42 episodes

BrainPod is the podcast from the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, produced in association with Nature Publishing Group. Join us as we delve into the latest basic and clinical research that advance our understanding of the brain and behavior, featuring highlighted content from a top journal in fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, and pharmacology. For complete access to the original papers and reviews featured in this podcast, subscribe to Neuropsychopharmacology.
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Neuropsychopharmacology Podcast Nature Publishing Group

    • Science
    • 3.9 • 14 Ratings

BrainPod is the podcast from the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, produced in association with Nature Publishing Group. Join us as we delve into the latest basic and clinical research that advance our understanding of the brain and behavior, featuring highlighted content from a top journal in fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, and pharmacology. For complete access to the original papers and reviews featured in this podcast, subscribe to Neuropsychopharmacology.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    What’s wrong with my experiment?: The impact of hidden variables on neuropsychopharmacology research

    What’s wrong with my experiment?: The impact of hidden variables on neuropsychopharmacology research

    Sometimes, when researchers are conducting an experiment, the results are confusing. Maybe the control group of animals doesn’t behave the way a control should in theory be behaving. Maybe a researcher repeats a study and sees results that are unusually different from the first time around. The answers to these issues might lie in something called ‘hidden variables,’ according to a new study titled, “What’s wrong with my research? The impact of hidden variables on neuropsychopharmacology research.”
     
    Brian Trainor is a professor of psychology at the University of California Davis, and he’s one of three authors of the study. His co-authors are Amanda Kentner, professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Hannah Butler-Struben, a graduate student in the animal behavior group at UC Davis. They say that many of the articles in the review are from journals about animal behavior that wouldn’t typically come across the desk of those working in the field of neuroscience.
    Read the full article here: What’s wrong with my experiment?: The impact of hidden variables on neuropsychopharmacology research


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    • 9 min
    A scientific approach to navigating the academic job market

    A scientific approach to navigating the academic job market

    Kirstie Cummings and Sofia Beas are both new assistant professors in the department of neurobiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. When they met, they discussed the job application process, their support network, and their own personal processes, and they decided to write an article that could serve as a resource for candidates from different backgrounds, many of whom might not have the same resources that Dr. Cummings and Dr. Beas did. The result was their paper, “A Scientific Approach to Navigating the Academic Job Market,” published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
    Read the full article here: A scientific approach to navigating the academic job market | Neuropsychopharmacology (nature.com)

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    • 7 min
    Identification of THC impairment using functional brain imaging

    Identification of THC impairment using functional brain imaging

    Driving while under the influence of THC, known as drugged driving, is becoming more of an issue as more states legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use around the country. THC is known to impair cognitive and psychomotor performance and thus impair driving. Jodi Gilman is a neuroscientist and an associate professor of psychiatry at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and she’s one of the authors of a new study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. She says that impairment and exposure are easier to correlate with alcohol. But tolerance to THC is so vastly different among different people, and the amounts that people use whether for pain or to get high are also so vastly different, that people can have detectible amounts of THC in their system, but it does not necessarily correlate with whether or not that person is too impaired to drive. Listen in to hear what she and her team did to try to detect brain impairment under the influence of THC.
    Read the full article here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-021-01259-0

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    • 9 min
    Evolution of prefrontal cortex

    Evolution of prefrontal cortex

    In the past, there had been a school of thought that looked at evolution linearly — that is, you could in theory draw a line among mammals as they evolved, and so, say, rodent brains would basically be less evolved primate brains. That turns out not to be true; evolution is much more like a branching tree, and each branch then goes on to develop independently, sometimes in parallel. Some groups of animals such as primates can evolve features of their brains that other groups simply don’t have. And now, with advanced DNA sequencing, scientists have been able to determine which groups of mammals are more closely related than others, and so they’ve figured out that, for instance, tree shrews and flying lemurs are more closely related to primates than rodents are. Here, we speak with Dr. Todd M. Preuss, professor of pathology at Emory University and an associate research professor at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Dr. Preuss is co-author with Steven Wise of a review article in Neuropsychopharmacology called “Evolution of prefrontal cortex.”  Listen in!
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    • 9 min
    Astrocyte-neuron signaling in the mesolimbic dopamine system: the hidden stars of dopamine signaling

    Astrocyte-neuron signaling in the mesolimbic dopamine system: the hidden stars of dopamine signaling

    Star-shaped cells called astrocytes are the most abundant cells to be found in the human brain. In the past, they’d been thought to play a supporting role to neurons, such as providing metabolic support, but recently they’re also emerging as stars of information processing. They can respond to neurotransmitters and release neuroactive substances that then affect synaptic transmission and plasticity. Michelle Corkrum is a child neurology resident at Columbia University and is one of the authors of a recent review paper on the links between astrocytes and dopamine signalling. The review looks back at the history of research in this field, going back decades. Listen in to learn more! 
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    • 9 min
    Neurobiology of loneliness: a systematic review

    Neurobiology of loneliness: a systematic review

    Loneliness is a subjective experience, but neuroscientists define it as a distress that arrives from a discrepancy between perceived and desired social relationships. There may be an evolutionary benefit to the feeling of loneliness; we’re a social species, and feeling lonely might have sent us to seek out other humans, which has been very important for survival. Moreover, if gone unaddressed and isolation worsens, health effects of loneliness have been shown to double mortality rates. It's linked to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cognitive decline, higher rates of dementia, and poor mental health outcomes (i.e. depression and anxiety).
    With loneliness implicated in so many cognitive impacts, Dr. Lee and her colleagues wanted to understand what is known to date about the impact of loneliness on the brain. They conducted a systematic review of the published research that examines loneliness and resulting neurobiological assessments, such as imaging studies, EEG studies, and pathological studies. Listen in and read to learn more!

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    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

brainzmatter ,

Robot vs Valley Girl

What’s with the host’s robotic voice? She cannot be a real person. The I am to take seriously an interviewee who has all the gravitas of a cheerleader. Dull is putting it too kindly.

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