A new way to study the role of a critical neurotransmitter in disorders such as epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, depression, schizophrenia, and alcohol addiction has been developed. This model synapse can precisely control a variety of receptors for the neurotransmitter called GABA, which is important in brain chemistry.
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have figured out how stem cells found in a part of the brain responsible for learning, memory and mood regulation decide to remain dormant or create new brain cells. Apparently, the stem cells “listen in” on the chemical communication among nearby neurons to get an idea about what is stressing the system and when they need to act.
Research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that another 10 percent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left lateral prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain.
Research just published by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) links gene mutations found in some patients with Meier-Gorlin syndrome (MGS) with specific cellular dysfunctions that are thought to give rise to a particularly extreme version of dwarfism, small brain size, and other manifestations of abnormal growth which generally characterize that rare condition.
UC Irvine scientists have discovered intriguing differences in the brains and mental processes of an extraordinary group of people who can effortlessly recall every moment of their lives since about age 10. Research offers the first scientific findings about nearly a dozen people with this highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM).
Researchers determined how the neurons and muscles are connected in a decision-making neural network important for mating in C. elegans. The team also accurately measured the weights of those connections, i.e., an estimate of the strength with which one neuron or muscle communicates with another.
Studies of lucid dreamers visualise which centers of the brain become active when we become aware of ourselves. Studies demonstrate that a specific cortical network consisting of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the frontopolar regions and the precuneus is activated when this lucid consciousness is attained.
Scientists have now revealed that voltage-gated sodium channels, which are responsible for neuronal signaling in the nerves of animals, evolved twice in higher and lower animals.
A team of University of California, Berkeley, scientists in collaboration with researchers at the University of Munich and University of Washington, in Seattle, has discovered a chemical that temporarily restores some vision to blind mice, and is working on an improved compound that may someday allow people with degenerative blindness to see again.
A study shows that using virtual reality, an arm up to three or possibly even four times the length of a person’s real arm can be felt as if it was the person’s own arm, even if it incorporates strong asymmetries in the body shape.
Results of a new study offer compelling evidence for the first time that mephedrone, like cocaine, does have potential for abuse and addiction. “The effects of mephedrone on the brain’s reward circuits are comparable to similar doses of cocaine,” Dr. Malanga, a professor of neurology, pediatrics and psychology at UNC School of Medicine said. “As expected our research shows that mephedrone likely has significant abuse liability.”