July 8-12, 2006
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DAILY PRESS RELEASE
July 9th, 2006


>>OPENING PRESS CONFERENCE JULY 9th


 ALL PRESS RELEASES ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL DATE AND TIME SHOWN

SATURDAY 8 JULY 00.01
NEWLY DISCOVERED PROTEINS PROVIDE LANDSCAPE FOR DISCOVERY INTO THE MYSTERIES OF COGNITION
The discovery of around 1000 proteins at the junction where nerve cells communicate with each other is transforming research into cognition, say Cambridge scientists. The studies have shown that a mutation in the genes that form the protein network can lead to learning disorders.

Prof Seth Grant, Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, UK

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SUNDAY 9 JULY, 00.01
THE JENNIFER ANISTON CELL: ONE CONCEPT = ONE NEURON?
A team of US neuroscientists has discovered that individual brain cells are capable of recognising a single concept. One woman who took part in the study even had a specific brain cell that seemed to recognise the concept of ‘Jennifer Aniston'. This discovery may be able to shed light on the mysteries of memory and even consciousness.

Dr Christof Koch, Caltech , USA

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 SUNDAY 9 JULY 00.01
OLD BRAINS CAN LEARN NEW TRICKS WHEN IT COMES TO LANGUAGE
Older people process grammar in a different way from the young. Cambridge scientists have been examining language in the brain using functional MRI and have discovered that this change preserves our ability to understand grammar despite the degeneration of the relevant parts of the brain due to ageing.

Prof Lorraine Tyler , Cambridge , UK

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SUNDAY 9 JULY 00.01
IT'S NOT JUST WHAT IS SAID, IT IS WHO SAYS IT
New research in the Netherlands has shown how important the speaker's identity is to the way our brains interpret what they say. The same language interpretation mechanisms in the brain that construct meaning based on just the words heard also take into account the speaker's identity.

Dr Jos van Berkum, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

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SUNDAY 9 JULY 00.01
TEACHING NERVES HOW TO WORK AGAIN
The spinal cord can be made to reconfigure itself after injury if activity training is used to treat patients. A special kind of physiotherapy can cause the damaged spinal cord to reorganise itself, and can also reduce the side effects of spinal cord injury such as involuntary muscle movements.

Dr Susan Harkema of the University of Louisville , USA

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SUNDAY JULY 9 13.00 LOCAL TIME/12.00 BST
CANADIAN SCIENTISTS DISCOVER GENE FOR DEPRESSION
Canadian scientists have identified a gene that makes some people susceptible to major depressive disorders which is a major advance in psychiatry and will have major implications for diagnosis and the development of new anti-depressant treatment.

Prof Nicholas Barden, CHUL Research Centre , Quebec , Canada

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SUNDAY 9 JULY, 13.00 LOCAL TIME, 12.00 BST
HOPES FOR NEW RAPID REACTION TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION
A new hormone-based treatment for psychotic depression appears to work more quickly than existing anti-depressants, and reverse some of the adverse changes that occur in the brain during stress and depression, according to Dutch scientists.

Dr Paul Lucassen, University of Amsterdam

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SUNDAY, 9 JULY, 13.00 LOCAL TIME, 12.00 BST
HOW TO ERASE MEMORY OF PAIN IN THE BRAIN
Researchers provide evidence for new strategies to reverse hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to painful stimuli) after surgery, trauma or inflammation. They use special forms of electric nerve stimulation or drug treatments to turn down the pain amplifier in the spinal cord.

Prof. Jürgen Sandkühler, University of Vienna

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SUNDAY, 9 JULY, 13.00 LOCAL TIME, 12.00 BST
TRAINING PATIENTS TO FORGET THEIR CHRONIC PAIN
Functional reorganisation in the brain as a result of chronic pain may be viewed as pain memories that influence the processing of both painful and non-painful signals. Researchers in Germany show that pain memories can be modified by behavioral interventions. They are also examining the synergistic effects of behavioral and pharmacological interventions as well as the potential of brain-computer interfaces or transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Prof. Herta Flor, University of Heidelberg , Germany


FENS Press Office at the Austria Centre Vienna from 8 – 12 July only tel:+43 (0) 1 26069 2025

Notes to Editors

FENS 2006 is hosted by the Austrian Neuroscience Association and the German Neuroscience Society and will attract over 5,000 international delegates. The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, founded in 1998, aims to advance research and education in neuroscience, representing neuroscience research in the European Commission and other granting bodies. FENS is the European partner of the American Society for Neuroscience. FENS represents a large number of national European neuroscience societies and has around 16000 members. http://forum.fens.org/2006


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