Rosiglitazone enhances learning, place cell activity, and synaptic plasticity in middle-aged rats.

Rosiglitazone enhances learning, place cell activity, and synaptic plasticity in middle-aged rats. Wang BW, Hok V, Della-Chiesa A, Callaghan C, Barlow S, Tsanov M, Bechara R, Irving E, Virley DJ, Upton N, O’Mara SM. [Download here] Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Apr;33(4):835.e13-30. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.08.013. Epub 2011 Oct 4. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Abstract As an antidiabetic agent, rosiglitazone (ROSI) binds and activates peroxisome proliferator-activator… Read More

A war of biases

Originally posted on Mind Hacks:
Here’s an interesting take on terrorism as a fundamentally audience-focused activity that relies on causing fear to achieve political ends and whether citizen-led community monitoring schemes actually serve to amplify the effects rather than make us feel safer. It’s from an article just published in Journal of Police and Criminal…

Maybe neuroscience needs ‘malbrain’ to complement cell biology’s ‘cancer’ in the public mind…***

Previously, I wondered why there was no hue-and-cry over the huge disinvestment in brain research over the past decade, and why, by comparison, cancer research does well.* ‘Cancer‘ is understood by the public at large, by the political establishment, by the pharmaceutical companies and a host of other stakeholders as a single-word issue of great and pressing concern to… Read More

Ninth Level Ireland » Predicting who will publish or perish as career academics

via Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » Predicting who will publish or perish as career academics. [full article here] Here’s what we concluded. It doesn’t matter whether you got your PhD at glittering Harvard University or a humble regional institution like the University of Ballarat. The supposed prestige of the academic institution has almost no bearing on… Read More

Age and cortisol levels modulate judgment of positive and negative facial expressions.

Age and cortisol levels modulate judgment of positive and negative facial expressions. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012 Jun;37(6):827-35. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.09.015. Epub 2011 Oct 26. [Download here] Feeney J, Gaffney P, O’Mara SM. Source School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. feeneyj@tcd.ie Abstract There is some evidence that older adults respond to emotional stimuli differently to young adults, and… Read More

Why the lack of spending on neuroscience? A comparison with cancer research spending, and a neologism (‘malbrain’).

Previously, I wondered why there is no hue and cry about the loss of research budgets for neuroscience. Comparing research spends between areas is not easy. This paper (Sobocki et al., 2006) has some data: Abstract This article is a markedly condensed summary of a longer report [Resource allocation to brain research in Europe (RABRE), part 2] that… Read More

Is education policy a blunt instrument when it comes to ‘social mobility’?

Originally posted on CMPO Viewpoint:
Author: Matt Dickson Is education policy a blunt instrument when it comes to ‘social mobility’? Earlier this week, Tony Blair’s former speech-writer Philip Collins told a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrats conference that social mobility was a ‘terrible objective’ and that in any case, education policy could do little…

Hippocampal dynamics predict interindividual cognitive differences in rats.

Hippocampal dynamics predict interindividual cognitive differences in rats. Take-home message: Individual memory in old rats was assessed using DNMS. We recorded hippocampal CA1 place cells as these rats explored a familiar environment; 27% of recorded pyramidal neurons showed substantial delayed onsets of place field activity. This age-related firing onset delay occurred under basal conditions; it was… Read More

Why no public hue and cry over neuroscience disinvestment? Does nobody care about brain diseases and brain disorders?

The past few years have seen astonishing disinvestment by the pharmaceutical industry in neuroscience research. There have been closures announced of whole research divisions by virtually all the major pharmaceutical companies. They are ceasing research in neuroscience because of its complexity, cost, and their current lack of capacity to deliver a pipeline of meaningful market… Read More