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Learning Modules

Biological Psychiatry Clinical Commentaries

Perpetual Hunger: The Neurobiological Consequences of Long-Term Opioid Use, 01/01/20

Witnessing Modern America: Violence and Racial Trauma, 12/1/19

Telomeres, Trauma, and Training, 11/1/19

From Generation to Generation, 10/1/19

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Leaping Forward, 9/1/19

Beyond Bootstraps, 8/1/19

Creatures of Habit: The Neuroscience of Habit and Purposeful Behavior, 6/1/19

Nanovesicles: A Novel Window into Neuronal Functioning, 5/15/19

Found in Translation: Autism Genetics and the Quest for Its Rosetta Stone, 4/1/19

The Parable of Panic: Suffocation, Social Attachment, and the Critical Role of an Integrative, Biopsychosocial Formulation, 2/1/19

Reshaping the Depressed Brain: A Focus on Synaptic Health, 12/1/18

Guided by Voices: Hallucinations and the Psychosis Spectrum, 9/15/18

Changing the Way We Think About (and With) Antidepressants, 8/15/18

Missed Connections: a Network to Understanding Psychiatric Illness, 7/15/18

Polygenic Risk Scores: What Are They Good For? 6/1/18

So Happy Together: the Storied Marriage Between Mitochondria and the Mind, 5/1/18

Leveraging the Power of Genetics to Bring Precision Medicine to Psychiatry: Too Little of a Good Thing? 04/15/2018

Out of the Cave, Into the Light? Modeling Mental Illness With Organoids 04/1/2018

From “Azalla” to Anandamide: Distilling the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids 01/15/2018

Small RNAs May Answer Big Questions in Mental Illness 01/01/2018

To Bend and Not Break: The Neurobiology of Stress, Resilience, and Recovery 12/01/2017

Metabolism and Memory: Obesity, Diabetes, and Dementia 12/01/2017

Kraepelin’s Crumbling Twin Pillars: Using Biology to Reconstruct Psychiatric Nosology From the Bottom Up 11/15/2017

Shifting Focus: From Group Patterns to Individual Neurobiological Differences in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 11/01/2017

Your System Has Been Hijacked: The Neurobiology of Chronic Pain 10/15/2017

Computational Psychiatry: Embracing Uncertainty and Focusing on Individuals, Not Averages 09/15/2017

Scanning for Justice With Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 08/15/2017

A Fragile Balance: Dendritic Spines, Learning, and Memory 08/15/2017

Genes Orchestrating Brain Function 08/01/2017

The N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor: Memory, Madness, and More 07/01/2017

Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: From Circuits to Communities 6/15/2017

As Hopes Have Flown Before: Toward the Rational Design of Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder 6/1/2017

Eat to Live or Live to Eat? The Neurobiology of Appetite Regulation 5/1/2017

The Nature of Nurture: How Developmental Experiences Program Adult Stress Circuitry 04/15/2017

Opioid Use Disorder: A Desperate Need for Novel Treatments 04/01/2017

More Than a Gut Feeling: The Implications of the Gut Microbiota in Psychiatry 3/1/2017

The Habenula: Darkness, Disappointment, and Depression 2/15/2017

Oxytocin and the Social Brain 2/1/2017

Checking the Brain's Immune Privilege: Evolving Theories of Brain-Immune Interactions 1/15/17

Addressing Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia: Toward a Neurobiologically Informed Approach 1/1/17

The Architecture of Cortex—in Illness and in Health 12/15/16

Effects of Maternal Prenatal Stress: Mechanisms, Implications, and Novel Therapeutic Interventions 12/1/16

Sex Differences and Personalized Psychiatric Care 11/15/16

Synaptic Plasticity: The Role of Learning and Unlearning in Addiction and Beyond 11/1/16

Psychiatric Pharmacogenomics: How Close Are We? 10/15/16

Modern Microglia: Novel Targets in Psychiatric Neuroscience 10/1/16

Bipolar Disorder 10/13/15

What to Say

What to Say: Perpetual Hunger: The Neurobiological Consequences of Long-Term Opioid Use, 02/28/20

What to Say: Your System Has Been Hijacked: The Neurobiology of Chronic Pain, 01/23/20

What to Say: Poverty, Parenting, and Psychiatry, 12/13/19

What to Say: The Parable of Panic: Suffocation, Social Attachment, and the Critical Role of an Integrative Biopsychosocial Formulation, 10/18/19

What to Say: Changing the Way We Think About (and With) Antidepressants, 7/31/19

What to Say: Reshaping the Depressed Brain: A Focus on Synaptic Health, 3/26/19

What to Say: Missed Connections: a Network Approach to Understanding Psychiatric Illness, 3/26/19

Neuroscience in the Media

Chain Reaction — Amyloid-beta, Cellular Prion Protein, and the Potential Transmissibility of Alzheimer’s Disease 12/22/17

Electroconvulsive Therapy 03/24/17

Shining the Light on Alzheimer's 01/30/17

Pregnancy & Changes in the Brain. 01/24/17

The biological consequences of stress are myriad and our scientific understanding of them continues to evolve. This module lends itself to discussions about mental health during pregnancy, brain development, subjectivity in experience of stress, and social disparities in exposure to life stressors.

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Prenatal Stress 11/29/16

The biological consequences of stress are myriad and our scientific understanding of them continues to evolve. This module lends itself to discussions about mental health during pregnancy, brain development, subjectivity in experience of stress, and social disparities in exposure to life stressors.

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Tetris for PTSD 08/19/16

Trainees will evaluate one proposed intervention to prevent PTSD, namely the use of a visual, cognitively demanding task (in this case, the game Tetris) to reactivate and then modify reconsolidation of a traumatic memory in the early days following the traumatic event.

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Are Probiotics the New Drug Choice for Mental Illness? 08/04/16

There has been a lot of media coverage about the potential connection between microbes or bacteria in the gut and brain chemistry. In this session we discuss how altering gut bacteria (through probiotics) may impact mental illnesses ranging from depression and anxiety to autism.

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Alzheimer's Disease & Fungus 06/17/16

With the increase in lifespan in recent decades, the burden of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has increased. Despite research, the exact pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s remains elusive. Alzheimer’s research garners steady media coverage, and this session is meant to teach trainees to understand and critically evaluate one proposed cause of the disease—namely that a fungal infection contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s.

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The Effects of Emotions on Memory Accuracy 04/13/16

This session explores this topic using a short New Yorker article describing research into the effect of stress on the formation of memories. Further reviews on the topic highlight the complexity of this phenomenon and provide an opportunity to review relevant neuroscience related to memory formation.

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Why Reading and Writing on Paper Might be Better for Your Brain 04/13/16

With today’s technology, printed books and writing by hand are on the decline, leaving children to grow up with primarily on-screen texts. But how does this affect the development of a child’s reading and writing abilities? In this session we discuss trends in on-screen media, its potential effects on language development, and potential effects of writing by hand on language development.

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Heroin Vaccine 04/01/16

Opioid addiction has garnered considerable attention as the latest public health “epidemic.” This module provides a rich opportunity for these discussions.

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How Social Media Changes Your Brain 01/05/16

With ubiquitous technology and expanding internet access the worldwide usage of the internet is exploding. But is this healthy? In this session we discuss our ever-increasing interface with technology, with emphasis on social media, to explore the effects of technology on the brain, potential brain changes, possibility of addiction, and potential positive and negative outcomes.

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Foreign Accent Syndrome 12/16/15

The relationship between the mind and the brain is of great interest both within the field of psychiatry and in the public at large. In this session we use a fascinating story of a woman who developed a sudden onset of Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) to discuss what FAS is, the underlying neuroscience of FAS, and the challenges patients face relating to stigma.

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Psilocybin: The Trip Treatment 09/11/15

Facing one’s own death may be a source of great distress, but what if there were a way to help make this process easier? In this session we use an emphasis on psilocybin (“magic-mushrooms”) to discuss potential uses of psychedelic therapy, basic theory behind this group of therapies, potential role of the default mode network, and limitations of this as a therapy.

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Microbiome: The Excrement Experiment 08/04/15

Psychoanalysts have formulated that pregnancy itself prepares the mother to enter this caretaker role through, in the final weeks of pregnancy, ‘maternal reverie’ – a state of increased focus on the child in utero, which guides the mother to identify with the baby’s shifting affective states. But are there any physiologic changes in the brain that support this concept?

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Optogenetics & Appetite Regulation 04/13/15

Optogenetics is a method that allows for the selective stimulation of brain circuits by applying specific frequencies of light to neurons in which a light-sensitive ion channel has been introduced. In this session we discuss this new, cutting edge technology and the neurobiology of feeding behavior.

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Effects of Marijuana on the Developing Brain 01/31/15

As marijuana has been legalized (or decriminalized) in many states, media coverage of this topic has escalated. In this session we discuss the impact of marijuana on the developing brain.

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Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation 01/31/15

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a novel, non-invasive, means of brain stimulation that has been the subject of extensive new research and widespread media coverage. In this session we discuss what tDCS is, how it works, potential applications, and current limitations.

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Neuroscience Lab

Dopamine Pathways, 3/22/19

Play-Doh Brain: Temporal Lobe, 4/21/18

Cut and Paste Clinical Pathology: Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 4/9/18

Find It, Draw It, Know It: Pain Circuitry, 3/22/18

RDoC: The Card Game, 3/21/18

Human Social Interactions & Adult Attachment Style 08/01/16

This learning module draws from a 2012 review by Vrtička and colleagues, who provided an overview of recent studies looking at attachment through a cognitive and neurobiological lens. This module will focus specifically on discussing attachment styles and reviewing a game designed by Vrtička and colleagues in 2008 that utilized functional MRI to elucidate neural responses when confronted with visual feedback. Click here to go to session.

Find It, Draw It, Know It: Fear Circuitry, 3/6/16

Cut and Paste Clinical Pathology: Neurodegenerative Disorders, 3/1/16

Play-Doh Brain, 4/16/15

Affect Regulation 03/24/15

This session highlights a specific task that is used in the scanner to probe the neural circuitry involved in emotion regulation. Objectives are to highlight the neural circuitry underlying emotion regulation and describe how this circuitry may function differently in bipolar and unipolar depression.

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Reward Pathways 03/24/15

This session is designed to teach residents about the basic neural circuitry of the reward pathway with a central emphasis on the following two concepts: 1. Dopamine (DA) is a signal for teaching/learning about the environment; and 2. Learning about the environment is proportional to Reward Prediction Error (RPE). The session is built on experiential learning exercises that are designed to embody these core principles.

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3-D Brain, 3/24/15

Cognition in Schizophrenia 02/10/15

The “dopamine hypothesis” has dominated our understanding of schizophrenia for decades, but only accounts for a fraction of the symptomatology seen in patients with schizophrenia. This session highlights our most recent understanding of the neurobiology underlying cognitive deficits in schizophrenia through an interactive, online training module that highlights some of the modern “teaching with technology” features now available to educators.

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The Brain Cookie Exercise

Integrated Case Conference

Neuroscience of Delusions, 05/22/17

PTSD, 03/24/15

Progressive Case Conference

Psychopharmacogenomics, 03/30/17

Autism Spectrum Disorder, 03/01/16

Translational Neuroscience

Psychopharmacology & Major Depression, 11/27/17

Alzheimer's Disease: Now is the Time, 11/27/17

Bipolar Disorder, 10/13/15

Borderline Personality Disorder, 10/13/15

Clinical Neuroscience Conversations

Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease, 3/26/19

From Circuit to Symptom: Understanding the ADHD Brain 03/21/18

 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric condition diagnosed in children that has widespread implications for social, cognitive, and emotional development. We present here a Facilitator’s Guide for teaching trainees about presentations of ADHD in children, the basic underlying neurobiology, and basic strategies for treatment.

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Functional Neurological Disorder 03/14/18

Borderline Personality Disorder 03/24/17

 Dr. Michael Jibson, the director of residency education in the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, talks to a patient about the neurobiology of borderline personality disorder.

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Auditory-Verbal Hallucinations 01/29/16

This session uses a case vignette involving a person with psychosis to introduce the concept of salience and discuss different pathways for conceptualizing the neural basis of auditory hallucinations.

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Translational Neuroscience & Stress 01/27/16

This session uses a case vignette involving a person with anxiety symptoms to introduce the concept of and discuss how witnessing traumatic events can produce long-term brain changes.

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Endophenotypes & Psychosis 01/19/16

This session uses a case vignette involving a person with both psychotic and affective symptoms to introduce the concept of biotypes and discuss the related underlying biology of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder endophenotypes.

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Epigenetics & Trauma 01/11/16

Epigenetics & Trauma: This session uses a case vignette involving a person with borderline personality disorder to introduce the concept of epigenetic and discuss the long-term neurobiological consequences of early trauma.

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PTSD 01/02/16

This session uses a case vignette involving a person with PTSD and alcohol use disorder to discuss the underlying neural circuitry of PTSD.

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Addiction 03/24/15

This module involves a demonstration and teaching session about the reward circuit: its key regions, their normal function, the impact of heroin, and how it can inform treatment options. Participants then role-play the explanation of the reward circuit to a patient based on a vignette.

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Ten to the Fifteenth: the Official Podcast of the NNCI

Episode 1: What's in a Name? 9/3/19

Episode 2: De Novo, 9/3/19

Episode 3: A Jug of Urine, 9/3/19

This "Stuff" is Really Cool

Dr. Alex Moxam, “Donut Pass Go” July 2018

Dr. Allison Waters, “The Ins and Outs of Brain-Based Treatment” May 2017

Dr. Noah Philip, “Placebo Effect” May 2019

Dr. Tara Thompson-Felix, “Crossing Barriers” July 2018

Dr. Brandon Kitay, “Dude, There's a Fly in My Beer” 2016

Dr. Brandon Kitay, “Connectome” 2016

Dr. Alfred Kaye, “Neural Surveillance” 2016

Dr. Alfred Kaye, “Computational Approaches to Psychiatric Illness” 2016

Dr. Alan Lewis, “Your Brain in a Dish” 2016

Dr. Daniel Moreno de Luca, “Genetic CBT” 2016

Dr. Youngsun Cho, “Circuit Workouts” 2016

Dr. Youngsun Cho, “Precision Medicine” 2016

Dr. Jenny Dwyer, “You'd Be Better Off DREADD” May 2017

Dr. Jenny Dwyer, “Microglia” 2016

Dr. Katherine Blackwell, “Psyborg” 2016

Dr. Jenny Dwyer, “Sad Synapses” July 2017

Dr. Joseph Taylor, “Neuroscience of Kafka” May 2018

Dr. Emily Olfson, “Moving from Single Genes to Pathways” July 2017

Dr. Kunmi Sobowale, “In Case of Fire” July 2017

Dr. Noah Philip, “Current Reality” July 2017

Dr. Erica Baller, “S.O.S.” May 2018

Dr. Georgina Burcher, “Developing a Picture of PTSD” May 2017

Dr. Mahendra Bhati, “Psychosurgery, Past & Future” May 2017

Dr. Roel Mocking, “Forget Everything” May 2018

Dr. Maria Pico-Perez, “Feedback for Lisa” May 2018

Dr. Amy Margolis, “Spoken Word” May 2018

Dr. Remmelt Shur, “Hidden Scars” May 2018

Dr. Melanie Grubisha, “Franklin's Future” May 2018

Expert Videos

Dr. Adrienne Lahti on Neuroscience and Schizophrenia , 04/30/15

Adrienne Lahti, MD, is a Professor & Division Director of Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and clinical director at UAB’s First Episode Schizophrenia Clinic. In these videos, Dr. Lahti discusses the neuroscience involved in schizophrenia.

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Dr. Brian Dias on Intergenerational Trauma, 05/19/15

Brian Dias, PhD, is a research specialist at Emory University. Dr. Dias’ current research seeks to understand how trauma impacts the nervous system, physiology and reproductive biology of generations that have directly experienced trauma, as well as descendant generations.

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Dr. Carlos Bolaños on Stress, 05/12/15

Carlos Bolaños, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Florida State University. His research focuses on studying how exposure to antidepressants, stimulants, and other psychotropic drugs, as well as physical and emotional stress, leads to neurobiological adaptations of brain pathways involved in regulating reward, mood, and motivation in developmentally immature and adult animal models. In these videos, Dr. Bolaños discusses his work and the neuroscience involved in stress with mice.

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Dr. Carrie McAdams on Eating Disorders, 09/19/16

Carrie McAdams, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. McAdams has been fascinated by the relationship between the mind and the brain for over 20 years. Her current research examines the connections between biological and psychological aspects of eating disorders using functional neuroimaging. She has focused on understanding the neurodevelopmental changes related to identity formation and social cognition. These constructs are closely related to long-term psychotherapeutic interventions in eating disorders.

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Dr. Demian Rose on Hallucinations 11/04/16

Demian Rose, M.D., Ph.D.  is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF. In the following videos Dr. Rose describes how he talks to patients about such topics as perception, salience, and hallucinations.

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Dr. Etienne Sibille on the Cellular & Molecular Basis of Depression, 12/07/15

Dr. Etienne L. Sibille is Chair of the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute and Senior Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He is also a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto. In these videos, Dr. Sibille discusses the implications of molecular subtyping and cellular refinement of local circuitry on depression.

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Dr. Kerry Ressler on Fear & PTSD, 05/26/15

Kerry Ressler MD, PhD, is Chief Scientific Officer and the Patricia and James Poitras Endowed Chair in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital. Dr. Ressler discusses his and his lab’s current work learning to understand the neural basis of fear processing specifically as this relates to PTSD.

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Dr. Nii Addy on the Dopamine System & New Therapeutic Targets, 12/08/15

Nii Antie Addy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Cellular And Molecular Physiology at Yale School of Medicine. In these videos, Dr. Addy discusses circuitry and receptors involved in the dopamine reward pathway related to addiction and depression.

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Dr. Oliver Howes on First Episode Psychosis, 05/19/15

Oliver Howes, MD, PhD, is from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College in London and is a faculty of medicine at the Psychiatric Imaging, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College in London. In these videos, Dr. Howes discusses the neuroscience behind first episode psychosis.

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Dr. Paul Holtzheimer on Neuroscience & Depression, 12/07/15

Paul Holtzheimer, MD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Surgery and Director of the Mood Disorders Service at Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. His research program at Dartmouth is focused on the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders, primarily treatment-resistant depression. Current methodologies include functional and structural neuroimaging and focal neuromodulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation.

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Dr. Philip Shaw on Childhood ADHD, 05/19/15

Philip Shaw, BM, BCh (Medicine), PhD, is a principle investigator at the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program. He is also an investigator at the Social Behavioral Research Branch and head of the Neurobehavioral Clinical Research Section at the National Human Genome Research Institute. In these videos, Dr. Shaw discusses the neuroscience of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

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Dr. Rachel Yehuda on Trauma and Resiliency, 05/25/16

Dr. Sarah H. Lisanby on Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neuromodulation, 03/07/16

Sarah H. Lisanby, MD, is at Duke and director of the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. In these videos, Dr. Lisanby discusses the neuroscience of electroconvulsive therapy and other treatments in the field of neuromodulation. Click here to go to session.

Dr. Scott Aaronson on Vagus Nerve Stimulation, 06/02/16

Dr. Stacy Drury on Genetics, Neurodevelopment & Child Psychiatry, 04/27/16

Stacy Drury, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University, School of Medicine, explores how the interaction of genetic and epigenetic factors with early experience shapes neurodevelopment and long term health outcomes in children.

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Brief Accessible Reviews

Reminiscence of Good Old Times, 04/05/16

Wouldn’t it be great if people could just “snap out” of depression, as some friends or family may think they can do? This review describes in understandable language how a recent study used optogenetics to activate memory engrams of positive experiences to reduce depression-like behaviors in mice.

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Default Mode Network: The Basics for Psychiatrists, 12/07/15

You’ve heard the words “Default Mode Network” and know it has something to do with the brain, but what exactly is it? Why is the default mode network important and what is its clinical relevance? This review provides a conceptual introduction to the default mode network through a brief vignette.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Psychiatry, 04/21/15

You’ve seen the dazzling brain images on PowerPoints, papers, and websites. But what do these pictures mean? What do they represent? And what’s the connection between the giant donut magnet and the images you see? This review provides a conceptual overview of how neuroimaging—specifically magnetic resonance imaging—works and what it sets out to accomplish.

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