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Researchers at University of Nevada, Reno rethink future of neuroscience

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Researchers at University of Nevada, Reno rethink future of neuroscience

Mind-blowing research, including new understanding of enhanced senses and schizophrenia, is changing the landscape of brain science

PR Newswire

RENO, Nev., June 29, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If schizophrenia could be detected at a young age rather than when it explodes into someone's twenties, treatment could start years before symptoms occur. Millions of lives could be dramatically improved; billions of dollars in care could be saved in the U.S. alone. And what if it could be cured?

Neuroscience exploration by University of Nevada, Reno researchers, including Christopher von Bartheld (shown here), is contributing to new understanding of brain functions and conditions.

Professor Christopher von Bartheld at the University of Nevada, Reno found that a pesky eye condition known as exotropic strabismus (a.k.a. "wall eye") might be responsible for the twenty-year time bomb that is schizophrenia.

Mind blown: How researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are rethinking the future of neuroscience explores von Bartheld's research and other neurological research that is heralding in a new understanding of the brain and overturning long-held assumptions.

Before diving into the world of wall-eye neuroscience, von Bartheld turned the world of brain-cell counting on its head with some scientific sleuthing, refuting a piece of long-held conventional wisdom that even Nobel Prize winners clung to for decades.

Professor Jacqueline Snow's work took on a major assumption in visual neuroscience, namely that showing a subject a picture of a hammer would elicit the same neural response as showing them an actual hammer, and all but invalidated every study that came before it.

In Professor Fang Jiang's lab, she basically studies the real-world version of Marvel's Daredevil, except she looks at neuroplasticity and enhanced senses in the blind as well as the deaf. Professor Lars Strother and his team are looking into just how unnatural learning to read is, and their research not only challenges the way we think about dyslexia, it explains why we think some fonts, numbers and letters have personality.

Professor Pedro Miura uses cutting-edge genetic sequencing and CRISPR technologies to study a kind of "dark matter of the genome," circular RNA. It can't be broken down, so it builds up in the bodies of all animals (spoiler: including humans) with age. The question is: How much of the aging process does it influence?

Media contact: Karl Fendelander, University of Nevada, Reno, kfendelander@unr.edu, 775-682-7639 (office)

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SOURCE University of Nevada, Reno

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