Archive for the 'Neuroanatomy' category

Cure your Aging Synapses with this New Diet and Exercise Regimen!

The title for this one comes from those stupid "1 tip for a flat belly!" and "The thing moms know about whitening teeth!" ads that keep popping up for me. You know the ones. Well, now, screw that. WHAT'S more important than getting a flat belly or whitening your teeth?! CURING YOUR AGING NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTIONS!!!

Scientists have been searching for the fountain of youth for ages. Not an actual fountain, or a cure for aging, but the REASON behind the declines and changing that come along with age. A few years ago, scientists found that exercise and a low calorie diet (VERY low calorie, not something that is maintained easily), can reduce the effects of aging and dramatically extend lifespan in rodents. The question is, though, HOW this happens.

 

ResearchBlogging.org Valdez, et al. "Attenuation of age-related changes in mouse neuromuscular synapses by caloric restriction and exercise" PNAS, 2010.

Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Neural Networking and Damage Recovery

Nov 03 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience

So when Sci got the press release for this paper, it said "PHANTOM IMAGES STORED IN FLEXIBLE NETWORK THROUGHOUT THE BRAIN". I went "wut?!" and read ahead. Those press releases, how they do lie exaggerate. But this paper is cool and well worth the blogging, so I got myself a tidy little copy and settled in to read.

When people hear about recovery from brain injury, what they usually think of is something like a concussion, or a car accident, or something else traumatic and involving your head being impacted by something of magnitude.

But what we are actually usually talking about, when we talk about recovery from brain injury, is localized sudden brain injury, often caused by stroke.

ResearchBlogging.org Voytek et al. "Dynamic Neuroplasticity after Human Prefrontal Cortex Damage" Neuron, 2010.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Women's Brains on Steroids?! WUT!?

Oct 04 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

Sci got an email from one of her lovely readers recently about an article that appeared in Scientific American. I usually have a lot of respect for Scientific American, but I have to say I feel they really dropped the ball on this one. So today, I present to you: what Sci Am said, the REAL story, and WTF is up with that.

Let's take it from the top.

Women's Brains on Steroids: Birth control pills appear to remodel brain structure

wooOOOooo. That poor attractive girl with a confused look. Those big PILLS. Science is HARD, you guys. Hard and SCARY.

Are you scared yet? You should be.

Continue Reading »

12 responses so far

Back to Basics 2: Neuroanatomy, part 3!!

Aug 24 2010 Published by under Basic Science Posts, Neuroanatomy

Welcome to part 3 of Sci's basic posts on Neuroanatomy, part of Back to Basics week!

Apparently everyone is very impressed by how hot my brain is (see parts one and two), but unfortunately, we're almost out of pics. Today we're covering the rest of the bits of my brain that look really awesome, which really boils down to all the ones you wouldn't be able to see if you were just looking at the outside. And it turns out that Sci has a LOVELY basal ganglia. She is thrilled by this, the basal ganglia is her favoritest part of the brain.

First, a note: those cross-hairs that you've been seeing all the time are features of the analysis program, apparently, and can't get taken out. Blah. But we shall forge ahead!

Picture%207.png

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Back to Basics 2: Neuroanatomy part 2!

Aug 24 2010 Published by under Basic Science Posts, Neuroanatomy

Welcome to basics week at Neurotic Physiology! This post covers part two of brain neuroanatomy, using Sci's OWN BRAIN as reference. Yes, I am awesome. I know.

Ok, so I thought I would be able to do this brain stuff in TWO entries, but I think it might have to be three. After all, the brain is a wondrous, glorious world of awesome, and MY brain in particular is especially nice. Last time I talked about the outer features of the brain and the division of the brain into traditional lobes of form and function. So today I'm going to give a brief intro to things with arcane sounding names, like dura mater and the choroid plexus, and talk about why it's ok that your brain is full of holes.

So let's begin!

The Maters

Picture%209.png

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Back to Basics 2: Neuroanatomy. Let's get started.

Aug 24 2010 Published by under Basic Science Posts, Neuroanatomy

As part of my Back to Basics week, one thing you'll want is an introduction to NEUROANATOMY. The brain ain't just a pile of unorganized grey matter, no indeed. In fact, it's really highly organized. Let's get started.

Some of you may recall that I got my brain scanned in an MRI for the sake of science. Well, my lovely fellow grad student was nice enough to send me some of my baseline pictures! I think I have a lovely brain (see my profile pic? I'm totally hot, right?), and so I thought I would share some of it with you. Besides, I blog a lot about basic (and not so basic) neuroanatomy, and so we can use hot pics of Sci's brain to give you some insight into areas of the brain that are popular in science today.

And just to scratch the surface:
Picture 10.png

I'll be dividing these posts into three parts, the first with general features and terms, and the second and third for some of the interior features that happened to come out really well on my scan.

Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

What does that MRI signal MEAN, anyway?

Jun 16 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience

Sci was incredibly excited to see this paper come out. It's got lots of stuff going for it, and all its powers combined were enough to send Sci bouncing around in her seat and sending emails to Ed Yong saying "OMG COOL PAPER!!".
What's it got, you say? It's got the meaning of life, the universe, and that pesky MRI signal.
ResearchBlogging.org Lee et al. "Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring" Nature, 2010.

Ah, the pretty brain picture. But what does it MEAN?

Continue Reading »

13 responses so far

Binge Eating, Bulimia, and Reward Sensitivity

Apr 14 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Neuroanatomy

You all may remember that Sci's recent posts have focused on eating, overeating, and dopamine. Today, Sci continues this trend. Honestly, she couldn't stop thinking about it. How is overeating like addiction? How is it different? And so she began to look up a bunch of papers on binge eating and dopamine.
I was particularly interesting in the changes in food intake and reward associated responses in people with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. There are many hypotheses as to why these eating disorders exist, ranging from problems with society (which can certainly contribute to the incidence of the disorders), to hypotheses of obsessive control akin to the compulsions seen with OCD, to increased sensitivity to reward, to decreased sensitivity to reward.
This increased/decreased sensitivity to reward (some people have seen decreased sensitivity to reward in rats, along with increased self-administration of pleasurable things, but what this actually translates to in humans can be difficult to interpret) was particularly interesting, and so Sci was very glad when she came across this study.
ResearchBlogging.org Schienle et al. "Binge-Eating Disorder: Reward Sensitivity and Brain Activation to Images of Food ", Biological Psychiatry, 2008.

Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Part 3 of Welcome to MY Brain: The rest of the bits and pieces.

Jan 26 2009 Published by under Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience

Welcome to part 3 of Welcome to my brain! Apparently everyone is very impressed by how hot my brain is (see parts one and two), but unfortunately, we're almost out of pics. Today we're covering the rest of the bits of my brain that look really awesome, which really boils down to all the ones you wouldn't be able to see if you were just looking at the outside. And it turns out that Sci has a LOVELY basal ganglia. She is thrilled by this, the basal ganglia is her favoritest part of the brain.
First, a note: those cross-hairs that you've been seeing all the time are features of the analysis program, apparently, and can't get taken out. Blah. But we shall forge ahead!
Picture%207.png

Continue Reading »

8 responses so far

Part 2 of Welcome to MY Brain! Of mater and brain holes.

Jan 22 2009 Published by under Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience

Ok, so I thought I would be able to do this brain stuff in TWO entries, but I think it might have to be three. After all, the brain is a wondrous, glorious world of awesome, and MY brain in particular is especially nice. Last time I talked about the outer features of the brain and the division of the brain into traditional lobes of form and function. So today I'm going to give a brief intro to things with arcane sounding names, like dura mater and the choroid plexus, and talk about why it's ok that your brain is full of holes.
So let's begin!
The Maters
Picture%209.png

Continue Reading »

5 responses so far

« Newer posts Older posts »