University of Sussex scientists have made a telling breakthrough in detailing the formation of ‘flashbulb memories’, which can help a snail find a sugary treat but also mean a war survivor repeatedly relives their trauma. The new research brings us much closer to understanding how traumatic memories could be controlled and the cruel blockade on new memories lifted. Prof George Kemenes and Dr Sergei Korneev at the University of Sussex have identified a specific molecule, a microRNA (miRNA, a very short RNA that does not code any proteins), which plays a key role in ensuring a long-term memory is formed. The finding could be an important step towards developing treatments for dementia patients as it sheds new light into how two ‘yin and yang’ proteins, CREB1 and CREB2, control the formation or suppression of memories. The findings from this BBSRC-funded project are significant because it is the first time that specific miRNAs have been shown to play key roles in the forming of long-term memories after a single episode of learning and adds new understanding to how even simple organisms like snails can remember a task after just one attempt. The discovery, by neuroscientists working in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex and assisted by colleagues at the University of Oxford and in the Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was established through testing how great pond snails (Lymnaea stagnalis) are able to retain the memory of carrying out a simple task through single trial learning. In tests, levels of the miRNA Lym-miR-137 were found to significantly increase shortly after single trial learning. This then led to a reduction in the protein Lym-CREB2 mRNA, which is known to play a role in the restriction of memories by acting as a molecular constraint of memory formation. The results were initially a surprise to the research team as previous experiments on mice showed that reductions in miRNA had enhanced some types of learning and memory. The team believe that different types of learning are linked with distinct types of miRNA and that a whole complex ‘soup’ of miRNA might be involved in the formation of different types of memory. The levels of 14 different miRNAs were all found to be altered at differing times during the single-trial learning process. Prof Kemenes believes that by learning how to control the levels of CREB2 and its counterpart CREB1, a drug could be developed that would relieve the block on forming new memories in dementia patients. Similarly it has the potential to be used to help repress painful memories within those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Prof Kemenes said: “Controlling the levels of CREB1 and CREB2 helps animals to retain only the memories that are useful for completing a simple task rather than trying to retain a lot of superfluous information. “The way snails form memories for this kind of learning is similar to how they are formed within humans. “The flashbulb formation of a memory that is then retained for a lifetime often involves the creation of a very negative memory such as something particularly traumatic or violent but it can also happen after something much more pleasant like a first kiss. “The more we can learn about the physical process of forming memories, the more hope there is that we could eventually learn ways to counteract conditions where memories are too traumatic or where new memories are being restricted.”
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Summary: Disorders of arousal (i.e., sleepwalking, confusional arousals and sleep terrors) have sometimes been associated with violent behaviors against other individuals. A preliminary review of possible triggers for violence during disorders of arousal finds that violent behavior most frequently
Summary: A new study found that adult sleepwalking is a potentially serious condition that may induce violent behaviors and affect health-related quality of life.
- How do young children know what they know? That question has long preoccupied philosophers and psychologists—and now computer scientists.
- Specialists in artificial intelligence are studying the mental reasoning powers of preschoolers to develop ways to teach machines about the world.
- Two rival machine-learning strategies—both halting attempts to mimic what children do naturally—have begun to transform AI as a discipline.
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“My Brain Made Me Do It” Is Becoming a More Common Criminal Defense. “The number of cases in which people try to introduce neurotechnological evidence in the trial or sentencing phase has gone up by leaps and bounds,”. Even when lawyers do not bring neuroscience into the courtroom, this shift can still affect a case: Some defendants are now using the omission of neuroscience as grounds for questioning the competency of the defenses they received.
Journal home page: https://www.scitechnol.com/spine-neurosurgery.php
Israeli psychologists who specialize in dealing with trauma have traveled to Parkland, Florida to assist organizations helping survivors of the mass shooting at a local high school cope with its psychological effects. “It’s not as if Israel knows anything America doesn’t,” psychologist Alan Cohen told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But we have a lot more practical experience in putting them into a coherent program.” Cohen and fellow psychologist Yotam Dagan first advised Jewish Family Services in Broward County, which helped them connect with more than 60 school psychologists, counselors and teachers. The Israelis noted that they had their own experience dealing with violent tragedies, noting the country’s frequent wars and terror attacks. They advised community leaders to remain visible and open to communication, and for adults to express understanding when children react to their trauma in different ways. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the shooting, has an upcoming fire drill. The Israeli psychologists advised letting students know about the drill far in advance, and possibly play a quieter version of the alarm before ringing the real one. “When you do a drill sound siren, there’s always collateral damage in terms of our own people,” Dagan said. “I realize fire drills need to be done. But if they don’t plan, there’s going to be damage.” Members of the Israel Trauma Coalition have also gone as far as Japan, Nepal and Ukraine to help people deal with the after-effects of natural disasters and war. To read more open http://bit.ly/2DCKYsv
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A noteworthy discussion perseveres inside the field of glial science concerning whether or not, under physiological conditions, neuronal action prompts Ca2+-subordinate arrival of neurotransmitters from astrocytes, a wonder known as gliotransmission. Our point of view is that, while we and others can apply methods to cause gliotransmission, there is extensive confirmation accumulated utilizing astrocyte-particular and more physiological methodologies which recommends that gliotransmission is a pharmacological marvel as opposed to a physiological procedure. Methodologies giving confirmation against gliotransmission incorporate incitement of Gq-GPCRs communicated just in astrocytes, and also evacuation of the essential proposed wellspring of astrocyte Ca2+ responsible for gliotransmission. These methodologies appear differently in relation to those steady of gliotransmission, which incorporate mechanical incitement, solid astrocytic depolarization utilizing entire cell fix clip or optogenetics, uncaging Ca2+ or IP3, chelating Ca2+ using BAPTA, and nonspecific shower use of agonists to receptors communicated by a huge number of cell writes. These procedures are not unpretentious and in this way are not steady of late proposals that gliotransmission requires certain and sensitive fleeting and spatial prerequisites. Other confirmation, including absence of proliferating Ca2+waves between astrocytes in sound tissue, absence of articulation of vesicular discharge apparatus, and the destruction of the d-serine gliotransmission theory, gives extra proof against gliotransmission. Generally speaking, the information propose that Ca2+-subordinate arrival of neurotransmitters is the area of neurons, not astrocytes, in the in place mind under physiological conditions.