Exciting new findings, from brain maps to mindfulness" /> Exciting new findings, from brain maps to mindfulness" />

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016 - (Page 24)

PRIME TIME FOR BRAIN SCIENCE by Amy Entwisle Almost daily, it seems there's a new finding about the brain. Underlying many of today's discoveries are technological advances that allow researchers to peer into the brain in real time, helping to answer important questions about how it works, how we think, and why we feel and act the way we do. These advances are also contributing to our understanding of diseases and disorders of the brain-and ultimately, what we can do to prevent them. Here, we take a peek at some of today's most intriguing research. Brain Imaging + Big Data = Big Discoveries COURTESY OF THE USC LABORATORY OF NEURO IMAGING AND ATHINOULA A. MARTINOS CENTER FOR BIOMEDICAL IMAGING, CONSORTIUM OF THE HUMAN CONNECTOME PROJECT - WWW.HUMANCONNECTOMEPROJECT.ORG What do you get when thousands of scientists apply their specific skill sets to assess brain structure and function and then pool the results? You get an extremely detailed map of the brain. Three major initiatives currently underway take different approaches to brain mapping. The goal of the $3 billion Brain Activity Map Project, begun in 2013 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to map every neuron in the human brain. The Human Connectome Project, another NIH initiative, aims to construct a network map of the anatomical and functional elements of the brain to allow the study of disorders such as dyslexia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia. Europe's Human Brain Project is a 1-billion euro, 10-year effort to simulate the brain using supercomputers. Each of these projects incorporates imaging techniques such as functional MRI (fMRI) to measure brain activity, information technology to optimize visual representation of brain structure and activity, and software to analyze large amounts of data, among other technologies. Brain-Immune System Link Opens the Door to New Treatments The lymphatic system complements the body's circulatory system, carrying immune cells throughout the body and helping remove toxins and waste from the body. But until last year, scientists thought the lymphatic system stopped short of the brain. This posed a bit of a conundrum: Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer's had long been linked to immune system function, but precisely how the immune system had access to the brain was unknown. Then in 2015, a University of Virginia researcher saw what resembled vascular patterns among the meninges (the membranes that cover the brain) of a mouse's dissected brain. Testing revealed that they were lymphatic vessels. The discovery of a lymphatic network in the brain may help explain abnormal immune activity found in Alzheimer's disease and MS, as well as in disorders such as autism. For example, the brain's lymph system may not be flushing out amyloid protein that builds up in the brain in Alzheimer's. Understanding the role of the lymphatic and immune systems in such diseases may lead to effective treatments. No May/June 2016 http://WWW.HUMANCONNECTOMEPROJECT.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016

Big Picture
In My Own Words Karl Deisseroth, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry, Stanford University
Mind Brain Philosophy and neuroscience at CTY
A Meeting of the Minds at the National Brain Bee
Mind over Matter Overcoming communication barriers via technology
A Fish of a Different Color My neuroscience internship
Immersed in Brain Science Summer research at Rockefeller University
Brain Training Four graduate students share their research
Prime Time for Brain Science Exciting new findings, from brain maps to mindfulness
Making the Connection Teaching kids about mind, media, and health
Selected Opportunities and Resources
Pitch Perfect The lure of rugby
My Stress-Free Adventure Scuba, sailing, and discovery
Off the Shelf Review of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options Interview with neuropsychologist

Lisa Jacobson


One Step Ahead Ten commandments for college success
Planning Ahead for College Can your dream school become a reality?
Students Review New York University
Creative Minds Imagine Fiction contest winners
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games
Mind + Brain Philosophy and neuroscience at CTY

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016

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