The latest Nature NeuroPod podcast has just been released and covers the use of the hot new genetics technique genome-wide association studies in neuroscience, sections on colour-blindness and stroke, and a recent study on learning in patients in coma-like states.
The discussion of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is interesting in light of some headline studies that have come along recently on schizophrenia, autism and Alzheimer’s disease. There’s also a fantastic article in this week’s Nature that discusses the successes and failures of the technique, including in recent studies on the genetics of schizophrenia.
Perhaps the most interesting section is the discussion on how patients in a coma-like ‘persistent vegetative state’ (PVS) can show conditioned learning where they can associate different sensations. Not all unconscious patient could show learning, but the ones that did showed much better recovery from their severe brain damage.