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Neuroscience news

The power of multidisciplinary collaboration: A sculptor’s exploration of the brain

Read about a multidisciplinary collaboration between neuroscientists and artists, developed through The Convergence Initiative.  Founded in 2016 by neuroscientist and graphic designer Dr. Cristian Zaelzer, the Convergence – Perceptions of Neuroscience initiative is a partnership with the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program (BRaIN) of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the Faculty of Fine Arts of Concordia University (FoFA), and the Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN/ACN). This partnership has been continuously supported by the RI-MUHC, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, McGill University Integrative Program in Neurosciences (IPN), and the Visual Voice Gallery.

Dr. Keith Murai, BRaIN program director, thinks the science vs. humanities dichotomy is a false one.

Huai-Ying Huang of London, Ontario, Canada wins third place in the 2018 International Brain Bee Championship

Huai-Ying Huang

Huai-Ying Huang

Congratulations to 17 year-old Huai-Ying Huang of Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, Ontario, Canada, on winning third place in the 2018 International Brain Bee Championship in Berlin, held July 7-11, 2018! .

Huai-Ying Huang loves playing the piano and oboe, and is starting at McGill University to pursue her dream of becoming a neurologist or a neurosurgeon, not only because she has passion for neuroscience, but because she wants to be able to help people affected by neurological disorders.

Slowing down glaucoma and other neurodegenerative diseases

Jessica Agostinone and Adriana Di Polo

Jessica Agostinone and Adriana Di Polo

Major discovery at the CRCHUM: reestablishing communication between neurons to improve vision.

Neuroscience researcher Dr. Adriana Di Polo, Ph. D., and her team at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) in Canada, have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of glaucoma. Their findings could also be applicable to other neurodegenerative conditions, notably Alzheimer’s disease. The results have just been published in the prestigious British scientific journal Brain, an Oxford University Press publication.

Our earliest memories may be forgotten but not lost

Paul Frankland

Paul Frankland

TORONTO – When asked to think of their earliest memory, most would think of a time when they were four or five years old. The period from birth to kindergarten appears to be forgotten. Since the late 1800s, this phenomenon has been called “infantile amnesia” and debate on why we can’t remember our earliest years has persisted to this day: Are these memories gone or are they just difficult to access?

A new study from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) shows these early memories in mice are not missing and can be brought back by directly stimulating different clusters of neurons that represent individual infantile memories in the brain. The results, published in Current Biology, provide deeper insight into the complexities of forgetting.

Mechanisms underlying efficient coding of natural stimuli revealed

Maurice Chacron

Maurice Chacron

Researchers at McGill University have discovered that feedback pathways enable sensory neurons to respond to weak sensory input in order to lead to perception.
Published in PLoS Biology, their study shows that feedback pathways, which are seen ubiquitously across sensory systems and account for 90-95% of input onto sensory neurons, are necessary to generate neural responses and perception of weak sensory input that would otherwise not be detected by the organism. These results thus reveal an elegant mechanism by which the brain processes sensory information, which is critical for understanding brain function at large.

Understanding the origin of Alzheimer’s, looking for a cure

Gilbert BernierResearchers at Université de Montréal look at the promising role played by the BMI1 gene, which could someday help mitigate or even reverse the disease.

After a decade of work, a team led by Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont researcher and Université de Montréal associate professor Dr. Gilbert Bernier has shed promising light on the origin of the most common and prevalent form of Alzheimer’s disease, hoping to someday help mitigate or even reverse the progress of the disease. The team’s results are published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell Reports.