Jack ’ s hippocampus is bigger than yours

My dog Jack, thinking, has a proportionally larger hippocampus than you do. If I had a pet bunny, its hippocampus would be (proportionally) larger, still!! You’ve probably heard a lot about the crucial role that the hippocampus plays in recording our “episodic” (historic, serial, ‘long-term’) memories. Does this mean that we should revise that age old saying to “Molly has a memory like a… rabbit!” Or what?! Or put another way, what can a rabbit or dog DO, that is decisively superior to YOU? It turns out that dogs and especially rabbits have an exquisite ability to reconstruct and remember their spatial environments, on the basis of visual and olfactory cues in their landscape environments. I learned this in part as a young lad hunting rabbits. (Mercifully, I was rarely successful.) A rabbit fleeing from a source of danger has an interesting escape strategy. They run on a very highly unpredictable path of sudden turns and starts. With their powerful hind legs they can stop on a dime and move sideways as no human (except perhaps Barry Sanders, the retired NFL halfback) can. Yet, from their very erratic path, they always know EXACTLY where they are, and EXACTLY where they’re going. I know this because I have repeatedly seen their erratic flight lead them DIRECTLY to a burrow opening, or into a tunnel into the briar patch. Our episodic memories are reconstructions of PLACE and TIME. It is the hippocampus and associated cortic...
Source: On the Brain by Dr. Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Aging and the Brain Autism Origins, Treatments Brain Fitness Brain Trauma, Injury Childhood Learning Cognitive Impairment in Children Cognitive impairments Language Development Reading and Dyslexia Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, et ali Source Type: blogs

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Publication date: Available online 9 July 2020Source: Journal of Neuroscience MethodsAuthor(s): Yufei Wang, Jianxin Wang, Fang-Xiang Wu, Rahmatjan Hayrat, Jin Liu
Source: Journal of Neuroscience Methods - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
(Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia - IIT) Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia discovered a novel chemical compound, which has the potential to became a new drug for the treatment of core symptoms of brain disorders like Down syndrome and autism. Results are obtained in preclinical models where the new compound ameliorated difficulties in cognitive tasks, social interactions and repetitive behaviors. Researchers aim to create a start-up company in order to further develop this compound and make it a treatment for patients
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - Category: Biology Source Type: news
Children, adolescents, and young adults with at least one first-degree relative [familial high-risk (FHR)] with either schizophrenia (SZ) or bipolar disorder (BD) have a one-in-two risk of developing a psychiatric disorder. Here, we review functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies which examined task-related brain activity in young individuals with FHR-SZ and FHR-BD. A systematic search identified all published task-related fMRI studies in children, adolescents, and young adults below an age of 27 years with a first-degree relative with SZ or BD, but without manifest psychotic or affective spectrum disorder them...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
In conclusion, the study group was characterized primarily by the mild depressive and anxiety symptoms. The mental health of the Polish participants of the Third Age University program was significantly modulated by their socio-occupational and marital status, and financial condition. The study showed that persons with likely problem alcohol drinking differed from other respondents in terms of the occurrence of possible bipolar disorder, depression, and non-psychotic symptoms of mental disorders, state and trait anxiety levels and anger control. There is a need for further research in the field of mental health status in t...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
BackgroundCardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of premature death in patients with psychotic disorders, where dyslipidemia occurs frequently. In the pathogenesis of these serious mental disorders, a low-grade inflammation seems to be a possible contributor. Concurrently, systemic inflammation and its interplay with dyslipidemia is a central driver in the pathogenesis of CVD. We hypothesize that evaluation of atherogenic lipid ratios together with inflammatory markers reflecting different inflammatory pathways with relevance for atherogenesis, could give novel information on immune-related mechanisms involved in ea...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
In this study, the brain basis of sentence context effects on word understanding during reading was examined in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical development (TD) using magnetoencephalography. The correlates of a history of developmental language delay in ASD were also investigated. Event related field responses at early (150 ms after the onset of a final word) and N400 latencies are reported for three different types of sentence final words: dominant homonyms, subordinate homonyms, and unambiguous words. Clear evidence for semantic access was found at both early and conventional N400 latencies in both TD particip...
Source: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
This study examined the factor structure of the Hungarian version of the Birchwood Insight Scale (BIS) and analyzed its association with socio-demographics, diagnosis, internalized stigma, and shame using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with covariates. Mentally ill patients (N  = 200) completed self-report questionnaires. CFA supported two-factor structure. While previous hospitalizations and diagnosis were associated with insight, insight predicted higher internalized stigma and shame. Efforts to increase insight should be matter of importance in the wider spectrum o f mental diagnoses.
Source: Archives of Psychiatric Nursing - Category: Nursing Authors: Source Type: research
Why do we study autistic or dyslexic or schizophrenic or other subjects, in our scientific experiments? That is a question that was asked, rather impolitely, by “dyslexic in LA”, who challenged the “arrogance” of a perspective that engages such individuals as “scientific guinea pigs”. There are two simple answers to this question. We want to understand. If possible, we want to help. There are few if any individuals in the current era who have contributed more to understanding and helping autistic individuals than Tito, Soma, and Portia. I’ve tried to help them. I have the GREATES...
Source: On the Brain by Dr. Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Aging and the Brain Autism Origins, Treatments Brain Fitness Brain Trauma, Injury Childhood Learning Cognitive Impairment in Children Cognitive impairments Language Development Reading and Dyslexia Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, et ali Source Type: blogs
The Brain That Changes Itself (2007) by Normal Doidge, M.D. This interesting book chronicles some of the stories of the men and women who have ushered in the new “brain plasticity” revolution in neuroscience. As we repeatedly emphasize in this blog, the brain is no longer viewed by neuroscientists as a machine that is hard-wired early in early life, unable to adapt, and destined to “wear out” with age. This book attempts to document how scientists are unlocking the secrets of the powerful, lifelong, adaptability – or “plasticity” – of the brain, for ...
Source: On the Brain by Dr. Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Aging and the Brain Autism Origins, Treatments Brain Fitness Brain Trauma, Injury Childhood Learning Cognitive Impairment in Children Cognitive impairments Language Development Posit Science Reading and Dyslexia Schizophrenia, Bipolar Source Type: blogs
ConclusionsAlthough this region does not overlap with ASD linkage signals in these same samples, it has been associated with other psychiatric risk, including ADHD, developmental dyslexia, schizophrenia, specific language impairment, and juvenile bipolar disorder. The genome-wide significant linkage signal represents the first reported observation of a potential quantitative trait locus for HC in ASD and may be relevant in the context of complex multivariate risk likely leading to ASD.
Source: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
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