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A new study indicates the brain’s visual processing system is impaired in infants who go on to develop autism. The authors reported that social deficits in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) correlate with early structural and connectivity traits particularly in the visual circuitry of the brain, in their infant siblings who later go on to develop ASD. This is the first report that inherited genetic ASD risks affect the development of the brain's visual system in pre-symptomatic infants.
The ACC detects when you are about to think of an unwanted memory and alerts other regions to suppress it. According to research recently published where normal young adults of both sexes were subjected to a memory suppression task while researchers simultaneously conducted EEG and fMRI on them, activity in the ACC increases within 500 milliseconds of the task, relays the "need for control" to the DLPFC, which in turn inhibits hippocampal activity and memory retrieval.
A new study from Dartmouth College used between-subject linear classifiers trained on hyperaligned brain fMRI data to investigate the neural code for visual and semantic information required for the brain’s ability to process familiar faces. The authors showed the identity of both visually and personally familiar faces can be decoded across participants from brain activity in visual areas of the brain but only the identity of personally familiar faces can be decoded in areas involved in social cognition.
A new neuroimaging study showed alterations of stress responses and self-regulatory inhibitory function associated with binge eating, but showed stress-induced failures of inhibitory control do not provide a comprehensive explanation for binge eating. Brain scans showed stress alters brain activity associated with inhibitory control in women with eating disorders but had no effect on their ability to stop their actions, suggesting more complex underlying causes for binge eating.
Exposure to inflammation promoting cytokines in the womb generated due to maternal stress during pregnancy differentially affects stress and immune regulatory brain circuitry in male and female offspring and retained into midlife. The study demonstrates a need for sex-dependent targets and therapeutics for early therapeutic intervention and prevention in neuropsychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression.
Researchers have released a large dataset on machine learning-based brain training called Decoded Neurofeedback (DecNef), a form of closed-loop fMRI neurofeedback combined with machine learning approaches that aims to alter brain dynamics and can benefit patients of PTSD, anxiety disorders, and other mental health conditions.