Berkeley Neuroscience News | January 30th, 2018

The path to happiness is complicated: Dopamine circuitry in the brain

The neurotransmitter dopamine has long been recognized for its role in regulating mood and motivated behaviors. On the other side of the coin, maladaptive dopamine circuitry has been implicated in addiction and other neuropsychiatric disorders. There is a general conception that more dopamine is better. Psychiatric drugs that target dopamine block dopamine reuptake transporters, causing […]

Berkeley News | January 30th, 2018

Super-resolution microscopy reveals fine detail of cellular mesh

One of today’s sharpest imaging tools, super-resolution microscopy, produces sparkling images of what until now has been the blurry interior of cells, detailing not only the cell’s internal organs and skeleton, but also providing insights into cells’ amazing flexibility. In the current issue of the journal Cell Reports, Ke Xu and his colleagues at UC Berkeley […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | January 25th, 2018

The sensory code: Shape and texture discrimination in the cortex

One major open question in neuroscience is “How is sensory experience encoded by neurons in the brain?” Despite decades of research on this topic, our understanding of sensory encoding is only now beginning to yield answers that apply to real world sensory experience. Berkeley Neuroscience labs are addressing this question across multiple scales, animal models, […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | January 20th, 2018

Congratulations to Postdoc Adrianna Jenkins, named APS Rising Star

Adrianna Jenkins, postdoctoral scholar in Ming Hsu’s Neuroeconomics Lab, was named as one of the Association for Psychological Science Rising Stars of 2018. The APS Rising Star designation is presented to outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers post-PhD. Jenkins will be starting as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at […]

Berkeley News | January 17th, 2018

Recording a thought’s fleeting trip through the brain

UC Berkeley neuroscientists have tracked the progress of a thought through the brain, showing clearly how the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain coordinates activity to help us act in response to a perception. Recording the electrical activity of neurons directly from the surface of the brain, the scientists found that for a […]

STAT | December 28th, 2017

3 Brain Technologies to Watch in 2018

Technologies to detect brain activity — fine, we’ll come right out and call it mind reading — as well as to change it are moving along so quickly that “a bit of a gold rush is happening, both on the academic side and the corporate side,” Michel Maharbiz of the University of California, Berkeley, told […]

Berkeley News | December 20th, 2017

First step toward CRISPR cure of Lou Gehrig’s disease

University of California, Berkeley scientists have for the first time used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disable a defective gene that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in mice, extending their lifespan by 25 percent. The therapy delayed the onset of the muscle wasting that characterizes the disease, which results in progressive weakness and […]

The Atlantic | December 15th, 2017

Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Impair Memory

“I can’t even remember what happened that night” is a common joke/cry for help among people who recently drank to the point of blacking out. But there’s also evidence that drinking even a little bit can seriously impair learning and memory. Sleep, especially the REM phase when dreams occur, is when memories get cemented into […]

Science | December 14th, 2017

Out-of-sync brain waves may explain why we get forgetful as we age

Our brains don’t rest when we sleep. Electrical waves ripple through our noggins as our neurons talk to each other. Now, researchers have shown that when these waves don’t interact properly, we can lose our long-term memory. The work may help explain why older adults are so forgetful, and it could lead to new therapies […]

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