A new study in Biological Psychiatry has characterized the patterns of brain neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA in a network of regions that temporarily maintain and process visual information about the location of objects in space, a cognitive ability referred to as visuospatial working memory. The study reports that the patterns are altered in people with schizophrenia, suggesting a potential explanation for the impairments in visuospatial working memory that characterize people with the disorder.
Traumatic brain injuries, whether suffered from a blow on the football field or the battle field, can be devastating, leading to disability and shortened lives. However, little is known about how different levels of injury and time affect the brain, hindering efforts to develop effective treatments. Scientists now report results from rodent studies in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research showing that signaling molecules are likely involved in mild cases, also known as concussions.
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the background? Though popularly known as the 'love hormone,' a team of Harvard researchers found evidence that oxytocin actually plays a crucial role in helping the brain process a wide array of social signals.
Two independent teams of scientists from the University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered that a gene crucial for learning, called Arc, can send its genetic material from one neuron to another by employing a strategy commonly used by viruses. The studies, both published in Cell, unveil a new way that nervous system cells interact.
A high-salt diet reduces resting blood flow to the brain and causes dementia in mice.
Scientists from Caltech have developed a technology that allows them to see which neurons are talking to which other neurons in live fruit flies.
Two new studies have identified a subset of neurons in the bat and rat hippocampi, respectively, that specifically encode the spatial position of others of the same species. While scientists have been able to identify neurons that help an organism decipher its own spatial location, surprisingly little is known about how the positions of other animals, relative to the self, are represented in the brain.
From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Columbia University have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, which may lead to better screening and treatment to improve patients' quality of life.
ETH chemists have synthesized several variants of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Its structure can be altered with light, and the researchers have used this to create a new tool that can be used to more effectively study the body's own cannabinoid system.
Until now, many scientists believed that a single protein -- TRPM5 -- acted as a gatekeeper for tasting sweet, bitter and savory foods. Remove TRPM5 from a person's taste cells, and they would no longer be able to identify sweet, bitter or savory (also called umami) foods. A new study challenges this thinking.