PublicationsUsing Super-Resolution Microscopy To See Neurodegeneration

Novartis data scientists are using super-resolution microscopy to see neurodegeneration the moment it starts.

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Proto is a national science magazine and website produced by Massachusetts General Hospital in collaboration with Time Inc. The magazine was launched in 2005 and covers news in the field of biomedicine and health care, focusing on basic and clinical research, policy and technology.


Neurodiversity Is a Competitive Advantage (2017) — article in Harvard Biz Review, by R.D. Austin and G.P. Pisano.
Robert D. Austin is a professor of information systems and the faculty director of the Learning Innovation Initiative at Ivey Business School. He is also a coauthor of The Adventures of an IT Leader (Harvard Business Review Press, 2016).
Gary P. Pisano is the Harry E. Figgie Jr. Professor of Business Administration and the senior associate dean of faculty development at Harvard Business School. He is the author of Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation
The Myth of the Normal Brain: Embracing Neurodiversity (2015) — article in AMA Journal of Ethics, by Thomas Armstrong, PhD
Thomas Armstrong, PhD, is the executive director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development in Cloverdale, California. He is the author of 15 books, including The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain (Da Capo Press, 2011) and Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life (ASCD, 2012). His books have been translated into 26 languages, and he has lectured on learning and human development themes in 44 states and 25 countries over the past 29 years.
What Can Physicians Learn from the Neurodiversity Movement? (2012) — article in Virtual Mentor, of AMA Journal of Ethics, by Christina Nicolaidis, MD, MPH
Christina Nicolaidis, MD, MPH is an associate professor in the Departments of Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland. Dr. Nicolaidis co-directs the Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE), directs the Samuel Wise Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at OHSU, and serves as a standing member of the NIH Mental Health Services study section. She also teaches and practices internal medicine, supervising residents and students in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.  
PublicationsDifferent . . . Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger’s, and ADHD (2012) — Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin offers the world yet another great work, an inspiring and informative book that offers both hope and encouragement.

In these pages, Temple presents the personal success stories of fourteen unique individuals that illustrate the extraordinary potential of those on the autism spectrum.

One of Temple’s primary missions is to help people with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and ADHD tap into their hidden abilities. Temple chose these contributors from a wide variety of different skill sets to show how it can be done. Each individual tells their own story in their own words about their lives, relationships, and eventual careers. The contributors also share how they dealt with issues they confronted while growing up, such as bullying, making eye contact, and honing social skills.


Interview with Eric Kandel

The best way to learn about the brain is to study one single cell at a time…


Eric Kandel: A New Intellectual Framework for Psychiatry – published in 1998 in The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(4), 457-469.



This framework can be summarized in five principles that constitute, in simplified form, the current thinking of biologists about the relationship of mind to brain.

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Principle 1. All mental processes, even the most complex psychological processes, derive from operations of the brain. The central tenet of this view is that what we commonly call mind is a range of functions carried out by the brain. The actions of the brain underlie not only relatively simple motor behaviors, such as walking and eating, but all of the complex cognitive actions, conscious and unconscious, that we associate with specifically human behavior, such as thinking, speaking, and creating works of literature, music, and art. As a corollary, behavioral disorders that characterize psychiatric illness are disturbances of brain function, even in those cases where the causes of the disturbances are clearly environmental in origin.

Principle 2. Genes and their protein products are important determinants of the pattern of interconnections between neurons in the brain and the details of their functioning. Genes, and specifically combinations of genes, therefore exert a significant control over behavior. As a corollary, one component contributing to the development of major mental illnesses is genetic.

Principle 3. Altered genes do not, by themselves, explain all of the variance of a given major mental illness. Social or developmental factors also contribute very importantly. Just as combinations of genes contribute to behavior, including social behavior, so can behavior and social factors exert actions on the brain by feeding back upon it to modify the expression of genes and thus the function of nerve cells. Learning, including learning that results in dysfunctional behavior, produces alterations in gene expression. Thus all of “nurture” is ultimately expressed as “nature.”

Principle 4. Alterations in gene expression induced by learning give rise to changes in patterns of neuronal connections. These changes not only contribute to the biological basis of individuality but presumably are responsible for initiating and maintaining abnormalities of behavior that are induced by social contingencies.

Principle 5. Insofar as psychotherapy or counseling is effective and produces long-term changes in behavior, it presumably does so through learning, by producing changes in gene expression that alters the strength of synaptic connections and structural changes that alter the anatomical pattern of interconnections between nerve cells of the brain. As the resolution of brain imaging increases, it should eventually permit quantitative evaluation of the outcome of psychotherapy.”

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Jaak Panksepp (2010): The Primal Power of Play

“Play and depression may be opposite sides of a coin,” says Dr. Jaak Pansepp, Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being at Washington State University. He explains how “real play” is essential to a child’s development. He also describes his serendipitous discovery of rat laughter. Enjoy!


Short articles/ essays on Neurobiology & Psychoanalysis by Inna Rozentsvit