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August, 2015

Leon N. Cooper's Science and Human Experience: Values, Culture, and the Mind

Why are we reviewing a book written by someone who shared in the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics for work on superconductivity? Because shortly after winning the prize, Leon N. Cooper transitioned into brain research—specifically, the biological basis of memory. He became director of the Brown University Institute for Brain and Neural Systems, whose interdisciplinary program allowed him to integrate research on the brain, physics, and even philosophy. His new book tackles a diverse spectrum of topics and questions, including these: Does science have limits? Where does order come from? Can we understand consciousness? Read More...

July, 2015

Schizophrenia: Hope on the Horizon

In July 2014, an international consortium of schizophrenia researchers mounted the largest biological experiment in the history of psychiatry. With many more avenues for exploring the biological underpinnings of schizophrenia now available to neuroscientists, hope may be on the way for the estimated 2.4 million Americans and 1 in 100 people worldwide affected by the illness, one in which drugs have limited impact and there is no known cure. Read More...

June, 2015

New Movement in Neuroscience: A Purpose-Driven Life

Purpose in Life (PIL) is a research area that focuses on the interactions between mind and body and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, and spiritual factors can directly affect health. It links the belief that your life has meaning and purpose to a robust and persistently improved physiological health outcome—particularly as a way to treat dementia, spinal cord injuries, stroke, and immunological and cardiovascular issues that include but extend beyond the brain. Read More...

May, 2015

Tau-er of Power

(Read Q&A with Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D.)
Tau protein helps nerve cells in the brain maintain their function and structure. When tau turns toxic, replicates, and spreads, neurons misfire and die. If neuroscientists can pinpoint the reasons for toxicity, identify possible modified tau states, and find a way to block tau’s movement from cell to cell, then progress can be made in fighting any number of neurological disorders. Read More...

April, 2015

Review: Power Foods for the Brain

Can a plant-based diet help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease? Neal Barnard, M.D. makes a case for it in his best-selling book, Power Foods for the Brain and, in his review, David O. Kennedy assesses the merits of the author’s claims. Read More...

April, 2015

The Darkness Within: Individual Differences in Stress

(Read Q&A with George F. Koob, Ph.D.)
Factors ranging from age and gender to life experiences and cultural background make us react to situations differently. But biological bases, such as the way genetics and neurochemicals affect our brains, are providing insight into addiction, post traumatic stress disorder, and stressful situations that we face every day. Read More...

March, 2015

Vernon Remembered

The world of neuroscience lost one of its pioneers when Vernon B. Mountcastle, M.D., died January 11 in Baltimore at age 96. Often referred to as “the father of neuroscience,” Mountcastle defied early skeptics by showing how cylinders of neurons, dedicated to specific tasks, work together. This month’s Cerebrum features remembrances from two colleagues influenced by Mountcastle—among the many who have gone on to make their own significant impacts in neuroscience. Read More...

February, 2015

Why Inspiring Stories Make Us React: The Neuroscience of Narrative

(Read Q&A with Paul J. Zak, Ph.D.)
The man behind the discovery of the behavioral effect of a neurochemical in the brain called oxytocin wondered if the molecule might motivate people to engage in cooperative behaviors. In a series of tests using videos, his lab discovered that compelling narratives cause oxytocin release and have the power to affect our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Read More...

January, 2015

Appraising the Risks of Reefer Madness

(Read Q&A with Sir Robin Murray, M.D.)
Studies that have tied cannabis use to schizophrenia in the developing brain are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marijuana. Our author, a noted British psychiatrist, offers a European perspective on issues such as the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids, dependence and cognitive impairment, and the implications of legalization. Read More...

About Cerebrum

 
Bill Glovin, editor
Carolyn Asbury, Ph.D., consultant

Scientific Advisory Board
Joseph T. Coyle, M.D., Harvard Medical School
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Pierre J. Magistretti, M.D., Ph.D., University of Lausanne Medical School and Hospital
Robert Malenka, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Donald Price, M.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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