Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 23

Sep 17, 2021

Consciousness: Evolution of the Mind, Documentary (2021), Official Teaser Trailer

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, computing, education, genetics, neuroscience, quantum physics

Watch the full documentary on Vimeo on demand:

The study of consciousness needs to be lifted out of the mysticism that has dominated it. Consciousness is not just a matter of philosophy or spirituality. It’s a matter of hard science. It’s a matter of understanding the brain and the mind — a pattern structure made out of information. It’s also a matter of engineering. If we can understand the functionality of the brain, its neural code, then we can build the same functionality into our computer systems. There’s no consensus on what produces consciousness, but everyone regardless of metaphysical views can agree what it is like to be conscious. Given that consciousness is subjectivity, what consciousness is like is what consciousness is.

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Sep 17, 2021

Neurologist Explores Link Between COVID and “Brain Fog,” Memory Loss and Dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, policy

A new Rutgers study will examine how COVID-19 is affecting individuals in a number of cognitive-related areas, including memory loss, “brain fog,” and dementia.

“Many people who recover from mild or moderate COVID-19 notice slowed thinking or memory loss, and this motivated us to leverage our experience in studying cognitive issues related to Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and HIV to examine this phenomenon,” said Dr. William T. Hu, associate professor and chief of cognitive neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research.

A leading cognitive neurologist and neuroscientist, Dr. Hu is spearheading the characterization of cognitive impairment following mild-to-moderate COVID-19 at Rutgers.

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Sep 16, 2021

True Behavior of Dopamine Will Reshape How We Treat Psychiatric Diseases and Addiction

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

“We then go on to show that dopamine is not a reward molecule at all. It instead helps encode information about all types of important and relevant events and drive adaptive behavior—regardless of whether it is positive or negative.”

Summary: A new study finds dopamine increases responses to stressful stimuli, not just pleasurable ones. The findings could have implications for the treatment of mental health disorders and addiction.

Source: Vanderbilt University

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Sep 16, 2021

Fossils and ancient DNA paint a vibrant picture of human origins

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics, neuroscience

That fossil wasn’t enough to confirm Africa as our homeland. Since that discovery, paleoanthropologists have amassed many thousands of fossils, and the evidence over and over again has pointed to Africa as our place of origin. Genetic studies reinforce that story. African apes are indeed our closest living relatives, with chimpanzees more closely related to us than to gorillas. In fact, many scientists now include great apes in the hominid family, using the narrower term “hominin” to refer to humans and our extinct cousins.

In a field with a reputation for bitter feuds and rivalries, the notion of humankind’s African origins unifies human evolution researchers. “I think everybody agrees and understands that Africa was very pivotal in the evolution of our species,” says Charles Musiba, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Colorado Denver.

Paleoanthropologists have sketched a rough timeline of how that evolution played out. Sometime between 9 million and 6 million years ago, the first hominins evolved. Walking upright on two legs distinguished our ancestors from other apes; our ancestors also had smaller canine teeth, perhaps a sign of less aggression and a change in social interactions. Between about 3.5 million and 3 million years ago, humankind’s forerunners ventured beyond wooded areas. Africa was growing drier, and grasslands spread across the continent. Hominins were also crafting stone tools by this time. The human genus, Homo, arrived between 2.5 million and 2 million years ago, maybe earlier, with larger brains than their predecessors. By at least 2 million years ago, Homo members started traveling from Africa to Eurasia. By about 300,000 years ago, Homo sapiens, our species, emerged.

Sep 15, 2021

One protein to rule them all: A central target for treating dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, information science, neuroscience, supercomputing

Dementia has many faces, and because of the wide range of ways in which it can develop and affect patients, it can be very challenging to treat. Now, however, using supercomputer analysis of big data, researchers from Japan were able to predict that a single protein is a key factor in the damage caused by two very common forms of dementia.

In a study published this month in Communications Biology, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have revealed that the HMGB1 is a key player in both frontotemporal lobar and Alzheimer , two of the most common causes of dementia.

Frontotemporal lobar degeneration can be caused by mutation of a variety of genes, which means that no one treatment will be right for all patients. However, there are some similarities between frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer disease, which led the researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) to explore whether these two conditions cause damage to the brain in the same way.

Sep 15, 2021

Jaron Lanier — Is Consciousness an Ultimate Fact?

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience, virtual reality

Is there something special about consciousness? Can our inner subjective experience—the sight of purple, smell of cheese, sound of Bach—ever be explained in purely physical terms? Even in principle? Most scientists see consciousness as a science problem to solve. Some philosophers claim that consciousness can never be explained in terms of current science.

Free access to Closer to Truth’s library of 5,000 videos:

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Sep 15, 2021

New Microscopy Technique Reveals Activity of One Million Neurons Across the Mouse Brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: A new technique dubbed light beads microscopy allowed researchers to generate a vivid functional movie of the near-simultaneous activity of almost a million neurons in the mouse brain.

Source: Rockefeller University.

Capturing the intricacies of the brain’s activity demands resolution, scale, and speed—the ability to visualize millions of neurons with crystal clear resolution as they actively call out from distant corners of the cortex, within a fraction of a second of one another.

Sep 14, 2021

Visualising every single cognitive bias

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Cognitive biases have been studied for decades by academics in the fields of cognitive science, social psychology, and behavioural economics.

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

The human brain is capable of incredible things, but it’s also extremely flawed at times.

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Sep 14, 2021

This Common Drug for Memory Loss May Also Help Restore Eye Sight

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Citicoline, a drug that is naturally found in the body, is commonly used to treat a number of brain injuries and illnesses. For quite some time, doctors have prescribed it for strokes, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and general aging of the brain. Patients usually see improvement when taking the drug because the body uses it to create and repair cell membranes and lower the presence of free radicals, as noted in the Clinical Interventions in Aging Journal. (Free radicals, which are unstable molecules, can damage cells in the body and are associated with aging and illness.)

Now, researchers from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine have found evidence that citicoline can also be used to treat glaucoma. Normally, glaucoma is treated by removing fluid buildup in the eye, which creates pressure and wears down the cells in the eye and the nerves connecting to the brain. Though monitoring fluid buildup is important, glaucoma can still worsen after the pressure on the eye has been relieved.

Sep 14, 2021

Study Finds Evidence of Possible Link Between Herpes Simplex and Neurogenerative Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Because the herpesvirus sits in neurons forever, there is speculation it is connected to neurodegenerative diseases. The immune system requires inflammation to constantly fight off the virus, and neurons have some degree of damage because of this continuous immune response, according to Dr. Tibor Valyi-Nagy, professor of pathology, director of neuropathology at UIC and research collaborator on the study.

Summary: Researchers discovered mutations of the OPTN gene resulted in increased herpesvirus 1 growth in the brains of mice, leading to the death of local neurons. This resulted in accelerated neurodegeneration. OPTN deficiency was also associated with impairments in immune response. While these findings are specific to the HSV-1 virus, researchers believe the findings may apply to up to eight herpesvirus infections.

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago

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