Tag Archives: cortex

Im Winter geborene Männer sind häufiger Linkshänder

Ein Geburtsdatum im November, Dezember oder Jänner begünstigt bei Männern Linkshändigkeit. Während die genetischen Grundlagen der Händigkeit nach wie vor nicht vollständig geklärt sind, haben Forscher der Fakultät für Psychologie der Universität Wien nun indirekt einen hormonellen Mechanismus bestätigt, der offenbar Linkshändigkeit bei Männern begünstigt. Psychologen um Ulrich Tran von der Universität Wien publizieren dazu aktuell in der Fachzeitschrift “Cortex”.

Viele Tätigkeiten und Handgriffe des täglichen Lebens sind für Rechtshänder optimiert. Etwa 90 Prozent der  Bevölkerung ist rechtshändig, lediglich etwa 10% sind Linkshänder. Die Studie von Ulrich Tran, Stefan Stieger und Martin Voracek umfasste zwei große unabhängige Stichproben mit insgesamt fast 13.000 erwachsenen TeilnehmerInnen aus Österreich und Deutschland. Durch die Verwendung zweier Stichproben konnte, wie in modernen genetischen Studien, die Wiederholbarkeit und damit Robustheit des untersuchten Effektes innerhalb derselben Studie gleich mitüberprüft werden. Insgesamt waren 7,5 Prozent der Frauen und 8,8 Prozent der Männer Linkshänder. “Erstaunlich war, dass dieses Ungleichgewicht durch einen Geburtsüberschuss männlicher Linkshänder speziell in den Monaten November, Dezember und Jänner zustande kam. Während im monatlichen Schnitt 8,2 Prozent der linkshändigen Männer in den Monaten Februar bis Oktober geborenen wurden, lag dieser Anteil für die Monate November bis Jänner bei 10,5 Prozent”, erklärt Ulrich Tran, Erstautor der Studie. (more…)

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Brown Unveils Novel Wireless Brain Sensor

In a significant advance for brain-machine interfaces, engineers at Brown University have developed a novel wireless, broadband, rechargeable, fully implantable brain sensor that has performed well in animal models for more than a year. They describe the result in the Journal of Neural Engineering and at a conference this week.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A team of neuroengineers based at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects. Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field. Brain-computer interfaces could help people with severe paralysis control devices with their thoughts. (more…)

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A Neural Basis for Benefits of Meditation

Mindfulness meditation training in awareness of present moment experience, such as body and breath sensations, prevents depression and reduces distress in chronic pain. In a new paper, Brown University scientists propose a neurophysiological framework to explain these clinical benefits.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Why does training in mindfulness meditation help patients manage chronic pain and depression? In a newly published neurophysiological review, Brown University scientists propose that mindfulness practitioners gain enhanced control over sensory cortical alpha rhythms that help regulate how the brain processes and filters sensations, including pain, and memories such as depressive cognitions. (more…)

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Human Brain Evolution Tied to Partial Gene Copy That Blocks Original

A brain-development gene found exclusively in humans has an unusual evolutionary history and could contribute to what makes us distinctly human. Equally surprising, this is a partial gene created from an incomplete duplication of its “parent” gene in the prehistoric human genome.

Gene duplication is an important driving force in creating physical changes in living things during evolution, explained the researchers studying the SRGAP2 gene family. Drs. Megan Dennis and Xander Nuttle, in the Howard Hughes Medicine Institute research lab of Dr. Evan Eichler, University of Washington professor of genome sciences, co-authored the report on the findings. (more…)

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A Bird’s Song May Teach Us About Human Speech Disorders

*UCLA scientists identify 2,000 important genes*

Can the song of a small bird provide valuable insights into human stuttering and speech-related disorders and conditions, including autism and stroke? New research by UCLA life scientists and colleagues provides reason for optimism.

The scientists discovered that some 2,000 genes in a region of the male zebra finch’s brain known as “Area X” are significantly linked to singing. More than 1,500 genes in this region, a critical part of the bird’s song circuitry, are being reported for the first time. Previously, a group of scientists including the UCLA team had identified some 400 genes in Area X. All the genes’ levels of expression change when the bird sings. (more…)

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New Study to Test Unusual Hypothesis on Beta Brainwaves

Beta oscillations are tightly linked to Parkinson’s disease and the ability to process sensory information, such as touch. Two neuroscientists have brought their collaboration to Brown University and won funding from the National Science Foundation to see if they can finally provide a definitive, if unorthodox, explanation for beta brainwaves.

Before she could seek to convince the world that her computer model of a key brain circuit explains a fundamental, 80-year-old mystery of neuroscience with potential relevance to Parkinson’s disease, Stephanie Jones sought to convince Christopher Moore. The new Brown neuroscience professors are now close collaborators, but when they first started talking about the beta oscillations of the cortex, Moore thought Jones was plain wrong, if not a bit nuts. (more…)

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