Of Mindfulness and Incarceration

February 12, 2018

Spending time in jail or prison can harm a person’s brain functions related to cognitive control and emotional regulation. An intervention combining mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy appears to offset this effect in teenage boys for at least a few months. 

Seeking the Mental Roads that Lead to Suicide

January 30, 2018

Many experts now considered suicidal behavior a psychiatric disorder in its own right. Could inflammation be a trigger, or an effect?

Seeking the Earliest Traces of Autism

January 17, 2018

With the development of imaging tools that can scan babies’ brains, researchers have learned a great deal about the genetic bases of autistic traits.

Aging and Decision-Making: A Neuroanatomical Approach

January 9, 2018

Diminished decision-making appears to be linked not just to a number (your age) but to specific changes in gray matter volume in certain brain areas.

Building a Genetic Predictor for Alzheimer’s

January 2, 2018

Many genetic variants appear to affect a person’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers are testing prediction tools that combine known suspicious gene-snips to see if that can better predict who will develop this form of dementia and how fast.

A Smell Test for Parkinson's Disease?

December 18, 2017

The observation that many people with Parkinson’s have diminished sense of smell has led researchers to develop simple sniff tests to help diagnose the disorder. Others are trying to determine exactly how early this sense is lost, to see if they can build a more-precise test to identify people at risk perhaps a decade before other symptoms appear.

A Year of Anniversaries: Making Sense of α-Synuclein and Parkinson’s Disease

December 12, 2017

Two centuries after James Parkinson described the disorder, and two decades after researchers found its tell-tale Lewy bodies, there is still a lot to learn about Parkinson’s.

Understanding Stress at a Deeper Level

December 7, 2017

Researchers look to genes, glia, and neurogenesis to tease out how stress leads to disease and try to find biological clues to who is at greatest risk. Report from the recent SfN meeting.

How Military Service Changes the Brain

December 5, 2017

At the recent SfN meeting, researchers described new details of the effects of repeated blast injuries and exposure to toxins.

Towards a Neuroscientific Understanding of Voluntary Movements

November 29, 2017

Scientists have been scanning brains to find “free will” for more than 40 years. Researchers at this year’s SfN meeting think better models and tools might help us tease apart strands of this mystery.

Cleaning the Dirty Brain?

November 21, 2017

Researchers describe the role of the brain’s glymphatic system, which helps dispose of dangerous proteins, during a recent symposium in London.

Neurotransmitter Switching Affects Social Bond Formation

November 15, 2017

An elegant series of experiments in tadpoles traces the roots of “imprinting” social preference for family members, and finds a method to switch that preference to other families.

Paula Croxson Receives SfN 2017 Science Educator Award

November 14, 2017

Each year, the Society for Neuroscience recognizes outstanding neuroscientists who have strongly added to public education and awareness about the field. The Dana Foundation sponsors these awards. This year’s award was presented to Paula Croxson, D.Phil., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, during the society’s annual meeting, in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

Outside-In Brain Stimulation Shows Promise in the Lab

October 24, 2017

While deep brain stimulation involves surgery, techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation are applied from the scalp. Evidence is growing that this outside-in approach also could help improve mental states in people with  schizophrenia who have not found help in other ways.

Tackling Schizophrenia’s Symptoms with TMS

October 12, 2017

Doctors using the neuro-modulation technique to help ease depression found an interesting side-effect: It seemed to reduce hallucinations in some subjects, as well. A follow-up study confirms this effect.

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