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Erik S Musiek, David M Holtzman
The amyloid hypothesis, which has been the predominant framework for research in Alzheimer's disease (AD), has been the source of considerable controversy. The amyloid hypothesis postulates that amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) is the causative agent in AD. It is strongly supported by data from rare autosomal dominant forms of AD. However, the evidence that Aβ causes or contributes to age-associated sporadic AD is more complex and less clear, prompting criticism of the hypothesis. We provide an overview of the major arguments for and against the amyloid hypothesis...
June 2015: Nature Neuroscience
Bryce A Mander, Shawn M Marks, Jacob W Vogel, Vikram Rao, Brandon Lu, Jared M Saletin, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, William J Jagust, Matthew P Walker
Independent evidence associates β-amyloid pathology with both non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep disruption and memory impairment in older adults. However, whether the influence of β-amyloid pathology on hippocampus-dependent memory is, in part, driven by impairments of NREM slow wave activity (SWA) and associated overnight memory consolidation is unknown. Here we show that β-amyloid burden in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) correlates significantly with the severity of impairment in NREM SWA generation...
July 2015: Nature Neuroscience
Ido Amihai, Maria Kozhevnikov
Cognitive and neuroscience research from the past several years has shed new light on the influences that meditative traditions have on the meditation practice. Here we review new evidence that shows that types of meditation that developed out of certain traditions such as Vajrayana and Hindu Tantric lead to heightened sympathetic activation and phasic alertness, while types of meditation from other traditions such as Theravada and Mahayana elicit heightened parasympathetic activity and tonic alertness. Such findings validate Buddhist scriptural descriptions of heightened arousal during Vajrayana practices and a calm and alert state of mind during Theravada and Mahayana types of meditation and demonstrate the importance of the cultural and philosophical context out of which the meditation practices develop...
2015: BioMed Research International
Wan-Yu Hsu, Yixuan Ku, Theodore P Zanto, Adam Gazzaley
The study aimed to evaluate the effects of noninvasive brain stimulation on cognitive function in healthy older adults and patients with Alzheimer's disease. A comprehensive literature search was performed on noninvasive stimulation studies published from January 1990 to November 2014 in Pubmed and Web of Science. Fourteen articles with a total of 331 participants were identified as studies with healthy older adults, and the mean effect size and 95% confidence interval were estimated. A significant effect size of 0...
August 2015: Neurobiology of Aging
Marc Wittmann
Empirical findings in the Cognitive Sciences on the relationship between feeling states and subjective time have led to the assumption that time perception entails emotional and interoceptive states. The perception of time would thereafter be embodied; the bodily self, the continuous input from the body is the functional anchor of phenomenal experience and the mental self. Subjective time emerges through the existence of the self across time as an enduring and embodied entity. This relation is prominently disclosed in studies on altered states of consciousness such as in meditative states, under the influence of hallucinogens as well as in many psychiatric and neurological conditions...
December 15, 2015: Consciousness and Cognition
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