Posts

November 13, 2014

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5:15 PM | Prelude to SfN2014
Well, I’m getting ready for my trip to DC for the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. Over 30,000 neuroscientists will be descending upon the Washington DC starting this Saturday, November 15th. And … Continue reading →
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5:01 PM | Video Games Are Good For Your Brain - Here's Why
Brains on games. OnlineUniversities.com,  CC BYBy Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent UniversityWhether playing video games has negative effects is something that has been debated for 30 years, in much the same way that rock and roll, television, and even the novel faced much the same criticisms in their time. read more
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5:01 PM | The tenure-track: The first months
Apparently people read this blog and have noticed I’ve not updated in a few months. People are all like, “hey man, what happened to your bloviating?”Here’s the (shocking!) gist: moving to a new city, starting a faculty job, writing a book, having a second child, and creating a new class from scratch has been somewhat time consuming.My burgeoning lab has just been renovated.Voytek lab: pre-renovation (L) and post-renovation (R)I’ve got one post-doc (Erik Peterson) […]
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4:03 PM | St. William And The Greatest Zombie Lie Ever Told
Instead of dying out, Anti-Semitic myths have withstood the test of time.By Asa Simon Mittman, California State University, Chico read more
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3:24 PM | Personal Social Media Usage Impacts Work Performance
With over one billion people worldwide using social media, including 80 percent of employees using private sharing sites at work, members have been scrambling to insist that not only does it not negatively affect their work performance, but that it improves it. Yahtzee! probably wishes they could get the kind of free public relations Twitter gets. Few studies have been done to examine the issue. Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen and colleagues at the University of Bergen […]
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3:14 PM | This Gene Mutation May Protect Against Heart Disease
 Everyone inherits two copies of most genes, one copy from each parent. In a recent study, researchers found in a rare mutation, people with one inactive copy of the gene NPC1L1 appeared to be protected against high LDL cholesterol, commonly called the "bad" cholesterol, and coronary heart disease, a narrowing of the heart's arteries that can lead to heart attacks.  This mutation meant a 50 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack, at least epidemiologically, according to the […]
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1:00 PM | Extreme Storms Of Uranus
Uranus is generally boring but it recently got interesting. It has become so stormy, with enormous cloud systems so bright, that for the first time ever amateur astronomers are able to see details in the planet's hazy blue-green atmosphere.read more
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12:23 PM | A Picture More Awe-Inspiring Than The One Of The Surface Of Comet Gerasimenko
This one is definitely too juicy to ignore - I need to join the crowd of bystanders-in-awe. As you may have heard, ESA's ROSETTA spacecraft successfully landed yesterday on the solid nucleus of comet 67/P, Churyumov-Gerasimenko - a 2.5 mile long conglomerate of rock and ice. I refrain from giving detail of that enormous achievement for humankind, because I rather want to comment on this rather funny twist of the whole story. But still let's first enjoy at least one nice picture of the […]
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10:49 AM | Why facing death makes us want to live
This weeks fabulous and thought-provoking guest blog post comes from Mandy Hu (aka Xian Hu) who studied Neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam and majored in Science Communication. Who she is? A writer, a traveller and a dreamer. She is still searching for her voice in science writing, but to get an idea of her writing style you […] The post Why facing death makes us want to live appeared first on Your Brain Health.
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10:00 AM | Babies' anxiety levels are related to their fathers' nervousness, not their mothers'
Picture a one-year-old infant crawling across a table top. Half way across, the surface becomes transparent so that it appears there is a deep drop. On the other side is the infant's mother or father, encouraging them to crawl across the "visual cliff". Will the baby's anxiety levels be influenced more by the mother's own anxiety or the father's?This was the question posed by Eline Möller and her colleagues in what is the first ever study to examine paternal behaviour in the classic […]

Möller EL, Majdandžić M & Bögels SM (2014). Fathers' versus mothers' social referencing signals in relation to infant anxiety and avoidance: a visual cliff experiment., Developmental science, 17 (6) 1012-28. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24909521

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9:12 AM | Specialisterne: Formando al Austista para un mejor trabajo
>Segunda parte de la entrevista a D. José Segundo, quien nos habla de la formación que reciben los Autistas con altas capacidades en Specialisterne. La entrada Specialisterne: Formando al Austista para un mejor trabajo aparece primero en Novedades en Psicología.
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8:35 AM | JUST PUBLISHED: Does Playing Action Video Games Really Improve Your Information Processing?
Over the last decade, a number of studies have been published that suggest that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) found that playing action video games led to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. These and related findings are sufficiently hot right now that they often make it to popular science outlets like Ted talks (for […]

van Ravenzwaaij, D., Boekel, W., Forstmann, B. U., Ratcliff, R. & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2014). Action video games do not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks., Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143 (5) 1794-805. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24933517

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6:57 AM | Men Evolved Navigation Skills To Find Mates, Say Anthropologists
An analysis of two African tribes has led anthropologists to suggest that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills - the ability to mentally manipulate objects - can roam farther and have children with more mates.read more
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5:21 AM | Gearing Up for #SfN14!
The letters "SfN" have become so ubiquitous in my world that I actually forget that most people don't know what they stand for!Established in 1969 (happy 45th birthday!), SfN stands for the Society for Neuroscience, the world's largest organization of neuroscience researchers, with over 40,000 members representing 90 countries and 130 chapters worldwide.Each year, SfN hosts the Neuroscience meeting, a huge (yes, HUGE) academic conference in a major city. This year's meeting, […]
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3:27 AM | Angry atheists (or theists) make me a little angry – With a postcript
Originally posted on Baldscientist:Hi! I am a regular reader of a really good and thought-provoking blog, Science and Belief. Yes, it touches upon religion and spirituality, but the science is great, very entertaining and accurate. See what I did there? I wanted to illustrate the attitude of a significant fraction of my fellow scientists.…
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2:37 AM | Marijuana Statistics vs. Perception
Who smokes cannabis, and how much?(First published 12/27/2013)Most statistical surveys of marijuana focus on a single quantitative measurement: How many people are using? But there’s a problem: More marijuana use does not necessarily translate into more marijuana users. And that’s because a clear majority of the consumption, and black market dollars, come from the heaviest smokers.Drug policy researchers at the RAND corporation decided that frequency of use and amount of consumption […]
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12:30 AM | Backwards: How Brain Maps Help Us Perceive The World
Driving to work is routine, you might even forget you are doing it, but how aware would you be if you had to doit in reverse? We're used to seeing objects pass behind us as we go forward. Moving backwards feels unnatural and a new study finds why that is: Moving forward actually trains the brain to perceive the world normally. The relationship between neurons in the eye and the brain is more complicated than previously thought--in fact, the order in which we see things could help the brain […]

November 12, 2014

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11:30 PM | Vitamin B Doesn't Reduce Risk Of Memory Loss
Supplement marketers have been aggressively claiming that vitamin B12 and folic acid reduce the risk of memory loss, but a large study on long-term use of supplements found no benefits.    The study involved people with high blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. Early observational studies claimed there may be some benefit to thinking and memory skills in taking folic acid and vitamin B12, but […]
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11:09 PM | NEURO.tv Episode 14 – The End of Sex, with Hank Greely.
Hank Greely, Professor of Law at Stanford, talks to us about the potential impact of biotechnologies on human sexual reproduction.
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11:00 PM | It's Time To Revise How We Classify Life On Earth
When is a cat not a cat? Biodiversity Heritage Library (adapted), CC BYBy Ben Holt, Imperial College London and Knud Andreas Jønsson, Imperial College London read more
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10:35 PM | Why Yellow Fever Mosquitoes Love Humans - Thank Genetics
The yellow fever mosquito sustains its taste for human blood thanks to a genetic tweak that makes it more sensitive to human odor, according to a paper in Nature. They have a version of an odor-detecting gene in its antennae that is highly attuned to sulcatone, a compound prevalent in human odor. The gene, AaegOr4, is more abundant and more sensitive in the human-preferring "domestic" form of the yellow fever mosquito than in its ancestral "forest" form that prefers the blood of non-human […]
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10:01 PM | Personality Predicts Our Driving Behavior
Different people behave in different ways behind the wheel of a car. Flickr/Nuno Sousa, CC BY-NC-NDBy Vanessa Beanland, Australian National University and Martin Sellbom, Australian National University read more
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9:38 PM | Ever wonder how the brain maps our world?
Sometimes we go into automatic, that “new” coffee shop on your way to work you just noticed, well it has been there for weeks. We can gauge where we are […]

Hiramoto M & Cline HT (2014). Optic flow instructs retinotopic map formation through a spatial to temporal to spatial transformation of visual information., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25385606

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9:30 PM | Microbicides That Target HIV Don't Work In Presence Of Semen
In the fight against HIV, microbicides, which are chemical compounds applied topically to the female genital tract to protect against sexually transmitted infections, are touted as an alternative to condoms. There's just one problem. They don't work outside a petri dish. Clinical trials using microbicides have failed and a new study from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of Ulm finds that this may be due to the primary mode of transportation of the virus during sexual […]
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8:38 PM | Supercentenarians - World's Oldest Living People Get Whole-Genome Sequences Published
17 genomes of supercentenarians, people living beyond 110 years of age, haven't led us any closer to discovering protein-altering variants significantly associated with extreme longevity, according to a study in PLOS ONE by Hinco Gierman from Stanford University and colleagues. There are 74 supercentenarians alive worldwide, with 22 in the United States. The authors of this study performed whole-genome sequencing on 17 of them to explore the genetic basis underlying extreme human […]
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8:28 PM | #Brain article of interest: What Happens To Your Brain When You're Having A Brilliant Idea
From Leadership - Fast CompanyRead the full article here-> http://ift.tt/1xsrr5z
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8:26 PM | Modafinil: If You Believe In 'Smart' Drugs, You Are Dumb
If surveys are accurate, up to 20 percent of students have taken Modafinil (Provigil), a psychostimulant embraced by "lifehackers" in the naturalistic crowd, to boost their ability to study and improve their chances of exam success.  It is claimed, mostly by other students and readers of New York Magazine, that Modafinil is a 'smart' drug. Yet that isn't the case. Just like people without celiac disease are actually damaging their health giving up gluten and replacing it with the extra […]
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8:01 PM | Fracking Chemicals No More Toxic Than Common Household Substances
In hydraulic fracturing - fracking - a mixture of sand, water and chemicals is injected into deep wells to release fossil fuels. This has led to environmental corporation claims that the reduced emissions from natural gas are being offset environmentally by surfactants. A surfactant is basically a detergent. It reduces the surface tension between water and oil, allowing for more oil to be extracted from porous rock underground.   A University of Colorado Boulder study has […]
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8:00 PM | Homeopathy For Dogs
Can homeopathy actually work if someone knows it is a placebo? What if, for example, a skeptical Science 2.0 group was told they got a placebo and that nutritionists were getting medicine? Would we feel better anyway?(1)Of course it's possible, it just wouldn't be due to magic water. It's a mystery of biology why some people just feel better taking something. That is why homeopathy still exists a few hundred years after its invention even though it has never worked.(2)Does the placebo effect […]
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6:48 PM | New Genetic Engineering Insight Could Curb Need For Fertilizers Even More
In the last 30 years, the United States has grown more food using less land and with less environmental strain than ever believed possible. Fertilizers are better, pesticides are better and genetic modification has led to less need for both. But some scientifically developing nations, including much of Europe, are still using more antiquated approaches, and then means a lot of nitrogen. Nitrogen boosts plant growth and yield even on poor soils, which helps plants avoid the typical […]
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