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News & Views: Thoughts Can Fuel Some Deadly Brain Cancers
Posted on May 15, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit1, Cancer, ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Scott Camazine/Science Source

A doctor-scientist’s long quest to help children with a rare form of brain cancer has led to the discovery that high levels of brain activity can make glioma tumors grow faster.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why do we need sleep?
Posted on May 14, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-1, ND Lesson4-2, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Russell Foster.James Duncan Davidson/TED

What do we know about one of our most basic needs: sleep? Not a lot, says circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster. We know we need to do it to stay alive, but much about it remains a mystery.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why not start addiction treatment in the ER?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Lesson5-6, ND Lesson5-7, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Doctor at patient bedside.iStockphoto

Like asthma or diabetes, opioid addiction is a chronic condition. Could treatment that begins when people show up in the ER get them on the right road faster? New studies suggest it could.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Your tough job might help keep you sharp
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Engaging work is better for the brain.iStockphoto

In an eight-year study of older people, those who held mentally demanding, stimulating jobs tended to retain their mental agility better than people whose work was less stimulating.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Concussions can be more likely in practices than in games
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

High school football team charges the field.iStockphoto

A new study finds long hours in practice might account for the higher concussion risk in high school and college football. Some schools are retooling practice to reduce the number of hits.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Short on sleep? You could be a disaster waiting to happen
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-2, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Workers try to remove some of the 11 million gallows of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez off Alaska in 1989.Rob Stapleton/AP

Mega-disasters like Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez oil spill were set off by people who were sleep-deprived. Researchers say they’re able to pinpoint how lack of sleep derails decision-making.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Brain Boost: Mediterranean diet may fend off memory loss
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit5, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

A whole range of foods common in the Mediterranean diet -- from fish to nuts to fruits and vegetables -- are rich in antioxidants and may protect against cognitive declineiStockphoto

A recent study finds that people in their 60s and 70s who followed the Mediterranean diet for four years held steady on cognitive tests. But the cognitive test scores of people following a lower-fat diet went down.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Scientists probe puppy love
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Cute sure. But is that love?Bullcitydogs/Flickr

Research published in the journal Science suggests that love (or something close) could be behind that stare. The work shows that when dogs and their people gaze into each other’s eyes, all get a boost in their circulating levels of oxytocin — a hormone thought to play a role in trust and emotional bonding.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Use of e-cigarettes triples among U.S. teens
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Nicotine exposure at a young age  iStockphoto

Even as the use of traditional cigarettes and most other tobacco products dipped or stayed the same from 2013 to 2014, the use of e-cigarettes climbed among students in high school and middle school.¬†This concerns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because nicotine exposure at a young age “may cause lasting harm to brain development.”

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Setting the record straight on the phrase ‘Gateway drug’
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

cigarette.Source

Denise Kandel coined the term, often associated with marijuana, in a research paper 40 years ago. But her work suggested nicotine, not pot, was most likely to lead to the use of harder drugs.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Babies learn from magic tricks
Posted on April 3, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-1, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

baby watching a magic trick.Len Turner, Dave Schmelick and Deirdre Hammer/Johns Hopkins University Office of Communications

We’re born knowing certain rules of the world, but what happens when those rules appear to be broken? A new study in the journal Science explores the power of surprise to motivate infant learning.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Critic faults Alcoholics Anonymous for lack of evidence
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-6, ND Lesson5-7, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Bettmann/Corbis

Gabrielle Glaser challenges the usefulness of Alcoholics Anonymous in April’s issue of The Atlantic. She claims that the program’s tenets aren’t based science and that other options may work better.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: A new therapy for colorblindness?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

a simulation of what color blindness looks likeCourtesy of Neitz Laboratory

Six years ago, husband-and-wife scientists used gene therapy to cure colorblindess in monkeys. Now they’re trying to make it work for the millions of people with faulty color vision.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: For a good snooze, take one melatonin, add eye mask and earplugs
Posted on March 23, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-3, ND Lesson4-4, ND Lesson4-5, ND Unit4 | | Add comment |

hard to get sleep in hospitalRoderick Chen/Getty Images

Hospitals are notoriously difficult places to sleep, despite efforts to make them less noisy. Cheap, simple workarounds can help, a study finds. Taking the sleep hormone, melatonin, helped the most.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Can we predict which teens are likely to binge drink? Maybe.
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

beer pongColin/Flickr

We know some people are more at risk for abusing alcohol than others. Now scientists say they’re getting closer to predicting which teenagers are most at risk.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Rethinking alcohol: Can heavy drinkers learn to cut back?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Lesson5-7, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

walking along the top of martini glassesMaria Fabrizio for NPR

The limit for healthy drinking may be less than you think: one drink a day for women and two for men, according to the CDC. New strategies aim to help heavy drinkers reduce their intake.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Pain really is all in your head
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson3-1, ND Lesson3-4, ND Unit3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

x-ray of headiStockphoto

Humiliation, fear and unpredictability all turn up the volume of pain, research shows. And meditation can turn down pain’s intensity, according to scientists who are starting to figure out why.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Distracted behind the wheel: Teens say they change clothes and do homework while driving
Posted on March 19, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

driving and putting on makeupiStockphoto

Teens do understand that texting while behind the wheel is dangerous. But putting on makeup and contacting lenses at 65 mph? No problem. Researchers in Oregon are trying to train teenagers on the risks of multitasking.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Mad cow research hints at ways to halt Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
Posted on March 18, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

empty beer and wine glassesScience Source

Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ravage the brain in very different ways. But they have at least one thing in common, says Corinne Lasmezas, a neuroscientist and professor at Scripps Research Institute. Each spreads from brain cell to brain cell like an infection.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Drinking habits may be influenced by how much you make
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-4, ND Lesson5-5, ND Lesson5-6, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

empty beer and wine glassesCultura/Liam Norris/Getty Images

To keep people from getting into trouble with alcohol, it would be helpful to know why they’re at risk. Genes make some people more susceptible to dependence or addiction, while the surroundings exert a stronger pull on others. A new study published in the journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Review suggests that a person’s income level influences the push and pull of genes and the environment.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Clues to autism, schizophrenia emerge from cerebellum research
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-2, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

brain's cerebellum

New research suggests the brain’s cerebellum not only helps shape physical coordination, but also thinking and emotion. Could stimulating the cerebellum help ease some aspects of autism and schizophrenia?

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Circadian Surprise: How our body clocks help shape our waistlines
Posted on March 16, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

clocks adjust waistlineCredit: Katherine Streeter for NPR

We have different clocks in virtually every organ of our bodies. But living against the clock — eating late at night or working overnight — may set the stage for weight gain and chronic disease.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: A man’s incomplete brain reveals cerebellum’s role in thought and emotion
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-2, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

MRI scans of Jon Keleher (A,B) compared to a control (C,D) of the same ageSource: Massachusetts General Hospital; Credit: Courtesy of Jeremy Schmahmann

Jonathan Keleher is one of a handful of people known to have lived their entire lives without a cerebellum. His experiences are helping scientists show how this brain structure helps shape who we are.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Science explains how marijuana causes the munchies
Posted on February 18, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, ND Unit4, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

marijuana

Where there’s pot, there’s often an insatiable hunger. A new study gives a clue why: Cannabinoids, the drug in marijuana, appear to flip a neural circuit that normally tells us we’re full into thinking we’re hungry.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Your e-reader might be disturbing your sleep
Posted on January 20, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

reading on a screen may disrupt sleep

A new study suggests using an e-reader before trying to nod off may disrupt sleep more than reading a paper book. Scientists suspect the screen’s blue light is messing with the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Teens who skimp on sleep have more drinking problems later
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

sleep deprived teenager

Missing out on sleep can lead to more than grumpiness. Teenagers who aren’t getting enough sleep are also more apt to binge drink, a study finds, even years later.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Cake laced with synthetic drugs makes dozens of people hallucinate
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Synthetic drugs, gathered in evidence bags

After eating sweet bread from a Santa Ana bakery, thirty people got ill, complaining of heart palpitations and hallucinations. The deputy health counselor for the Orange County Health Agency said that people developed symptoms somewhere between 20 minutes and two hours after they consumed the rosca de reyes — Mexican sweet bread, traditionally eaten on Jan. 6 for Dia de los Reyes (The Three Wise Men Day). Preliminary lab results indicate the presence of a synthetic drug in the bread. A criminal investigation has been launched.

Around the same time as the incident, senators from California and Ohio introduced legislation that takes aim at producers and importers of synthetic drugs. The bill is called the Protecting Our Kids from Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act.

Read more about the evolving problem of synthetic drug use at NPR.org.

News & Views: New device curbs hunger by zapping a nerve
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Enteromedics new pacemaker-like device

Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new device that aims to curb hunger by zapping a nerve. The device stimulates the vagus nerve and may curb hunger by blocking communication between the stomach and the brain, but researchers still aren’t sure why it makes people feel less hungry.

Read more about the new device at NPR.org.

News & Views: What can heroin addiction teach us about changing our bad habits?
Posted on January 6, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

U.S. soldiers line up to give urine samples before leaving South Vietnam

How many times have you said you’re going to exercise more or eat better? Maybe the reason it is so hard to keep resolutions is because your environment is sabotaging you — or at least that’s what some psychologists are saying based on a study of U.S. soldiers’ heroin addiction during the Vietnam War.

Read the full story at NPR.org.

News & Views: Human Embryonic Stem Cells Help Restore Vision
Posted on October 15, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Steven Schwartz

A new study published in Lancet on Tuesday presents the first strong evidence that human embryonic stem cells are helping patients. Human embryonic stem cells, which can become any cell in the body, have long been thought of as a source for replacement tissue. In this study, stem cells were transformed into retinal pigment epithelium cells, and then injected into one eye of patients going blind. After injection, the patients were followed for an average of 22 months, and two of them for over three years. While the study was mostly designed to see if the treatment was safe, many of the patients were pleasantly surprised that their vision improved due to treatment. In fact, vision improved by what is considered to be a significant amount in eight of the eighteen treated eyes. The scientists caution though that this work is in its early stages, but are expanding the trial and following more patients.

Read more of New York Time’s coverage at NYTimes.com.

News & Views: Is there a neural basis for altruism?
Posted on September 22, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

cartoon of altruism

New research indicates that there just might be a neural basis for altruism. Using structural and functional MRI, researchers imaged the brains of extraordinary altruists (people who volunteered to donate a kidney to a stranger). The scans showed that compared to control subjects, the extraordinary altruists not only had larger amygdalas, but that their amydalas had greater activation when they viewed pictures of people displaying fear. Interestingly, these results are the polar opposite from the researchers’ earlier work with psychopaths. The psychopaths were found to have smaller amygdalas with less activation when viewing faces displaying fear compared to control.

Read more of NPR’s coverage at NRP.org.

News & Views: Colorado’s message to teens “Don’t be a lab rat”
Posted on September 17, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

human-sized rat cage(1)

Public health officials in Colorado are facing an unprecedented challenging: explaining to teens why they shouldn’t smoke marijuana after the state legalized it. Campaigns against teen drug use usually rely on the scientifically proven health risks, but the studies on the risks of marijuana, especially to the developing teen brain, are still in their preliminary stages. Colorado’s public health campaign hinges on that exact idea and tells teens “Don’t be a lab rat”, complete with human-sized lab rat cages.

Read more about Colorado’s public health campaign at NRP.org.

News & Views: Could the slower development of a neural network cause ADHD?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit1, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders, News, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

Connection maps of brain areas are helping reseachers study the causes of ADHD

New research suggests that the neural network that controls attention may develop more slowly in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While previous research suggested that the brains of children with ADHD develop more slowly, this new research was able to detect changes in connectivity within and between key brain regions.

Read more about the research at NRP.org.

News & Views: Amputee feels in real-time with bionic hand
Posted on September 2, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Sorensen using bionic hand

Dennis Aabo Sorensen became the first amputee to feel sensory information in real-time from a prosthetic that had been wired the nerves in his upper arm. With the new prosthetic, Sorensen can grasp objects intuitively and can identify the shape and texture of objects by touch while blindfolded.

Read more and watch a video of Sorensen here.

News & Views: Can you think yourself to satiety?
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Stephanie Tammen | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

milkshake

 

The world of nutrition has a long way to go before it fully understands the complex relationship between the brain and the gut, but a recently published study seems to have made a significant step in an interesting direction. The study, published the journal Health Psychology, asks the question of whether our beliefs about a particular food change us physically – that is, if you think a food is good (or bad) for you, do we have a different physiological response to that food? To answer this question researchers had study participants drink either a rich, high-calorie milkshake called “Indulgence”, or a more healthy, low-calorie milkshake called “Sensishake”, then measured blood levels of ghrelin – a hormone that signals to the brain that we’re hungry. The trick? Both milkshakes were actually identical, with no difference in ingredients (or calories). Even so, the participants that drank the “Sensishake” had higher levels of ghrelin than those that drank the “Indulgence”, making them feel hungry sooner!

Read more (with a link to the published article) at NPR.

News & Views: Teens Beware: Using Marijuana Could Make You Dumber
Posted on March 3, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

marijuana smoking

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug, and more teenagers and young adults are using the drug in states that have made it available for medical use. Yet, several studies suggest that marijuana use during the teenage years can dampen the development of brain regions critical for memory and problem solving. In one study, researchers analyzed the effect of marijuana use on IQ. The researchers found that people who began using marijuana in their teenage years and continued to use marijuana for several years lost about 8 IQ points from childhood to adulthood. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Marijuana’s effect on Teenage Brain

News & Views: How Dogs Read Our Moods
Posted on March 2, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-3, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

vitamins (1)

Ever wonder how your dog knows what you’re feeling? Researchers in Budapest recently discovered a neural circuit in dogs’ brains that respond to the emotions in voices — both dog voices and human voices. The circuit seems to work similarly to a voice-detection circuit found in the human brain. This research was no small feat, as the dog subjects were required to lie completely still for 10 minutes at a time in an fRMI scanner. Thankfully, the dogs were motivated by treats and praise. Read more at NPR’s coverage: How Dogs Read Our Moods:Emotion Detector Found in Fido’s Brain

News & Views: Mind Control: Not totally science fiction
Posted on November 22, 2013 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-1, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

roboroach(1)

The folks at Backyard Brains have developed a device called RoboRoach that lets you control the movement of a cockroach with your iPhone! With the RoboRoach you can control a single insect, but what if you had control of an entire swarm? One researcher is trying to develop such technology to aid in search-and-rescue missions. Read more at NPR’s coverage: What’s Creepy, Crawly And a Champion of Neuroscience?

News & Views: Night Crew for Your Brain
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-1, ND Lesson4-2, ND Lesson4-3, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

Scientists still debate the exact function of sleep, with some arguing that it aids our memory, while others argue that it helps to conserve energy, and still other argue that it is needed to discharge our emotions. A new study published in Science presents data suggesting that during sleep harmful toxins are cleared from our brains, which might prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Brains Sweep Themselves Clean of Toxins During Sleep

News & Views: This Is Your Brain on Music
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-2, ND Lesson1-3, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

brain on music(1)

The light show at the Mickey Hart Band concert is part science, part art. Mickey Hart, best known as the percussionist for the Grateful Dead, wears an EEG cap while he plays which powers the light show for concert. Read more at NPR’s coverage: This is Musician Mickey Hart’s Brain on Music

News & Views: Girl Survives Brain-Eating Amoeba
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Infectious Disease, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

After being hospitalized for 2 months, Kali Hardig, 12, gets to go home after recovering from amebic meningoencephalitis which health officials believe she contracted at a Little Rock, Ark., waterpark in July. She is only the third known survivor of the deadly infection in the last 50 years. Read more at Daily News: Arkansas girl survives brain-eating amoeba

News & Views: Numbers on the Brain
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-1, ND Lesson1-2, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

brain scans(1)

Using fMRI, scientists have located a part of the brain – just above each of the ears – that responds to quantities. It allows us to look at objects and quickly tell how many there are. This ability maxs out at five objects for most people, but anything less than that and we can quickly tell how many objects there are without even counting thanks to this region of the brain. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Scientists Put a ‘Sixth Sense’ for Numbers on Brain Map

News & Views: Paint the Tumor
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Cancer, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

In an effort to help surgeons identify and remove brain tumors, scientists have developed a paint that is attracted to specific channels on cancerous cells. The hope is that with this paint, doctors can more accurately remove just the tumor and not any healthy brain tissue. By sparing the surrounding healthy brain tissue, patients will have fewer symptoms after surgery. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Why Painting Tumors Could Make Brain Surgeons Better

News & Views: And the Nobel Prize Goes to…
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-4, ND Lesson3-2, ND Unit2, ND Unit3, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

vitamins (1)

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine has been awarded to three scientists who helped us understand how our cells communicate. The research, conducted over the last 30 years, has broad reaching implications including links to neurodegenerative diseases, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophies and some autoimmune disorders.

Read more at NPR’s coverage: Nobel Winners Decoded How Neurons Talk to Each Other

News & Views: Look Who’s Talking
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-3, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

In an effort to figure out how language helps babies learn, researchers studied infant learning in response to lemur screeches. Amazingly, 3 month old human infants learned in response to lemur shrieks. Although, this effect was gone by 6 months, at which point only human speech helped the babies learn. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Enough with Baby Talk; Infants Learn from Lemur Screeches, too

News & Views: Migraines Suffers Have Brain Changes Similar to Strokes
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-3, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

As part of ongoing research to determine the causes of migraines, researchers using MRI discovered that the brains of those of us who suffer from migraines have white matter abnormalities that appear similar to mini-strokes. There is also a slightly increased risk for stroke for those who experience migraines with aura (flashing lights before a migraine), making it very important to practice stroke prevention. Read more at NPR’s coverage: Migraine Brain Changes

News & Views: NFL Settles Lawsuit
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

The NFL has agreed to pay $765 million dollars to resolve a lawsuit brought by over 4,500 ex-players and their families, accusing the league of concealing the dangers of repeated head trauma. The money will go to players or families of players who sustained cognitive injury as well as to funding scientific research. The league has denied any wrongdoing and insists that safety has always been a top priority, but research has indicated a link between repeated head trauma and development of brain disorders, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more at NYTimes coverage: NFL Settles Lawsuit

News and Views: Got Smell? There’s An App For That
Posted on November 20, 2013 by Jane Newbold | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

The Japanese company Scentee has created an attachment for the iPhone that can spray out scents ranging from flowers to cooked meats. In their commercial, the company makes it seem like smelling food can actually hold off cravings, yet scientists beg to differ. You’ll be able to test it yourself in late November 2013 when Scentee makes its debut in the United States. Read more at NPR’s coverage: A Japanese iPhone Gadget Teases The Tummy With Food Smells

News & Views: Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication
Posted on September 19, 2013 by Jane Newbold | Categories: ND Lesson1-1, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

Man participating in pilot experiment sits facing away from computer screen, hand on keyboard and device for remote brain stimulation arcing over his head like a metallic horn
Researcher Andrea Stocco sits ready to receive brain signals from his collaborator. Source: R.P.N. Rao and A. Stocco.

NPR – Don’t Call It A Mind-Meld: Human Brains Connect Via Internet. Using electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), researchers were able to have one person’s thoughts control another person’s actions. In this case, the subjects (who were also the researchers) were only playing a video game and pressing a button to fire, but still – very cool!