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Neuroscience

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2005
Brain-Machine
CRISPR
Genius
Memory
Mirror Neurons
Near-Death Experiences

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  1. Biotechnology
  2. Human Anatomy - Brain Resources
  3. Traumatic Brain Injuries
Lesson Plans
  1. Brain (Franklin Institute)
      Shows how we get better at tasks as we repeat them. 5-02

Lists
  1. Brain and Neuroscience Resources (Awesome Library)
      Provides dozens of resources on the brain, brain research, and sources of information on neuroscience. 5-02

  2. Neuroscience Philosophy (Stanford University Metaphysics Research Lab - Bickle and Mandik)
      Provides a distinction between neuroscience and neurophilosophy, as well as a discussion of the field of neuroscience. This work is part of the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Zalta. 5-01

  3. Neuroscience and Brain Resources (Chudler)
      Provides over 100 sources of information. 5-02

News
  1. -02-15-09 Biology and Religion (Time.com)
      "If you've ever prayed so hard that you've lost all sense of a larger world outside yourself, that's your parietal lobe at work. If you've ever meditated so deeply that you'd swear the very boundaries of your body had dissolved, that's your parietal too. There are other regions responsible for making your brain the spiritual amusement park it can be: your thalamus plays a role, as do your frontal lobes. But it's your parietal lobe — a central mass of tissue that processes sensory input — that may have the most transporting effect." 02-09

  2. -02-17-06 Growing New Cells to Cure Neurological Diseases (ABC News)
      "Scientists are getting closer to reaching one of the Holy Grails of medical research — regenerating brain cells to wipe out a wide range of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and epilepsy." 02-06

  3. -02-17-06 Hand Holding May Affect Your Brain (ABC News)
      "As brain images have become more advanced, there have been a flood of studies claiming to illustrate the physiological effects of everything from meditation to political partisanship to love."

      "There's debate in the scientific community about how valuable these studies really are. But Davidson — who says he's been happily married for 28 years — believes his study shows that affection among loving couples may actually change people's brains." 02-06

  4. -02-17-06 Regenerating Brain Cells Gets Closer (ABC News)
      Scientists are getting closer to reaching one of the Holy Grails of medical research — regenerating brain cells to wipe out a wide range of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and epilepsy."

      "Using a powerful microscope, the researchers photographed the stem cells in the petri dish every five minutes for up to 30 hours. They ended up with a time-lapse movie that shows exactly what changed every time a new chemical was tried out on the cells."

      "Thus they were able to change the course of the development by chemical manipulation, and that's perhaps the most important aspect of all. That suggests that chemicals, not surgery, may be able to correct a diseased mind that is now almost impossible to treat." 02-06

  5. -04-29-08 New Ways to Predict Mistakes (WebMD.com)
      "Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball that tells you when you're about to make a mindless mistake? New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that may be possible in certain cases, a finding that could one day help improve workplace and employee safety." 04-08

  6. -05-06-08 The Cost for Being Smart (New York Times)
      "Dr. Kawecki and like-minded scientists are trying to figure out why animals learn and why some have evolved to be better at learning than others. One reason for the difference, their research finds, is that being smart can be bad for an animal’s health." 05-08

  7. -09-19-07 Army Tests Soldiers' Brains Before Deployment (MSNBC News)
      "It’s all part of a fledgling Army program that records how soldiers’ brains work when healthy, giving doctors baseline data to help diagnose and treat the soldiers if they suffer a traumatic brain injury — the signature injury of the Iraq war." 09-07

  8. How Older People Continue to Learn (New York Times)
      "Over the past several years, scientists have looked deeper into how brains age and confirmed that they continue to develop through and beyond middle age."

      "Many longheld views, including the one that 40 percent of brain cells are lost, have been overturned. What is stuffed into your head may not have vanished but has simply been squirreled away in the folds of your neurons."

      "Recently, researchers have found even more positive news. The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can."

      "The trick is finding ways to keep brain connections in good condition and to grow more of them." 01-10

  9. Out-of-Body Experiences Created in Lab (MSNBC News)
      "New virtual-reality experiments show the brain can be tricked into believing it's outside the body, lending credence to the strange claims of some patients and shedding light on how the brain might generate its 'self-image.' " 07-07

  10. Report: Man with Almost No Brain Led a Normal Life (FoxNews.com)
      "French doctors are amazed that a 44-year-old civil servant with an abnormally small brain has led a normal life with a slightly lower than normal IQ, according to a report on Physorg.com." 07-07

Papers
  1. "Mirror Neurons" Associated with Communication Impairment (Scientific American)
      "More than one in 500 children have some form of autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control. All autistic children suffer from an impaired ability to communicate and relate to others, but some of them are able to socially interact to a greater degree than their peers. A recent study of a group of these so-called high functioning autistics suggests the neurological basis for their social impairment."

      "Neuroscientist Mirella Dapretto of the University of California Los Angeles and her colleagues surveyed the brains of 10 autistic children and an equal number of nonautistic children as they watched and imitated 80 different faces displaying either anger, fear, happiness, sadness or no emotion."

      "The autistic children differed from their peers in only one respect: each showed reduced activity in the pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus--a brain region located near the temple."

  2. "Unselfish" Area of Brain Found (BBC News)
      "Scientists say they have found the part of the brain that predicts whether a person will be selfish or an altruist." 01-07

  3. -A Good Way to Start Your Day (Time.com)
      "So what would our mornings look like if we re-engineered them in the interest of maximizing our creative problem-solving capacities? We’d set the alarm a few minutes early and lie awake in bed, following our thoughts where they lead (with a pen and paper nearby to jot down any evanescent inspirations.) We’d stand a little longer under the warm water of the shower, dismissing task-oriented thoughts (“What will I say at that 9 a.m. meeting?”) in favor of a few more minutes of mental dilation. We’d take some deep breaths during our commute, instead of succumbing to road rage. And once in the office — after we get that cup of coffee — we’d direct our computer browser not to the news of the day but to the funniest videos the web has to offer."

      "For decades, psychologists have manipulated the emotions of subjects in the lab by showing them short film clips. But now there’s YouTube — and, in fact, the clip that made the participants in Ruby Nadler’s study happiest of all was a YouTube video of a laughing baby. Laughing babies and a double latte: now that’s a way to start the day." 02-12

  4. -Differences Between Conservative Brains and Liberal Brains (Time.com)
      "In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, a group of political scientists and neuroscientists have found that conservatives and liberals use different parts of their mind when making risky decisions, and that these differences in brain function can be used to predict party affiliation."

      "They found that Republicans used their right amygdala, the part of the brain associated with the body’s fight-or-flight system, when making risk-taking decisions; Democrats tended to show greater activity in their left insula, an area associated with self and social awareness." 02-13

  5. -President Obama Proposes $3 Billion in Brain Research (New York Times)
      "The Obama administration is planning a decade-long scientific effort to examine the workings of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity, seeking to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics." 02-13

  6. Altering Human Gene Defects (PBS.org)
      "It’s ethical to test a provocative new fertility technique that would prevent mothers from passing on rare but devastating diseases by creating embryos from the DNA of three people — dad, mom and an egg donor — advisers to the government said Wednesday."

      "But don’t expect studies to begin anytime soon. It’s not clear that such research can overcome political hurdles."

      "At issue is a kind of DNA that children can inherit only from their mother: genes that are inside the mitochondria, the energy factories in cells. Britain last year became the first country to approve creation of embryos that swap a mother’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy genetic material from a donor egg." 02-16

  7. Blind Woman Learns to See (Time Magazine)
      "Neuroscientists have long been convinced that the first few years of life are a crucial period for brain development--a time when connections between neurons are being forged at a prodigious rate as a baby learns to make sense of the external world. Interfere with that process, and you can cause permanent, irrevocable damage. If a child is born blind, for example, it's pretty much over by age 6. You can fix the eyes, and they might be able to perceive light and dark. Without the right visual circuitry in place, though, there's no way to form images--the essence of true sight."

      "But then there's the patient known as S.R.D. Discovered by researchers four years ago in Ahmedabad, India, she was a 32-year-old, dirt-poor maid who had been born with severe cataracts. They were removed surgically when she was 12--and within a year, despite what neuroscientific dogma would have predicted, S.R.D. learned to see." 02-07

  8. Decisions - Finding Where the Brain Makes Decisions (Wired.com - McGrath)
      "Scientists in the United Kingdom believe they may be close to unraveling some of the brain processes that ultimately dictate the choices we make as consumers." 5-02

  9. Don't Call Introverted Children "Shy" (Time.com)
      "According to the psychologist Elaine Aron, author of the book Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person, 70% of children with a careful temperament grow up to be introverts, meaning they prefer minimally stimulating environments — a glass of wine with a close friend over a raucous party full of strangers. Some will grow up shy as well. Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shy people fear negative judgment, while introverts simply prefer less stimulation; shyness is inherently painful, and introversion is not. But in a society that prizes the bold and the outspoken, both are perceived as disadvantages." 02-12

  10. First Head Transplant to Be Attempted (ABC News)
      "A team of researchers led by an Italian surgeon say they are planning to perform the first human head transplant in 2017 and have even recruited a volunteer, but experts remain skeptical of the experimental procedure." 11-15

  11. History of the Study of the Brain (Time Magazine)
      Provides five paths to understanding the brain. 01-07

  12. Lumosity Brain Exercises (Techland.com)
      "It doesn't take a genius to realize why web-based brain training website Lumosity grew 400 percent to 11 million users in 190 countries last year. That's because the mentally stimulating website not only helps scientists understand how the brain works, but provides puzzles that help you use your memory and thought processes."

      " 'We can dig through the database to get a better understanding of how people can improve their cognitive performance,' co-founder and Chief Science Officer Mike Scanlan told Mashable."

      "The website was started in 2007 in collaboration with Stanford, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and Columbia University. Scientists use player's data to understand how the brain functions, and the company creates games to fit the findings." 02-11

  13. Man "Rewires" Own Brain: A First (USA Today)
      "Doctors have their first proof that a man who was barely conscious for nearly 20 years regained speech and movement because his brain spontaneously rewired itself by growing tiny new nerve connections to replace the ones sheared apart in a car crash." 07-06

  14. Man Moves Objects With Thoughts (BBC News)
      "A sensor implanted in a paralysed man's brain has enabled him to control objects by using his thoughts alone." 07-06

  15. Mental "Gear Changer" for a Bicycle (MSNBC News)
      "Just 15 minutes before his presentation, Patrick Miller was worried about wireless interference. That's because he was about to demonstrate a bike whose gears he could change with his mind." 03-12

  16. Neural Bases of Understanding Social Relations (Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center)
      "Our aim was to describe the neural mechanisms that allow people to understand everyday social interaction. Subjects were asked to simply watch professionally prepared movie clips depicting everyday interactions. There were 18 clips depicting CS relationships in which the actors were socially equivalent in some respect and 18 clips depicting AR relationships in which there was a hierarchical differentiation between the actors."

  17. Neuroanatomy of Motivation and Addictions (CNN - Gupta and Zahn)
      Describes new findings on the area of the brain believed to be responsible for motivation for achievement, addictions, and similar personality characteristics. 6-02

  18. New Robotic Arm Directed by Thoughts (BBC News)
      "Scientists in the US have created a robotic arm that can be controlled by thought alone." 06-06

  19. New Tool to Measure Consciousness (NBC News)
      "It can be hard for doctors to tell if someone who is severely brain injured and not responding has any lingering awareness. Now researchers have created a tool to peek inside the brain and measure varying levels of consciousness.” 08-13

  20. Paralyzed Man Walks Again (BBC News)
      "A paralysed man has been able to walk again after a pioneering therapy that involved transplanting cells from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord."

  21. Parkinson's Disease Treatment Successful (BBC News - Ghosh)
      Describes a promising treatment for Parkinson's Disease that involves regeneration of damaged portions of the brain. "The treatment involves putting a drug called GDNF (Glial cell line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) into a mechanical pump, two of which feed it to the most damaged parts of the brain." 5-02

  22. Pheromones (CNN - Rowland)
      Provides results from research that pheromones, chemicals that are received by the nose as smells, can affect human ovulation. Since humans are not aware of the smells, the mechanism by which ovulation is affected is still unknown.

  23. Practicing "Brain Builders" Does Not Build General Intelligence (Time.com)
      "Jason Allaire, co-director of the Games through Gaming lab at North Carolina State University says the Nature study makes sense; rather than finding a silver bullet for brain enhancement, he says, 'it's really time for researchers to think about a broad or holistic approach that exercises or trains the mind in general in order to start to improve cognition more broadly.' " 04-10

  24. Progress With Persons With Quadraplegia (CBS News)
      "It is hard to imagine being completely paralyzed but fully conscious; able to see, hear, smell and sense pain, but unable to communicate with the world. That's what it means to be "locked in." And it was amazing to learn in the course of reporting for our story on Brain Computer Interface technology that a 2002 survey found that the mental health of people in this condition was not significantly lower than that of the general population. What was not surprising to learn is that what is paramount to everyone is finding a way to communicate, and that is precisely the hope for this exciting branch of neuroscience." 11-08

  25. Protein p25 Associated with Alzheimer's Disease -- and Creativity (HHMI.org)
      " Researchers have found evidence that may partially exonerate a protein known to be a culprit in the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Their new studies show that the protein p25, which wreaks havoc in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, also has a good side in promoting the plasticity of the brain."

  26. Retraining the Brain Therapies (CBS News)
      Merzenich is a leading developer of therapies based on what's called brain plasticity, which he defines as, 'the capacity of the brain to change itself. It actually changes physically, functionally, in ways that you can measure.' " "

      " 'There are no drugs and no surgery involved," Taub says. 'Nevertheless you get a very substantial treatment effect without any side effects.' " 12-05

  27. SIDS Research Reported (BBC News)
      Describes a method of using the Internet and supercomputers to allow "...a doctor to use a portable computer to compare a patient's brain scan with a composite image of what that brain is expected to look like." 5-02

  28. SIDS Research Reported (CTNow.com - Hathaway)
      "Babies who die suddenly in their sleep may have abnormalities in brain cells that help regulate breathing, Yale University researchers reported Monday." 5-02

  29. Study: Consciousness Turned On and Off (CBS News)
      "They were looking to identify the site of the woman's seizures, using electrical stimulation on various regions of her brain including the claustrum, a thin layer of neurons attached to the neocortex center of the brain."

      "Stimulating this area of the brain appeared to disrupt normal consciousness. Once the electrodes were shut off, the woman returned to a normal state of consciousness and had no memory of what had just occurred.” 08-13

  30. The Anatomy of Violence (MSNBC News)
      "Pathological genes, a disturbed mind, social isolation and a gun culture are not enough. Mass murderers also need the individual will to pull the trigger." 07-06

  31. The Neurology of Finding "Truth" (TechnologyReview.com)
      "The wisdom of crowds breaks down when people are biased. Now researchers have discovered a simple method of removing this bias–just listen to the most confident."

  32. Who Has a Better Brain: Liberals or Conservatives? (CBS News)
      "The brains of people who call themselves liberals tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes than the brains of people on the opposite side of the political spectrum, the study showed. The anterior cingulate cortex is a collar-shaped region around the corpus collosum, a structure that relays signals between the right and left hemispheres of the brain."

      "What about conservatives? Their brains brains tend to have larger amygdalas. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure located deep within the brain."

      "Based upon what brain scientists know about the function of the two brain regions, researchers believe the structural differences support the notion that liberals are better equipped to make sense of conflicting information while conservatives are better able to recognize a threat." 04-11

Periodicals
  1. Breakthroughs in Neuroscience (NationalGeographic Breakthrough)
      Provides updates. 11-15

  2. Neuron (Cell Press)
      Provides research results related to neurons. College Level. 5-01

  3. Neuroscience (Nature)
      Provides articles on the latest research in neuroscience. 10-00

Projects
  1. -08-07-08 Protein Key to Brain Rewiring (U.S. News)
      "Scientists say they're gaining insight into how the brain rewires itself as it learns new things, potentially helping them move toward better treatments for mental illness and brain injuries." 05-08

Research
  1. -02-07-06 Brain Change Continues After Age 18 (Brightsurf.com)
      "Two Dartmouth researchers are one step closer to defining exactly when human maturity sets in. In a study aimed at identifying how and when a person’s brain reaches adulthood, the scientists have learned that, anatomically, significant changes in brain structure continue after age 18."

  2. -02-07-06 Brain Hormone Puts Brakes on Reproduction (Brightsurf.com)
      "The hormone, a small protein, or peptide, called gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH), puts the brakes on reproduction by directly inhibiting the action of the central hormone of the reproductive system–gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH stimulates the pituitary gland to activate the reproductive system, whereas GnIH appears to reduce the effects of GnRH stimulation."

Worksheets
  1. Brain and Nervous System Worksheets (Chudler)
      Neuroscience for Kids provides worksheets for teachers to use in the classroom. 12-99

   
   


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