Obama’s BRAIN Initiative translates into new round of cash for Bay Area researchers

October 1st, 2014

Bay Area researchers pulled in millions of dollars of funding for projects probing the brain for clues to treatments or cures for diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to autism.

The National Institutes of Health awards Tuesday are part of President Obama’s BRAIN — or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — Initiative, a potential $100 million program led by Cori Bargmann of Harvard University andWilliam Newsome of Stanford University.

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NIH awards UC Berkeley $7.2 million to advance brain initiative

September 30th, 2014

The National Institutes of Health today announced its first research grants through President Barack Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, including three awards to the University of California, Berkeley, totaling nearly $7.2 million over three years.

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Three Bay Area institutions join forces to seed transformative brain research

September 25th, 2014

Two state-of-the-art research areas – nanotech and optogenetics – were the dominant theme last Thursday, Sept. 18, as six researchers from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory sketched out their teams’ bold plans to jump-start new brain research.

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Researchers find neural compensation in people with Alzheimer’s-related protein

September 16th, 2014

The human brain is capable of a neural workaround that compensates for the buildup of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers.

The findings, published Sept. 14 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, could help explain how some older adults with beta-amyloid deposits in their brain retain normal cognitive function while others develop dementia.

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Breaking down the Data Barriers in Neuroscience

September 10th, 2014

Most researchers broadly support the idea behind open data—that public access to raw data would accelerate science by putting it in the hands (and minds) of many. Yet most are still reluctant to post their research results online. They cite lack of time, money and universally agreed upon standards, as well as technical barriers, as the main reasons they hold data back. Of course, there are psychological and cultural reasons, too: a sense of ownership over such a hard-won resource and a fear of scrutiny and of being “scooped.”

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Study links honesty to prefrontal region of the brain

September 9th, 2014

Are humans programmed to tell the truth? Not when lying is advantageous, says a new study led by Assistant Professor Ming Hsu at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The report ties honesty to a region of the brain that exerts control over automatic impulses.

Hsu, who heads the Neuroeconomics Laboratory at the Haas School of Business and holds a joint appointment with the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, said the results, just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, indicate that willpower is necessary for honesty when it is personally advantageous to lie.

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