Posts

November 17, 2014

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8:33 PM | The (Re)discovery of a major brain pathway
It was like something out of a mystery movie, a couple of years ago a scientist, looking at dozens of MRI scans of human brains noticed something surprising. A large, […]

Brian Wandell, Jason Yeatman & Kevin Weiner (2014). The vertical occipital fasciculus: A century of controversy resolved by in vivo measurements, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Other:

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8:00 PM | Alternative Medicine For Plants: Probiotics And Detox Instead Of GMOs
Scientists have found that transplanting a microbe that occurs naturally in eastern cottonwood trees boosts the ability of willow and lawn grass to withstand the effects of the industrial pollutant phenanthrene. Because the plants can then take up 25 to 40 percent more of the pollutant than untreated plants they could be useful in phytoremediation, the process of using plants to remove toxins from contaminated sites, without all the environmentalist political lobbying drama of using […]
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8:00 PM | Why you're particularly likely to run your first marathon when your age ends in a "9"
When we look at our lives, we tend to break them up into chapters, rather like the seasons of a TV box set. Potential dividers come in many forms, including the dawn of a new year, or the start of a new job. But if those events act as a marker between episodes, it is the decades of our lives that represent the more profound end of one series or season and the start of the next.According to the psychologists Adam Alter and Hal Hershfield, when we're on the cusp of one of these boundaries - in […]
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7:08 PM | Animal Biology in Science Fiction: The Color of Distance
Ani and two of her community’s elders are foraging when they stumble upon two seemingly lifeless aliens. They are able to restore one of the aliens to health and what follows is a thought-provoking story of first contact between alien worlds. This is Amy Thompson’s The Color of Distance, a science fiction novel written from perspectives that alternate between Juna (the human “alien” scientist stranded on a foreign planet) and Ani (the Tendu female that found her).The […]
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7:00 PM | FrankenTrees - Three New Dogwoods Created
Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) and various genetically modified relatives are the most popular and economically significant members of the genus Cornus in the nursery and landscape industries. These deciduous trees are highly valued for their spring display of pink, red, or white bracts, brilliant red fall foliage, and exfoliating bark and in the US sales of dogwoods account for more than $30 million dollars each year.read more
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6:42 PM | SfN14 Blogging: The Invisible Variable: Sleepiness and suicidality in a large college health survey
I can get no sleep by Bistra Ivanova Alexis Tarter is a Senior undergraduate in the Neuroscience program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She's been interested in the brain since middle school when she began to understand her great-grandfather's death from Alzheimer's disease.She began performing research earlier than typical college students: as a freshman. She has studied
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6:27 PM | Domesday Book Listing Is Still A Ticket To Being Upper Class In England
What's in a name? Apparently a lot. So much so that social mobility in England hasn't changed much since pre-Industrial times. After William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, making England a French country rather than an Anglo-Saxon one, he rewarded his supporters with lands taken from those who had been loyal to his opponent. He was very good to them - but he wanted his levies. So if your name appeared in the original Domesday Book, you were going […]
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6:20 PM | SfN14 Art of Neuroscience: artcollisions
This post is part of my coverage of the Art of Neuroscience Exhibit held from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm through Wednesday. The artists are located in the Convention Center’s L Street Bridge. artcollisions: Where science and art collide on a quilted canvas The Action Potential by Joni Seidenstein Joni Seidenstein is the artist behind artcollisions. She uses color and texture in the form of
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6:09 PM | Amoxicillin Linked To Diarrhea And Candidiasis
Diarrhea and candidiasis can result from taking the common antibiotic treatments, amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, although harms may be underreported, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).read more
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5:21 PM | Less Sex, More Veggies: How To Live A Longer More Miserable Life
If you want to know the secret to a longer life, look to reptiles. But you may not like the answer you find.There is a belief that a fast-paced lifestyle is damaging to health. Slowing down will not just be more relaxing, but also keep you around, finds an analysis of 1,014 species of reptiles (including 672 lizards and 336 snakes), a representative sample of the approximately 10,000 known reptiles on the planet. After examining their life history parameters, such as body size, earliest […]
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5:05 PM | New Study Throws Cold Water On Idea Of A Tropical Martian Paradise
It is known that at some point Mars was warm enough to have liquid water flowing on its surface. The evidence of ancient rivers, streams, and lakes remains. But it was not a long-term tropical vacation paradise. Instead, warmth and water flow on ancient Mars was probably episodic, related to brief periods of volcanic activity that spewed tons of greenhouse-inducing sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere, according to new climate models of early Mars which suggest that periods of temperatures […]
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4:16 PM | #SfN14: Art of Neuroscience, with Joni Seidenstein
Image credit: Joni Seidenstein This is part of a series of interviews with artists participating in #SfN14’s Art of Neuroscience exhibit. For my introductory post with...
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4:12 PM | "Drink Like a Lawyer: The Neuroscience of Substance Use and Its Impact on Cognitive Wellness"
Recently published in SSRN (and forthcoming in Nevada Law Journal): "Drink Like a Lawyer: The Neuroscience of Substance Use and Its Impact on Cognitive Wellness" DEBRA S. AUSTIN, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Lawyers have a powerful voice...
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4:06 PM | School Cafeteria Food Mandates - What Students Know That Bureaucrats Don't
The belief in Washington, D.C. political circles is that if kids have no choice, they will eventually eat whatever they are given. And they will grow to like it. Does that work? In some instances it does, which is all the validation that culturally estranged people need to continue with a social experiment. The mistake they make is using the number of kids who take the food they are given and assuming that eventually it means the kids will eat it.  Probably not, suggests a new Johns […]
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3:57 PM | Artificial Intelligence Creates Magic Tricks
Researchers have taught a computer program the outline of how a magic jigsaw puzzle and a mind reading card trick work, as well the results of experiments into how humans understand magic tricks, and it created completely new variants on those tricks which can be delivered by a magician. The magic tricks created were of the type that use mathematical techniques rather than sleight of hand. The tricks proved popular with audiences and the magic puzzle was put on sale in a London magic shop. The […]
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3:55 PM | Eating Disorders in Obesity: DSM-IV and DSM-5
The recent revision of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) altered several eating disorder diagnostic criteria.Some have expressed concern that these revisions are overly broad and may result in over diagnosis in some clinical populations. One clinical population where this is a concern is obesity.A research study has been recently published addressing this issue.Jennifer Thomas and colleagues at Harvard University […]
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3:48 PM | The Evolutionary Constraints Of Fish Skulls
Most people think that biting is the way that aquatic creatures capture prey. Not so, instead suction is far more common. That is why the diversity of skull shapes in biters is so much greater, according to a new study. Suction feeding limits skulls shapes because of the structural requirements for suction feeding.  "When you look at the skulls of biters, the diversity is astounding compared to suction feeders," said Rita Mehta, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology […]
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3:27 PM | Quantum Whirlpool Stirred By Spiral Laser Beam
A whirlpool of hybrid light-matter particles called polaritons has been created using a spiral laser beam. Polaritons are hybrid particles that have properties of both matter and light. The ability to control polariton flows in this way could aid the development of completely novel technology to link conventional electronics with new laser and fibre-based technologies. Polaritons form in semiconductors when laser light interacts with electrons and holes (positively charged vacancies) so […]
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2:15 PM | Habits and learning
Habits allow us to perform actions without attending to every detail; we can do complex things and more than one action at a time without overloading our cognitive and motor systems. They are goal-directed macro actions made up of a sequence of simple primitive actions. A habit allows a complex action to be launched as […]
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1:00 PM | Personhood Week: Conception Is a Process
Earlier this month voters in two U.S. States, Colorado and North Dakota, considered new laws that would bolster …
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12:31 PM | Why do bad things happen to good people?
During my career as a physician I have had on occasion the opportunity to serve as a grief counselor. More than once I have recommended the book “When Bad Things […]
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12:21 PM | Sex talk – it’s all about electricity and vibrations
During mating rituals, animals usually communicate through touch, sight, smell, or hearing. Some species communicate in unconventional ways, relying on vibrational and electric signals rather than the more common sensory approaches. These unique signals are often invisible to other animals that do not possess the organs needed to perceive them. For instance, electric fish require [...] The post Sex talk – it’s all about electricity and vibrations appeared first on Neurobabble.
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11:45 AM | The myth of learning styles
Originally posted on thInk:Three children doing group work together. Credit: Anthea Sieveking/ Wellcome Images Before becoming a writer, I spent a year-and-a-half training as a science teacher and then working at a secondary school in Croydon. During my short…
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9:51 AM | How guessing the wrong answer helps you learn the right answer
Guessing, even wrongly, is thought toactivate webs of knowledge, which leadsto richer encoding of the correct answer. It's well known that taking tests helps us learn. The act of retrieving information from memory helps that information stick. This seems intuitive. More surprising is the recent discovery that guessing aids subsequent learning of the correct answer, even if your initial guess was wrong.Let's consider a simple example in the context of learning capital cities. Imagine you […]

Yan, V., Yu, Y., Garcia, M. & Bjork, R. (2014). Why does guessing incorrectly enhance, rather than impair, retention?, Memory & Cognition, 42 (8) 1373-1383. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-014-0454-6

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5:16 AM | SfN Day 2 highlights
First poster session of the day! Today ned learns about audition! pic.twitter.com/klmGANBZtZ — Ned The Neuron (@NedTheNeuron) November 16, 2014 Day 2: Big day. Tweets will have covered most of this. While “SfN” has been “cracking down” on the livetweeting, … Continue reading →
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4:32 AM | #SfN14: The Neuroscience of Gaming
I was in total nerd heaven this afternoon. This year’s Social Issues Roundtable combined two of my favourite topics – gaming and neuroscience – into...
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3:41 AM | SfN Day 1: Saturday highlight
Rats on bath salts This is going to be a short post. After the marathon that was Friday, it was all I could do to say hello to everyone in the aisles at the poster sessions, take in a single talk, … Continue reading →
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3:09 AM | #SfN14 Day 2: On the Origin of Sex Differences in the Brain (Theme E)
This post is part of my series on the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. You can read other posts in this series here. I’m also live-tweeting some sessions @GainesOnBrains. Join the conversation at #SfN14. […]
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1:35 AM | SfN2014: Day2 – Ethics in Group Beh, NeuroGaming, Exhibitors & NeuroArt
The second day of the meeting and I totally got off on the wrong foot. For those unfamiliar with DC, most of the action around here happens on the weekdays … Continue reading →
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1:15 AM | Neuronal Connectivity, Brain Size, & Gender
An article was published just this month in Frontiers by Hänggi et al. titled, “The hypothesis of neuronal interconnectivity as a function of brain size– A general organization principle of the […]
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