From this week’s Nature, the Poo lab shows how BDNF-induced plasticity in the optic tectum can lead to “back-propogated” changes in AMPA receptor density one synapse back in retinal ganglion cells. Click below for the full abstract
Looks like age-related deficits with reaction time stimuli are less in bilinguals. Click below to get a synopsis of the work (published in Psychology and Aging).
From the WSJ:
As Early as Age 40, Genes in the Brain Begin to Deteriorate
By LAURA JOHANNES, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
June 10, 2004; Page D1
Harvard University researchers found that 20 genes critical for
learning and memory begin to decline in function as early as age 40,
pointing the way for further research aimed at tackling the mental
infirmities that come with growing old.
Jeremy Wolfe has written a review of Christof Koch’s new book on consciousness. This one seems directed more toward the casual reader.
Review is here.
New study showing evidence for temporal difference (TD) learning (an online reinforcement learning algorithm that borrows from Monte Carlo, dynamic programming and bootstrapping) in the brain.
Their sleep cycle can be different than just their circadian rhythm: if you sleep deprive ’em, they need more sleep. A bunch of molecular similarities, too (i.e. some sleep-related drugs do the same things to flies).
Juliane Kaminski, Josep Call, and Julia Fischer show that a border collie named Rico is able to learn words in a single trial, is able to recall the words months later, and has a vocabulary of about 200 words, similar to a three year old human.