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When surgeons tackle a tumour in the body, they can usually afford to remove potentially healthy tissue from around the cancerous mass to make sure they get rid of every harmful cell. In the brain they don't have this luxury – healthy cells are too important to lose. Gold nanoparticles may now give surgeons the clearest view yet of cancerous cells during an operation, helping them to remove tumour cells without harming their healthy neighbours. Surgeons regularly use magnetic resonance imaging to guide brain surgery.
During that visit, the three sat down to see if they could figure out the discrepancy in the data. The “problem,” Silva felt, might in fact be an opportunity: a hint of how they could use CREB as a tool not merely to enhance or suppress memories but to explore each new memory’s precise location—to locate the engram. Maybe after all these years, it would be possible to find true tracks of memory in the brain.
This article was taken from the July 2012 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online . No road, no trail can penetrate this forest. The long and delicate branches of its trees lie everywhere, choking space with their exuberant growth.
Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23. The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions.
Brain as Icon “Superwoman has been rumbled,” declared a Daily Telegraph article in 2001 that chronicled how the human brain’s inability to “multitask” undercuts the prospects for a woman to juggle career and family with any measure of success. The brain as media icon has emerged repeatedly in recent years as new imaging techniques have proliferated—and, as a symbol, it seems to confuse as much as enlighten. The steady flow of new studies that purport to reduce human nature to a series of illuminated blobs on scanner images have fostered the illusion that a nouveau biological determinism has arrived.
Only a few weeks ago I looked at a study on fast food consumption and depression , and only a few days ago I talked about a brand new study looking at high fat diets and protection from heart attack damage . And today, we’ve got another study on high fat diet, this time in mice, and depressive-like behavior. What is the effect of a high fat diet? Well, it appears to be getting more complicated with each new study. But it this study, at least, it looks like diet-induced obesity might produce depressive-like effects in mice. But how the diet is doing that is not so well defined.
Many fMRI studies could be giving false-positive results according to an important new paper from Anders Eklund and colleagues: Does parametric fMRI analysis with SPM yield valid results?—An empirical study of 1484 rest datasets . The authors examined the SPM8 software package, probably the most popular tool for analyzing neuroimaging data. Their approach was beautifully simple. They wanted to check how often conventional analysis of fMRI would "find" a signal when there wasn't really anything happening. So they took data from nearly 1,500 people who were scanned when they were just resting, and saw what would happen if you looked for "task related" activations in those scans, even though there was in fact no task.
Mind & Brain :: News :: May 17, 2012 :: :: Email :: Print Spinal scans reveal the mechanism by which intense thinking can block pain receptors in the nervous system By Daisy Yuhas
I've been a little disconcerted by the recent appearance in the popular science press of a number of articles seeming to claim that we're just around the corner from being able to erase painful or traumatic memories. For example: The articles are beautifully written, full of interesting and thought-provoking questions, and obviously the product of a great deal of work. I think good science writing is really important and greatly value the work that writers like Jonah Lehrer and Jerry Adler do.
By Scicurious | March 29th, 2013 | Sci is at Neurotic Physiology today, talking about a study I borrowed from the bibliography of Mary Roach’s fabulous new book, Gulp: Adventures in the Alimentary Canal. And this study? What makes goat milk taste goaty (when it usually doesn’t)? Blame the male’s chemicals, and the urine it takes to get them where they need [...] Keep reading »
Having a scan of your brain is a uniquely odd experience. I had one done once. I was loaded, torpedo-like, into a claustrophobia-inducing, cocoon-like chamber for nearly an hour, the first few terrifying minutes of which I spent desperately trying to recall whether I had actually passed that metal ball-bearing I swallowed when I was a kid.
Image: Photoillustration by Aaron Goodman In Brief Most of us believe that we are free because, under identical circumstances, we could have acted otherwise. Determinism—the idea that all particles in the universe follow set trajectories—challenges this idea. Theories to explain the potential origins of free will draw on physics, including Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
by Massimo Pigliucci These days you can’t turn around without bumping into yet another news story about “the neuroscience of X.” Some of it is fascinating, some controversial , and quite a bit of it is, well, let’s say at the very least, misguided. Julia and I have already done a couple of Rationally Speaking podcasts touching on this subject (one on Cordelia Fine’s “ Delusions of Gender ” and one on what we term “ neurobabble ”), and no doubt there will be plenty of occasions to do more. On the blog, I have criticized Sam Harris for making unwarranted statements concerning alleged scientific solutions to moral issues, which he largely bases on new findings from neurobiology (I know he has a new book on free will!
Neuroscience wants to be the answer to everything.