Seven Big Brain Stories of 2013

What were the biggest neuroscience stories of 2013? It may be years before we gain the perspective to know for sure. But here’s a list of top contenders, and one of dubious value.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, Aging, Brain Basics, by Dwayne Godwin, Childhood Disorders, Degenerative Disorders, Educators, Injury, Policymakers, Press, Sleep, Stress and Anxiety, Technologies
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Depression Lies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

At least that’s what the marketing is telling you. I’m not going to go all bah-humbug on you, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that not all people find the November-December holiday season as happy and merry as songs and nostalgic movies lead us to believe. After all, ‘tis the season for depression. Continue reading

Posted in by Leanne Boucher, Cell Communication, Mood, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety
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Ladies out of Luck: FDA Blocks “Female Viagra”

Guys who need it have Viagra; Ladies with the similar needs have nothing now that the FDA has denied approval of a new drug, flibanserin, which would treat sexual dysfunction in women. What’s interesting from a neuroscience perspective is how the drug works.  What’s interesting from a social perspective is how difficult it is to address this medical concern in women pharmacologically. Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Animal Research, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Policymakers, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Wipe Out Fearful Memories

I’ll never forget it.  They strapped electrodes to my wrist, cranked up a black dial on a frightening electronic device encrusted with switches and knobs, and shocked me repeatedly with jolts of electricity.  Continue reading

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Learning and Memory, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Creativity, Madness and Drugs

San Diego–Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists concludes psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking this week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Madness electrifies the creative process Jamison concludes, but this difficult drug-use dilemma raises an even more provocative question: Would we have Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds had the Beatles not taken LSD?

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Posted in Addiction, Animal Research, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroethics, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Why Girls Are More Vulnerable to Maltreatment

Women suffer depression and anxiety disorders at higher rates than men; a new study finds an interesting new explanation for this.  Unwholesome family life can alter development of threat-detection circuits in the brain of young girls, which persist into adulthood and predispose women to developing mood and anxiety disorders as adolescents and young adults.  Boys are also negatively impacted by family stresses during childhood, but the lasting effects on their brain were seen in only one of two neural circuits controlling our response to threats, anxiety and fear.

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Posted in Addiction, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroeducation, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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