Antidepressants can lead to reductions in behavioral and neural responses to pain empathy

Depression is a disorder that often comes along with strong impairments of social functioning. Until recently, researchers assumed that acute episodes of depression also impair empathy, an essential skill for successful social interactions and understanding others. However, previous research had been mostly carried out in groups of patients who were on antidepressant medication. Novel insights of an interdisciplinary collaboration involving […]

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Scientists identify a novel neural circuit mediating visually evoked innate defensive responses

Fear overgeneralization, a condition that limits the ability to discriminate between safety and threat, is an important pathological characteristic of anxiety-related syndromes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder. However, unlike traditional conditioned fear, the mechanism of processing innate fear is largely unknown. Prof. Wang Liping and his colleagues Zhou Zheng and Liu Xuemei […]

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Study shows that artificial neural networks can be used to drive brain activity

MIT neuroscientists have performed the most rigorous testing yet of computational models that mimic the brain’s visual cortex. Using their current best model of the brain’s visual neural network, the researchers designed a new way to precisely control individual neurons and populations of neurons in the middle of that network. In an animal study, the team then showed that the […]

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How live recordings of neural electricity could revolutionize how we see the brain

Red and blue lights flash. A machine whirs like a distant swarm of bees. In a cubicle-sized room, Yoav Adam, a microscope, and a video projector capture something no one has ever seen before: neurons flashing in real time, in a walking, living creature. For decades scientists have been searching for a way to watch a live broadcast of the […]

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Open-source software tracks neural activity in real time

Tracking the firings of individual neurons is like trying to discern who is saying what in a football stadium full of screaming fans. Until recently, neuroscientists have had to tediously track each neuron by hand. “People spent more time analyzing their data to extract activity traces than actually collecting it,” says Dmitri Chklovskii, who leads the neuroscience group at the […]

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