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Janelle Weaver
Cataloging different cell types in the human brain remains a challenge for neuroscientists. Janelle Weaver speaks to researchers who think single-cell sequencing might provide a solution.
October 1, 2017: BioTechniques
Serge Brédart
The use of proper names enables us to designate entities, including people, at a very specific level of categorization: the unique entity or the individual. The paper presents a general overview of psychological/cognitive and neuroscientific studies that have compared the production of proper names, in particular people's names, with the production of common nouns during the last thirty years. The search for specific brain correlates of proper naming included single-case and group studies of patients with brain lesions, and studies utilizing functional neuroimaging or brain electrical stimulation with healthy participants...
October 13, 2017: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Takeo Watanabe, Yuka Sasaki, Kazuhisa Shibata, Mitsuo Kawato
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback in which real-time online fMRI signals are used to self-regulate brain function. Since its advent in 2003 significant progress has been made in fMRI neurofeedback techniques. Specifically, the use of implicit protocols, external rewards, multivariate analysis, and connectivity analysis has allowed neuroscientists to explore a possible causal involvement of modified brain activity in modified behavior. These techniques have also been integrated into groundbreaking new neurofeedback technologies, specifically decoded neurofeedback (DecNef) and functional connectivity-based neurofeedback (FCNef)...
October 11, 2017: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Charles Spence, Jae Lee, Nathan Van der Stoep
To date, most of the research on spatial attention has focused on probing people's responses to stimuli presented in frontal space. That is, few researchers have attempted to assess what happens in the space that is currently unseen (essentially rear space). In a sense, then, "out of sight" is, very much, "out of mind." In this review, we highlight what is presently known about the perception and processing of sensory stimuli (focusing on sounds) whose source isn't currently visible. We briefly summarize known differences in the localizability of sounds presented from different locations in 3-D space, and discuss the consequences for the crossmodal attentional and multisensory perceptual interactions taking place in various regions of space...
October 3, 2017: European Journal of Neuroscience
Martha J Farah
Human beings differ in their socioeconomic status (SES), with accompanying differences in physical and mental health as well as cognitive ability. Although SES has long been used as a covariate in human brain research, in recognition of its potential to account for behavioral and neural differences among people, only recently have neuroscientists made SES a topic of research in its own right. How does SES manifest in the brain, and how do its neural correlates relate to the causes and consequences of SES? This review summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding these questions...
September 27, 2017: Neuron
Jacob M Goldberg, Stephen J Lippard
Metal ions play critical roles in neurotransmission, memory formation, and sensory perception. Understanding the molecular details of these processes is the Holy Grail of metalloneurochemistry. Here we describe five challenges for collaborative teams of chemists, biologists, and neuroscientists to help make this dream a reality.
March 21, 2017: Accounts of Chemical Research
Ben Jeurissen, Maxime Descoteaux, Susumu Mori, Alexander Leemans
The ability of fiber tractography to delineate non-invasively the white matter fiber pathways of the brain raises possibilities for clinical applications and offers enormous potential for neuroscience. In the last decade, fiber tracking has become the method of choice to investigate quantitative MRI parameters in specific bundles of white matter. For neurosurgeons, it is quickly becoming an invaluable tool for the planning of surgery, allowing for visualization and localization of important white matter pathways before and even during surgery...
September 25, 2017: NMR in Biomedicine
P P Nawroth, M Bendszus, M Pham, J Jende, S Heiland, S Ries, C Schumann, M Schmelz, S Schuh-Hofer, R D Treede, R Kuner, D Oikonomou, J B Groener, S Kopf
A 62-year-old diabetologist diagnosed himself to have diabetes type-2, with an HbA1c of 9.5. Five months after lifestyle intervention and a multi-drug approach, HbA1c was 6.3, systolic blood pressure was below 135mmHg and BMI reduced to 27. But he suffered from severe painful diabetic neuropathy. Therefore he decided to visit his friend, a famous neuroscientist at an even more famous university. He asked him several plain questions: 1. What is the natural course of painful diabetic neuropathy? 2. Why do I have, despite almost normalizing HbA1c, more problems than before? 3...
September 20, 2017: Neuroscience
Grant Gillett
Severe head injury or brain injury presents clinical neuroscientists with a unique challenge. Based on an objective assessment of cognitive and neurological function, it is sometimes hard to recognize our patients as members of our moral community (actually or potentially) but we treat them as if that were is the case, and, therefore, as if they need rescuing. Thus their existences as enigmata-beings who may or may not reveal themselves to us through social and personal function realized in conversations and relationships-are in doubt...
October 2017: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics: CQ: the International Journal of Healthcare Ethics Committees
Phillip A Bonney, Andrew K Conner, Lillian B Boettcher, Ahmed A Cheema, Chad A Glenn, Adam D Smitherman, Nathan A Pittman, Michael E Sughrue
BACKGROUND: Use of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in brain tumor resection has been limited in part by a perceived difficulty in implementing the techniques into neurosurgical practice. OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate a simple DTI postprocessing method performed without a neuroscientist and to share results in preserving patient function while aggressively resecting tumors. METHODS: DTI data are obtained in all patients with tumors located within presumed eloquent cortices...
February 1, 2017: Operative Neurosurgery (Hagerstown, Md.)
Leonid P Savtchenko, Mu Ming Poo, Dmitri A Rusakov
The emerging technological revolution in genetically encoded molecular sensors and super-resolution imaging provides neuroscientists with a pass to the real-time nano-world. On this small scale, however, classical principles of electrophysiology do not always apply. This is in large part because the nanoscopic heterogeneities in ionic concentrations and the local electric fields associated with individual ions and their movement can no longer be ignored. Here, we review basic principles of molecular electrodiffusion in the cellular environment of organized brain tissue...
September 19, 2017: Nature Reviews. Neuroscience
Bruno Cessac, Pierre Kornprobst, Selim Kraria, Hassan Nasser, Daniela Pamplona, Geoffrey Portelli, Thierry Viéville
The retina encodes visual scenes by trains of action potentials that are sent to the brain via the optic nerve. In this paper, we describe a new free access user-end software allowing to better understand this coding. It is called PRANAS (, standing for Platform for Retinal ANalysis And Simulation. PRANAS targets neuroscientists and modelers by providing a unique set of retina-related tools. PRANAS integrates a retina simulator allowing large scale simulations while keeping a strong biological plausibility and a toolbox for the analysis of spike train population statistics...
2017: Frontiers in Neuroinformatics
Guilherme Bicalho Saturnino, Kristoffer Hougaard Madsen, Hartwig Roman Siebner, Axel Thielscher
Large-scale synchronization of neural oscillations is a key mechanism for functional information exchange among brain areas. Dual-site Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (ds-TACS) has been recently introduced as non-invasive technique to manipulate the temporal phase relationship of local oscillations in two connected cortical areas. While the frequency of ds-TACS is matched, the phase of stimulation is either identical (in-phase stimulation) or opposite (anti-phase stimulation) in the two cortical target areas...
September 15, 2017: NeuroImage
Raphaël Liégeois, Timothy O Laumann, Abraham Z Snyder, Juan Zhou, B T Thomas Yeo
Resting-state functional connectivity is a powerful tool for studying human functional brain networks. Temporal fluctuations in functional connectivity, i.e., dynamic functional connectivity (dFC), are thought to reflect dynamic changes in brain organization and non-stationary switching of discrete brain states. However, recent studies have suggested that dFC might be attributed to sampling variability of static FC. Despite this controversy, a detailed exposition of stationarity and statistical testing of dFC is lacking in the literature...
September 12, 2017: NeuroImage
Nicholas James Sofroniew
Neurons relevant to a particular behavior are often widely dispersed across the brain. To record activity in groups of individual neurons that might be distributed across large distances, neuroscientists and optical engineers have been developing a new type of microscope called a mesoscope. Mesoscopes have high spatial resolution and a large field of view. This Q&A will discuss this exciting new technology, highlighting a particular instrument, the two-photon random access mesoscope (2pRAM).
September 14, 2017: BMC Biology
Kam Sripada
Early exposure to environmental toxins like lead, air pollution, and arsenic can have long-lasting and irreversible consequences for children's neurodevelopment, especially in the developing world. Though the number of pollutants increases each year, some neuroscientists are forging partnerships to improve measurement, raise awareness, and promote global health.
September 13, 2017: Neuron
Jolien C Francken, Marc Slors
To enable the impact of neuroscientific insights on our daily lives, careful translation of research findings is required. However, neuroscientific terminology and common-sense concepts are often hard to square. For example, when neuroscientists study lying to allow the use of brain scans for lie-detection purposes, the concept of lying in the scientific case differs considerably from the concept in court. Furthermore, lying and other cognitive concepts are used unsystematically and have an indirect and divergent mapping onto brain activity...
September 10, 2017: Brain and Cognition
F B Händel, M L Schölvinck
Animals, just like humans, can freely move. They do so for various important reasons, such as finding food and escaping predators. Observing these behaviors can inform us about the underlying cognitive processes. In addition, while humans can convey complicated information easily through speaking, animals need to move their bodies to communicate. This has prompted many creative solutions by animal neuroscientists to enable studying the brain during movement. In this review, we first summarize how animal researchers record from the brain while an animal is moving, by describing the most common neural recording techniques in animals and how they were adapted to record during movement...
September 8, 2017: Brain Research
Kristijan Armeni, Roel M Willems, Stefan L Frank
Cognitive neuroscientists of language comprehension study how neural computations relate to cognitive computations during comprehension. On the cognitive part of the equation, it is important that the computations and processing complexity are explicitly defined. Probabilistic language models can be used to give a computationally explicit account of language complexity during comprehension. Whereas such models have so far predominantly been evaluated against behavioral data, only recently have the models been used to explain neurobiological signals...
September 5, 2017: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Haneen Mohammed, Ali K Al-Awami, Johanna Beyer, Corrado Cali, Pierre Magistretti, Hanspeter Pfister, Markus Hadwiger
This paper presents Abstractocyte, a system for the visual analysis of astrocytes and their relation to neurons, in nanoscale volumes of brain tissue. Astrocytes are glial cells, i.e., non-neuronal cells that support neurons and the nervous system. The study of astrocytes has immense potential for understanding brain function. However, their complex and widely-branching structure requires high-resolution electron microscopy imaging and makes visualization and analysis challenging. Furthermore, the structure and function of astrocytes is very different from neurons, and therefore requires the development of new visualization and analysis tools...
August 29, 2017: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
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