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Researchers find neural switch that turns dreams on and off. At the flip of a switch, University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists can send a sleeping mouse into dreamland. The researchers inserted an optogenetic switch into a group of nerve cells located in the ancient part of the brain called the medulla, allowing them to activate or inactivate the neurons with laser light. When the neurons were activated, sleeping mice entered REM sleep within seconds.

REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements, is the dream state in mammals accompanied by activation of the cortex and total paralysis of the skeletal muscles, presumably so that we don't act out the dreams flashing through our mind. Inactivating the neurons reduced or even eliminated a mouse's ability to enter REM sleep. "People used to think that this region of the medulla was only involved in the paralysis of skeletal muscles during REM sleep," said lead author Yang Dan, a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Sleep: Why We Need It and What Happens Without It. The Science of Dreaming. Some People Can't Conjure Mental Images. Are You One of Them? Brain connections last as long as the memories they store. A team of scientists applied microscopy know-how to a long-standing theory in neuroscience: if brain connections called synapses store memories, those synapses should last as long as the memories.

New Injectable Brain Implants Take Us One Step Closer To A Cyborg Future.

Brain Imaging

Psychology. Scientists create artificial link between unrelated memories -- ScienceDaily. The ability to learn associations between events is critical for survival, but it has not been clear how different pieces of information stored in memory may be linked together by populations of neurons. In a study published April 2nd in Cell Reports, synchronous activation of distinct neuronal ensembles caused mice to artificially associate the memory of a foot shock with the unrelated memory of exploring a safe environment, triggering an increase in fear-related behavior when the mice were re-exposed to the non-threatening environment.

The findings suggest that co-activated cell ensembles become wired together to link two distinct memories that were previously stored independently in the brain. "Memory is the basis of all higher brain functions, including consciousness, and it also plays an important role in psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder," says senior study author Kaoru Inokuchi of the University of Toyama. Scientists Created False Happy Memories In Mice. Interesting. I have to be a little bit of a behavior pedant, though, and point out that they did not actually create any "false memories. " That would imply that the mice had some sort of conscious remembrance of experiencing rewards in that place, which this study gives us no reason to assume.

Seems more like straightforward classical conditioning, which is just a subconscious involuntary emotional response. No actual "memories" are required for classical conditioning, or even operant conditioning - it is really fun (if you're a nerd, anyway *pushes up glasses*) and very instructive to play the game where people take turns "clicker training" (ie, shaping via successive approximation) eachother to perform simple behaviors. (I am more than happy to discuss the ways in which the cult of Karen Pryor is potentially problematic, but for now suffice to say the woman definitely understands training, and this is a good explanation of the game.)

Flagged. First Videos Created of Whole Brain Neural Activity in an Unrestrained Animal. The fundamental challenge of neuroscience is to understand how the nervous system controls an animal’s behavior. In recent years, neuroscientists have made great strides in determining how the collective activity of many individual neurons is critical for controlling behaviors such as arm reach in primates, song production in the zebrafinch and the choice between swimming or crawling in leeches.

The problem is that neuroscientists can only study the role that small groups of neurons play in these behaviors. That’s largely because it is hard to watch the individual behaviors of densely packed neurons. So imaging techniques focus on small regions of the brain, generally in animals that have been immobilized. So a way of imaging the neural activity of an entire brain in a moving animal would be a significant breakthrough.

The technique is relatively straightforward. By photographing other brain slices, the team was able to build a three-dimensional picture of the entire brain activity. Electrodes trigger out-of-body experience. The smart mouse with the half-human brain: When human brain cells called astrocytes are let loose in mouse brains, they rapidly overwhelm the mouse cells and make the rodents smarter : science. Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain - health - 10 September 2014. Here's how Obama's brain mapping project will actually work. Believe it or not, the tech to do this will be a confluence actually. In order to map the brain you need a high resolution net you can put inside the brain.

The only way to achieve that is to build technology that can sit on the neurons themselves and monitor/inject activity by using the brain's existing processes. Individually these nano-devices (because that's what you need) are fragile and won't last long - and if left in place after they fail, would cause damage. So you need another technology capable of running around, harvesting unused, unnecessary, or undesired material from the body to maintain, repair, and replace the tech sitting on the neurons. So why is this important? Well, the first person to undergo this treatment will likely want to know there's at least some chance that the process won't kill them in various horrible and terrible ways. So you'll build a monitoring solution - something I think will end up looking like a long lounge chair of sorts.

I believe in privacy. That Time When Scientists Zapped Braille Directly Into People's Brains. Oh, how I miss the late 60s and 70s, when scientists were beaming all sorts of things into people! Braille, LSD, sublimenal messages, syphillis (just wrapping up the tests, thanks to those pesky journalists), cold and flu viruses.....damn fine time to be an unknowing guinea pig (except for the Braille, though)! Flagged. Scientists Accidentally Discover The Brain's Consciousness "Off Switch" Brain circuit problem likely sets stage for the 'voices' that are symptom of schizophrenia.

5-Jun-2014 [ Print | E-mail ] Share [ Close Window ] Contact: Carrie 901-595-2295St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (MEMPHIS, Tenn. – June 5, 2014) St. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion. The research marks the first time that a specific circuit in the brain has been linked to the auditory hallucinations, delusions and other psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. The disrupted circuit identified in this study solves the mystery of how current antipsychotic drugs ease symptoms and provides a new focus for efforts to develop medications that quiet "voices" but cause fewer side effects.

The work was done in a mouse model of the human genetic disorder 22q11 deletion syndrome. Earlier work from Zakharenko's laboratory linked one of the lost genes, Dgcr8, to brain changes in mice with the deletion syndrome that affect a structure important for learning and memory. St. . [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] AAAS and EurekAlert! Toward a Theory of Self-Organized Criticality in the Brain | Simons Foundation.

In 1999, the Danish physicist Per Bak proclaimed to a group of neuroscientists that it had taken him only 10 minutes to determine where the field had gone wrong. Perhaps the brain was less complicated than they thought, he said. Perhaps, he said, the brain worked on the same fundamental principles as a simple sand pile, in which avalanches of various sizes help keep the entire system stable overall — a process he dubbed “self-organized criticality.” As much as scientists in other fields adore outspoken, know-it-all physicists, Bak’s audacious idea — that the brain’s ordered complexity and thinking ability arise spontaneously from the disordered electrical activity of neurons — did not meet with immediate acceptance.

But over time, in fits and starts, Bak’s radical argument has grown into a legitimate scientific discipline. Now, about 150 scientists worldwide investigate so-called “critical” phenomena in the brain, the topic of at least three focused workshops in 2013 alone. Pep Vicens. Edge of the abyss. Daddy’s little girl … Michael Schofield with his daughter, Janni, in 2006. The first weeks of Janni's life, my wife, Susan, and I are taking lots of home video, imagining her watching these tapes alongside us and her friends as a teenager, pretending to be mortified, but happy on the inside knowing how important she's been to us from the beginning. About a week into her life, she stops sleeping, aside from 20 to 30 naps within a 24-hour day. We're still recording, though. We don't want to miss anything, although we do need to sleep at some point. She screams constantly when she's awake, but again, she'll probably find this amusing when she's a teenager watching all of this.

A couple of weeks go by and she's still not sleeping for even one hour straight. Keeping it together … the Schofield family in 2011. We tell our paediatrician that Janni is getting a total of four to five hours of sleep a day. Advertisement We leave somewhat relieved, but still have to figure out what to do. No. Pandemonium Explains Why Computers Will Share Human Biases.

Laser creates 'false memories' in fly brains - life - 15 October 2009. Video: Tracking fruit flies A flash of laser light can alter the brains of fruit flies so that they learn to fear pain that they never actually felt. Gero Miesenböck at the University of Oxford and his colleagues genetically engineered fruit flies so that a handful of their nerve cells fired when lit up with a laser. This allowed them to write false pain "memories" into the fruit flies' brains. "These memories cause a lasting modification of the flies' behaviour," says Miesenböck. It is known that the release of dopamine by neurons in the "mushroom body" – part of the fruit fly brain – is critical to learning. But it was not known whether behaviour can be conditioned by stimulating these neurons directly, without the fly having any real experience. Lessons in pain To investigate, Miesenböck and his colleagues started by putting ordinary fruit flies into a small chamber while two different odours were pumped in from either end to create two separate odour streams.

Bright ideas More from the web. Q&A: Daniel Pasini, Policy and Programme Officer at the European Commission. Dr. Daniel Pasini, Policy and Programme Officer at the European Commission + Enlarge Daniel Pasini, PhD, is a Policy and Programme Officer at the European Commission, working in the Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Programme. For more than 20 years he has been closely involved in the development of policy and legal instruments for the construction and operation of European and international research infrastructure, in all fields of science. More recently he joined the FET Programme to follow the FET Flagship Initiatives, in particular the Human Brain Project. This is an extensive project with an estimated budget of €1.2 billion over the next ten years, involving hundreds of scientists and more than 135 European research institutions. Q: It is an exciting time for neuroscience, and The Human Brain Project is an example of the promise of the field.

The aim of the Human Brain Project (HBP) is to better understand the human brain and its diseases. This famous brain was cut into 2,400 slices and uploaded to the cloud. Good thing this guy wasn't on staff. SExpand This is one of the movies I know by heart, and I promise people every time that if we watch it, I won't quote along. I lie. Doesn't matter how many times I've seen it, I'm always too busy laughing. This movie has to be somewhere in my top ten list. That's me with Spaceballs! At risk of opening Pandoras box... you have a fave quote? Oh good, because if you don't quote it, I will. "That's right! "Taffeta, darling. " "Taffeta, sweetheart. " "No, the dress, it's taffeta—it wrinkles so easily. " and "...the other one is just for socks and poo-poo undies. " Madeline Kahn is my personal hero, and I adore her so much in this movie. And this is probably my favourite scene: I still ask people if they want Ovaltine, in her voice.

I also say "the staircase can be treacherous" a lot, whenever I'm in a dim or darkened place. Sight, Sound Out of Sync in Kids With Autism Says Study. The new diagnostic term “autism spectrum disorder” doesn’t reflect how devastating it can be for parents to have children limited in their ability to communicate and show affection, but it does reflect how little is still known about the condition that affects roughly 2 percent of children in the United States. Doctors have made great strides in accurately describing and diagnosing autism, but its causes remain opaque.

A recent Vanderbilt University offers neurological findings that help explain for the disorder’s seemingly disparate symptoms. The study, published in January in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that children with autism have a broader window of time than normal children during which their brains process two distinct sensory stimuli as aspects of the same event. The window exists to allow the brain to connect stimuli, for example the sound of the sight of the same action, arriving at slightly different times.

You Can Only Multitask In One Way. Supercomputer models one second of human brain activity. Cell transplantation therapy in reanimating severely head-injured patients. Crows could be the key to understanding alien intelligence. But seriously, Annalee.... We're all ready for you to write the definitive science fiction novel about crows. In fact, you've been teasing us all far too long now :-) Write it already! Flagged I'm just gonna leave this here.... Scientific evidence that you probably don’t have free will. I might note that you're citing experiments, which while not entirely debunked are in many circles considered to be highly flawed. For example, the "when did you decide to move your finger," experiment.

This experiment is considered flawed because moving your finger is purely a motor response, and an incredibly simplistic one at that. The motion of our hands is one of the things we have the least control over, we're constantly twitching, scratching itches, or simply stretching our fingers out without realizing it. Simply put, moving your fingers is such a small and inconsequential decision that it largely falls under the unconscious decision category.

This however, is entirely different from decisions that by necessity require a great deal of forethought. These decisions have been shown to be far more conscious than decisions that purely involve motor responses. Actually, I read up on this subject a little about a week ago, and found a fairly decent article on the subject. Inside Paul Allen's Plan to Reverse-Engineer the Human Brain - Wired Science. Brains flush toxic waste in sleep, including Alzheimer’s-linked protein, study of mice finds. Facebook. Dopamine regulates the motivation to act. Alzheimer's breakthrough hailed as 'turning point' Apparently, This Is Your Brain On Football. Memories aren't made of this: amnesia at the movies. Putting Bad Memories to Bed. Scientists reverse memory loss in animal brain cells - UTHealth Newsroom. Alanna Shaikh: How I'm preparing to get Alzheimer's.

Memory implantation is now officially real. Scientists can implant false memories into mice. 10 theories that explain why we dream. The Chemistry of Addiction. How close are we to a 'forgetting pill'? Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain's pleasure center. The Orgasmic Brain. Endogenous opioids. The world that only formerly-blind people can see. Red-Green & Blue-Yellow: The Stunning Colors You Can't See| On Seeing Reddish Green and Yellowish Blue | Color Opponency Theory. How the human brain sees a 100-mph fastball. STOPPED CLOCK ILLUSION. Scanner Reads Letters From Brains. How and where imagination occurs in human brains. Project Seeks to Build Map of Human Brain.

THE NORMAL WELL-TEMPERED MIND. Why The Left-Brain Right-Brain Myth Will Probably Never Die. More Left Brain / Right Brain Nonsense. Humans, Version 3.0. Scale: a chemical approach for fluorescence imaging and reconstruction of transparent mouse brain : Nature Neuroscience. Neural Dust is a Step Towards Nexus. Brain Preservation Foundation. Lab-Grown Model Brains. Researchers grow cyborg tissue that can sense its environment. The Problem with the Neuroscience Backlash. Free will? Inside Jokes - Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and Reginald Adams, Jr. Composing Your Thoughts - Issue 2: Uncertainty. Img/CambridgeDeclarationOnConsciousness.pdf. The 5 Smartest Non-Primates on the Planet. Will we ever learn to speak dolphin?

Whoa, scientists just reversed autism symptoms in mice. This little girl explains autism creatively. Are Prodigies Autistic?