Neurostimulation of the cerebellum improves episodic memory
In the scope of project 495/14 - Episodic memory enhancement in aging: the role of cognitive training combined with (bilateral) tDCS in the medial-temporal cortex and cerebellum on episodic memory performance in the elderly, supported by the BIAL Foundation, the research team published the paper The cerebellum is causally involved in episodic memory under aging in the journal GeroScience. The study demonstrated that, when participating in a 12-day neurostimulation program delivered to the right cerebellum, healthy elderly individuals showed episodic memory improvement both immediately after the intervention program and in a 4-month follow-up.
The sweet taste in obesity
Albino J. Oliveira-Maia, principal investigator of the research project 176/10 - Dopaminergic regulation of dietary learning in humans and rodents, supported by the BIAL Foundation, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition the paper Enhanced sweet taste perception in obesity: Joint analysis of gustatory data from multiple studies. Comparing 246 individuals with severe obesity and 174 healthy volunteers, the study showed that sweet intensity perception is enhanced in obesity. However, no differences were found for sour, salt, or bitter tastants, suggesting specificity for sweet taste, associated with food reward.
The brain response to acquisition and reversal of threat predictions
Francesca Starita, principal investigator of the research project 47/20 - Fear in action: how Pavlovian fear learning shapes goal-directed motor responses, supported by the BIAL Foundation, has analysed the ability to flexibly readjust one's threat predictions to meet the current environmental contingencies and concluded that in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex the theta rhythm may play an inhibitory role of responses that are no longer appropriate. Additional results are described in the paper Theta and alpha power track the acquisition and reversal of threat predictions and correlate with skin conductance response published in Psychophysiology.
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