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Current Neural Circuits News and Events, Neural Circuits News Articles.
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UMass Amherst neuroscientists see clues to brain maturation in adolescent rats
One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence. Now, results from a study in rats just reported by neuroscientists Heather Richardson, Geng-Lin Li and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that as animals transition into adolescence, specific physical changes to axons speed up neural transmission, which may lead to higher cognitive abilities. (2018-09-26)

Molecule capable of halting and reverting Parkinson's neurodegeneration identified
The small SynuClean-D molecule interrupts the formation of the alpha-synuclein amyloid fibres responsible for the onset of Parkinson's disease, and reverts the neurodegeneration caused by the disease. The study headed by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona researchers was published in PNAS. (2018-09-25)

Deep neural networks help to identify the neutrinoless double beta decay signal
A recent study reveals that deep convolutional neural networks can significantly improve the efficiency of discrimination between neutrinoless double beta decay signals and backgrounds, thus the detection efficiency could be improved accordingly. The results are reported in latest issue of SCIENCE CHINA Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. (2018-09-21)

Gambling monkeys help scientists find brain area linked to high-risk behavior
Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one's willingness to make risky decisions. (2018-09-20)

Heartbeat paces learning
The processing of external information varies during the phases of the cardiac cycle, shows a new study from the University of Jyväskylä. (2018-09-19)

Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials
Artificial neural networks -- algorithms inspired by connections in the brain -- have 'learned' to perform a variety of tasks, from pedestrian detection in self-driving cars, to analyzing medical images, to translating languages. Now, researchers at the University of California San Diego are training artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials. (2018-09-18)

Understanding epilepsy in pediatric tumors
A KAIST research team led by Professor Jeong Ho Lee of the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering has recently identified a neuronal BRAF somatic mutation that causes intrinsic epileptogenicity in pediatric brain tumors. (2018-09-18)

Zebrafish research highlights role of locus coeruleus in anesthesia
Recently, researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Zunyi Medical College, by using a larval zebrafish model, revealed that two commonly used intravenous anesthetic drugs, propofol and etomidate, suppress the excitability of locus coeruleus neurons via synergic mechanisms -- thus inhibiting presynaptic excitatory inputs and inducing membrane hyperpolarization of these cells. (2018-09-18)

A novel approach of improving battery performance
A team of researchers affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has introduced a novel technology that promises to significantly boost the performance of lithium metal batteries. (2018-09-17)

Artificial neural network now capable of finding medication complaints in social networks
'Cannot get asleep all night', 'a little giddy' and other complaints in social networks can now be translated into formal medical terms, such as insomnia or vertigo. The task of comparing syndromes mentioned by patients and specific medical terms is called the normalization of medical concepts. (2018-09-17)

Resynchronizing neurons to erase schizophrenia
Today, a decisive step in understanding schizophrenia has been taken. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have succeeded not only in deciphering a cellular mechanism leading to the desynchronization of neural networks, but also in correcting this organizational defect in an adult animal model, thereby suppressing abnormal behaviors associated with schizophrenia. Results that show that a therapeutic intervention is possible at all ages. (2018-09-17)

Artificial intelligence can determine lung cancer type
A new computer program can analyze images of patients' lung tumors, specify cancer types, and even identify altered genes driving abnormal cell growth, a new study shows. (2018-09-17)

Circuit found for brain's statistical inference about motion
A team of Duke University neuroscientists has found the neural wiring underlying predictive eye-tracking of movements and watched in monkeys as the circuit is set to predict a given speed. They say the neurons of the brain's sensory and motor systems are guided by a combination of past experience and sensory inputs. When replicated in a neural network computer, these educated guesses made by motor neurons mimic Bayesian statistical inference. (2018-09-17)

Eyes have a natural version of night vision
To see under starlight and moonlight, the retina of the eye changes both the software and hardware of its light-sensing cells to create a kind of night vision. Retinal circuits that were thought to be unchanging and programmed for specific tasks actively adapt to different light conditions, say the Duke scientists who made the discovery. (2018-09-13)

The next phase: Using neural networks to identify gas-phase molecules
Argonne scientists have developed a neural network that can identify the structure of molecules in the gas phase, offering a novel technique for national security and pharmaceutical applications. (2018-09-13)

Laser sintering optimized for printed electronics
Printed electronics use standard printing techniques to manufacture electronic devices on different substrates like glass, plastic films, and paper. Interest in this area is growing because of the potential to create cheaper circuits more efficiently than conventional methods. A new study published in AIP Advances provides insights into the processing of copper nanoparticle ink with green laser light. (2018-09-13)

To flee or not to flee: how the brain decides what to do in the face of danger
Fight, flee, or freeze; when faced with a threat, everyone, from mice to humans, are certain to choose one of these three strategies. Though critical for survival, we are still at a loss as to how the brain chooses which strategy to apply in any given instance. In this new study, a team of scientists not only identified variables that lead the brain to apply a specific strategy, but also uncovered a particular pair of neurons crucial for this process. (2018-09-12)

We may hear others' footsteps, but how do we ignore our own?
A team of scientists has uncovered the neural processes mice use to ignore their own footsteps, a discovery that offers new insights into how we learn to speak and play music. (2018-09-12)

For the first time, a neural link between altruism and empathy toward strangers
Using fMRI scans of a brain region called the anterior insula, University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University researchers discovered that people who donated a kidney to an anonymous recipient were more sensitive to a stranger's fear and pain. (2018-09-11)

Bravery cells found in the hippocampus
Why do some people comfortably walk between skyscrapers on a high-wire or raft the Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel whereas others freeze on the mere thought of climbing off escalators in a shopping mall? In a new study, scientists have found that a certain type of cells in the hippocampus play a key role. (2018-09-07)

How attention orchestrates groups of nerve cells to enrich the brain's symphony
Study on rhesus monkeys shows how our brain processes complex signals. (2018-09-06)

Brainwaves synchronize to the speed of talking, influencing the way we hear words
The speed at which someone speaks influences the way we hear upcoming words. But, until recently, little was known about the neural mechanisms behind this phenomenon. A recent study involving researchers from the Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) reveals that our brainwaves synchronize to the speech rate, thereby influencing how we hear and perceive words. (2018-09-06)

UCI-led research identifies properties of stem cells that determine cell fate
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have identified intrinsic cell properties that influence the fate of neural stem cells, affecting what type of brain cell they will form: neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes. This discovery could give scientists a new way to predict or control the fate of stem cells, improving their use in transplantation therapies. (2018-09-06)

Past memory cues help people juggle numerous pieces of information
A study using EEG suggests that the brain has several different mechanisms to help boost memory performance following a sudden change in the priority or relevance of a given piece of information. Past memory cues can have different effects on neural representations based on when they're presented. Findings suggest that the brain can use several different methods to re-prioritize mental representations depending on how long they've been stored. (2018-09-06)

How to 'jumpstart' rhythmic breathing at birth
Researchers reveal neuronal pathways that 'jumpstart' breathing at birth and may explain breathing abnormalities seen in premature babies. (2018-09-06)

Stress wracks worm nerves, leaving lasting memories
Scientists stunted the puberty of male worms by starving them before they underwent sexual maturation. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the scientists suggested that stress from starvation even days before sexual maturation prevented normal changes in the wiring patterns of key neuronal circuits, which caused adult male worms to act immature. (2018-09-06)

Getting your TV to understand you better
New research out of the University of Waterloo has found a way to improve the voice query understanding capabilities of home entertainment platforms. (2018-09-05)

Body's own 'bomb squad' can help protect against brain tumors
Researchers have discovered how a molecule can help prevent certain types of brain tumors by recognizing and 'disarming' harmful proteins that cause them. (2018-09-04)

A recipe for regenerating nerve fibers across complete spinal cord injury
Scientists have designed a three-stepped recipe for regenerating electro-physiologically active nerve fibers across complete spinal cord lesions in rodents. Rehabilitation is still required to make these new nerve fibers functional for walking. The results appear in today's issue of Nature. (2018-08-29)

Electronic device implanted in the brain could stop seizures
Researchers have successfully demonstrated how an electronic device implanted directly into the brain can detect, stop and even prevent epileptic seizures. (2018-08-29)

Attacking aftershocks
Sparked by a suggestion from researchers at Google, Harvard scientists are using artificial intelligence technology to analyzed a database of earthquakes from around the world in an effort to predict where aftershocks might occur. Using deep learning algorithms, they developed a system that, while still imprecise, was able to forecast aftershocks significantly better than random assignment. (2018-08-29)

Effects of deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease
Researchers from Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin have studied motor and cognitive effects of deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease. Their results show that the adverse cognitive effects of deep brain stimulation are linked to a different neural pathway than that responsible for the treatment's desired motor effects. This finding will help optimize treatments for patients with Parkinson's disease. Results from this research have been published in Brain. (2018-08-28)

Genes that regulate how much we dream
Sleep is known to allow animals to re-energize themselves and consolidate memories. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is known to play an important role in maintaining a healthy mental and physical life, but the molecular mechanisms behind this state are barely understood. Now, an international research team led by researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan has identified a pair of genes that regulate how much REM and non-REM sleep an animal experiences. (2018-08-28)

Heart-brain connection could be predictive biomarker for epilepsy
Heartbeat irregularities connected to brain activity abnormalities may lead to the ability to predict eventual epileptic seizures in subjects who suffered physical or infectious brain insults, according to Penn State researchers who studied mouse models of cerebral malaria, which often causes epilepsy in those who survive. (2018-08-27)

UNC builds better particle tracking software using artificial intelligence
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a new method of particle tracking based on machine learning that is far more accurate and provides better automation than techniques currently in use. (2018-08-23)

Movement control: how our brain responds to unexpected situations
Scientists have demonstrated that the motor cortex is necessary for the execution of corrective movements in response to unexpected changes of sensory input but not when the same movements are executed spontaneously. Signatures of differential neuronal usage in the cortex accompany these two phenomena. The study by researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) has recently been published in 'Neuron'. (2018-08-23)

Neuroscientists restore significant bladder control to 5 men with spinal cord injuries
Magnetic stimulation of the lower spinal cord through the skin enabled five men with spinal-cord injuries to recover significant urination control for up to two weeks. The new approach could enhance patients' quality of life by increasing independence and reducing reliance on a catheter to empty the bladder. (2018-08-22)

When confronted, a single neuron helps a fruit fly change course
In the fruit fly, a single pair of brain neurons command backward locomotion in both larvae and adults, researchers report. The methodology behind the discovery provides a way for scientists to link other direct connections between individual brain neurons and nervous system neurons. (2018-08-22)

Study sheds light on how brain lets animals hunt for food by following smells
Most animals have a keen sense of smell, which assists them in everyday tasks. Now, a new study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine sheds light on exactly how animals follow smells. (2018-08-21)

Autonomous gene expression control nanodevice will contribute to medical care
Osaka University-led researchers constructed integrated gene logic-chips called 'gene nanochips.' These self-contained nanochips can switch genes on or off according to the environment, where photo-reprogramming of the logic operation by UV irradiation is possible. Moreover, the researchers completed proof-of-concept experiments using artificial cells that produced the diagnostics and reactants (the desired RNA and protein) in a confined nanochip, suggesting the potential of autonomous nanochips in future medical prevention and care. (2018-08-20)

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