Brain

Research reveals how PSD forms and why defects can cause autism

Research reveals how PSD forms and why defects can cause autism

All neurons in our brain are wired via a micron-sized connection unit called synapse, and each synapse contains a layer of densely-packed, protein rich compartment called postsynaptic density (PSD), which is responsible for brain signal processing and transmission. Mutations of genes encoding PSD proteins are major causes of psychiatric disorders including autisms, schizophrenia, and intellectual disabilities (ID). While the existence of PSDs has been known to scientists for 60 years, how PSDs form and change in response to brain activities are poorly understood.

Salk scientists map brain's action center

Salk scientists map brain's action center

LA JOLLA--When you reach for that pan of brownies, a ball-shaped brain structure called the striatum is critical for controlling your movement toward the reward. A healthy striatum also helps you stop yourself when you've had enough.

But when the striatum doesn't function properly, it can lead to disorders such as Parkinson's disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder or addiction.

Where does AlphaGo go?

Where does AlphaGo go?

On March 15, 2016, Lee Sodol, an 18-time world champion of the ancient Chinese board game of Go, was defeated by AlphaGo, a computer program. The event is one of the most historic in the field of artificial intelligence since Deep Blue bested chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the late 1990s. The difference is that AlphaGo may represent an even bigger turning point in AI research. As outlined in a recently published paper, AlphaGo and programs like it possess the computational architecture to handle complex problems that lie well beyond the game table.

Finally, the brain sensor that turns down the heat

At long last, researchers have zeroed in on the neurons that act as the brain's internal thermostat. Their discovery may be harnessed for therapeutic control of body temperature in conditions where it's beneficial for temperature to be reduced, such as recovery after trauma. Core body temperature, critical for survival, is normally maintained by the body within a narrow range around 37° Celsius.

Memory activation before exposure reduces life-long fear of spiders

Many people suffer from anxiety and fears, and a common treatment for these problems is exposure therapy. In a new study published in Current Biology, researchers at Uppsala University have shown how the effect of exposure therapy can be improved by disrupting the recreation of fear-memories in people with arachnophobia.

Researchers find vulnerabilities in iPhone, iPad operating system

An international team of computer science researchers has identified serious security vulnerabilities in the iOS - the operating system used in Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. The vulnerabilities make a variety of attacks possible.

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says UC Santa Barbara neuroscientist Kenneth S. Kosik.

High-tech alternative to brain surgery proves effective for most common movement disorder

A study published today in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine offers the most in-depth assessment yet of the safety and effectiveness of a high-tech alternative to brain surgery to treat the uncontrollable shaking caused by the most common movement disorder. And the news is very good.

In the aftermath of disaster, social media helps build a sense of community

Social media can disseminate critical information as well as unite disaster victims during their recovery efforts, suggests a study published in Frontiers in Communication.

After natural disasters communities rely heavily on local governments to provide the necessary resources and information to respond to such disasters, but these approaches are not well equipped to meeting individual needs.

How easy is it to spot a lie?

"Who broke Grandma's favorite vase?" As you listen to a chorus of "I don't know" and "Not me," how will you determine the culprit? Conventional wisdom says, divide and conquer, but what does scientific research show us about questioning a group of people at one time? Unfortunately, very little.