JAMA have published the new version of the Declaration of Helskinki’s ethical principles for medical research.
Mental Elf reviews the Cochrane Review of Fluphenazine treatment for Schizophrenia in this post.
Researchers investigated various social neuroscience methodologies for use in trials for people with Schizophrenia. One approach in particular appeared to have advantages for use in research.
In a widely reported study, researchers identified a compound which stopped the development of Prion disease in a model with similarities to Alzheimer’s Disease. However it will be interesting to see the results of clinical trials.
Duration, severity and age were risk factors for developing psychosis in Parkinson’s Disease in this study.
Neurons appear to fire backwards during sleep in rats – in this study!
Donald Hebb’s theory of how synapses form and strengthen has been central in Neuroscience for a long time. There is competition now from a new model which suggests that neurons form synapses when electrical activity falls below a threshold.
14th-20th October 2013 is Dyslexia Awareness Week.
Evolutionary Psychiatry, Evolution & Culture
There have been some big announcements in the field of human evolution on five skulls found in Georgia. The skulls date back 1.8 million years and are viewed as a variation on Homo Erectus. The crux of the debate is whether this means that many other species were simply Homo Erectus (due to significant variation in form) or that other species are still viable (e.g Homo Rudolfensis). As usual Associate Professor John Hawks has an excellent summary of the findings and is able to offer a balanced perspective.
There is a fascinating piece on Marmoset communication. Our lineages diverged about 40 million years ago. Marmosets are very vocal and researchers think that understanding their communication might help to answer questions about our own communication. In particular when Marmosets vocalise to each other there is an approximate 5 second pause before responding. Additionally the Marmosets display turn taking during vocalisations as is the case in human conversations. In the article above there is speculation about why such turn taking exists.
There is a very interesting piece here showing photographs of how cats and humans might see the same scene based on physiology.
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