CAN Newsletter January 2015 Canadian Neuroscience 2015 meeting in Vancouver, BC Canada impact of neurological disorders in Canada CAN Social Nov 18 at Brixton Pub Brenda Milner wins Kavli prize in neuroscience

 

York U researchers discover how midbrain map continuously updates visuospatial memory

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

On the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday, a lot of us will be playing arm-chair quarterback. After the snap, we might use our eyes to track a wide receiver as he runs toward an opening, all the while remembering the location of the star running back in case he breaks through on a rushing play. This natural ability to track one moving player but be ready to quickly look back toward another one sounds simple.

Research published in Neuron shows activity in neuron complex can predict attention

Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo

Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo

Humans and other primates have an extraordinary ability to voluntarily and efficiently focus attention on important information while ignoring distraction. For decades it has been hypothesized that this ability relies on the evolutionary expansion of the lateral prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain located in the lateral convexity of the frontal lobe, that reaches its highest level of complexity in primates.

U of Saskatchewan research reveals “major piece of the puzzle” in repairing nerves

Valerie Verge

Valerie Verge

A research team led by Valerie Verge at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has discovered an important molecular worker in the repair shop of the body’s nervous system, a finding that brings them a step closer to new treatments for debilitating nerve injuries.

The molecule in question is called Luman, a nerve cell (neuron) protein discovered by Vikram Misra in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine while investigating the common cold sore virus.

CAMH discovery of novel drug target may lead to better treatment for schizophrenia

Dr. Fang Liu

Dr. Fang Liu

Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have identified a novel drug target that could lead to the development of better antipsychotic medications.

Dr. Fang Liu, senior scientist in CAMH’s Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute and professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and her team published their results online in the journal Neuron.

Multiplexing through dendritic gap junctions

Stuart Trenholm

Stuart Trenholm

How neurons communicate with each other is central to our understanding of the nervous system. Since the times of Golgi and Cajal, the roles of electrical vs. chemical forms of transmission have been much debated. While it is now well established that both electrical and chemical forms of transmission co-exist throughout the mammalian nervous system, gap junction-mediated electrical signals are found to be extremely weak compared to their chemical counterparts