Category Archives: Exciting Research

In Depth: Altered Neural Connectivity in Alzheimer’s

As I mentioned in my summary of the meat and potatoes of Perez-Cruz and friends’ paper, this group largely reproduced previous findings, but they also added a new dimension of depth to those findings. Another attractive aspect of the paper … Continue reading

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Altered Neural Connectivity in Alzheimer’s

What you see in the header image of The Naive Observer is part of a dendrite. Dendrites are the information collecting arms of neurons. Neurons also put out another long, snaking and highly branched arm called an axon, which carries … Continue reading

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In Depth: Neurons that Change Shape! Implications for Treatment of Depression?

After reading about the meat and potatoes of Chen and friends’ paper, you may or may not agree that Layer 2/3 “dynamic zone” interneurons seem to control ocular dominance plasticity. Below, I have dissected the paper in more depth to … Continue reading

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Neurons that Change Shape! Implications for Treatment of Depression?

For a long time, neuroscientific dogma dictated that the brain is hardwired. This was cemented by the venerable father of cellular neuroscience, Ramon y Cajal, when he said: “Nerve paths are something fixed, ended, immutable. Everything may die; nothing may … Continue reading

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In Depth: A Weird Synapse In Our Ears Gets Weirder

As I said in my description of the meat and potatoes of Nouvian and friends’ paper, they showed that the inner hair cell’s (IHC) ribbon synapses don’t play by rules. In truth it was established quite early on that these synapses … Continue reading

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A Weird Synapse In Our Ears Gets Weirder

So far on The Naive Observer I’ve written mostly about large scale mapping of connections in the brain. While, as you have hopefully read, I think that neuroscience is going to be hugely advanced by untangling the brain on the … Continue reading

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In Depth: Untangling Starburst Amacrine Cells

In a bet to unravel one of the longest standing controversies in visual neuroscience, and thus in neuroscience period, Briggman and friends have pioneered a new combination of calcium imaging and electron microscopy. This is the arguably the more impressive sibling of … Continue reading

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In Depth: Functional Connectomics of the Primary Visual Cortex

Bock and friends have produced a formidable paper, pioneering the new combo of functional calcium imaging and serial recostruction electron microscopy, a technique that will undoubtedly revolutionize the way we study neural circuitry. Numerous sources have called their work (and … Continue reading

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Crash Course In Functional Connectomics

I unabashedly overstate that to understand the brain we need a wiring diagram of it. This is the goal of the burgeoning field of connectomics – to generate an all encompassing brain wiring diagram or connectome. Lately though, after some … Continue reading

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A Map of 16,000 Fruit Fly Neurons

To understand how the brain works we need a wiring diagram of it. If we ever get there, this diagram will give us hints about how information is processed, synthesized and perhaps even stored, and eventually will bring us closer … Continue reading

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