Fall 2014 Newsletter!

Read the latest in CAN connection! Features a new "Neuroscientists in the news" section, prizes and awards, hot neuroscience topic and more. Read it now:
CAN Connection - Fall 2014

CAN connection

CAN Social at SfN in Washington

Join us at the CAN Social at SfN 2014 in Washington!

November 18th, 6-9PM, at the Brixton Pub

More Details (PDF) - Directions (Google map)

Please also drop by to see us in person at our exhibit booth at SfN!

Brenda Milner

Canadian Neuroscience Meeting 2014

Thank you for making our meeting in Montreal such a great success!

View the meeting website
Or visit our Flickr gallery to view pictures of the meeting!

2014 CAN Young Investigator Awards

Dr. Stephanie Borgland, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and
Dr. Brian Chen, from McGill University, are both winners of CAN Young Investigator Awards for 2014. Both were judged equally deserving of this distinction, which recognizes research excellence of a young neuroscientist.
Read their profiles here:
Brian Chen - Stephanie Borgland

Stephanie Borgland

2014 CAN Young Investigator Awards

Dr. Stephanie Borgland, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and
Dr. Brian Chen, from McGill University, are both winners of CAN Young Investigator Awards for 2014. Both were judged equally deserving of this distinction, which recognizes research excellence in a young neuroscientist.
Read their profiles here:
Brian Chen - Stephanie Borgland

Brian Chen

ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder develop from the same neurocognitive deficits

Patricia Conrod

Dr. Patricia Conrod

Study suggests ways to treat these deficits before the psychiatric symptoms develop

Researchers at the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre have traced the origins of ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder, and found that they develop from the same neurocognitive deficits, which in turn explains why they often occur together. “Psychopathology exists on multiple continua of brain function. Some of these dimensions contribute to a multitude of problems, others contribute to specific problems. Together, they explain patterns of comorbidity such as why ADHD and conduct problems co-occur with substance misuse at such a high rate,” explained the study’s lead author, Professor Patricia Conrod. +++ »

Important advance in brain mapping and memory

Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo

Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo

Discovery sheds light on where visual memories are born

“When a tiger starts to move towards you, you need to know whether it is something you are actually seeing or whether it’s just something that you remember or have imagined,” says Prof. Julio Martinez-Trujillo of McGill’s Department of Physiology. The researcher and his team have discovered that there is a clear frontier in the brain between the area that encodes information about what is immediately before the eyes and the area that encodes the abstract representations that are the product of our short-term memory or imagination. +++ »

Scientists uncover another clue to how and where memory is formed

Dr. Sheena Josselyn

Dr. Sheena Josselyn

Findings suggest a brain cell’s activity helps determine whether it will hold a subsequent memory

Understanding how and where memories are normally stored in the brain will be the key to developing new treatments for memory disorders. Memories are thought to be created through the strengthening of connections between brain cells (neurons) to form a memory. In a new study led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), researchers have discovered one important factor that determines which precise neurons are selected to store a given memory and where this memory is stored. The study is published in the August 6 online edition of Neuron. +++ »

International team sheds new light on biology underlying schizophrenia

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Genes, pathways identified could inform new approaches to treatment

As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date. The findings, published online in Nature, point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia, and could lead to new approaches to treating the disorder, which has seen little innovation in drug development in more than 60 years. +++ »

A weighty discovery

Randy Flanagan

Randall Flanagan

Humans have developed sophisticated concepts like mass and gravity to explain a wide range of everyday phenomena, but scientists have remarkably little understanding of how such concepts are represented by the brain.

Using advanced neuroimaging techniques, Queen’s University researchers have revealed how the brain stores knowledge about an object’s weight – information critical to our ability to successfully grasp and interact with objects in our environment. +++ »

New hope for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Judes Poirier

Judes Poirier

A genetic variant conveys significant protection

Judes Poirier, PhD, C.Q., from the Douglas Mental Health Institute and McGill University in Montréal (Canada) and his team have discovered that a relatively frequent genetic variant actually conveys significant protection against the common form of Alzheimer’s disease and can delay the onset of the disease by as much as 4 years. This discovery opens new avenues for treatment against this devastating disease. +++ »