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Feb 26, 2024

Unlocking the Brain’s Fear Circuitry: A Pathway to Survival Responses

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Source: Northwestern University.

Scientists have discovered a new neural pathway involved in how the brain encodes the transition to high-intensity fear response behaviors that are necessary for survival, according to a recent study published in Nature.

Jones Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of Neuroscience, of Pharmacology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, was a co-author of the study.

Feb 26, 2024

Memories Could Be Lost if Two Key Brain Regions Fail to Sync Together

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: If neural assemblies between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex fail to sync together at the correct time, memories are lost.

Source: University of Bristol.

Learning, remembering something, and recalling memories is supported by multiple separate groups of neurons connected inside and across key regions in the brain. If these neural assemblies fail to sync together at the right time, the memories are lost, a new study led by the universities of Bristol and Heidelberg has found.

Feb 26, 2024

Why PTSD Patients Relive Highly Charged Fear Memories in Sleep

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: In people with PTSD, during REM sleep norepinephrine and serotonin levels remain high, reducing the brain’s ability to inhibit fear-expression neurons through neural rhythms sent between the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Those with PTSD require higher frequency rhythms to extinguish fear memories. Researchers say unlocking the higher frequencies via therapies could help to restore quality sleep in those with PTSD.

Source: Virginia Tech.

During periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, brain activity often resembles that of awake behavior. At times, the brain can actually be more active during REM sleep than when you’re awake. It’s why REM sleep is sometimes called “paradoxical sleep,” said Virginia Tech neuroscientist Sujith Vijayan.

Feb 26, 2024

Abnormal 12-Hour Cyclic Gene Activity Found in Schizophrenic Brains

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Postmortem brains of those with schizophrenia have fewer genes associated with 12-hour activity cycles in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Mitochondrial-related genes in the dlPFC did maintain a 12-hour rhythm, but their activity did not peak at normal times.

Source: PLOS

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, U.S. present the first evidence of 12-hour cycles of gene activity in the human brain.

Feb 26, 2024

What’s in a Name? Actors Suppress Their Sense of Self When Playing New Character

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: When actors hear their own names during a performance, their response is suppressed by activity in the left anterior prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with self-awareness.

Source: UCL

Actors may suppress their core sense of self when acting, as they immerse themselves in a new role, finds a new study by UCL researchers.

Feb 26, 2024

How the Brain Focuses on What’s in Mind

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Rhythmic bursts of activity in the prefrontal cortex reduce variability as an animal focuses on a task.

Source: picower institute for learning and memory.

Working memory, that handy ability to consciously hold and manipulate new information in mind, takes work. In particular, participating neurons in the prefrontal cortex have to work together in synchrony to focus our thoughts, whether we’re remembering a set of directions or tonight’s menu specials.

Feb 26, 2024

Why Thinking Hard Makes You Tired

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Extended intense cognitive work causes potentially toxic byproducts to build up in the prefrontal cortex. This alters control over decision-making, causing a shift toward low-cost actions that require less effort as cognitive fatigue sets in.

Source: Cell Press.

It’s no surprise that hard physical labor wears you out, but what about hard mental labor? Sitting around thinking hard for hours makes one feel worn out, too.

Feb 26, 2024

Cells That Control Hunger Affect Brain Structure and Function

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: AgRP neurons in the hypothalamus play a critical role in shaping the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex in mice. The findings shed light on how the prefrontal cortex is altered in disorders such as schizophrenia.

Source: Yale.

The prefrontal cortex region of the human brain is responsible for a range of complex functions from decision-making to certain types of memory.

Feb 26, 2024

The current state of artificial intelligence generative language models is more creative than humans on divergent thinking tasks

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Hubert, K.F., Awa, K.N. & Zabelina, D.L. Sci Rep 14, 3,440 (2024).

Download citation.

Feb 26, 2024

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 astronauts excited for Friday early-morning launch from Cape Canaveral

Posted by in category: space travel

The quartet will fly aboard SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour capsule, which previously flew Demo Mission-2, Crew-2, Crew-6 and Axiom Mission 1.

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