Saving the Best (Neurogenesis) for Last

Saving the Best (Neurogenesis) for Last

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Jason Snyder. This is cross-posted at Functional Neurogenesis. Previously, I wrote about new SfN data on the role for newborn neurons in regulating emotion. The second half of the SfN meeting rounded out the story because the bulk of the functional presentations focused on the role of new neurons in that other, classic function of the hippocampus: memory. Spanning synaptic plasticity, circuit function, and then linking it all to behavior, we have quite a complete story here.  Read more

#Winning at SfN Poster Lotto with Vodka and the Vacillating Voles

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Zen Faulkes. Browsing through the Neuroscience poster session, I was stopped by an unusual title. Almost all the posters around me featured mice, but I spotted “vole” in the title of this poster. I had to find out why these scientists zigged when all the others zagged. The presenter, A.M. Anacker, had a great answer. Prairie voles are well known for pair bonding. This is the vole equivalent to going steady or marriage. This has been the subject of some very elegant neuroethology, which was  … Read more

Synchronized Anxiety

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Lucas Glover. In 1999, the functional organization of the hippocampus became a little more complicated. A functional double dissociation was identified (also here) between the two parts of this structure, the dorsal (dHPC) and ventral hippocampus (vHPC.) Since then, much research has focused on the dHPC and its role in spatial memory processing, but much less has been done on the vHPC. The vHPC is known to be involved in mediating anxiety-like behaviors and I sought out a cutting edge update on this proposed functional  … Read more

Career Development Topics: How to Meet a Mentor

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Paola Giusti Rodríguez. As the majority of the 30,000+ attendees of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2011 meeting scurried off to all numerous satellite events and social gatherings, a few hundred mobilized on Saturday night towards Hall E at the Washington Convention Center for the “Career Development Topics: A Mentoring and Networking Event”. The event was organized by the Society’s Professional Development Committee to provide mentoring opportunities and professional guidance to neuroscientists across all educational levels. Meeting a mentor among the 30,000+ attendees may seem  … Read more

For “Super Agers,” Bodies Age As Brains Stay Young

For “Super Agers,” Bodies Age As Brains Stay Young

Early research on the sharpest octogenarians reveals unusually youthful brain regions This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Sandra Upson and is cross-posted at Scientific American’s Observations blog. A nasty affliction sets into humans as they advance in years. The hair either disappears or thins into a fuzzy halo, the skin sags and bunches, while inside the brain, changes set in that slow our reaction times and cause our memories to fade. A steady, widespread thinning out of the brain’s cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, is thought to underlie some  … Read more

I Am Judging You While You Wait To Buy Coffee

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Dr. Becca. There may be no better spot for people watching in all of the convention center than the leather sofa that faces the Starbucks line, and that is exactly where I am sitting. It’s perfect—I’ve got a constant stream of people going by, but that stream is slow-moving enough that my not-fully caffeinated brain is actually able to make an observation or two. One thought that occurs to me: with a few highly-notable exceptions, SfN-goers appear to be better-dressed this year than last. But  … Read more