research news

Lack of Thyroid Hormone Blocks Hearing Development

Researchers discover that a genetic form of deafness is due to absence of thyroid hormone

Fatigue, weight gain, chills, hair loss, anxiety, excessive perspiration -- these symptoms are a few of the signs that the thyroid gland, which regulates the body's heart rate and plays a crucial role in its metabolism, has gone haywire. Now, new research from Tel Aviv University points to an additional complication caused by thyroid imbalance: congenital deafness.

research news

Functional link found between brain region responsible for taste memory and area responsible for time and place memory

Have you ever eaten something totally new and it made you sick? Don’t give up; if you try the same food in a different place, your brain will be more “forgiving” of the new attempt. In a new study conducted by the Sagol Department of Neurobiology at the University of Haifa, researchers found for the first time that there is a link between the areas of the brain responsible for taste memory in a negative context and those areas in the brain responsible for processing the memory of the time and location of the sensory experience.

clinical updates

Brainwave Test Could Improve Autism Diagnosis and Classification

A new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University suggests that measuring how fast the brain responds to sights and sounds could help in objectively classifying people on the autism spectrum and may help diagnose the condition earlier. The paper has been published in the online edition of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

research news

Neurons express 'gloss' using three perceptual parameters

Japanese researchers showed monkeys a number of images representing various glosses and then they measured the responses of 39 neurons by using microelectrodes. They found that a specific population of neurons changed the intensities of the responses linearly according to either the contrast-of-highlight, sharpness-of-highlight, or brightness of the object. This shows that these 3 perceptual parameters are used as parameters when the brain recognizes a variety of glosses. They also found that different parameters are represented by different populations of neurons.

research news

Researchers link gene to increased dendritic spines – a signpost of autism

By deleting the NrCAM gene, scientists have found a potential way to cut back on the neural connections implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Scientists at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine have discovered that knocking out the gene NrCAM leads to an increase of dendritic spines on excitatory pyramidal cells in the brains of mammals. Other studies have confirmed that the overabundance of dendritic spines on this type of brain cell allows for too many synaptic connections to form between neurons – a phenomenon strongly linked to autism.

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