Birdsong, calcium imaging, and progress in neuroscience

By Jami Milton, PhD | Mar 21, 2017 9:33:47 AM


Richard Mooney, the George Barth Geller Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University, and a leader in birdsong neuroscience sat down recently with our very own Vania Cao for an interview while he was attending our DECODE Summit as a DECODE awardee. You can read the full interview below, or watch a video snippet.

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Parallel neural circuits mediate distinct aspects of fear memory

By Alice Stamatakis, PhD | Mar 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Fundamental aspects of learning and memory are well conserved among species and are necessary for survival.  The hippocampus and amygdala are key regions of the brain underlying learning and memory processes.  While the hippocampus is crucial for memory formation, the amygdala is involved in emotional processing and assigns valence to salient stimuli.  Importantly, these two brain structures interact with each other to assign memories to emotionally salient stimuli. While it is known that these two brain regions are important for learning and memory, how subcircuits within these two brain regions regulate distinct aspects of learning and memory remains unclear.

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Flashing neurons as science art

By Jami Milton, PhD | Mar 2, 2017 11:47:36 AM


Check out this great blog post by Dr. Francis Collins highlighting Caitlin Vander Weele's research in Kay M. Tye’s MIT lab using our miniature microscope to show how neuronal activity in the medial prefrontal cortex changes as a function of behavior in real-time!

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Top five reasons to study neural circuits

By Jami Milton, PhD | Feb 24, 2017 12:06:56 PM


Recently, we asked a renowned professor in neurobiology, “Why do you feel neural circuits are important to study?”

Quick with an answer, he said, “Because everyone else is!”

His quip revealed some truth, in that it captures a major ongoing movement in neuroscience.

So why are so many neuroscientists now pushing the boundaries to study neural circuits?

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Bill Martin: The promise for neurobehavioral therapies

By Jami Milton, PhD | Feb 14, 2017 11:00:08 AM


The second video in our Neurovox series is an interview with Bill Martin, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D at BlackThorn Therapeutics, a venture-backed company that focuses on creating novel therapies for treating neurobehavioral and psychiatric diseases, ranging from Alzheimer’s to schizophrenia.

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Mapping neural circuits in real time

By Jami Milton, PhD | Feb 7, 2017 8:59:12 AM


When I was a graduate student in the 1990’s, and brave enough to raise my hand after a seminar, I asked the founder of neurophilosophy Patricia Churchland, “If we could record from every synapse of the human brain, would that tell us how consciousness emerges?” At the time, this suggestion bordered on preposterous, but her answer was decidedly optimistic that it was our best shot. Now, over 20 years later, neuroscience has moved into the decade of connectomics. Research proliferates with the expressed goal of mapping every connection in the brain. Institutes have formed around tackling the unimaginable task of identifying the 10,000 connections made by each of our 100 billion neurons. Some researchers hypothesize that not only is it critical we map the connections of the brain to better understand whole-brain function, but that we are our connectomes.

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Interview with autism research expert Dr. Geraldine Dawson about advocacy, neural circuits and autism

By Jami Milton, PhD | Jan 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

We proudly announce the inaugural video of a new interview series: “Neurovox: Conversations with the Neuroscience Community.” Leveraging our unique position at the intersection of neuroscience, industry and entrepreneurship, we take a great interest in connecting with and advocating for the neuroscience community. To support open science, we interview members of the neuroscience community, including researchers, scientists, and those who work in disease foundations and industry, and make their answers available to the public. In the inaugural video, we interview autism research expert Geraldine Dawson, PhD. Dr. Dawson is the Director for Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. You can watch her video interview here.

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Calcium imaging plus 3D movement tracking reveals intriguing insights into action perception

By Jami Milton, PhD | Jan 11, 2017 12:42:55 PM


We have a special treat for you -- two videos you can watch about Dr. Jonathan Whitlock’s research on action perception, action planning and action observation in the posterior parietal cortex. Dr. Whitlock is a part of the Inscopix community, and his lab uses our nVista large-scale calcium imaging system to look at action representation in rodents.

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Inscopix support for PIs submitting BRAIN Initiative RO1 Grant: Targeted BRAIN Circuits (RFA-NS-17-014)

By Jami Milton, PhD | Dec 13, 2016 6:24:51 PM


The Funding Opportunity:

The BRAIN Initiative’s RO1 funding opportunity (Deadline: March 8, 2017) entitled “Targeted BRAIN Circuits Projects, solicits applications for research projects using integrated approaches to “understand how circuit activity gives rise to mental experience and behavior.” Submitted proposals should aim to improve the understanding of neural circuits by, “systematically controlling stimuli and/or behavior while actively recording and/or manipulating dynamic patterns of neural activity.”

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