Neuroscience

Researchers have captured images of the underlying biological activity within brain cells and their tree-like extensions, or dendrites, in mice that show how their brains sort, store and make sense out of information during learning. 

In a new study, neuroscientists tracked neuronal activity in dendritic nerve branches as the mice learned motor tasks such as how to run forward and backward on a small treadmill. They concluded that the generation of calcium ion spikes -- which appeared in screen images as tiny "lightning bolts" in these dendrites -- was tied to the strengthening or weakening of connections between neurons, hallmarks of learning new information. 

Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome are more than twice as likely to have migraine headaches, reports a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery--Global Open. The association also runs in the other direction, with migraine patients having higher odds of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The researchers analyzed data from nearly 26,000 Americans responding to a national health survey. Among other questions, participants were asked whether they had had carpal tunnel syndrome during the past year or "severe headache or migraine" during the past three months. Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome have symptoms such as hand numbness and weakness, resulting from pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.



Music perception is well preserved in human evolution but the specific biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown.

A study of professional musicians found enhanced activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory when they practiced.  Several of those up-regulated genes are also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds and that suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and production across species, according to the authors.
Chronic pain is a common complaint affecting millions of people worldwide. Because it is often a non-specific symptom, proper treatment strategies are more like 'keep doing things until something works'.

A new study has identified a cellular mechanism in the brain of mice that contributes to the development of chronic pain, which the authors believe can lead to a novel pharmacological treatment strategy for chronic pain.  

Do you ever have trouble telling right from left? For example, you’re taking a driving lesson and the instructor asks you to take a left turn and you pause, struggling to think of which way is left.

If so, you’re not on your own – a significant proportion of our population has difficulty in telling right from left.

Mention the terms “intellectual giftedness” and “learning disability” and there is a general understanding of what each term means. However, most people are unaware that in many circumstances the two can go hand in hand.

Current US research suggests that 14% of children who are identified as being intellectually gifted may also have a learning disability. This is compared to about 4% of children in the general population. No-one has been able to explain this discrepancy.

When we look at a known word, our brain sees it more like a picture than a series of letters needing to be processed, according to a new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Neurons respond differently to real words, such as turf, than to nonsense words, such as turt, showing that a small area of the brain is "holistically tuned" to recognize complete words, says the study's senior author, Maximilian Riesenhuber, PhD, who leads the Georgetown University Medical Center Laboratory for Computational Cognitive Neuroscience. 

The brain learns words quickly by tuning neurons to respond to a complete word, not parts of it.  
Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome are more than twice as likely to have migraine headaches, according to data derived from nearly 26,000 Americans responding to a national health survey. Among other questions, participants were asked whether they had had carpal tunnel syndrome during the past year or "severe headache or migraine" during the past three months.

Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome have symptoms such as hand numbness and weakness, resulting from pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. 

The association also runs in the other direction, with migraine patients having higher odds of carpal tunnel syndrome, say Dr. Huay-Zong Law and colleagues of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Each day we are bombarded with branding and repetitive advertising. Is it feasible that we dutifully soak up visuals and messages and store them accurately?

An experiment tested the concept by examining our memory of the ubiquitous Apple logo and our perceived ability for recall.  

Apple has long been a logo recognized the world over and now it is riding a wave of unparalleled fan adulation, with people standing in line for hours just to overpay for phones, tablets and watches and the aesthetic self-identification the logo brings.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects approximately two percent of the population.

Despite extensive research and breakthroughs, one-third of patients are resistant to currently available therapies. A team of researchers as discovered a new cause to explain the development of temporal lobe epilepsy and may lead to future treatments: At an early stage, astrocytes are uncoupled from each other. 

This results in the extracellular accumulation of potassium ions and neurotransmitters, which cause hyperexcitability of the neurons.