Monday, October 30, 2006

The Synapse, Spooky Issue 10

Step right up to the Carnival of Souls, aka The Synapse.

Read more about fear, disgust, and Carnival of Souls at The Neurocritic.

Now let's get started on The Synapse's Treehouse of Horror!

Steve from Omni Brain submits a story on saccadic suppression in hockey, which teaches us that goalies should keep their eyes on the puck! Now who would've thought that was so important??

In Alien Vs Predator: would eugenics and mate selection divide us in two?, Sandy G from The Mouse Trap analyses a recent speculation that the human species may split in two.

The Mouse Trap also comments on the widely-linked stereotype threat study that found differences in math abilities in women after priming them with genetic versus experiential explanations about sex differences in math ability.

Girls Just Want to Have Sums

Jake from Pure Pedantry posts about Scott Adams and his remarkable recovery from a rare neurological voice disorder in Dilbert Creator Recovers from Spasmodic Dysphonia.

Vaughan from Mind Hacks has an ongoing exhibition in collaboration with artist Simon Pope, called Gallery Space Recall. Is it art? Is it memory? Is it neither here nor there? Read more about it in Art, psychology or empty room?

In Blogs on a Plane, Roy from Shrink Rap talks about the "Moral hygiene/Lady Macbeth/Out, damned spot" study in terms of very mild OCD.

Joseph from Corpus Callosum
writes about NRP104, a conditionally bioreversible derivative of amphetamine (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, or d-amphetamine covalently linked to l-lysine). This compound is a candidate drug for ADHD with (possibly) less liability for abuse.

Coturnix presents Waking Experience Affects Sleep Need in Drosophila, which was posted at A Blog Around The Clock. What is sleep for? environment affects the amount of sleep. Fruitflies kept in isolation sleep less than fruitflies kept in groups. As these insects already sleep through the night, the only time where additional sleep can be fitted in is during daytime - taking naps. Flies in group settings did not have more naps, but their naps lasted much longer. The volume of the environment (the size of the vial) had no effect on this. On the other hand, the number of flies kept together did matter: more flies in the vial, longer the naps.

. . .

Put together, the paper provides evidence at several different levels of organization (genetics, neurochemistry, development, behavior) that sleep in fruitflies is related to learning and memory of social interactions.
The Neurophilosopher writes about Trafficking herpes & other cargo:
Researchers at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory have for the first time identified a short peptide which 'tags' cellular cargo for transport along a neuron's axon. The peptide is a short fragment of amyloid precursor protein, which many believe is responsible for the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

At The Biotech Weblog, Ruth discusses the finding that Jellyfish Protein May Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases:
Scientists have isolated aequorin, a protein from jellyfish which has neuroprotective properties and may hold promise in treating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Its putative mechanism of action is by controlling calcium levels in the neurons.

Dr Kavokin (not Kevorkian) presents the Depression and Heart Disease Quiz posted at RDoctor Medical Portal.

Sandra at Psych Central reviews a book by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, the author explains the following:
I take you on a very unusual journey into the step-by-step deterioration of my cognitive abilities, as viewed through the eyes of a scientist. As the hemorrhage in my brain grew larger and larger, I relate the cognitive deficits I was experiencing to the underlying biology. As a neuroanatomist, I must say that I learned as much about my brain and how it functions during that stroke, as I had in all my years of academia.

And what would a special Halloween edition of a brain blog be without Steve's brain recipe?

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At October 31, 2006 9:18 AM, Blogger Steve Higgins said...

The microwave is not feeling well today.

At October 31, 2006 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job. Thanks.

However, I am concerned about your apparent obsession with "Carnival of Souls"!

The entire film is available for viewing or download at Google Video.

At October 31, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Steve, there's only one thing to say: brains, must have brains!! And gasp! I know what I'll be doing today instead of working, thanks to you, Neurophilosopher.

At October 31, 2006 3:22 PM, Blogger Steve & Barb said...

Whoa! Great issue, with all the cool, spooky pics. Nice job on this carnival, especially given that it was under the influence of jet lag. I've GOT to get me one of those brain molds!

At October 31, 2006 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool stuff! Awesome! Got here via Neurofuture...


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