A very high resolution map of the white-grey matter border across the entire living brain has been created by a multidisciplinary team led by Nikolaus Weiskopf from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Credit: MPI CBS) Current neuroscience thinks of the brain as composed of two tissue types. Billions of neurons make up the gray matter, forming a thin layer on the brain’s surface.
One out of every 3,000 people carries a genetic defect known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, or 22q11DS. It is one of the most widespread chromosomal deletions known to occur in humans. People carrying 22q11DS are at a 30-times higher risk for schizophrenia than those in the general population. This dwarfs the magnitude of all other known genetic or environmental risk factors. Additionally, some 30%-40% of individuals with this deletion receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder early in their lives.
A new approach to dense functional imaging of brain activity, called integrated neurophotonics, is unveiled in a new paper1 from researchers at California Institute of Technology. The technique may enable the activity of all of the thousands to millions of neurons in a particular brain circuit to be observed in real time. Credit: Roukes et. al The approach uses miniature arrays of optical microchips that can be implanted at any depth inside the brain.
The molecule STAT3 plays an important role in the serotonergic system as a mediator for controlling emotion, new research1 from Medical University of Vienna researchers indicates. The finding points to a mechanism linking the immune system, serotonin transmission and mood disorders like depression. Previous research indicates that inflammatory processes play a key role in some psychiatric disorders. Of particular interest is the interleukin 6/STAT3 signal transduction pathway, associated with depression2, schizophrenia3, and bipolar disorder.
Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist, was once asked what she considered to be the first signs of civilization in a culture. Her answer was not the expected weapon, clay pot, or grinding stone. It was a healed femur. She went on to explain that a healed femur bone is evidence that someone cared, someone was willing to do the injured person’s hunting and feed him or her. This individual was kept alive over an extended period of time, allowing the bone to heal.
You are on the way to your cubicle, coming back from the cafeteria, when you run into Nick. He says he has to fly to Vancouver for a meeting with the solar panel supplier for the new power station project. Nick knows you’ve been to Vancouver a few times to visit your brother, so he asks you to recommend a couple good restaurants to hit when he’s in there. Your brain scans thru all the times you were there, cross references the places you ate, and compares them.
Continuing “brain fog” and other neurological symptoms after COVID -19 recovery may be due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new report indicates1. Such brain fog was an effect observed in past human coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS and MERS. People who have recovered from COVID-19 sometimes experience persistant troubles with concentration, as well as headaches, anxiety, fatigue or sleep disruptions. Patients may fear that the infection has permanently damaged their brains, but researchers say that’s not necessarily the case.
A part of the mouse brain called the supramammillary nucleus (SuM) is specialized for detecting new experiences, researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan have found1. Within the SuM, responses to experiences related to unknown individuals — called social novelty — were separated from those related to unfamiliar places — called context novelty — before being sent to distinct parts of the brain’s main memory-formation center. The finding may further the understanding of normal memory, as well as conditions in which recognizing and reacting to new information is impaired.