Brain

What songbirds tell us about how we learn

What songbirds tell us about how we learn

This news release is available in French.

When you throw a wild pitch or sing a flat note, it could be that your basal ganglia made you do it. This area in the middle of the brain is involved in motor control and learning. And one reason for that errant toss or off-key note may be that your brain prompted you to vary your behavior to help you learn, from trial-and-error, to perform better.

U of T researchers offer hope for children with previously incurable brain cancer

U of T researchers offer hope for children with previously incurable brain cancer

Researchers from the University of Toronto's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP) have defined potential treatment targets for a previously incurable form of pediatric brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

In groundbreaking research published in Nature Genetics, Dr. Cynthia Hawkins, a professor at LMP and Neuropathologist and Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children, along with PhD candidates Pawel Buczkowicz and Patricia Rakopoulos, identified three subgroups of DIPG, each having distinct molecular features.

New epidemiology model combines multiple genomic data

New epidemiology model combines multiple genomic data

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The difference between merely throwing around buzzwords like "personalized medicine" and "big data" and delivering on their medical promise is in the details of developing methods for analyzing and interpreting genomic data. In a pair of new papers, Brown University epidemiologist Yen-Tsung Huang and colleagues show how integrating different kinds of genomic data could improve studies of the association between genes and disease.

Back to basics: Redesigning systems of care for older adults with Alzheimer's disease

Back to basics: Redesigning systems of care for older adults with Alzheimer's disease

INDIANAPOLIS -- The number of older adults with dementia in the United States is forecast to more than double over the next 40 years. Caring for these individuals will have a significant impact on caregivers as well as the health care system and its workforce.

Advanced warning systems increase safety at intersections, study shows

Most drivers have experienced a traffic signal that turns yellow just as they approach an intersection, which makes it difficult for them to decide whether to stop or proceed through it. The wrong choice in this situation, known as the "dilemma zone," may lead to crashes, especially at high-speed intersections.

Intranasal ketamine confers rapid antidepressant effect in depression

A research team from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published the first controlled evidence showing that an intranasal ketamine spray conferred an unusually rapid antidepressant effect –within 24 hours—and was well tolerated in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. This is the first study to show benefits with an intranasal formulation of ketamine. Results from the study were published online in the peer-reviewed journal Biological Psychiatry on April 2, 2014.

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues.

The surprising truth about obsessive-compulsive thinking

Montreal, April 8, 2014 — People who check whether their hands are clean or imagine their house might be on fire are not alone. New research from Concordia University and 15 other universities worldwide shows that 94 per cent of people experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images and/or impulses.

The international study, which was co-authored by Concordia psychology professor Adam Radomsky and published in the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, examined people on six continents.

From learning in infancy to planning ahead in adulthood: Sleep's vital role for memory

Boston - April 8, 2014 - Babies and young children make giant developmental leaps all of the time. Sometimes, it seems, even overnight they figure out how to recognize certain shapes or what the word "no" means no matter who says it. It turns out that making those leaps could be a nap away: New research finds that infants who nap are better able to apply lessons learned to new skills, while preschoolers are better able to retain learned knowledge after napping.

Innovative, coordinated brain care could save billions of health care dollars

INDIANAPOLIS -- Studies have shown that a new patient and caregiver centered model of innovative, coordinated brain care for older adults improves health outcomes and quality of care for those with cognitive impairment. A new study from the Regenstrief Institute, Eskenazi Health and Indiana University Center for Aging Research implementation scientists who developed the Healthy Aging Brain Center care model shows that such care also produces impressive cost savings.