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Advancing Neuroscience

Brain Trust - Unlocking the mysteries of the mind - in the current Research magazine provides an expansive take on the breadth of neuroscience research at UGA:

If the history of science has taught us anything, it is that transformational discoveries—influential findings that result in society-wide applications—are built upon a foundation of basic research. That’s a lesson well learned by neuroscientists at UGA, who recognize that we cannot understand something as complex as the brain without first identifying and characterizing its fundamental components.

“A great deal of the neuroscience research is focused on understanding very basic biological phenomena,” said Philip Holmes, professor of psychology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Division of Neuroscience. “Some of this work takes place at the cellular level, but we also use animal models such as mice, rats and even fruit flies to learn more about the human central nervous system.”

In his own laboratory, Holmes studies stress, mood disorders and drug addiction from a neurochemical perspective. As part of a recent study, he demonstrated that a signaling molecule called galanin, which is produced in the brain during exercise, might help preserve neural connections that can be damaged by stress.

Great work along several fronts by Franklin researchers in pyschology and cellular biology helping shape new understandings of how the mind works. From toxic stress to the origins of impulsive behavior, scientists are homing in on causes, diagnoses and treatments that have been elusive until now. A great overview by our colleagues in OVPR. Read the whole thing.

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