12/14/2020 - Neuroscience faculty at the Beckman Institute have developed a computational strategy that enables faster chemical and spatial characterization of tissues:
12/04/2020 - Katherine Hatcher was a Neuroscience Ph.D. graduate student when she founded her blog and Instagram account, "Grad Self-Care" (now drkmhatcher) as a way to share her story about health and wellness in graduate school. Through it, she connects with countless other graduate students from around the country who are working to find their meaning of work-life balance. In this post, Katherine shares her monthly wellness routine and tips for setting up and sticking to your own.
12/04/2020 - Talk about childcare: this bird has figured out a way around that. The brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) is a well-known North American native bird found throughout the United States, northern Mexico and most of Canada. They also are a very well-known obligate brood parasite. So what exactly is brood parasitism and how did this peculiar behavior come about? Basically, it means laying your own eggs into the nests of others. According to Dr. Mark E. Hauber, ornithologist and professor in integrative biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, brood parasitism is carried out by multiple species including birds, fishes and social insects such as termites, wasps, bees, ants and beetles. But cowbirds remain one of the best-known examples. What is really going on with cowbirds?
12/02/2020 - This Inverse article quotes University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Advanced Study Professor in Physics, Nigel Goldenfeld who collaborated with NSP faculty and alumni on the study, "Individual
11/10/2020 - Neuroscience Apparel available to faculty, staff, students, alumni and families . . .
10/30/2020 - The vibrant, diverse brain health community at Illinois is working to find solutions to some of today’s most pressing societal health challenges in fields including aging; learning, memory and plasticity; nutrition and cognition; neuroengineering; neuro-and socio-genomics; bioinformatics; and more. More than 300 faculty and staff on the Urbana-Champaign campus identify as researchers in the brain health space—regardless of their home department affiliation. These researchers are using leading-edge imaging tools, pioneering studies that progress from the lab to clinical applications with the goal of improving the health and lives of people everywhere. For fall 2020, we have expanded the spotlight to focus on the bright, dedicated graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who make up the next generation of innovators and leaders in our community.
10/30/2020 - Last month, researchers from Colorado State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign published a study (Burzynska et al. 2020) showing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is positively correlated with improved fluid intelligence abilities. In contrast, sedentariness appears to facilitate better cognitive abilities relating to crystallized knowledge. Arthur Kramer, formerly of UIUC's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, was this study's senior author. (See "Moderate-to-Vigorous Exercise May Benefit Fluid Intelligence.")
10/21/2020 - A nutritional diet maximizes the benefits of exercise and improves working memory, according to a new study from Abbott. In collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab and the University of Illinois, researchers found a direct link between nutrition and physical and cognitive performance. “The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are well known, but this study demonstrates how optimal nutrition can help boost brain function as well,” said lead study author Dr. Chris Zwilling. “We are excited by the results because they provide critical insights into how simple dietary changes can make a big difference in helping people be as efficient and productive as possible in today’s world. “
09/23/2020 - CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — As COVID-19 continues to spread, bottlenecks in supplies and laboratory personnel have led to long waiting times for results in some areas. In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable point-of-care diagnosis without needing to send samples to a lab.
08/16/2020 - Dear Students, Faculty and Staff, With move-in week beginning in earnest today, we are just days from the beginning of our fall classes. I hope you’ll take a minute to watch this short welcome video that enlists some of our campus icons to welcome everyone to the start of a semester that will look like no other in our history.
07/13/2020 - URBANA, Ill. – Food additives get a bad rap, but a natural ingredient from orange peels and apple skins, pectin, is a thickener safely added to many food products, most notably jellies. The additive is also the subject of a University of Illinois experiment highlighting both the power and the challenges of public-private partnerships in university research.
06/17/2020 - Okada and colleagues videotaped more than a dozen hours of fights between 17 pairs of fish and then analyzed what happened—and when—in each fight. The longer the fight, the more the fish synchronize their behavior, timing their circling, striking, and biting more than anyone had ever realized, the researchers report today in PLOS Genetics.
- Simple Aesthetic Sense and Addiction Emerge in Neural Relations of Cost-Benefit Decision in Foraging
06/15/2020 - A rudimentary aesthetic sense is found in the stimulus valuations and cost-benefit decisions made by primitive generalist foragers. These are based on factors governing personal economic decisions: incentive, appetite, and learning. We find that the addictive process is an extreme expression of aesthetic dynamics. An interactive, agent-based model, ASIMOV, reproduces a simple aesthetic sense from known neural relations of cost-benefit decision in foraging. In the presence of very high reward, an addiction-like process emerges. A drug-like prey provides extreme reward with no nutritive value, initiating high selectivity and prolonged cravings for drug through reward learning. Varying reward experience, caused by homeostatic changes in the neural circuitry of reward, further establishes the course of addiction, consisting of desensitization, withdrawal, resensitization, and associated changes in nutritional choice and pain sensitivity. These observations are consistent with the early evolution of addiction mechanisms in simple generalist foragers as an aesthetic sense for evaluating prey. ASIMOV is accessible to inspection, modification, and experiment, is adaptable as an educational tool, and provides insight on the possible coevolutionary origins of aesthetics and the addiction process.
04/30/2020 - “These are the beginnings of a direction toward interactive biological devices that could have applications for neurocomputing and for restorative medicine,” Gillette said. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers developed the tiny walking “spinobots,” powered by rat muscle and spinal cord tissue on a soft, 3D-printed hydrogel skeleton. While previous generations of biological robots, or bio-bots, could move forward by simple muscle contraction, the integration of the spinal cord gives them a more natural walking rhythm, said study leader Martha Gillette, (Director of the Neuroscience Program and) a professor of cell and developmental biology.
04/25/2020 - Study Finds (Los Angeles, April 25) – There’s no shortage of scientific evidence that aerobic exercise is good for the brain. Not nearly as many studies have investigated the benefits of yoga exercise, but scientists from the U. of I. say a review of published research shows that yoga strengthens many of the same brain networks as aerobic exercise. “From these 11 studies, we identified some brain regions that consistently come up, and they are surprisingly not very different from what we see with exercise research,” says kinesiology and community health professor Neha Gothe, who co-led the research.