Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Observations from SfN 2010

SfN Posterface - UCSD graduate student dance party at the San Diego convention center, Hall Gaga.

The 40th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience was held Nov. 13-17 in San Diego, CA. Attendance this year was over 31,500. SfN tried to improve the participatory social media coverage of the conference (after last year's #sfn the meh debacle) by highlighting the official Neuroscience 2010 Neurobloggers in a more prominent fashion. I'm still trying to make sense of the 160 posters, talks, and lectures on my itinerary, but in the meantime here are capsule summaries of several posters.

Patients with left temporal lesions [DO NOT] report decreased religious experience. Oops, change of title.

A novel visuospatial test of creativity activated large chunks of both the right AND left cerebral hemispheres in a group of architects. Creativity should no longer be considered the exclusive domain of the right hemisphere, even for a cognitive function that typically shows a right lateralized bias (also see this review by Dietrich and Kanso, 2010).

Remember "Women w/ low libidos have diff brains"? Now the group of women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder no longer show that pesky, problematic activity in the primary motor cortex!

A low dose of red wine impairs planning and problem solving abilities in the Tower of Hanoi task. It also scrambles the normal distribution of EEG frequency bands.

Furthermore, drinking moderate doses of alcohol (BAC=0.055, under the legal limit for driving in the U.S.) will result in the commission of more errors in the Stroop task and a suppression of theta band activity in the medial frontal cortex.

Lady GABA - from the SfN Posterface video.

The SfN Posterface preview.

This crank poster was very crowded: A “Humpty-Dumpty” theory for why we dream. It listed 21 (or so) rebuttals to possible objections. I didn't have the time (or patience) to read them all.

Why do the mere words "Hindu" "Jewish" "Christian" "Muslim" "Atheist" and "Scientologist" constitute exposure to an ingroup or outgroup? Why does n=27 Christians, n=6 Atheists, and n=4 Hindus provide the basis for adequate group comparisons? Because it’s empathic responses for another's pain!

Although drinking red wine was detrimental to cognitive performance, watching erotic videos was not. You'll be glad to hear that complex problem solving abilities in the Tower of Hanoi task were not impaired in moderately sexually aroused males. However, the pattern of cortical EEG correlations was altered.

I'll get him hot, show him what I've got
Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh,
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got

------Lady Gaga

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At November 19, 2010 11:25 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

Ha!--Fabulous rundown! I was wondering if you were going to mention the Towers of Hanoi study. (It gave me a good laugh.) That poster and the dual fMRI scans cramming two women into the same scanner at the same time were my light-hearted faves.

At November 19, 2010 10:50 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

"...the dual fMRI scans cramming two women into the same scanner at the same time..."

How did I miss that one??

At November 20, 2010 3:25 PM, Blogger tort said...

Nice! Couldn't have gone to every poster if I'd tried, so it's great people are collecting summaries.

Somehow I didn't realize that abstracts were available on the sfn site. Thanks for heads up!

At November 22, 2010 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Observation from SFN: Functional connectivity in the default network correlates with everything under the sun and is associated with every known neurological condition.

At November 22, 2010 3:51 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

And this on the default network from mariapage:

Mind wandering in rats? HA! "Is there a default mode network in the rat brain?" (sfN PosterFace 811.12).


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