BRAIN and BEHAVIOR INITIATIVE WEEKLY DIGEST

March 18, 2019


Recent Publications from BBI Faculty

Are you BBI faculty whose research has recently been published online? We would love to feature your work! Let us know at bbiumd@umd.edu.

The lived contexts of social anxiety

Social anxiety lies on a continuum, and young adults with elevated symptoms are at risk for developing a range of debilitating psychiatric disorders. Yet, relatively little is known about the factors that govern the momentary expression of social anxiety in daily life. This paper uses a smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment to intensively sample emotional experience across different social contexts in the daily lives of 228 young adults selectively recruited to represent a broad spectrum of social anxiety symptoms. Because socially anxious individuals report smaller confidant networks and spend significantly less time with their close companions, they are less frequent beneficiaries of close companions’ mood-enhancing effects.

Title: "Social context governs the real-world emotional impact of social anxiety"
Authors: Juyoen Hur, Kathryn A. DeYoung, Samiha Islam, Allegra S. Anderson, Matthew Barstead, Alexander Shackman

Anxiety and early childhood development

Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent, associated with negative clinical and functional outcomes across the lifespan, including lower educational attainment, employment, and physical health problems. Such disorders also incur substantial social and economic burden. Because most anxiety disorders emerge in childhood, childhood anxiety often predicts later psychopathology and functional impairment in adulthood. In particular, the preschool period represents an ideal time to identify child psychopathology and intervene due to greater behavioral and neurodevelopmental plasticity. This chapter reviews the nosology and epidemiology of preschool anxiety disorders in order to understand their early emergence.

Title: "Epidemiology and Nosology of Preschool Anxiety Disorders"
Authors: Chelsey S. Barrios, Katherine A. Leppert, and Lea R. Dougherty

The canine cocktail party effect

Like humans, canine companions often find themselves in noisy environments, and they are expected to respond to human speech despite potential distractions. Such environments also pose particular problems for young children, who have limited linguistic knowledge. This paper examines whether dogs show similar difficulties. The authors find that, despite hearing their name spoken by a novel talker, dogs prefer their own name to a stress-matched foil in quiet conditions. These results demonstrate that dogs can recognize their name even in relatively difficult levels of multitalker babble.

Title: "The cocktail party effect in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris)"
Authors: Amritha Mallikarjun, Emily Shroads, and Rochelle S. Newman


News

A team of researchers has made progress in explaining the genetic component of Alzheimer's Disease. Their analysis identifies variants in five new genes that put people at greater risk of Alzheimer's, and it points to molecular pathways involved in the disease as possible avenues for prevention in addition to offering further confirmation of other genes previously implicated.
This NIH Director's blog post features a 3D fly-through of all six layers of the part of the mammalian brain that processes external signals into vision, a view that is made possible by three-photon microscopy, a low-energy imaging approach allowing researchers to peer deeply within the brains of living creatures without damaging or killing their brain cells
A new study led by an M.I.T. neuroscientist found that when mice engineered to exhibit Alzheimer’s-like qualities were exposed to strobe lights and clicking sounds, important brain functions improved and toxic levels of Alzheimer’s-related proteins diminished. A 40 hertz sound produced gamma-wave oscillation that appeared to increase the activation of cells that perform trash-clearing and immune-regulating functions.
At a cursory glance, it would seem that a branch of science of living systems would have little in common with one that springs from inanimate machines wholly created by humans. Yet discoveries in one field may result in breakthroughs in the other; the two fields share a significant problem and future opportunities.
The visual cortex evolved over the course of millions of years in a world where reading and writing didn't exist, so it has long been a mystery how these skills could appear some 5,000 years ago, with our brains suddenly acquiring the specific ability to make sense of letters. Some researchers believe that the key to understanding this transition is determining how and why humans first began to make repetitive marks.
Research had not previously determined exactly how the cells in the brain work together to retrieve memories, but a recent NIH study suggests that tiny electrical brain waves may be a hallmark of successful memory retrieval. The findings show for the first time that ripples may be the neural substrates through which the human brain successfully recalls memories, results that help us understand how the brain processes the details of our past waking experiences.
The most recent episode of the IEEE Brain Initiative podcast explores how Dr. Jennifer Gelinas came to work in neurotechnology and how collaboration has benefited her research. It also discusses her research about understanding how neural networks can be disrupted by pathologic activity, especially epileptic activity, and on how better biomarkers for neuro-psychiatric disease brings hope for new therapeutic targets for these types of disorders.
An NIH study provides insight into the mechanisms through which alcohol-induced brain changes during adolescence increase vulnerability to alcohol and anxiety problems in adulthood. The findings provide a better understanding of how adolescent alcohol exposure can lead to life-long biomolecular changes that increase the risk for adult-onset psychiatric disorders,
 
Neuroscience and marketing have become a dynamic duo, transforming the way businesses target and draw in their audiences. Unsurprisingly, marketing—at least effective marketing—works closely with psychology. It makes sense: the better a business understands their target market, the better the better a business understands their target market, the better they can cater their product or service towards them

Calendar of Events

There are no events this week.

Notable Conferences, Workshops, & Webinars

NER '19 (International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering)
March 20-23, 2019
San Francisco, CA
Registration

Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat
April 9, 2019
Baltimore, MD
Registration

5th Annual BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting
April 11-13, 2019
Washington, DC
Registration

Behaviour 2019
July 23-27, 2019
Chicago, IL
Registration

Funding Announcements

NCI Investigators and UMD Faculty are invited to submit collaborative projects for graduate student support. It is anticipated that several graduate students will be supported through NCI Cancer Research Training Award fellowships starting in the Fall 2019 semester and that tuition will be covered by the University of Maryland. Seed awards will be judged based on student qualifications as well as potential impact, relevance to cancer, innovation and synergism between physics, math, bioengineering & biocomputation and cancer biology. Proposals should be submitted to Stephanie Noel (sjnoel@umd.edu) by 5 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

Neuropathological Assessment of TBI-related Neurodegeneration and Neurocognitive decline - Center Without Walls (NATBI CWOW) (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-19-030); National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Institute on Aging. Due April 15, 2019.

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00) (RFA-NS-19-011). Application Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2018; April 15, 2019; December 13, 2019; April 15, 2020; December 15, 2020; April 15, 2021, by 5:00 p.m. local time of applicant organization.

Wildlife Acoustics invites applications for Bioacoustic Research Projects focused on using bioacoustics for data collection and/or analysis, advancing scientific knowledge, and contributing to long-term conservation efforts. One or more awards of up to $5,000 each may be made. Applications are due May 15, 2019.

Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program [T32] (RFA-OD-19-011) Application Receipt Date: May 25, 2019.

Alcohol and Other Substance Use Research Education Programs for Health Professionals (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (PAR-19-207). Standard application due May 25, 2019.

Next Generation Networks for Neuroscience (NeuroNex) (NSF 19-563). Preliminary proposal due: June 14, 2019; Full proposal due: December 13, 2019.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity, visibility and impact. The program aims to enable innovative research, to incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high-impact research initiatives, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural research awards.

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