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Cortex in Biological News

Neural mechanisms of value bias in the human visual cortex

New research demonstrates that bias toward a potentially more valuable outcome can influence how visual information is processed in the human brain. The study, published by Cell Press in the December 26th issue of the journal Neuron , provides insight into how the visual centers encode more valua...

MIT researcher presents new view of how the cortex forms

A leading neuroscientist at MIT and one from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) report in the Nov. 4 special issue of Science dedicated to the brain that the controversy is over: The "protomap" and "protocortex" theories of brain development are dead. The cerebral cortex is a sh...

Human cerebellum and cortex age in very different ways

Researchers have found that the two primary areas of the human brain appear to age in radically different ways: The cortex used in higher-level thought undergoes more extensive changes with age than the cerebellum, which regulates basic processes such as heartbeat, breathing and balance. Their work...

Abnormal brain circuits may prevent movement disorder

...two discrete areas along the pathway that links the cerebellum to the motor cortex that together determine whether a mutation carrier will display clinical ma...e cerebellum (a region that controls movement) puts the breaks on the motor cortex by potentiating inhibition at the cortical level. It is likely that mutatio...

Brain difference in psychopaths identified

...psychopathy. Such areas of the brain were identified as the amygdale, ie the area associated with emotions, fear and aggression, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the region which deals with decision making. There is a white matter tract that connects the amygdala and OFC, which is called the uncinate fas...

Short stressful events may improve working memory

...s depending on glutamate receptor-mediated excitatory signals in prefrontal cortex circuits." The investigators have expanded this research in several dire...t chronic stress suppresses the transmission of glutamate in the prefrontal cortex of male rodents, which is opposite to the facilitating effect of acute stre...

Hush little baby... Linking genes, brain and behavior in children

...y. The pattern of brain activity in the frontal cortex of the brain has been associated with various type...infants who have more activity in the left frontal cortex are characterized as temperamentally "easy" and ar... greater activity in the right half of the frontal cortex are temperamentally "negative" and are easily dist...

Hormone clue to root growth

...gibberellin showed disrupted cell proliferation. Expressing this mutant form, gai, in only one tissue, the endodermis (the innermost layer of the root cortex of a plant), was sufficient to stop the meristem enlarging. In effect, the rate of expansion of dividing endodermal cells dictates the equivalent rate...

Brain malformations significantly associated with preterm birth, Wake Forest research shows

...f the brain, skull, and scalp (57.7 percent); multicystic encephalomalacia, the formation of multiple cystic cavities of various sizes in the cerebral cortex (50.5 percent); and hydranencephaly, a rare condition in which the brain's cerebral hemispheres are absent and replaced by sacs filled with cerebrospi...

Brain-computer interface, developed at Brown, begins new clinical trial

...paralyzed hand. "We learned an incredible amount with the assistance of the first participants in the BrainGate trial, not only about how the motor cortex continues to work after paralyzing illness or injury, but also about how to harness these powerful intracortical signals for controlling computers and...

How an enzyme tells stem cells which way to divide

...d that one enzyme (aPKC) stands alone and acts as a traffic cop that directs which roads daughter cells will take. "Wherever aPKC is at on a cell's cortex or membrane, Miranda isn't," says Kenneth E. Prehoda, a professor in the chemistry department and member of the UO's Institute of Molecular Biology. W...

Brain's problem-solving function at work when we daydream

...mental activity and includes the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), the posterior cingulate cortex and the temporoparietal junction was the only par... the lateral PFC and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex also becomes activated when we daydream. "This...

Preclinical work shows how one gene causes severe mental retardation

...an animal model to learn if this experience-dependent reorganization of the cortex was abnormal in animals that were missing the gene," said Michael Ehlers, M... dark. We speculated that similar deficits may be happening in areas of the cortex that are important for language, cognition and emotion, all of which are qu...

Neuroscientists discover long-term potentiation in the olfactory bulb

..."The real surprise in the study was the specific brain connection that changed following experience. It was a rarely-studied brain projection from the cortex back to the olfactory bulb" said Strowbridge. Neuroscientists commonly believe that the way the brain processes information is similar to climbin...

MIT: Making waves in the brain

...amed for their characteristic pattern of electrical activity. When these cells were driven with high frequency laser pulses, the illuminated region of cortex started to produce gamma oscillations. "We've shown for the first time that it is possible to induce a specific brain state by activating a specific c...

Creating ideal neural cells for clinical use

...fferentiation . When the C-NPCs created using the Terskikh protocol were transplanted into mice, they became active neurons and integrated into the cortex and olfactory bulb. The transplanted cells did not generate tumor outgrowth. "The uniform conversion of embryonic stem cells into neural progenitor...

MIT: How you feel the world impacts how you see it

...nvironment. Our neurons are not tired, they are constantly adapting to the world around us." Recent studies have found that a region of the visual cortex known as MT or V5 long thought to play a major role in the perception of motion may also process tactile motion. Moore's team intends to explore thi...

Researchers capture wave of brain activity linked to anticipation

...ongs excitatory signals passed from the prefrontal cortex to the nearby premotor cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the brain's "executive" center, which plans and...estrates complex cognitive behaviors. The premotor cortex and its associated systems, which include the basa...

Mental fatigue can affect physical endurance

...resting note is that demanding mental tasks activate the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain. Previous research has shown that rats with a lesion in the anterior cingulate cortex would not work as hard for a reward compared to rats with no lesion. This a...

Stress disrupts human thinking, but the brain can bounce back

...nerve cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, and that a shrunken prefrontal cortex is linked to slower performance on attention-shifting tasks. In those exper...ts to switch their foraging strategies. But while the restricted prefrontal cortex a larger version of which is thought to play a role in the "executive func...

Rice University psychologist finds women's brains recognize, encode smell of male sexual sweat

...formation. These include the right fusiform region, the right orbitofrontal cortex and the right hypothalamus. "With the exception of the hypothalamus, neither the orbitofrontal cortex nor the fusiform region is considered to be associated with sexual motivati...

How mirror neurons allow us to learn and socialize by going through the motions in the head

...motion." Mirror neurons were discovered in the 1980s by an Italian group led by Giacomo Rizzolatti, which placed electrodes in the inferior frontal cortex of macaque monkeys' brains to study neurons dedicated to control of hand movement. This led to the surprising observation that some of the neurons res...

Interaction between gene variants may alter brain function in schizophrenia

...co, University of Iowa and University of Minnesota through the MIND Clinical Imaging Consortium used functional MRI to scan an area of the prefrontal cortex known to be critical to working memory in 79 schizophrenia patients and 75 healthy controls as they completed a memory task. Levels of cortical activ...

Social interactions can alter gene expression in the brain, and vice versa

...the brain. "What's more significant to a bird than hearing another bird singing?" Clayton said. "This is going on in the equivalent of our auditory cortex and association cortex, so this is pretty high-level stuff going on in the brain. And this was happening in more or less real time by very naturalisti...

Pitt research identifies new target in brain for treating schizophrenia

...lustrate for the first time that the orbitofrontal cortex could be a promising target for developing future ...ecifically target glutamate. "The orbitofrontal cortex is an area that's been somewhat neglected in schiz...etworks. This data suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex may be a critical component in networks affected b...

Risk and reward compete in brain

...tite for risk. The study appeared online Oct. 8 in the journal Cerebral cortex . "We can see risk as a battle between two forces," said Antoine Bechara...brain-damaged patients. He and other researchers showed that the prefrontal cortex is critical for proper risk assessment. But because brain lesions differ...

Millisecond brain signals predict response to fast-acting antidepressant

...Earlier imaging studies with conventional antidepressants had hinted that increased activity of the mood-regulating hub, called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), signals a better response. To find out if ACC activity might also forecast response to glutamate-targeting medications, the NIMH researcher...

Audience Selected as Silver Winner in This Year's Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards and Winner of the Semiconductors Category

...Awards and the winner of the Semiconductors category. By understanding the auditory pathway -- from the cochlea to the brainstem to the thalamus and cortex -- Audience is the first company to deliver a commercial product based on the science of Auditory Scene Analysis (ASA), or the grouping and processing...

The 'satellite navigation' in our brains

...trengthened over years of experience." In their study, Dr Spiers and Professor Maguire found that a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex increased its activity the closer the taxi drivers came to their destination. However, it is still unclear how the brain knows which way we need to go...

Genes may make some people more prone to anxiety

...set of structures that support (among other things) memory, emotional arousal and attention. The researchers said that more dopamine in the prefrontal cortex could result in an "inflexible attentional focus" on unpleasant stimuli, meaning that Met158 carriers can't tear themselves away from something that's...

Distinguishing between 2 birds of a feather

...questions require more control over the properties of visual stimuli than a picture of a natural scene would allow." Neurons in the primary visual cortex only respond when a stimulus appears within a window covering a small part of the visual field that the eye sees. This window is known as the neuron's...

Caltech neurobiologists discover individuals who 'hear' movement

...rain imaging experiments to study this connectivity in synesthetes and nonsynesthetes. "We might find that motion processing centers of the visual cortex are more interconnected with auditory brain regions than previously thought, even in the 'normal' brain," Saenz says. "At this point, very little i...

Chronic exposure to estrogen impairs some cognitive functions

...as natural or synthetic estrogens, although no study has definitively proven that it does. Schantz and her colleagues had focused on the prefrontal cortex because it is rich in estrogen receptor beta (ER-beta), a protein that spurs gene expression and other activities in the cell when it binds to estradi...

At Boston symposium, NARSAD researchers report on genes and family traits

...In individuals who carry the risk variants of both MTHFR and COMT, lower-than-normal levels of dopamine in the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex may cause problems with information processing and working memory. Using functional neuroimaging, Dr. Roffman and his colleagues also found that the s...

Hunger hormone: Makes food more attractive

...s of the brain known to be involved with reward and motivation, the same regions implicated in drug addiction the amygdala, insula, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and striatum. These areas work together to assign incentive value to objects in the world and to actions, and exert very powerful control over o...

Decade of the Mind symposium in Iowa to emphasize need for $4 billion in federal support

...eakthrough research includes a finding that the fading of consciousness during dreamless sleep seems to occur as the different regions of the cerebral cortex that mediate perception, thought and action become functionally disconnected. Tononi will make his remarks on the opening night of the symposium at ...

Unconscious decisions in the brain

...rograms that were trained to recognize typical brain activity patterns preceding each of the two choices. Micropatterns of activity in the frontopolar cortex were predictive of the choices even before participants knew which option they were going to choose. The decision could not be predicted perfectly, bu...

Autism Speaks collaborates on grant with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and autism expert

...e disorder. This unique study analyzing frontal cortex microstructure is aimed at identifying the underly...uisite detail the precise locations in the frontal cortex where specific genes are most active inside cells....ically to the appropriate locations in the frontal cortex of the brain, and disruptions in this process can ...

Great Ape Trust to gather internationally recognized scientists for Decade of the Mind III

...eakthrough research includes a finding that the fading of consciousness during dreamless sleep seems to occur as the different regions of the cerebral cortex that mediate perception, thought and action become functionally disconnected. Tononi will make his remarks on the opening night of the symposium at ...

Trainor Lab characterizes gene essential for prenatal development of nervous system

...ortex, where Cux genes demarcate specific upper layers of cortical neurons and may have played a role in the expansion and increased complexity of the cortex during evolution. ...
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