CAN CIHR survey Kirsty Duncan visit Miller lab at SickKids Montreal 2017 CAN Social at SfN - Nov 15 6:30 PM - Hard Rock Hotel San Diego Matthew Hill is the 2016 CAN Young Investigator CAN Advocacy contest winners CAN Connection - April 2016 impact of neurological disorders in Canada

 

CAN-ACN news

McGill Researchers Have Found A Critical Component To Learning A Language

Acquiring a language is a difficult process. One of the best ways to learn involves the use of a tutor. This one-on-one interaction allows for direct learning as well as interaction without distraction. Usually, the teacher is an expert in that specific language. But when it comes to learning a first language, the most useful tutor happens to be an infant’s parent.
Babies actually begin to learn speech before birth  as they gain perspective on phonetics. Afterwards, they rely on their parents to provide them with a variety of lessons to improve their ability to communicate. However, not all methods are effective and several parameters  such as the frequency, amplitude, and timing of speech are critical in determining how well a child will attend to speech and, ultimately, learn speech sounds.

University of Victoria Researchers Find A “Starburst” In The Space-Time Continuum of Motion Sensing

Most people take motion sensing for granted. Our eyes pick up on something moving and our brains are sent a signal to let us know something has occurred in our space-time continuum. Despite the simplicity of the task, the mechanisms allowing us this ability are incredibly complex. They have been studied for over fifty years and the neural circuitry underlying motion detection is probably the best described circuitry in the brain. Yet, researchers have not discovered all the answers.

Canadian Researchers Help To Understand How The Brain Copes With Stress

It’s one of the guarantees of life: stress. At its core, it’s a perception of a physical or psychological threat and is designed to help us survive. But the triggers are varied and as such, there is no single way to deal with the impending sensation of harm.
For years, researchers have studied the stress spectrum and identified numerous behavioural changes. Most are relatively simple to understand such as heightened awareness, risk avoidance, and the fight or flight response.

Neuroscience news

SickKids scientists show how memories are linked in the brain

Dr. Sheena Josselyn

Dr. Sheena Josselyn

Some memories just seem to go together. Think about an important experience in your life. You may also closely remember another experience that happened around that time too, like exchanging vows at your wedding, and then your friend’s epic dance moves later that same night. Somehow these two memories seem to be linked in your mind.

A new study led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), looks at this connection between memories and illustrates how certain memories become linked in the brain. The study is published in the July 22 online edition of Science.

How the fingertip is teaching scientists about tissue repair

Freda Miller

Freda Miller

When a newt loses a limb due to injury, it simply grows back. Mammals are not as fortunate as evolution has left us without this useful regenerative capacity. One exception however, is the fingertip which regenerates from the distal tip (farthest end of finger) to the nailbed in both mice and humans. How this occurs has been largely unknown.

Alzheimer’s disease : It takes two (proteins) to tango

Pedro Rosa-Neto

Pedro Rosa-Neto

For years, neuroscientists have puzzled over how two abnormal proteins, called amyloid and tau, accumulate in the brain and damage it to cause Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Which one is the driving force behind dementia? The answer: both of them, according to a new study by researchers at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

In the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the team led by Dr. Pedro Rosa-Neto, a clinician scientist at the Douglas and assistant professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry at McGill University, reports for the first time evidence that the interaction between amyloid and tau proteins drives brain damage in cognitively intact individuals.

New Western neuroscience study shows how we learn from watching others

Paul Gribble

Paul Gribble

A new study from Western University shows that the parts of our brain that provide us with our sense of touch are activated when we watch someone else learn a manual skill.

The findings by Heather McGregor and Paul Gribble from Western’s Brain and Mind Institute were published by the prestigious journal Current Biology.

Previous cognitive neuroscience research has proved that observing the actions of others activates many of the same brain areas that are involved in physically producing movement but until this new discovery, investigators like McGregor and Gribble didn’t know how this link between observation and action might facilitate actual learning.

Brain cells that aid appetite control identified

Maia Kokoeva

Maia Kokoeva

Discovery opens door to development of new drugs to control weight gain and obesity
It’s rare for scientists to get what they describe as “clean” results without spending a lot of time repeating the same experiment over and over again. But when researchers saw the mice they were working with doubling their weight within a month or two, they knew they were on to something.