by Barbara Wheeler, NARSAD manager of communications and media relations 

Check out the NARSAD newsfeed on our website! Here are a few of the week’s “must reads” from the feed and other notables:

NARSAD Scientific Council Member’s New Technology Helps Neuroscientists Identify How Neurons Work Together 

The technology optogenetics, developed by NARSAD Scientific Council Member Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., helps neuroscientists identify how neurons work together in a network by using the laser light method with a one-millimeter-long nematode worm.

Study: This Is Your Brain On Improv

Dr. Charles Limb has spent more than 10 years studying the brain activity of musicians as they improvise. In previous experiments, the auditory surgeon has put jazz piano players into functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines to see how their brain activity changes during a jam session. Now he is studying whether the activity in rappers’ brains follows a similar pattern when they rhyme off the tops of their heads, according to a recent post on the TED Blog.


NIMH Teams Up to Study ASD Rates in Somali-American Children

NIMH, along with three other NIH Institutes, will be supporting a joint effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Autism Speaks, a private advocacy organization, to investigate reports of elevated prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children born to Somali immigrants living in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Arizona Shooting: A Call to Action for Mental Illness

Advancing brain and behavior research and scientific discoveries – the mission of NARSAD – are ways to improve diagnostic tools, treatments, and raise awareness about mental illness.