CBO

neurosciencestuff:

 FDA Approves Magnetic Helmet For Treating Depression
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved a device that treats depression using… magnets. About 14.8 million American adults, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult population, are diagnosed with major depression in a given year, and antidepressant medications often don’t help.
The technology, known as deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS, involves placing a helmet filled with electromagnetic coils very close to the scalp and zapping them with pulses of electricity, which causes neurons to fire in very specific areas of the brain.
Magnets, How Do They Work?
First the machine is calibrated by placing it over a part of the brain that causes the subject’s hand to move. Then the coils are aimed at the brain region under treatment. The treatment lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, repeated over several weeks, and is noninvasive—all the person feels is a slight buzzing, and there are no side effects. This makes it a more palatable relative of other treatments that also target the brain directly, such as electroconvulsive therapy (formerly electroshock), or surgically implanted electrodes.
Brainsway, a publicly traded Israeli company, has an exclusive license for the technology from the National Institutes of Health, where its two Israeli scientific cofounders developed it. Their device is already approved in Europe for clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia (negative symptoms), Parkinson’s diseases, and PTSD. Clinical trials are under way to test how well brain-zapping electromagnets could work to treat a huge range of ailments including cocaine addiction, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s, stroke rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, even ADHD.
(Credit: theloneliestgod)

Hmm…I think I’ll stick with prozac, sunshine and plenty of sleep for now.

neurosciencestuff:

FDA Approves Magnetic Helmet For Treating Depression

The United States Food and Drug Administration approved a device that treats depression using… magnets. About 14.8 million American adults, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult population, are diagnosed with major depression in a given year, and antidepressant medications often don’t help.

The technology, known as deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS, involves placing a helmet filled with electromagnetic coils very close to the scalp and zapping them with pulses of electricity, which causes neurons to fire in very specific areas of the brain.

Magnets, How Do They Work?

First the machine is calibrated by placing it over a part of the brain that causes the subject’s hand to move. Then the coils are aimed at the brain region under treatment. The treatment lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, repeated over several weeks, and is noninvasive—all the person feels is a slight buzzing, and there are no side effects. This makes it a more palatable relative of other treatments that also target the brain directly, such as electroconvulsive therapy (formerly electroshock), or surgically implanted electrodes.

Brainsway, a publicly traded Israeli company, has an exclusive license for the technology from the National Institutes of Health, where its two Israeli scientific cofounders developed it. Their device is already approved in Europe for clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia (negative symptoms), Parkinson’s diseases, and PTSD. Clinical trials are under way to test how well brain-zapping electromagnets could work to treat a huge range of ailments including cocaine addiction, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s, stroke rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, even ADHD.

(Credit: theloneliestgod)

Hmm…I think I’ll stick with prozac, sunshine and plenty of sleep for now.

(via exclusively-positive-press)

jtotheizzoe:

NBD, just a paralyzed dog walking again after cells from his nose were used to fuse a spinal cord injury.

Good boy, Jasper! We all probably know that spinal cord neurons usually don’t regenerate after injury in adults. That’s why paralysis occurs, in a sense. There are lots of trials out there using cells that can regenerate, often stem cells, to try and “bridge the gap” and repair severed nerves.

This study was a bit different. It used a cell from the dogs’ noses, called an olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC), to help stimulate spinal nerve growth the same way they usually do between the nose and the brain. (UPDATE: A follower named Sarah said that Jasper could still wag his tail most likely due to an injury phenomenon called “sacral sparing”. Check out her post to find out how that works. Thanks Sarah!)

The result is the cute pup above. It’s really not known if it could aid humans one day, but if it can help Jasper, I think we can all agree that’s pretty wonderful.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go wipe off all these tears of science happiness (definitely not cute puppy tears, nope, no sireeee).

(via University of Cambridge, here’s the original research paper)

drugpolicyreform:

Marijuana Linked To Better Brain Function In Bipolar Patients
Results from a new study show indicate that bipolar patients with a history of marijuana use have better neurocognitive function than those who have never used cannabis.
The team, from The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, found that patients with bipolar I (BD I) disorder who used marijuana performed better on tests of attention, processing speed, and working memory than other BD 1 patients, reports Mark Cowen at News Medical.
“This data could be interpreted to suggest that cannabis use may have a beneficial effect on cognitive functioning in patients with severe psychiatric disorders,” said lead researcher Raphael Braga.

drugpolicyreform:

Marijuana Linked To Better Brain Function In Bipolar Patients

Results from a new study show indicate that bipolar patients with a history of marijuana use have better neurocognitive function than those who have never used cannabis.

The team, from The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, found that patients with bipolar I (BD I) disorder who used marijuana performed better on tests of attention, processing speed, and working memory than other BD 1 patients, reports Mark Cowen at News Medical.

“This data could be interpreted to suggest that cannabis use may have a beneficial effect on cognitive functioning in patients with severe psychiatric disorders,” said lead researcher Raphael Braga.

(via scinerds)

ikenbot:

Neuroscience of Creativity: Why Daydreaming Matters
Here’s an interesting piece written by Matthew May, I took great interest in it since I hardly see any science based articles writting about the process or purpose of daydreaming. Dreaming, yeah, but not so much about daydreaming. I would guess they have similar functions but not entirely the same. Take a look below:

by Matthew E. May
Most people know that 3M’s Arthur Fry was not trying to invent the thing he invented in 1974–the Post-it Note–he was daydreaming in church.
As neuroscientists now know, and was conclusively shown in 2009, it’s when our minds wander that our brains do their best work–it’s when we’re not trying to think creatively that we’re often most creative. That’s when a still mysterious process in the right hemisphere of the brain behind the right ear makes connections between seemingly unrelated things, and those connections then bubble up as sudden insights, as if out of nowhere.
Jonah Lehrer, through our discussion of his just released new book Imagine: How Creativity Works, helped me sort out and make sense out of the latest discoveries, and what the results might imply for anyone wishing to better tap into their natural creativity.
“It’s not an accident that Arthur Fry was daydreaming when he came up with the idea for a sticky bookmark,” advises Jonah. “A more disciplined thought process wouldn’t have made the connection between the annoying little pieces of paper he used to bookmark his choir music and a weak adhesive another 3M engineer had developed. The errant daydream is what made Post-it notes possible.”
Jonah believes that the kind of thinking that enables these unexpected connections is the essence of creativity, and people who daydream seem to be better at it. The trick, though, is daydreaming and letting your mind wander, yet remaining aware enough to recognize a sudden insight when it comes. He makes the point that if you don’t notice an idea, it’s not useful daydreaming: “The reason Fry is such a good inventor—-he has more than twenty patents to his name, in addition to Post-it Notes—-isn’t simply that he’s a prolific mind-wanderer. It’s that he’s able to pay attention to his daydreams and to detect those moments when his daydreams generate insights.”
What that means is that not all daydreaming is created equal. Sitting around the house all day in one long protracted daydream won’t produce any insights, unless there was a certain density of attention paid to a specific problem that preceded it. It’s dedicated daydreaming—-purposeful mind-wandering that yields productive creativity.
“When our minds are at ease,” says Jonah, “we’re more likely to direct the spotlight of attention inward, toward that stream of remote associations emanating from the right hemisphere. In contrast, when we are diligently focused, our attention tends to be directed outward, toward the details of the problems we’re trying to solve. While this pattern of attention is necessary when solving problems analytically, it actually prevents us from detecting the connections that lead to insights.”
Naturally, I’m curious about the role of daydreaming in Jonah’s own creative process.
“I think about this great Albert Einstein line,” he tells me. “The one about ‘creativity is the residue of time wasted.’ In my own creative process, I now feel much more comfortable knowing that when I’ve hit a wall, spent a day tinkering with the same stupid paragraph—that it’s time to take a walk and accept the fact that the most productive thing I can do will look really unproductive to everyone else. I now take more long, languid showers and don’t feel guilty when I take long walks in the middle of the day.
“Answers to my toughest problems come to me while I’m walking, when I’m not thinking about them. I know when I’m stuck that I’m not going to solve them by just playing with words on my computer screen—-I need to get away.
“I think about Jonathan Schooler, who has pioneered the study of daydreaming and mind wandering. He’s shown that people who daydream score higher on creativity tests. He takes a dedicated daydreaming walk every day on this beautiful bluff along the Pacific, just north of Santa Barbara. He talks about how he always knows when he desperately needs a daydreaming walk.
It’s the problems that really seem impossible, where there’s no feeling of knowing, no sense of a solution, no sense of progress—those really hard problem that are most likely going to be solved by long walks, showers, meditation, games of ping pong…those kinds of things.”
What Imagine and the literature about the neuroscience of creativity says is, when we need moments of insight, when we need to find far-reaching connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, when we’ve really hit the wall…that’s when we need to relax, to stop thinking about work, because the answer will only arrive when we stop looking for it.
The next time someone catches you daydreaming on the job and asks you why you’re not working, tell them that in fact you’re doing your best, most creative work.

For more on science based pieces and articles written by either me or others check out my Dreams section of this blog.

I am totally on board with this one. Often I lie in bed, pleasantly seeking ideas about the next plot twist in something I’m writing, or how exactly to make the guru bead work on a mala, lol. I’ve also had a few Eureka! moments when I figured out the solution to something in a dream.

ikenbot:

Neuroscience of Creativity: Why Daydreaming Matters

Here’s an interesting piece written by Matthew May, I took great interest in it since I hardly see any science based articles writting about the process or purpose of daydreaming. Dreaming, yeah, but not so much about daydreaming. I would guess they have similar functions but not entirely the same. Take a look below:

by Matthew E. May

Most people know that 3M’s Arthur Fry was not trying to invent the thing he invented in 1974–the Post-it Note–he was daydreaming in church.

As neuroscientists now know, and was conclusively shown in 2009, it’s when our minds wander that our brains do their best work–it’s when we’re not trying to think creatively that we’re often most creative. That’s when a still mysterious process in the right hemisphere of the brain behind the right ear makes connections between seemingly unrelated things, and those connections then bubble up as sudden insights, as if out of nowhere.

Jonah Lehrer, through our discussion of his just released new book Imagine: How Creativity Works, helped me sort out and make sense out of the latest discoveries, and what the results might imply for anyone wishing to better tap into their natural creativity.

“It’s not an accident that Arthur Fry was daydreaming when he came up with the idea for a sticky bookmark,” advises Jonah. “A more disciplined thought process wouldn’t have made the connection between the annoying little pieces of paper he used to bookmark his choir music and a weak adhesive another 3M engineer had developed. The errant daydream is what made Post-it notes possible.”

Jonah believes that the kind of thinking that enables these unexpected connections is the essence of creativity, and people who daydream seem to be better at it. The trick, though, is daydreaming and letting your mind wander, yet remaining aware enough to recognize a sudden insight when it comes. He makes the point that if you don’t notice an idea, it’s not useful daydreaming: “The reason Fry is such a good inventor—-he has more than twenty patents to his name, in addition to Post-it Notes—-isn’t simply that he’s a prolific mind-wanderer. It’s that he’s able to pay attention to his daydreams and to detect those moments when his daydreams generate insights.”

What that means is that not all daydreaming is created equal. Sitting around the house all day in one long protracted daydream won’t produce any insights, unless there was a certain density of attention paid to a specific problem that preceded it. It’s dedicated daydreaming—-purposeful mind-wandering that yields productive creativity.

“When our minds are at ease,” says Jonah, “we’re more likely to direct the spotlight of attention inward, toward that stream of remote associations emanating from the right hemisphere. In contrast, when we are diligently focused, our attention tends to be directed outward, toward the details of the problems we’re trying to solve. While this pattern of attention is necessary when solving problems analytically, it actually prevents us from detecting the connections that lead to insights.”

Naturally, I’m curious about the role of daydreaming in Jonah’s own creative process.

“I think about this great Albert Einstein line,” he tells me. “The one about ‘creativity is the residue of time wasted.’ In my own creative process, I now feel much more comfortable knowing that when I’ve hit a wall, spent a day tinkering with the same stupid paragraph—that it’s time to take a walk and accept the fact that the most productive thing I can do will look really unproductive to everyone else. I now take more long, languid showers and don’t feel guilty when I take long walks in the middle of the day.

“Answers to my toughest problems come to me while I’m walking, when I’m not thinking about them. I know when I’m stuck that I’m not going to solve them by just playing with words on my computer screen—-I need to get away.

“I think about Jonathan Schooler, who has pioneered the study of daydreaming and mind wandering. He’s shown that people who daydream score higher on creativity tests. He takes a dedicated daydreaming walk every day on this beautiful bluff along the Pacific, just north of Santa Barbara. He talks about how he always knows when he desperately needs a daydreaming walk.

It’s the problems that really seem impossible, where there’s no feeling of knowing, no sense of a solution, no sense of progress—those really hard problem that are most likely going to be solved by long walks, showers, meditation, games of ping pong…those kinds of things.”

What Imagine and the literature about the neuroscience of creativity says is, when we need moments of insight, when we need to find far-reaching connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, when we’ve really hit the wall…that’s when we need to relax, to stop thinking about work, because the answer will only arrive when we stop looking for it.

The next time someone catches you daydreaming on the job and asks you why you’re not working, tell them that in fact you’re doing your best, most creative work.

For more on science based pieces and articles written by either me or others check out my Dreams section of this blog.

I am totally on board with this one. Often I lie in bed, pleasantly seeking ideas about the next plot twist in something I’m writing, or how exactly to make the guru bead work on a mala, lol. I’ve also had a few Eureka! moments when I figured out the solution to something in a dream.

(Source: afro-dominicano)


Vesicles of The Neuron
A colorized scanning EM of a nerve broken open to reveal the vesicles containing the neurotransmitters.
Image Credit: NIH, via Curiosity/Discovery, via Sloth Unleashed

Vesicles of The Neuron

A colorized scanning EM of a nerve broken open to reveal the vesicles containing the neurotransmitters.

Image Credit: NIH, via Curiosity/Discovery, via Sloth Unleashed

(Source: afro-dominicano, via afro-dominicano)