Neuroscience Trend Forecasters
The Neurocritic Blog
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1M ago
As 2022 draws to a close, the SNL Trend Forecasters have agreed to divulge their predictions for the most — and the least — exciting research fads for the New Year. The Neurocritic: How do you guys predict today's most popular neuroscience trends?  Trend Forecasters: Oh, well we have 4,000 computers, they're all big they all make charts and they beep LOUD. TN: Let's get started! In: posterior cingulate cortex Hey Posterior Cingulate — we see you! You're fresh, you're mysterious, you're misunderstood. But we know you exist far beyond the default fashion mode. The new tripartite view p ..read more
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Frankenstein's Hand
The Neurocritic Blog
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3M ago
Just in time for Halloween, I had a hideous surgery to repair a fractured elbow. This entailed receiving a nerve block that made my hand feel like a dead appendage, which was quite spooky indeed.    Spooky Dead Hand    I'm supposed to keep the arm elevated above my heart (which isn't conducive to sitting here and typing), so that is all for now.   Happy Halloween! Actual e-mail sent to the post-op contact person the night of my surgery:     OMFG, WHAT DID THEY DO TO ME WITH THIS DAMN TORTURE SLING ..read more
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"And then a Plank in Reason, broke,"
The Neurocritic Blog
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4M ago
 “I am dead.”   In terms of possible delusions in living human beings, Le délire des négations — the nihilistic delusion that one is dead — evokes the most harrowing existence imaginable. The French neurologist Jules Cotard first described the syndrome that bears his name (1882, English translation): I hazard the name of delirium of negations to designate the state of the patients ... in whom the negative disposition is carried to the highest degree. [They are] asked their name – they have no name; their age – they are ageless; where were they born – they were not born; ... if t ..read more
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The Human Protein Atlas (Neuropeptide Edition)
The Neurocritic Blog
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5M ago
The more you study the brain, the more unknowable it becomes. The level of complexity is baffling, and this is true whether the brain belongs to a human or a crab.1 The latest uptick in human brain complexity was revealed from analysis of postmortem tissue in 17 subregions of prefrontal cortex (PFC). Zhong and colleagues (2022) found that 60 neuropeptides and 60 neuropeptide receptors are expressed in at least one of the PFC subregions.   All the data are freely available (links are in the open access article) and incorporated into the Human Protein Atlas — which has about 15 million in ..read more
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Extracting reliable neurobiological biomarkers for complex subjective experiences isn't easy
The Neurocritic Blog
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6M ago
"The self is the psychological counterpart of the default mode functionality of the brain." (Scalabrini et al., 2021). The self studying how "The Self" is represented and constructed by the brain is apex meta-neuroscience.1 We can say that the self is a manifestation (or an illusory byproduct) of activity in the default mode network (medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, and angular gyrus), but what does this really mean? How do we relate specific neural states to aspects of a changeable self? In a field increasingly focused on remote control of genetically-defin ..read more
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ABCT Apologizes for Past Support of Gay Conversion Therapy
The Neurocritic Blog
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8M ago
It's 2022, and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) has just issued a belated apology because two of their past Presidents published papers on “aversion therapies” for “converting” gay and transgender individuals to the socially prescribed norms of sexuality and gender identity.  Well, they didn't actually say this, nor did they name the prominent and distinguished clinical psychologists who authored these papers. Although these luminaries signed on to the mea culpa, there was no direct admission of the harm caused by these ill-advised practices. Instead, the do ..read more
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THIS device may not nudge your brain into deep sleep
The Neurocritic Blog
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8M ago
The Washington Post used this picture of a saline-filled 280-channel Geodesic Head Web1 to illustrate a new wearable device that aims to enhance slow wave sleep (SWS). The device delivers low-level current (0.5 mA) at 0.5 Hz to mimic the frequency of EEG naturally recorded during SWS (0.5-1 Hz). However, this is impossible with saline sensors, which would also dry out well before the night is over.    The WaPo article accurately showed different stages of applying the net, including measuring the head, checking impedences, and filling sensors with saline (above). A publ ..read more
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Nostalgia and Its Analgesia
The Neurocritic Blog
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9M ago
“Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy. Nostalgic love can only survive in a long-distance relationship. A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images—of home and abroad, of past and present, of dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.” –Svetlana Boym, Nostalgia and Its Discontents Nostalgia means different things to different groups of scholars. To historians, nostalgia is bad, “...essentially history without gui ..read more
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Machine Yearning - Sad Robots and Prolonged Grief
The Neurocritic Blog
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10M ago
Crying Robot, by Mr.A   What is 'machine yearning'? Intense longing exhibited by cartoon robots?  Or a clever pun that describes a network analysis of prolonged grief symptoms? (Malgaroli et al., 2022). My late wife was a writer who was very fond of robots and Futurama. This post is an opportunity to incorporate them all into a brief narrative about the computational psychiatry of prolonged grief disorder. Concert goers booed the avant garde tuba playing robot, but it wasn't programmed to feel sad, or to stop. #Citybots #Warsaw #TwitterFiction — S. Kay (@blueberrio) March 16 ..read more
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The Ongoing Debate about Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Adult Humans is over.
The Neurocritic
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1y ago
modified from Franjic et al. (2022). Cross-species comparison shows transcriptomic signatures of neurogenesis in the hippocampus of adult mouse, pig, and monkey — but not human. Does the adult brain generate new neurons throughout the lifespan? The prevailing view in most of the 20th century was that no new neurons are born in the mammalian brain once development ceases. A series of studies in the 1960s showed otherwise, but these were ignored until the 1990s. A now-historical paper from 2000 recounted the death of a dogma: adult neurogenesis is here to stay, even in humans. Thousand of stud ..read more
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