Robots for ASD Therapy? Maybe as Partners

October 3, 2018

Researchers test machine learning and social gaming to find new ways to help children on the autism spectrum focus and learn skills to connect with other people. “The most promising findings are not with the robot as therapist, but as co-therapist,” says one scientist.

The End Comes as a Wave

September 26, 2018

Starved of oxygen, neurons lose their proper electrical charge when we die and a wave of electrochemical energy spreads through the brain. Researchers in Berlin and Cincinnati have, for the first time, recorded such brain tsunamis in dying patients, and also in patients with survivable brain damage, such as brain hemorrhages, suggesting that doctors look for this pattern and act quickly when they see it to save endangered neurons.

Predicting Suicides—Beyond STARRS

September 10, 2018

After the Army successfully trained a computer program to find people in their health databases who were at serious risk of self-harm, the Veterans Administration did it service-wide. Could civilian healthcare providers do the same?

 

Advances in Biomarkers: Using Machine Learning to Develop a Test for Autism

September 5, 2018

Studies that use an algorithm to successfully predict if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on metabolites in a blood sample have been replicated in small samples.

What is ‘Well’?

August 28, 2018

Are we using the right standards when judging whether a psychiatric intervention, such as deep brain stimulation, is working, asked neurologist Helen Mayberg during the EDAB Special Lecture on Neuroethics during the recent FENS Forum. 

Fine-Tuning Deep Brain Stimulation

August 27, 2018

Device-makers and researchers test implants that can give feedback to themselves to turn on and off, hoping to reduce side-effects.

Digging into Sleep’s Effects

August 23, 2018

Researchers look at the molecular level for answers to why some people can resist the ills of sleep deprivation.

Behind the Taste of Bitter and Sweet

August 21, 2018

A new study describes two brain circuits for each flavor: one that identifies it and another that signals if it's delightful or repellent.

Thinking Outside the Box About Memory

August 15, 2018

Researcher Eleanor Maguire argues that long-term storage of autobiographical memories is done by the vmPFC, part of the prefrontal cortex, while the hippocampus plays a subordinate but critical role. She presented new research at the FENS Forum in Berlin last month.

Heroin vs. the Runner’s High: Different Action on Neurons

August 1, 2018

Researchers had assumed that opioid drugs mimicked the actions of naturally occurring opioids in the brain, binding to the surface of cells, but new research shows that drugs also enter the cell and bind to internal components. This difference could help point the way to treatments that are less addictive than currently available opioids.

Do Complex Tasks Train Your Brain to be More Efficient?

July 25, 2018

Musicians and people who speak multiple languages are faster at identifying sound location and type but show differences in speed of recalling past sounds.

The Sleep-Deprived Brain

July 18, 2018

NIH researchers find that a single night’s missed sleep increases levels of amyloid-beta in the brain, adding to the evidence that maintaining healthy sleep habits is good medicine.

Epigenetic Changes Guide Development of Different Brain Regions

July 11, 2018

Researchers sharpen a tool and discover different patterns of gene modification in two regions of mouse brain.

Nibbling on Neurons: A Closer Look at Synaptic Pruning

June 27, 2018

Researchers in Italy have build a better scanner, and found that some microglia aren't removing whole synapses but merely trimming them a bit.

The Language of Dementia

June 20, 2018

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia significantly affect language skills. Researchers are testing the possibility that spoken language tests could aid in diagnosis of these conditions.

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