Molecular Neuroscience Overview

Molecular neuroscience is a branch of neuroscience that observes concepts in molecular biology applied to the nervous systems of animals.

The scope of this subject covers topics such as molecular neuroanatomy, mechanisms of molecular signaling in the nervous system, the effects of genetics and epigenetics on neuronal development, and the molecular basis for neuroplasticity and neurodegenerative diseases.

Ultrasound Neuronal Stimulation

Transcranial pulsed ultrasound (TPU) uses low intensity, low frequency ultrasound (LILFU) as a method to stimulate the brain. In 2002, Dr. Alexander Bystritsky proposed the idea that this methodology contained therapeutic benefits.

Beginning in 2008, Dr. William Tyler and his research team from Arizona State University began an investigation and development of this alternative neuromodulation without the harmful effects and risks of invasive surgery. They discovered that this low-power ultrasound is able to stimulate high neuron activity which allows for the manipulation of the brain waves through an external source.

Decoding and Modulation of Human Language

Principal Investigators: Behnaam Aazhang, PhD – Rice and Nitin Tandon, MD - UT Health
Title: Micro-scale Real-time Decoding and Closed-loop Modulation of Human Language
BRAIN Category: Neuroengineering and Brain-inspired concepts and design

The engineering objective is to develop biocompatible microchips to vastly enhance our insight into language and other cognitive processes and learning.

Genomewide Screen of Learning in Zebrafish

Genomewide screen of learning in Zebrafish identifies enzyme important in neural circuit and understanding molecular genetics of human neuropsychiatric disorders.

“At first we didn’t think it was important in learning, but we found that pappaa is expressed by startle-circuit neurons,” explains Granato, Penn professor of cell and development biology. The team verified the involvement of the IGF pathway by rescuing mutant behavior to normal by adding an activator of downstream molecules that interact with the IGF receptor. Neuron 3/18/15

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