For first time, researchers describe molecular mechanism for a ‘gateway drug’—nicotine (The Dana Foundation Website – 22 November 2011)

Nicotine has long been thought to be a "gateway drug."  For the first time, the biological underpinnings of that gateway mechanism have been explained. Excerpt: A few years ago, I attended an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to support a friend

Reactive temperament in infancy linked to amygdala activity later in life (The Dana Foundation Website – 18 November 2011)

Jerome Kagan's lab at Harvard University is finding that early temperament is linked to later activation differences in the amygdala. Excerpt: My great-grandmother once told me that babies keep only one trait throughout the course of their lifetime—their temperament. It

Brain Receptors – A Primer (The Dana Foundation Website – 4 November 2011)

Neural receptors play an important role in several neuropsychiatric disorders.  Here is a basic primer on how they work. Excerpt: Synaptic transmission begins when one brain cell releases a neurochemical into the synapse. The transmission, however, is not complete until

At-risk alcoholism phenotype shows measureable brain changes (The Dana Foundation Website – 28 October 2011)

A new study may offer help in identifying those who are most at-risk for alcoholism. Excerpt: The National Institutes of Health estimate that nearly 18 million adults in the United States have an alcohol abuse disorder. Alcoholism is a disease

Childhood trauma leaves lasting marks on the brain (The Dana Foundation Website – 24 October 2011)

New evidence suggests that physical and emotional trauma can make lasting changes to the brain.  Excerpt: "Common wisdom" has long linked childhood traumas such as physical and sexual abuse to psychopathology later in life. Now, an ongoing longitudinal study called

Your brain and online dating (Happen Magazine – October 2011)

What did I learn as I researched DIRTY MINDS that may help in the dating world?  I spilled some of the details to Happen,'s magazine. Excerpt: Kayt Sukel is the author of Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love,

Viral treatment may offer hope to brain tumor treatments (The Dana Foundation Website – 18 October 2011)

Scientists and clinicians at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas are re-engineering the herpes virus in order to treat a deadly form of brain tumor. Excerpt: People diagnosed with a particularly insidious form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, typically

Genes, patients and psychiatric disorders (The Dana Foundation Website – 29 September 2011)

A Q&A with Huda Y. Zoghbi, winner of the 2011 Gruber Prize for Neuroscience.  Excerpt: Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, a professor in the departments of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, and neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine, took home

New Army risk and resilience project searches for signs of potential suicide (The Dana Foundation Website – 8 September 2011)

An ambitious new research project led by the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Mental Health hopes to find predictors of suicide for members of the military–and beyond. Excerpt: In the late 1940s, the National Heart Institute (now called

Is the neuroscientific study of pain lagging? (The Dana Foundation Website – 30 August 2011)

A remark at the One Mind for Research summit inspires the question, "Is the neuroscientific study of pain lagging?" Excerpt: Earlier this year, scientists, politicians and other healthcare advocates came together to share their hopes for the next decade of