HealthTalk spoke with Mark Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Psychology, who is researching the neural switch responsible for sparking intense cravings and causing relapse in recovering addicts.
New research from the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota reveals that rats show regret, a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely and fundamentally human.
Research findings were recently published in Nature Neuroscience.
Neuroscientists may have broken new ground in the fight against paralysis.
In new research published today in the journal Brain, a collaborative team of researchers from the University of Louisville, the University of California-Los Angeles and the Pavlov Institute of Physiology in Russia outline how they used neuromodulation and epidural spinal cord stimulation to coax new signals from the brain to the legs of four patients previously paralyzed below the waist. Each patient’s paralysis was the result of spinal cord injury.
While the neuromodulation device was powered on and sending electrical signals down their spines, each man in the study was able to voluntarily move their limbs and support own weight. Each patient has even regained control of their bladder and bowels while regulating their own body temperature and blood pressure.
Repeated cocaine exposure alters inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain in long-lasting manner, which may have an impact on behavior control, shows new research out of the University of Minnesota.
The study, published today in the journal Neuron, highlights a newly discovered way in which repeated cocaine exposure alters neurotransmission in the brain. While many studies have shown cocaine alters excitatory neurotransmission in the brain’s “reward circuitry,” this new paper shows that repeated exposure suppresses inhibitory neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain that plays a key role in decision-making and behavioral control.
The cerebellum is a region of the brain that is important for making smooth, coordinated movements. However, exactly how the cerebellum performs these functions remains unknown. One of the striking features of the cerebellum is its precise neuronal circuitry, such as one of the main circuit elements: the parallel fibers, which consist of billions of neural axons that run in parallel and activate Purkinje cells.
Purkinje cells are some of the largest neurons in the human brain, and are responsible for the motor coordination in the cerebellar cortex.
The “beam” hypothesis proposes that when a group of parallel fibers are excited they activate a beam of Purkinje cells. The competing “radial” hypothesis postulates that parallel fibers only activate Purkinje cells locally.
Have you ever wondered why human beings do the things we do? Or why our actions are often at odds with our stated intentions? These questions are the subject of a new book by A. David Redish, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota.
In his book, The Mind Within the Brain: How We Make Decisions and How Those Decisions Go Wrong, Redish explores the complexity of how we make decisions and how our brain processes information.
Health Talk sat down with Redish to learn more about his new book.