Breakthroughs in Neurosciences

Thanks to innovative Brain imaging and advances in Neurosciences, there have been some major advances in our understanding of aetiology and treatment of Brain disorders. Future breakthroughs are likely to depend on discoveries in genomics and neurosciences, in tandem with exploration of the role of sociocultural and environmental contexts 1.

Brain Plasticity

Recent advances in systematically characterizing brain circuitry at different spatial scales offer exciting prospects for deepening the understanding of brain function in humans. The concept of connectomics of the brain is now used with:

  • "Macro connectome" efforts to comprehensively chart long(distance pathways and functional networks
  • "Micro-connectome" efforts to identify every neuron, axon, dendrite, synapse and glial process within restricted brain regions
  • "Meso-connectome" efforts to systematically map both local and long-distance connections using anatomical tracers.

The power of connectomics approaches in characterizing abnormal circuits in the many brain disorders that affect humankind is very promising. Multi-disciplinary teams of experts in computational neurosciences, network theory, as well as structural neurobiology, are combining their efforts to provide a better understanding of the Human Brain.

Brain Imaging

New brain-imaging technologies have allowed researchers to address questions that until recently were mainly speculation. Thanks to more powerful computers and new theories new models of neural function emerges.

The Human Brain project is an example of international effort gathered with a multidisciplinary approach in order to better understand the Brain and try to map it

www.humanbrainproject.eu

Brain New Technologies

With the input of scientists, new devices are developed which could help monitor and extract brain activity enabling a computer or a machine to do many different tasks. Hereby, we will give some very promising example of the use of new technologies to improve people’s life.

Cognitive NeuroSciences is blooming

The field of cognitive neuroscience concern the scientific study of the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and is a branch of neuroscience.

It is a very dynamic research area and is making rapid and dramatic advances; fundamental stances are changing and new ideas are emerging.

Cognitive neuroscientists have very different background either in experimental psychology, in neurobiology, in neurology, or even in physics, and mathematics.

Therefore many research in development and evolution have found a dynamic growth pattern with a better understanding of Brain plasticity showing the neuronal systems always changing; exciting new empirical evidence on attention have emerged.

Methods employed in cognitive neuroscience include psychophysical experiments, functional neuroimaging, electrophysiological studies of neural systems and, increasingly, cognitive genomics and behavioral genetics.

New implication of the motor system pushed further into cognition and lead to interesting projects thanks to new devices measuring movement.

All around the work memory research centers have been created and paradoxically, provides insight into how humans imagine future events; pioneering theoretical and methodological work in vision; new findings on how genes and experience shape the language faculty; new ideas about how the emotional brain develops and operates.

New model of cognitive flexibility gives insight into autism spectrum disorder Cognitive flexibility is the ability to shift our thoughts and adapt our behavior to the changing environment. In other words, it's one's ability to disengage from a previous task and respond effectively to a new one. It's a faculty that most of us take for granted, yet an essential skill to navigate life.

Finally research on consciousness that ranges from a novel mechanism for how the brain generates the baseline activity necessary to sustain conscious experience to a bold theoretical attempt to make the problem of qualia more tractable.

In a new paper published in the journal Trends in Neurosciences,2 University of Miami (UM) College of Arts & Sciences researchers clarify many of the concepts surrounding cognitive flexibility and propose a model of its underlying neural mechanisms. The new model may be instrumental in understanding behavioral and neurological disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder.

Genetic and stem cells research

It is now a very promising area of research many posters where presented during the last Neurosciences Congres which took place in Chicago October 17-21 http://www.sfn.org/am2015

More to come…

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