This Week on NeuroScientistNews: 15 June – 19 June
News Jun 19, 2015
Decision making; links between the brain and lymphatic system; cat videos and positive emotion, and more.
When making a decision, individuals have their own preferences and thresholds for what constitutes a ‘risky’ or ‘safe’ choice. These thresholds, however, can change when people are in social situations and know what choices others have made. While the impact of this knowledge on decision making is known, the neural mechanism for how people integrate and use the decisions of others to modify their choices of safe or risky options is not established.
In a study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, researchers working at the Wihuri Research Institute and the University of Helsinki report a surprising finding that challenges current anatomy and histology textbook knowledge: Lymphatic vessels are found in the central nervous system where they were not known to exist. Aleksanteri Aspelund and colleagues discovered the meningeal linings of brain have a lymphatic vessel network that has direct connections to the systemic lymphatic network elsewhere in the body.
Driving a car at 40 mph, you see a child dart into the street. You hit the brakes. Disaster averted. But how did your eyes detect that movement? It’s a question that has confounded scientists. Now, studying mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have an answer: A neural circuit in the retina at the back of the eye carries signals that enable the eye to detect movement. The finding could help in efforts to build artificial retinas for people who have suffered vision loss.
If you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching cute cat videos online, the effect may be more profound than you think. The Internet phenomenon of watching cat videos, from Lil Bub to Grumpy Cat, does more than simply entertain; it boosts viewers' energy and positive emotions and decreases negative feelings, according to a new study by an Indiana University Media School researcher.
Human stem cells can be differentiated to produce other cell types, such as organ cells, skin cells, or brain cells. While organ cells, for example, can function in isolation, brain cells require synapses, or connectors, between cells and between regions of the brain. In a new study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers report successfully growing multiple brain structures and forming connections between them in vitro, in a single culture vessel, for the first time.
Researchers Find a Way to Separate Side Effects of Opioid Drugs Reducing RiskNews
Scientists have discovered a way to separate these two effects -- pain relief and breathing, opening a window of opportunity to make effective pain medications without the risk of respiratory failure.READ MORE
Biological Mechanism of a Leading Cause of Childhood Blindness RevealedNews
Scientists have revealed the pathology of cells and structures stricken by optic nerve hypoplasia, a leading cause of childhood blindness in developed nations.READ MORE
Machine Learning: Helping Determine How a Drug Affects the BrainNews
Machine learning could improve our ability to determine whether a new drug works in the brain, potentially enabling researchers to detect drug effects that would be missed entirely by conventional statistical tests, finds a new UCL study published today in Brain.READ MORE