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New discovery sheds light on the forming brain
The cerebral cortex, which controls higher processes such as perception, thought and cognition, is the most complex structure in the mammalian central nervous system. Although much is known about the […]

Toma K. & C. Hanashima (2014). The Timing of Upper-Layer Neurogenesis Is Conferred by Sequential Derepression and Negative Feedback from Deep-Layer Neurons, Journal of Neuroscience, 34 (39) 13259-13276. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.2334-14.2014

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Thanksgiving Special: Uncovering the link between sleep and food
If you ate a big Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, you probably felt drowsy and sluggish afterward, a phenomenon often referred to as a “food coma”. The belief that it’s caused by the tryptophan in turkey is a long busted myth, and in fact it can happen after any carb-heavy meal. The reasons for this post-food slump […]

Yurgel M.E., Justin DiAngelo & Alex C. Keene (2014). Genetic dissection of sleep–metabolism interactions in the fruit fly, Journal of Comparative Physiology A, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00359-014-0936-9

Shang Y., Christopher G. Vecsey, Fang Guo, Michael Rosbash & Leslie C. Griffith (2013). Short Neuropeptide F Is a Sleep-Promoting Inhibitory Modulator, Neuron, 80 (1) 171-183. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.07.029

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The Autism-Spectrum Quotient: overlap between Asperger syndrome and schizophrenia
The paper by Tove Lugnegård and colleagues [1], including mention of one Maria Unenge Hallerbäck who has appeared on this blog previously, is fodder for today's discussions and their finding that a: "significant overlap of AQ [Autism-Spectrum Quotient] scores across the two diagnostic groups clearly reduces the discriminating power of the AQ in the separation of schizophrenia from AS [Asperger syndrome]."They say you're judged by the strength of your enemies.As per […]

Lugnegård T, Hallerbäck MU & Gillberg C (2014). Asperger syndrome and schizophrenia: Overlap of self-reported autistic traits using the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ)., Nordic journal of psychiatry, 1-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25389915

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Does hot cocoa delay brain aging?
Image credits: downloaded from http://www.wallpapermania.eu/, artist unknown. One of the most enjoyable things about the holidays is curling up with a good book and a cup of...

Brickman AM, Khan UA, Provenzano FA, Yeung LK, Suzuki W, Schroeter H, Wall M, Sloan RP & Small SA (2014). Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults., Nature neuroscience, 17 (12) 1798-803. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25344629

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Fragile X and a new autism treatment
There are many roads to autism, none of them involve vaccination. I get tired of saying that, but it’s simple science, vaccines do not cause autism. Thankfully science knows this and […]

Gkogkas, C., Khoutorsky, A., Cao, R., Jafarnejad, S., Prager-Khoutorsky, M., Giannakas, N., Kaminari, A., Fragkouli, A., Nader, K., Price, T. & Konicek, B. (2014). Pharmacogenetic Inhibition of eIF4E-Dependent Mmp9 mRNA Translation Reverses Fragile X Syndrome-like Phenotypes, Cell Reports, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.064

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¿Tienes miedo a ir al dentista? Explora tus pensamientos sobre ello…y los de tu familia
El miedo y la ansiedad ante los tratamientos dentales están ampliamente extendidos en la población tanto infantil como adulta, con importantes consecuencias no sólo para el bienestar emocional del individuo […]

Crego A, Carrillo-Diaz M, Armfield JM & Romero M (2013). Applying the Cognitive Vulnerability Model to the analysis of cognitive and family influences on children's dental fear., European journal of oral sciences, 121 (3 Pt 1) 194-203. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23659243

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FC is a technique that has no validity
FC, by the way, refers to Facilitated Communication, a controversial technique which as the name suggests relies on a facilitator to support "the hand or arm of a communicatively impaired individual while using a keyboard or other devices with the aim of helping the individual to point and thereby to communicate." The quote for the title of this post comes from the paper by Ralf Schlosser and colleagues [1] who following systematic review, found "unequivocal evidence for facilitator […]

Schlosser RW, Balandin S, Hemsley B, Iacono T, Probst P & von Tetzchner S (2014). Facilitated Communication and Authorship: A Systematic Review., Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md. : 1985), 1-10. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25384895

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When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?
Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J. & van Harreveld, F. (2014). Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection, Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.933444

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When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?
Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J. & van Harreveld, F. (2014). Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection, Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.933444

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Need to turn off the pain? Well now we can!
 My sister suffers from chronic pain issues. I’ve written several posts about how her autoimmune disease is a special brand of pain that you will thankfully (almost certainly) never have […]

Little JW, Ford A, Symons-Liguori AM, Chen Z, Janes K, Doyle T, Xie J, Luongo L, Tosh DK, Maione S & Bannister K (2014). Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states., Brain : a journal of neurology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25414036

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