others, thereby reconstructing their state of mind and predicting their intentions. Dysfunction in these 'simulation neurons' may help explain difficulties with social interactions in conditions such as autism and social anxiety. (2019-04-11)

Quick thinking? It's all down to timing
Synaptic plasticity, which underlies learning and memory, involves the strengthening and weakening of synapses. This process is affected by the relative timing of spikes in electrical activity in the pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Researchers at NUS Medicine have now found that, when both spikes occur simultaneously (or within tens of milliseconds of each other), the synapses were strengthened for up to 4 hours. These findings could impact research in conditions with impaired learning and memory. (2019-03-26)

Mapping cells in the 'immortal' regenerating hydra
The tiny hydra, a freshwater invertebrate related to jellyfish and corals, has an amazing ability to renew its cells and regenerate damaged tissue. Cut a hydra in half, and it will regenerate its body and nervous system in a couple of days. Researchers at UC Davis have now traced the fate of hydra's cells, revealing how three lines of stem cells become nerves, muscles or other tissues. (2019-07-25)

Molecular basis of neural memory -- reviewing 'neuro-mimetic' technologies
From the perspective of neuroscientists, the authors review the IBM Brain Chip and the Blue Brain Project, and find them flawed by key oversights. (2018-03-29)

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