Monday, May 15, 2017

Brenda Milner, Eminent Brain Scientist, Is ‘Still Nosy’ at 98

Brenda Milner, Eminent Brain Scientist, Is ‘Still Nosy’ at 98
by Benedict Carey
The New York Times
15 May 2017


Friday, April 14, 2017

Structural MRI of the Hippocampus

This Open Access article is an informative read -

Marshall A. Dalton, Peter Zeidman, Daniel N. Barry, Elaine Williams, Eleanor A. Maguire
Segmenting subregions of the human hippocampus on structural magnetic resonance image scans: An illustrated tutorial
Brain and Neuroscience Advances
First published date: April-06-2017

A snippet from the Abstract -

"The hippocampus plays a central role in cognition, and understanding the specific contributions of its subregions will likely be key to explaining its wide-ranging functions. However, delineating substructures within the human hippocampus in vivo from magnetic resonance image scans is fraught with difficulties. To our knowledge, the extant literature contains only brief descriptions of segmentation procedures used to delineate hippocampal subregions in magnetic resonance imaging/functional magnetic resonance imaging studies."

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dr. Gerald Goldstein

Gerald Goldstein, Ph.D., died last week at the age of 85 years. He was an influential presence in the practice of neuropsychology as a clinical domain and as a science.

His career spanned over sixty years.

Here is a link to a 2015 celebratory article from the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System about him: Neuropsychology Researcher Celebrates 60 Years.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Call for Science and Common-Sense, Rather than Marketing and Drama, about Concussion and CTE

A fine Editorial Commentary:

Carson, A. (2017). Concussion, dementia and CTE: are we getting it very wrong? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. Published Online First: 10 April 2017. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2016-315510

Upcoming Event: AAN Annual Meeting (22-28 April, Boston)

The Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology takes place later this month.

Conference Homepage

Perceptions of Parkinson's Disease

'People think I'm drunk but I have Parkinson's'
By Lindsay Brown
BBC Newsbeat reporter
10 April 2017

Read report here


"Jordan was diagnosed with Parkinson's when he was 17 and says people often think he's had too much to drink."


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

TBI: Cognitive Function and Methylphenidate

A very interesting Open Access publication available today examining the impact of methylphenidate and cognitive functioning in patients with a traumatic brain injury:

Manktelow, A. E., Menon, D. K., Sahakian, B. J., & Stamatakis, E. A. (2017). Working Memory after Traumatic Brain Injury: The Neural Basis of Improved Performance with Methylphenidate. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 11(58). doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00058

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Artwork of Greg Dunn

Beautiful work - Greg Dunn.

Epilepsy and Antiepileptic Drug (AED) Development and Clinical Trials

The February 2017 issue of Epilepsia has a fine critical review and invited commentary about the current state of AED drug development and clinical trials:

Bialer, M. et al. (2017). Progress report on new antiepileptic drugs: A summary of the Thirteenth Eilat Conference on New Antiepileptic Drugs and Devises (EILAT XIII). Epilepsia, 58(2), 181-221.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New From Dr. Peggy Mason

A second edition of Dr. Peggy Mason's excellent textbook was published earlier this month. She can be found on Twitter at @neuroMOOC and her MOOC course remains available at Coursera.

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: When Self-Report Is Invalid...

From PubMed:

Bowler, R.M., Adams, S.W., Schwarzer, R, Gocheva, V.V., Roels, H.A., Kim, Y., Kircos, C.L., ... Lobdell, D.T. (2017). Validity of self-reported concentration and memory problems: Relationship with neuropsychological assessment and depression. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, doi: 10.1080/13803395.2017.1301392. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND: This study investigated the validity of self-reported concentration and memory problems (CMP) in residents environmentally exposed to manganese (Mn). METHOD: Self-report of CMP from a health questionnaire (HQ) and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) was compared to neuropsychological assessment (Trails A&B; Digit Span; Digit Symbol; Similarities; Auditory Consonant Trigrams, ACT; NAB Memory; Rey-Osterrieth, Rey-O, Delayed). Participants included 146 residents from Ohio exposed to air-Mn, with a modeled average concentration of 0.55 µg m(-)(3) (range = 0.01-4.58).

RESULTS: Residents were primarily White (94.5%), aged 30-64 years (M = 51.24), with a minimum of 10 years of residence (range = 10-64). Ninety-four (65.3%) participants reported concentration problems, and 107 residents (73.3%) reported memory problems. More participants endorsed CMP on the SCL-90-R than on the HQ. The prevalence of self-reported CMP was higher for women than for men (88.4% vs. 68.3%). Point-biserial and Pearson's correlations between self-reported CMP and neuropsychological test scores were nonsignificant and weak for both the HQ (rpb = -.20 to rpb = .04) and the SCL-90-R (r = -.12 to r = .007). Greater levels of depression, anxiety, and female sex predicted having more self-reported CMP on both the HQ and the SCL-90-R. Air-Mn and blood-Mn were not associated with self-reported CMP. Residential distance from the Mn source accounted for a small proportion of variance (sr(2) = .04), although depression remained the largest predictor (sr(2) = .21).

CONCLUSION: These results indicate that self-report of CMP in Mn-exposed residents appear to be invalid when compared to neuropsychological test scores. The participants' misperception of having CMP is associated with less education and higher levels of depression. Neuropsychological assessment is recommended to attain valid results.

DOI: 10.1080/13803395.2017.1301392
PMID: 28353391

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Semantic Aphasia

From PubMed:

Dragoy, O., Akinina, Y., & Dronkers, N. (2016). Toward a functional neuroanatomy of semantic aphasia: A history and ten new cases. Cortex. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2016.09.012

Almost 70 years ago, Alexander Luria incorporated semantic aphasia among his aphasia classifications by demonstrating that deficits in linking the logical relationships of words in a sentence could co-occur with non-linguistic disorders of calculation, spatial gnosis and praxis deficits. In line with his comprehensive approach to the assessment of language and other cognitive functions, he argued that deficits in understanding semantically reversible sentences and prepositional phrases, for example, were in line with a single neuropsychological factor of impaired spatial analysis and synthesis, since understanding such grammatical relationships would also draw on their spatial relationships. Critically, Luria demonstrated the neural underpinnings of this syndrome with the critical implication of the cortex of the left temporal-parietal-occipital (TPO) junction. In this study, we report neuropsychological and lesion profiles of 10 new cases of semantic aphasia. Modern neuroimaging techniques provide support for the relevance of the left TPO area for semantic aphasia, but also extend Luria's neuroanatomical model by taking into account white matter pathways. Our findings suggest that tracts with parietal connectivity - the arcuate fasciculus (long and posterior segments), the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, the superior longitudinal fasciculus II and III, and the corpus callosum - are implicated in the linguistic and non-linguistic deficits of patients with semantic aphasia.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.09.012
PMID: 28277283

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dr. Wilder Penfield Digital Collection

Wilder Penfield Digital Collection
Wilder Penfield Digital Collection
McGill University Library and Archives

From the homepage:

"This digital collection consists of a sample of materials selected from McGill University's Osler Library of the History of Medicine's Wilder Penfield Fonds, P142. The images, letters, and other records found here were chosen by the former director of the MNI and close friend of Penfield, Dr. William Feindel, for their significance in documenting both Penfield's life and the history of the Institute. This digitized selection contains material concerning his early life, family, and medical training, the establishment of the MNI, and elements of Penfield's medical research, as well as important peacetime and wartime research and treatment projects carried out by the MNI up until the 1980s."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Several Upcoming Academic Conferences

There are several relevant academic conferences on the near horizon.

American Neurological Association (ANA)
Baltimore, MD
16-18 October

National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN)
Seattle, WA
19-22 October

Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
San Diego, CA
16-16 November

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ModPo: Modern and Contemporary American Poetry - Neuroscientists Welcome!

Content from a sharable broadcast message from Al Filreis, Penn professor:

Al Filreis

ModPo is a free, open, non-credit course on modern and contemporary U.S. poetry. It has been hosted since 2012 by the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania. The new 10-week session opens on September 10. To enroll, simply go here:

For those who register, the site will be open all year, so if you cannot finish going through the week-by-week syllabus in the ten weeks between mid-September and mid-November, you can always go back and finish any time later.

ModPo hosts weekly live interactive webcasts, and there are meet-ups organized in cities around the world as well as virtual discussion groups arranged around a wide range of interests and affinities. Each of the ModPo TAs hosts weekly office hours.

ModPo is fully described—with an FAQ—here:

This is the fifth year of ModPo. Some 150,000 people from 191 countries have participated since 2012. It is not like other MOOCs (massive open online courses) because it is entirely interactive.

You can see more information about ModPo below.


ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, with an emphasis on experimental verse, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult." We encounter and discuss the poems one at a time. It's much easier than it seems! Join us and try it!

The next live, interactive 10-week session of ModPo will begin on September 10, 2016, and will conclude on November 21, 2016. Al Filreis will be in touch with you by email before the September 10 start of the course with all the information you'll need to participate.

During the 10 weeks of the course, you will be guided through poems, video discussions of each poem, and community discussions of each poem. And (unique among open online courses) we offer weekly, interactive live webcasts. Our famed TAs also offer office hours throughout the week. We help arrange meet-ups and in-site study groups.

If you are curious about the ModPo team, type "ModPo YouTube introduction" into Google or your favorite search engine, and watch the 20-minute introductory video. You will get an overview of the course and will meet the brilliant TAs, who will be encountering the poems with you all the way to the end.

If you use Facebook, join the always-thriving ModPo group: from inside Facebook, search for "Modern & Contemporary American Poetry" and then request to be added as a member. If you have any questions about ModPo, you can post a question to the FB group and you'll receive an almost instant reply.

We tweet all year long at @ModPoPenn and you can also find ModPo colleagues using the hashtag #ModPoLive.

ModPo is hosted by—and is housed at—the Kelly Writers House at 3805 Locust Walk on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia USA. All ModPo'ers are welcome to visit the Writers House when they are in our area. Our discussions are filmed there. Our live webcasts take place in the famed "Arts Cafe" of the House. To find out what's going on at the Writers House any time, just dial 215-746-POEM.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Patient H.M.: The Saga Continues

"The Brain That Couldn't Remember"
by Luke Dittrich
The New York Times Sunday Magazine
03 August 2016


This article is adapted from “Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets” by Luke Dittrich, to be published by Random House on Aug. 9.

Here is the Annese et al. 2014 paper discussed in the feature story: Annese et al. (2014)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Alzheimer's Disease: AAIC16 Annual Meeting (Toronto)

Alzheimer's Association International Conference (July 22-28, Toronto, Canada) has opened!

Here is the homepage: AAIC16