Archive by category | SfN Meeting

THE Official SfN 2011 Party Review

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Dr. Becca. Saturday One of the most fun things about being a new professor is that I now call everyone I know in any kind of sciencey capacity my “colleague,” instead of “friend” or “quasi-mentor” or “ex-labmate” or “co-faculty person” or whatever. It feels insanely grown-up. So a colleague hosted a little fête at the Washington Plaza on Saturday and it was heaps of fun. Nice hotel bar! The open, loungey layout was perfect for modular mingling in style and that’s exactly what I did,  … Read more

Human Brain Maps Flip During Spatial Navigation

This is a guest post in our #NPGsfn11 blog series and posted on behalf of Moheb Costandi. The brain encodes two distinct maps of the route from one location to another and switches between the two at different phases of the journey, according to new research presented earlier this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C. We know that a brain structure called the hippocampus, in the medial temporal lobe, is essential for spatial navigation and for encoding spatial memories. It contains at least four different cell types that encode maps of the environment,  … Read more

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. SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY IN YOUNG NEURONS Every time I  … 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

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