Dana Newsletter: October

Below is the latest Dana email newsletter. You can sign up to receive this (and other Dana email alerts and/or print publications) by going here.

ADHD: 10 Years Later

by Philip Shaw, Ph.D.

Ten years ago a landmark study showed that the structure of the brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) differs from that of unaffected children. Since that study, enhancements in imaging have given researchers a better look at key hubs in the brain and how they network — advances that could prove useful in the control and treatment of ADHD in both children and adults. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas.

Synchronicity and Hyperexcitability in the Autistic Brain

Could synchronized firing of neurons help explain the symptoms of autism? Dana grantee Carlos Potera-Cailliau, M.D., Ph.D., discusses his lab’s insights in the latest in our series of scientist Q&As.

Study Sheds Light on Molecular Processes Underlying Drug Addiction

It’s complicated, addiction researchers say, but they’ve started to find connections among the brain’s glutaminergic learning circuitry and its dopamine-fueled motivation system, illustrating how cocaine harnesses the brain’s plasticity, strengthens specific learning circuits, and leads to addiction.

Sleep Recruits Multiple Brain Areas to Help Consolidate Motor Learning

Using three types of brain scanning, researchers pinpoint the brainwave frequencies and brain regions associated with learning a finger tapping sequence.

Teasing Out the Benefits of Meditation

A series of recent studies has found that by directing attention systematically, repeatedly, and over time, people who meditate appear to effect changes in brain function and connectivity comparable to those associated with fMRI neurofeedback and consistent with observed behavioral benefits. Some investigators describe structural changes as well.

Food for Thought: What Fuels Brain Cells?

The brain is a thrifty organ. It requires only 20 watts, much like a basic household light bulb to fuel its amazing information processing power. Yet, as far as the body’s energetic budget goes, the brain is a glutton: the brain uses per unit mass, ten times more energy than the rest of the organism. On what, exactly? One of our series of Reports on Progress.

Deep Brain Stimulation: a Therapy and Investigative Tool

We’re still learning about the potential benefits of deep brain stimulation, which not only treats disorders but helps us better understand the brain, says Guy McKhann, professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.

See also: Brain in the News — scientifically vetted stories from around the Web, updated weekly

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