Monday, April 4, 2016

Neuroscience In The News On April 4

These are articles that I found of interest relating to news about Neuroscience.  In this issue, I have highlighted articles about the how dance may help Huntington's Disease and the role of altruism and brain activity.  Last but not least is how a bird dances to a beat and the insights that are learned from this for neuroscience.

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 4, 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 March 14, 2016

Can Dance Help Huntington's Disease?

Huntington's disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. It has a broad impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking and psychiatric disorders.

Dennis, of Amherst, says dance can help in the maintenance of balance and posture, coordination of voluntary movements, motor learning, cognition and emotional well being.

Article Link:

Altruism and Brain Activity

However, subjects who showed the greatest activity in areas of the brain linked to pain perception, emotion and imitating others gave away an average of 75% of their funds. The researchers say this behavior can be referred to as "prosocial resonance" - a type of mirroring impulse that they believe is a key driver for altruism.

Based on their results, the researchers suggest we may be hard-wired for altruism. What is more, they believe the results indicate that it may be possible to make people less selfish and more generous toward others.

"This is potentially groundbreaking," says Christov-Moore. Senior author Marco Iacoboni, a psychiatry professor at UCLA

Article Link:

The Beasts That Keep The Beat

For Irena Schulz, one of those moments happened on an otherwise ordinary day in August, 2007.  Schulz was someone who already had a deep appreciation for the intelligence and myriad talents of birds. She had even seen some parrots sway and bob to music. But Spudic’s claims seemed a bit hyperbolic. “We were humoring him, saying, ‘Sure, sure,’” Schulz recalls. Later that evening, she and her husband popped Spudic’s CD into the computer in their living room. “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by The Backstreet Boys started playing. Immediately, Snowball, who was perched on Schulz’s arm, began kicking up his feet and bouncing his head with great zeal — and precision.

Make sure you check out the video posted in the story.

Article Link:

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