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NARSAD Scientific Council Member’s New Technology, Your Brain on Improv and a Call to Action for Mental Illness
The technology optogenetics, developed by NARSAD Scientific Council Member Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., helps neuroscientists identify how neurons work together in a network by using the laser light method with a one-millimeter-long nematode worm.
Dr. Charles Limb has spent more than 10 years studying the brain activity of musicians as they improvise. In previous experiments, the auditory surgeon has put jazz piano players into functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines to see how their brain activity changes during a jam session. Now he is studying whether the activity in rappers’ brains follows a similar pattern when they rhyme off the tops of their heads, according to a recent post on the TED Blog.
NIMH, along with three other NIH Institutes, will be supporting a joint effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Autism Speaks, a private advocacy organization, to investigate reports of elevated prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children born to Somali immigrants living in Minneapolis, Minn.
Advancing brain and behavior research and scientific discoveries – the mission of NARSAD – are ways to improve diagnostic tools, treatments, and raise awareness about mental illness.
by Barbara Wheeler, NARSAD manager of communications and media relations