Researchers discovery an independent role for astrocytes in cognition

The majority of the cells in the brain are no neurons, but Glia (from “glue”) cells, that support the structure and function of the brain. Astrocytes (“start cells”) are star-shaped glial cells providing many supportive functions for the neurons surrounding them, such as the provision of nutrients and the regulation of their chemical environment. NewerContinue reading “Researchers discovery an independent role for astrocytes in cognition”

New research shows a map of neuronal activity that gets encoded in the hippocampus with learning

by Nicolas Scherger Dr. Thomas Hainmüller and Prof. Dr. Marlene Bartos of the Institute of Physiology of the University of Freiburg have established a new model to explain how the brain stores memories of tangible events. The model is based on an experiment that involved mice seeking a place where they received rewards in aContinue reading “New research shows a map of neuronal activity that gets encoded in the hippocampus with learning”

Bursts of brain activity linked to memory reactivation

By Hilary Hurd Anyaso Leading theories propose that sleep presents an opportune time for important, new memories to become stabilized. And it’s long been known which brain waves are produced during sleep. But in a new study, researchers set out to better understand the brain mechanisms that secure memory storage. The team from Northwestern andContinue reading “Bursts of brain activity linked to memory reactivation”

New research shows that heavy marijuana users may hold on more strongly to negative feelings

By Rachael Rettner Many people tend to look back on the past with rose-colored glasses, remembering the good times and the good feelings…while forgetting the bad. But a new study suggests that heavy marijuana users may have some trouble letting go of negative emotions tied to memories — a phenomenon that’s also seen in peopleContinue reading “New research shows that heavy marijuana users may hold on more strongly to negative feelings”

Molecular link between long-term memory and neurodegenerative disease discovered

Scientists have just discovered that a small region of a cellular protein that helps long-term memories form also drives the neurodegeneration seen in motor neuron disease (MND). This small part of the Ataxin-2 protein thus works for good and for bad. When a version of the protein lacking this region was substituted for the normalContinue reading “Molecular link between long-term memory and neurodegenerative disease discovered”

Scientists transfer memory from one snail to another

By Ashley Yeager Researchers have transferred a memory from one snail to another via RNA, they report today (May 14) in eNeuro. If confirmed in other species, the finding may lead to a shift in scientists’ thinking about how memories are made—rather than cemented in nerve-cell connections, they may be spurred on by RNA-induced epigeneticContinue reading “Scientists transfer memory from one snail to another”

Scientists at Indiana University discover the first evidence that non-human animals can replay episodic memory in their heads, which could help find new treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or normal memory loss with aging

Neuroscientists at Indiana University have reported the first evidence that non-human animals can mentally replay past events from memory. The discovery could help advance the development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The study, led by IU professor Jonathon Crystal, appears today in the journal Current Biology. “The reason we’re interested in animal memoryContinue reading “Scientists at Indiana University discover the first evidence that non-human animals can replay episodic memory in their heads, which could help find new treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or normal memory loss with aging”

Using magnetism to regulate neural activity shows a small benefit in patients with mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease

On the heels of one failed drug trial after another, a recent study suggests people with early Alzheimer’s disease could reap modest benefits from a device that uses magnetic fields to produce small electric currents in the brain. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disorder that afflicts more than 46 million people worldwide. At present thereContinue reading “Using magnetism to regulate neural activity shows a small benefit in patients with mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease”

Midday naps improve teenagers’ grades

Teenagers and sleep. It’s certainly a passionate subject for many American parents … and those in China. University of Delaware’s Xiaopeng Ji is investigating the relationship between midday-napping behaviors and neurocognitive function in early adolescents. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, the School of Nursing assistant professor and principal investigator JianghongContinue reading “Midday naps improve teenagers’ grades”

Personal subjective reports of memory ability may be a reliable early marker of Alzheimer’s disease.

Psychological sciences doctoral student Marci Horn (left) conducts a name-face memory test as part of a study at the Center for Vital Longevity. New research from the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at The University of Texas at Dallas suggests that subjective complaints about poor memory performance, especially in people over 60, could be aContinue reading “Personal subjective reports of memory ability may be a reliable early marker of Alzheimer’s disease.”