Brain

Brain recalls old memories via new pathways

Brain recalls old memories via new pathways

People with anxiety disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often experience prolonged and exaggerated fearfulness. Now, an animal study suggests that this might involve disruption of a gradual shifting of brain circuitry for retrieving fear memories. Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered in rats that an old fear memory is recalled by a separate brain pathway from the one originally used to recall it when it was fresh.

How the brain adapts to the restoration of eyesight

How the brain adapts to the restoration of eyesight

Recent scientific advances have meant that eyesight can be partially restored to those who previously would have been blind for life. However, scientists at the University of Montreal and the University of Trento have discovered that the rewiring of the senses that occurs in the brains of the long-term blind means that visual restoration may never be complete.

Targeting sugar attachment to BACE1 enzyme reduces Alzheimer's plaques

Targeting sugar attachment to BACE1 enzyme reduces Alzheimer's plaques

Researchers at the RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center in Japan have demonstrated that hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can be reduced when sugars are prevented from binding to one of the key enzymes implicated in the disease. The new findings, reported in EMBO Molecular Medicine, show that abnormal attachment of a particular sugar to the enzyme BACE1 is a critical factor leading to the formation of Aβ plaques in the brain, and that plaques were reduced and cognitive performance improved when this action was prevented in mice through loss of the enzyme GnT-III.

Brain scans reveal hidden damage from combat veteran IED blasts

Brain scans reveal hidden damage from combat veteran IED blasts

The brains of some Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived blasts from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and died later of other causes show a distinctive honeycomb pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers throughout critical brain regions, including those that control executive function. The pattern is different from brain damage caused by car crashes, drug overdoses or collision sports, and may be the never-before-reported signature of blast injuries suffered by soldiers as far back as World War I.

Century-old drug reverses autism-like symptoms in fragile X mouse model

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 to 2 percent of children in the United States. Hundreds of genetic and environmental factors have been shown to increase the risk of ASD. Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine previously reported that a drug used for almost a century to treat trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, reversed environmental autism-like symptoms in mice.

Closing your eyes really does boost memory recall

In a new paper published in Legal and Criminology Psychology, scholars from the University of Surrey have found evidence to suggest that eyewitnesses to crimes remember more accurate details when they close their eyes.

Serotonin neurons: Good things come to those who wait?

A new study found a causal link between the activation of serotonin neurons and the amount of time mice are willing to wait, and rejected a possible link between increased serotonin neuron activation and reward.

Folic acid saves 1,300 babies each year from brain and spine birth defects

Fortifying grain foods with the B vitamin folic acid has saved about 1,300 babies every year from being born with serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (NTDs), according to new data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).The number of babies born in the United States with these conditions has declined by 35 percent since 1998.

Alzheimer's foreshadowing: Depression, behavior changes even before memory

Depression and other behavior changes may show up in people who will later develop Alzheimer's disease even before they start having memory problems, according to a new study published in the January 14, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

We conform to the norm -- even if the norm is a computer

Often enough it is human nature to conform. This tendency makes us follow the lead of computers, even if the machines give us the wrong advice. This is the finding of a study in Springer's journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review that investigates how people make judgment calls after playing role-playing video games. The research was led by Ulrich Weger of the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany.