SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Katsman, D., Zheng, J., Spinelli, K., & Carmichael, S. T. (2003). Tissue microenvironments within functional cortical subdivisions adjacent to focal stroke. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 23, 997-1009.

Summary: Stroke causes cell death and corresponding alterations in the brain such as gliosis. While early after the stroke gliosis occurs in areas immediately adjacent to the site of damage, gliosis spreads to more distant regions as time passes.

Questions to Consider: [Critical thinking questions based on the article to gauge student comprehension and analysis]

  1. As gliosis spreads, what are the consequences for plasticity in the nervous system?
  2. How is the brain infarct produced in this study different from other such studies?
  3. How was the extent of gliosis measured in this study?

Article 2: Carelli, R. M. (2002). The nucleus accumbens and reward: Neurophysiological investigations in behaving animals. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 1, 281-296.

Summary: This article reviews research on the role that the nucleus accumbens plays in the brain’s reward circuitry and its involvement in processing both natural and drug-associated rewards.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How do the afferent and efferent connections with the nucleus accumbens make it especially well-suited as a site for processing reward and influencing goal-directed behavior?
  2. What are the differences in the functional properties of the various anatomical divisions of the nucleus accumbens?
  3. How does activity within the nucleus accumbens compare with regard to natural rewards and drug-related rewards? How does its activity change over time?

Article 3: Grunwald, T., & Kurthen, M. (2006). Novelty detection and encoding for declarative memory with the human hippocampus. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 37, 309-14.

Summary: The paper reviews research that suggests that successful encoding for declarative memory depends on NMDA receptor mediated novelty detection.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What contributions did the case of patient H. M. make to our understanding of the role of the hippocampus in human memory?
  2. Is the research summarized in this study correlational or experimental in nature? Why?
  3. What role do NMDA receptors play in the associative long-term potentiation within the CA1 region of the hippocampus?