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Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science

Paul J Zak
Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically. But Buddhism has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation. In the book that is the subject of this review, two friends, one a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and the other, a distinguished neuroscientist, offer their perspectives on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, epistemology, meditation, and neuroplasticity ...
November 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Boadie W Dunlop, Helen S Mayberg
Depression is one of the world's most prevalent mental health problems, with as many as 350 million sufferers worldwide and close to 20 million sufferers in the US. While neuroimaging applications for identifying various types of depression have made enormous strides in recent years, no findings have been sufficiently replicated or considered significant enough to warrant application in clinical settings. Our authors are well equipped to tell us what the future may bring .
November 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Staci Bilbo, Beth Stevens
New knowledge about microglia is so fresh that it's not even in the textbooks yet. Microglia are cells that help guide brain development and serve as its immune system helpers by gobbling up diseased or damaged cells and discarding cellular debris. Our authors believe that microglia might hold the key to understanding not just normal brain development, but also what causes Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, autism, schizophrenia, and other intractable brain disorders .
November 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Emiliano Santarnecchi, Alvaro Pascual-Leone
Many questions loom over transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive form of neurostimulation in which constant, low current is delivered directly to areas of the brain using small electrodes. It was first established in neuroscience research in the 1950s and 60s, but has seen rapid growth, particularly in the last five years. Originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes, tDCS is now also used to enhance language and mathematical ability, attention span, problem solving, memory, coordination, and even gaming skills...
September 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Eric Chudler
A primary function of my role is asking top neuroscientists to write about the latest developments in their specialty areas for lay readers. If they agree to the assignment, I encourage them to use-whenever possible-conversational language, anecdotes, storytelling, and their own voice in communicating what are often complex and hard-to-explain topics. Another option might be to suggest they read Alan Alda's new book before they begin.
September 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Jonathan D Moreno, Patricia Smith Churchland, Kenneth F Schaffner
It wasn't until 2002 that more than 150 neuroscientists, bioethicists, doctors of psychiatry and psychology, philosophers, and professors of law and public policy came together to chart the boundaries, define the issues, and raise some of the ethical implications tied to advances in brain research. On the 15 th anniversary of the Neuroethics: Mapping the Field conference in San Francisco, we asked three of the original speakers to reflect on how far the neuroethics field has come in 15 years-and where the field may be going in the next 15...
September 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Richard L Doty
Every whiff you take not only brings a cloud of chemicals swirling up your nose, but matters to your experience of taste as well as smell. Scientists studying smell have not only provided compelling evidence that it's more sophisticated than previously thought, but believe that the sense of smell impacts our mood and behavior and has the potential to detect and treat some neurological disorders. Compared to other senses, smell has long been underappreciated, writes our author, but that is now beginning to change ...
July 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Arthur L Caplan
The book reflects Fins' role as co-director of the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Rockefeller University and his struggle to answer the kinds of questions that stand to shape how society treats people with brain injuries. What is the capacity of brains to recover? What are the mechanisms of that recovery? How do we know that our assessments are accurately describing what's going on in a patient's mind? And what does society morally owe these patients and families?...
July 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Nim Tottenham
From our earliest days, the brain rapidly develops thinking, mobility, and communication skills. But not quite as quick to develop are the parts of the brain that regulate and process our emotions. New research is helping scientists learn about areas that are crucial to emotional development, and how our surroundings fit into the picture. The findings could have far-reaching implications for both parents and policy-makers.
July 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Ed Bilsky
Reductive art is a term to describe an artistic style or an aesthetic, rather than an art movement. It is stripping down as a new way of seeing. Movements and other terms that are sometimes associated with reductive art include abstract art, minimalism, ABC art, anti-illusionism, cool art, and rejective art. Eric Kandel's fifth book focuses on reductionism as the principle guiding an ongoing dialogue between the worlds of science and art.
May 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Roland Pochet
While drug development has done little to slow the devastating symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there is some good news in the fact that scientists have identified some 100 related genes and believe that genetic research offers the best hope for treatments. More good news came on the heels of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised $220 million globally and has fueled renewed optimism and energy in the ALS community .
May 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Chiara Cirelli, Giulio Tononi
The role of sleep has long baffled scientists, but the latest research is providing new indicators about what it does for both the brain and body. While scientists believe that sleep re-energizes the body's cells, clears waste from the brain, and supports learning and memory, much still needs to be learned about the part it plays in regulating mood, appetite and libido . Source/Shutterstock.
May 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Timothy G Dinan, John F Cryan
The gut-brain axis is one of the new frontiers of neuroscience. Microbiota (the collective bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms that live in the digestive tract), sometimes referred to as the "second genome" or the "second brain," may influence our health in ways that scientists are just now beginning to understand. Scientists now believe that the microbiota and all that it involves may be a way to treat any number of disorders, including Parkinson's disease and depression .
March 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Dharma Singh Khalsa, George Perry
Much is yet to be discovered about the precise biological changes that cause Alzheimer's, disease, why it progresses more quickly in some than in others, and how the disease can be prevented, slowed, or stopped. And while researchers continue to search for the magic pill that can prevent or halt the spread of amyloid in the brain, our authors believe that changing or modifying one's lifestyle and attitude can make a difference in both prevention and treatment .
March 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Jamie L Adams, Christopher G Tarolli, E Ray Dorsey
Just as online shopping is supplanting visits to the mall, and distance learning is part of the new wave in higher education, so is health care coming to a computer or mobile device near you. In the next few years, telehealth will increasingly become part of psychiatric and neurological care. Still to overcome is an unwieldy health care system that will need to adapt to practices that have the potential to lower costs and improve care.
January 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
David G Amaral
Autism is a broad, complex, and increasingly important brain disorder. New data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in sixty-eight children is born with some degree of autism. Autism is also more common in males by a four to one ratio. Making it especially difficult to discuss in finite, conclusive terms is the fact that there is no biological test for autism; diagnosis is based on behavior, and the only verified treatment is intensive behavior therapy. Our author, one of the nation's foremost researchers on autism, examines the prenatal factors that contribute to the disorder...
January 2017: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Irene Tracey
Pain is unique to every person, and difficult to quantify and treat. Whether it is delivered as a jolt or a persistent, dull ache, pain is guaranteed to affect one's quality of life. Our author examines how brain imaging is opening our eyes to the richness and complexity of the pain experience, giving us extraordinary insight into the neurochemistry, network activity, wiring, and structures relevant to producing and modulating painful experiences in all their various guises .
November 2016: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Emile Bruneau
While early research focused on the political roots of terrorism, many of today's investigators are probing the psychological factors that drive adherents to commit their deadly deeds. Are terrorists mentally ill or do they rationally weigh the costs and benefits of their actions and conclude that terrorism is profitable? Our author traces recent advances in using imaging and experimental research to determine what motivates monstrous acts .
November 2016: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Moheb Costandi
Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and solitary confinement were some of the tactics outlined and authorized in a series of Bush Administration secret legal documents, known as the "torture memos," which were made public in 2009. Shane O'Mara's new book casts morality aside to examine whether torture produces reliable information. He reviews existing research in psychology and neuroscience to highlight the impact of torture methods on brain function .
November 2016: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
Michael Anderson
Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a mythic figure in science and recognized as the father of modern anatomy and neurobiology, was largely responsible for the modern conception of the brain. The first to publish on the nervous system, he sought to educate the novice scientist about how he thought science should be done. We asked an accomplished young investigator to take a fresh look at this recently rediscovered classic, first published in 1897 .
September 2016: Cerebrum: the Dana Forum on Brain Science
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