News

The White House BRAIN Initiative in Oregon

Just over two years ago, President Obama made a dedication to support and enhance neuroscience research through the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or BRAIN, Initiative. The ultimate goal, a comprehensive map of the human brain under normal conditions and in various disease states, is a daunting and perhaps unattainable task. However, a year after the announcement, tangible goals and measurable outcomes were further defined by a Working Group of scientists, and we are … Read More

Stroke survivors continue to heal through the power of music

Back in early 2013, we heard about a group of stroke survivors who found their voice and some healing through music in a group known as The Backstrokes. We’re pleased to report that the music group continues to play together… Since the original blog post, The Backstrokes have been going strong. We have been joined by guitarist, Keith Parkhurst–a long-time Portland musician, who is naturally good at connecting with people, and finding out what songs they … Read More

Celebrate National Doctors Day by saying thank you

In celebration of National Doctors Day, our friends over at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital sat down with Dr. Nate Selden to ask what inspired him to become a physician – and what continues to inspire him in his day-to-day life as the Campagna Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Doernbecher and Director of OHSU’s Neurological Surgery Residency Program. Below, find an excerpt of Dr. Selden’s post, originally published on our Doernbecher “Healthy Families” blog. Day to day, I never use any of the information I … Read More

Five ways to explore Brain Awareness Season

On behalf of the OHSU Brain Institute, I am proud to present our 16th Brain Awareness Season! This year’s theme is The Infinite Brain. The universe is full of unlimited connections and possibilities, but the world inside our heads is as equally fascinating and infinite. Our brains not only affect how we think, feel and act, but also how society develops and evolves. The Season includes events for all types of audiences. Here are just a … Read More

ThinkFirst volunteer dedicated to public health

ThinkFirst Oregon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating our state’s youth in the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries. Through innovative classroom presentations and community outreach, their programs are designed to help young children and teens develop lifelong safety habits to avoid behaviors and situations that put them at risk. These programs would not be possible without volunteers. This month, we spoke to volunteer Bich Tran about her experience. Thank you to Bich and … Read More

On the Brain’s top 5 blog posts of 2014

As we welcome in the new year, here’s a look back at the brain-related news you may have missed; a round-up of our most read blog posts of 2014: 1. Your brain…in love There’s a specific spot in the brain (a love locus) where romance resides amidst the complex circuits and intricate chemicals that comprise our emotional nervous system. 2. Neuroscientists go to Washington — as advocates for science Neuroscientists from around the country attended the  Society … Read More

Sleepless in America — and the science behind it

There’s nothing quite like that feeling in your head after a long night of…no sleep. Your head feels disorganized, foggy, fuzzy, jumbled. Like it’s full of sludge left over from the night before. That’s maybe because it is. My colleagues and I have made some recent discoveries about what happens to the brain during sleep. In essence, we’ve found that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep in order to open up the space between them. That … Read More

One more shot of espresso, for memory’s sake

How much do Portlanders love their coffee? A lot. According to a 2011 poll by CNBC, Portland is the third most caffeinated city in the U.S., with almost 900 coffee shops and 30 local coffee roasters. And does this love of coffee have any effect on brain health? A new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that caffeine might actually be a good thing for how our brain stores and processes long-term memories. … Read More

Scientists ‘create’ a tiny brain

For the first time, scientists have grown a brain in a dish. In a study published in the journal Nature last month, Austrian researchers used human induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic stem cells and a combination of specialized growth conditions to produce “cerebral organoids.” Within these organoids, the authors can define many, but not all, of the discrete brain regions found in the human brain. The organization of these regions in relation to one … Read More

Brain News Roundup: ‘Seeing’ emotions, concussions and ‘multi-tasking’

Scientists can now see “sad” and “happy” in our brains. More news on the impact of concussions, including long-term impacts. And a roundup of more brain news, including fatherhood and our (mistaken) belief about how well we multi-task. • Scientists have discovered a way to “see” emotions with brain imaging technology, according to a recent study. Beyond being just plain fascinating, scientists hope the findings could bring a new way to analyze emotions beyond people’s … Read More

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