Concurrent task performance enhances low-level visuomotor learning (a rare exception to the general rule that multitasking dramatically and seriously degrades performance).

Take-home message: a paradoxical result. Sometimes, when performing a very dull task, being forced to deploy extra attention to another simultaneously-performed task makes you better on the first task. This is a rare exception to the general rule that multitasking dramatically and seriously degrades performance (see this too; and also). Don’t text and drive: you’ll crash (this is kinda yuck and not… Read More

Everyday episodic memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: a preliminary investigation.

Everyday episodic memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: a preliminary investigation. BMC Neurosci. 2011 Aug 4;12:80. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-12-80. [Download the paper] Irish M, Lawlor BA, Coen RF, O’Mara SM. Decline in episodic memory is one of the hallmark features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and is also a defining feature of amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which is posited as a… Read More

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

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

Age-related declines in delayed non-match-to-sample performance (DNMS) are reversed by the novel 5HT6 receptor antagonist SB742457.

Age-related declines in delayed non-match-to-sample performance (DNMS) are reversed by the novel 5HT6 receptor antagonist SB742457 (available here) Callaghan CK, Hok V, Della-Chiesa A, Virley DJ, Upton N, O’Mara SM. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland. callaghc@tcd.ie Abstract Alterations in synaptic plasticity and neurocognitive function with age have been well documented in the literature. These changes are… Read More