May 10, 2016
A new mouse model of a genetically-linked type of autism reveals more about the role of genes in the disorder and the underlying brain changes associated with autism’s social and learning problems. Scientists at Duke Health, including senior author Yong-hui Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of pediatrics and neurobiology, who developed the new model also discovered that targeting a brain receptor in mice with this type of autism could ease repetitive behaviors and improve learning in some animals.
April 29, 2016
There is new insight on habits, how we form them and why it’s tough to change them. Duke University researchers have discovered that habits—good or bad—leave a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain. Dr. Nicole Calakos, M.D., Ph.D explains on UNC TV's "Breaking Habits".
Mooney Lab Paper in Neuron, "The Basal Forebrain and Motor Cortex Provide Convergent yet Distinct Movement-Related Inputs to the Auditory Cortex"
April 25, 2016
Cholinergic inputs to the auditory cortex from the basal forebrain (BF) are important to auditory processing and plasticity, but little is known about the organization of these synapses onto different auditory cortical neuron types, how they influence auditory responsiveness, and their activity patterns during various behaviors. Mooney Lab's new paper in Neuron discusses the group's recent findings.
March 30, 2016
Associate professor of neurobiology Fan Wang, PhD is one of four recipients of a Scientific Innovation Award from the Chicago-based Brain Research Foundation. The $150,000 grant will allow Wang to focus on the neuronal pathways underlying anesthesia-induced loss of consciousness.
March 22, 2016
President Obama named 106 researchers, including Duke Neurobiology's Kafui Dzirasa, PhD, as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC ceremony this spring.
March 10, 2016
Even our most practiced movements are imperfect. When pro basketball players shoot free throws, they need to release the ball the same way every time. But they still miss game-winning shots. The reason for this frustration, according to a new study by neuroscientists at Duke University, is in how we sense the world.
March 10, 2016
No matter the trigger -- bug bites, a medication side-effect or an itchy wound -- the urge to scratch can be a real pain. Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center have identified a potential drug target in the skin for that itchy feeling.
March 7, 2016
Although Huntington’s disease is caused by mutations in a single gene, understanding how it ravages the brain and body has been anything but simple. A new study by Duke University scientists parses the role of the Huntington’s disease gene in an area of the brain responsible for complex, sequential movements like those used to talk to a friend, play the violin, or swing a golf club.
March 3, 2016
If we could learn to control the motivational centers of our brains that drive volition, would it lead us toward healthier, more productive lives? Using a new brain imaging strategy, Duke University scientists, including senior investigator R. Alison Adcock, have now taken a first step in understanding how to manipulate specific neural circuits using thoughts and imagery.
February 18, 2016
Wolfgang Liedtke, MD, PhD, and Ru-Rong Ji, PhD, have just received a one-year, $100,000 pilot award...
February 18, 2016
Duke Neurobiology congratulates our own Erich Jarvis, PhD, on his promotion to Professor of Neurobiology. The department faculty and staff held a celebration for Dr. Jarvis on February 18, 2016 to recognize his many achievements as a scientist, mentor, and innovator in his field and at Duke University.
February 18, 2016
President Obama today named 106 researchers, including Duke Neurobiology's Kafui Dzirasa, PhD, as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Bhandawat Lab Publication in Scientific Reports, "Organization of descending neurons in Drosophila melanogaster"
February 3, 2016
Neural processing in the brain controls behavior through descending neurons (DNs) - neurons which carry signals from the brain to the spinal cord (or thoracic ganglia in insects). Because DNs arise from multiple circuits in the brain, the numerical simplicity and availability of genetic tools make Drosophila a tractable model for understanding descending motor control.
January 21, 2016
By now, you might have discovered that taming your sweet tooth as a New Year's resolution is harder than you think. New research by Duke University scientists Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD and Henry Yin, PhD suggests that ahabit leaves a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain, priming us to feed our cravings.
January 14, 2016
New research from Duke University reveals how three proteins work in concert to wire up a specific area of the developing brain that is responsible for processing sensory information. “We may have pinpointed a developmental process that may be critically impaired in diseases such as autism, and that’s really exciting,” said Cagla Eroglu, an assistant professor of cell biology and neurobiology at the Duke University School of Medicine, who led the research.