Please check out the article links below and feel free to comment with other information related to these subjects. I enjoy learning as much as I can about the brain and passing this information on to everyone else that shares these passions.
This is for the week beginning April 18, 2016.
Please come back each week and hopefully I will have some more highlights. Feel free to share with me ones that you have found and I may highlight those as well.
Feel free to check out the highlighted articles from April 11, 2016
Antimatter and Discovery of AntimemoryIn trying to understand the effects of imbalance, scientists reached the conclusion that there must be a second process in learning that acts to rebalance the excitation caused by the new memory and keep the whole system in check. The theory is that, just as we have matter and antimatter, so there must be an antimemory for every memory. This precise mirroring of the excitation of the new memory with its inhibitory antimemory prevents a runaway storm of brain activity, ensuring that the system stays in balance. While the memory is still present, the activity it caused has been subdued. In this way, antimemories work to silence the original memory without erasing it.
- Discovery of Antimemories could Revolutionize Neuroscience
- Source: The Conversation
Potential New Source For Pain InhibitionAccording to Dr. Ted Price, associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the discovery of neuroligin-2 as a cause exacerbating chronic pain is significant for the research community.
Normally, a GABA neurotransmitter acts to inhibit neuronal activity, such as pain. However, when pain becomes chronic there is strong evidence that a process called GABAergic plasticity can cause GABA to lose its inhibitory activity, sometimes making the pain even worse.
“When you hit your hand with a hammer, almost everybody has the same reflex reaction — that is, to rub your finger which, in turn, helps to reduce pain. The reason that works is because it increases GABAergic inhibition in the spinal cord,” Price said. “However, people who have chronic pain — if they do the same thing — find that rubbing it actually makes the pain worse. That’s because the GABAergic system loses its efficacy and, in fact, can become excitatory.”
- Neuroscientist Discovers Potential New Source for Pain Inhibition
- Source: www.UTDallas.edu
- Dr. Ted Price, University Of Texas
Nerve Terminals and Brain SignallingThis spectacular image – which took the best part of a year to create – shows the fine structure of a nerve terminal at high resolution, revealing, for the very first time, an intricate network of fine filaments that controls the movements of synaptic vesicles.
The brain is soft and wet, with the consistency of a lump of jelly. Yet, it is the most complex and highly organized structure that we know of, containing hundreds of billions of neurons and glial cells, and something on the order of one quadrillion synaptic connections, all of which are arranged in a very specific manner.
This high degree of specificity extends down to the deepest levels of brain organization. Just beneath the membrane at the nerve terminal, synaptic vesicles store neurotransmitter molecules, and await the arrival of a nervous impulse.
- Nerve terminal nanofilaments control brain signalling
- Source: TheGuardian.Com
- Reference: Cole, A. A., et al. (2016). A Network of Three Types of Filaments Organizes Synaptic Vesicles for Storage, Mobilization, and Docking. J. Neurosci. 36: 3222–3230 [Abstract]