Yearly Archives: 2020

Research on mice suggests aging affects a brain circuit critical for learning to make some types of decisions. Source: [MIT News Office, Anne Trafton | October 27, 2020] As people age, they often lose their motivation to learn new things or engage in everyday activities. In a study of mice, […]

Study helps explain why motivation to learn declines with age

Source: [The Picower Institute News | September 17, 2020] To understand the massive capabilities and complexities of the brain, neuroscientists segment it into regions based on what they appear to do—like processing what we sense or how to move. What’s been lacking, however, is an ability to tie those functional […]

Live imaging method brings structural information to mapping of brain ...

Source: [Spectrum, Angie Voyles Askham | August 27, 2020] Problems with the formation of DNA-filled droplets that control gene expression may contribute to Rett syndrome, a new study suggests1. Droplets routinely form throughout cells, akin to drops of oil in water, to compartmentalize molecules for various purposes, including the regulation of gene […]

DNA droplets may be key to Rett syndrome, researchers say

New analysis could help uncover potential drug targets for attention deficits and sensory hypersensitivity. Source: [MIT News Office, Anne Trafton | July 22, 2020] Many people with autism experience sensory hypersensitivity, attention deficits, and sleep disruption. One brain region that has been implicated in these symptoms is the thalamic reticular […]

Mapping the brain’s sensory gatekeeper

Source: [Spectrum, Angie Voyles Askham | July 10, 2020] An experimental drug prevents seizures and improves memory in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome, according to a new study1. The drug selectively blocks an enzyme that is overactive in the brains of people with fragile X and could offer […]

Selective enzyme blocker eases fragile X traits in mice

Picower Institute researchers are advancing their work in many ways despite time away from the lab required to corral Covid-19. Source: [ David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, April 7, 2020] With all but a skeleton crew staying home from each lab to minimize the spread of […]

Researching from home: Science stays social, even at a distance

Source: [Spectrum, Sarah Deweerdt | March 19, 2020] Elise Robinson’s newest office mates are a ficus tree, its broad variegated leaves enjoying the light from a narrow window, and a pair of small succulents perched one above the other at the edges of bookshelves. And these are just a fraction of […]

Elise Robinson: Untangling the roots of cause and effect