Faculty campuswide will be participating in the new Staglin IMHRO (International Mental Health Research Organization) Center for Cognitive Neuroscience to probe how the human mind works, using state-of-the-science imaging technology. “The Staglin IMHRO Center for Cognitive Neuroscience is an exciting addition to UCLA,” said Scott Waugh, executive vice chancellor and provost. “It will advance scientific understanding, promote innovative teaching and host public programs that can inform the community about fascinating new developments in cognitive neuroscience. UCLA is on the cutting edge of the revolution in mental health, and this center will greatly enhance UCLA’s strengths in this vital area.”
New Scientist magazine reported April 17 and LiveScience.com reported April 16 on the success of Roy Mukamel, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Itzhak Fried, professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry, and his colleagues in making the first recording of mirror neurons in human beings. Coauthor Marco Iacoboni, professor of psychiatry, was also quoted.
- “Empathetic Mirror Neurons Found in Humans at Last” http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627565.600-empathetic-mirror-neu...
- “Mirror Neurons Allow Us to Understand Each Other” http://www.livescience.com/health/mirror-neurons-100416.html
Mirror neurons, many say, are what make us human. They are the cells in the brain that fire not only when we perform a particular action but also when we watch someone else perform that same action. Neuroscientists believe this "mirroring" is the mechanism by which we can "read" the minds of others and empathize with them. It's how we "feel" someone's pain, how we discern a grimace from a grin, a smirk from a smile. Problem was, there was no proof that mirror neurons existed — only suspicion and indirect evidence.
Images created by Paul Thompson, professor of neurology and a member of the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI), appeared in a March 31 New Scientist pictorial that showed the human brain’s white matter, largely composed of the fatty myelin sheaths around neurons that reveals the brain's connections. LONI colleagues David Shattuck, associate professor of neurology, and Arthur Toga, lab director and professor of neurology, were cited. Thompson was also quoted in an accompanying article on the integrity of the brain’s white matter and its possible connection to creativity. He also commented in an April 4 New Scientist article about a possible correlation between IQ and the quality of myelin around neuron fibers.
PBS’ “Frontline” aired a Feb. 2 documentary entitled “Digital Nation” about how the Internet is changing the way we live. Dr. Gary Small, Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute, discussed his research finding that searching the Internet triggers key brain centers that control decision-making and complex reasoning. U.S. News & World Report and InternetEvolution.com also cited the program and Small on Feb. 2.
Susan Bookheimer, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute and a researcher at the Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, was featured in a Dec. 9 online Q&A about brain injuries.
The (U.K.) Independent reported Nov. 24 on research by Dr. Gary Small, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute and director of the UCLA Center on Aging, exploring the effect of Web browsing and other Internet-related activities on the human brain. The article referenced Small's new book, “iBrain — Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind.” Small was quoted.
A UCLA study finding that older adults with little Internet experience were able to trigger key brain centers that control decision-making and complex reasoning after just one week of surfing the Web was covered Oct.