CACTI (CASAA Application for …)

CACTI: Free, Open-Source Software for the Sequential Coding of Behavioral Interactions. PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(7), e39740.
Glynn, L. H., Hallgren, K. A., Houck, J. M., & Moyers, T. B.

cited by:
Behavioral Medicine: A Key to Better Health
Karolinska Institutet. November 2016

Needless words

Nuts & Bolts of Scientific Writing > TIP 2. Omit Needless Words and Empty Phrases

Cut the Clutter: 17 Phrases to Omit from Your Writing Today

LIS 272 — 1998/1999 School Year > Commenting on a first draft: Needless words

Needless words
I know I’ve been a long-time critic of everything in The Elements of Style, not least William Strunk …

Behavioral Medicine: A Key to Better Health
Karolinska Institutet. November 2016

What you include in the summary …

Behavioral Medicine: A Key to Better Health
Karolinska Institutet. November 2016

What you include in the summary is your own choice.
And it’s what you’re emphasizing.
So the pieces that you recall and pull out and put together into this bouquet that you offer to the person as a summary, it’s reinforcing certain aspects of what they said, and not others.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing

recommended by:
Behavioral Medicine A Guide for Clinical Practice 4/E
McGraw-Hill Education. August 7th 2014

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing
BEHMEDx_W1_V1, Mar 18, 2014
Drs. Miller and Rollnick developed Motivational Interviewing
Motivational interviewing with problem drinkers.
Miller, W. R.
Behavioural Psychotherapy, 1983, 11(147-172)
… three books published in successive editions (1991, 2002 and 2012), describing the evolution of this method.

Behavioral Medicine: A Key to Better Health
Karolinska Institutet. November 2016

Positive memory engrams & depression

Activating positive memory engrams suppresses depression-like behaviour
Nature 522, 335–339 (18 June 2015)
Steve Ramirez, … & Susumu Tonegawa

Here we acutely rescue stress-induced depression-related behaviours in mice by optogenetically reactivating dentate gyrus cells that were previously active during a positive experience. A brain-wide histological investigation, coupled with pharmacological and projection-specific optogenetic blockade experiments, identified glutamatergic activity in the hippocampus–amygdala–nucleus-accumbens pathway as a candidate circuit supporting the acute rescue.

dentate gyrus engram cells as potential therapeutic nodes for intervening with maladaptive behavioural states.
Subject terms: Hippocampus, Stress and resilience, Emotion

Activating happy memories cheers moody mice
17 June 2015

The work has grown out of studies … aimed to locate the memory engram — the physical trace of a memory, thought to be encoded in an ensemble of neurons.

More recently, the researchers used variations of the engram method to create false memories in mice, trigger lost memories and even retrain engram cells to encode a positive memory instead of a negative one.

By the sixth day, the previously stressed-out animals showed improved motivation and pleasure-seeking behaviours even after the light was turned off. “We were able to cure the animals’ depression,” …

the gap between simple animal models of depression and the complex human condition. “Depression in humans is a very heterogeneous clinical state. Some people have problems with motivation and experiencing reward, and other people don’t. … Optogenetic stimulation is not feasible in people, and deep-brain-stimulating implants, which involve invasive surgery, are used only as a last resort.


Neuroscience: The power of positivity
Alex Dranovsky & E. David Leonardo
Nature 522, 294–295 (18 June 2015)
Understanding how emotion-laden memories affect behaviour forms the bedrock of psychotherapy treatments, but the biology of this process is poorly understood.


Localization of a stable neural correlate of associative memory.
Science. 2007 Aug 31;317(5842):1230-3.
Reijmers LG1, Perkins BL, Matsuo N, Mayford M.
Do learning and retrieval of a memory activate the same neurons? Does the number of reactivated neurons correlate with memory strength? We developed a transgenic mouse that enables the long-lasting genetic tagging of c-fos-active neurons. We found neurons in the basolateral amygdala that are activated during Pavlovian fear conditioning and are reactivated during memory retrieval. The number of reactivated neurons correlated positively with the behavioral expression of the fear memory, indicating a stable neural correlate of associative memory. The ability to manipulate these neurons genetically should allow a more precise dissection of the molecular mechanisms of memory encoding within a distributed neuronal network.

BMC Biol. 2016 May 19;14(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s12915-016-0261-6.
What is memory? The present state of the engram.
Poo MM, et al.
The mechanism of memory remains one of the great unsolved problems of biology. Grappling with the question more than a hundred years ago, the German zoologist Richard Semon formulated the concept of the engram, lasting connections in the brain that result from simultaneous “excitations”, whose precise physical nature and consequences were out of reach of the biology of his day. Neuroscientists now have the knowledge and tools to tackle this question, however, and this Forum brings together leading contemporary views on the mechanisms of memory and what the engram means today.
Which Neurons Will Be the Engram – Activated Neurons and/or More Excitable Neurons?
Exp Neurobiol. 2016 Apr;25(2):55-63.
Kim JI, et al.
During past decades, the formation and storage principle of memory have received much attention in the neuroscience field. Although some studies have attempted to demonstrate the nature of the engram, elucidating the memory engram allocation mechanism was not possible because of the limitations of existing methods, which cannot specifically modulate the candidate neuronal population. Recently, the development of new techniques, which offer ways to mark and control specific populations of neurons, may accelerate solving this issue. Here, we review the recent advances, which have provided substantial evidence showing that both candidates (neuronal population that is activated by learning, and that has increased CREB level/excitability at learning) satisfy the criteria of the engram, which are necessary and sufficient for memory expression.
CREB; Memory allocation; Memory engram; Review; excitability
Neuronal Allocation to a Hippocampal Engram.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 May 17.
Park S, et al
The dentate gyrus (DG) is important for encoding contextual memories, but little is known about how a population of DG neurons comes to encode and support a particular memory. One possibility is that recruitment into an engram depends on a neuron’s excitability (Han et al, 2009; Zhou et al, 2009; Choi et al, 2011; Sano et al, 2014). Here we manipulated excitability by overexpressing CREB in a random population of DG neurons and examined whether this biased their recruitment to an engram supporting a contextual fear memory. To directly assess whether neurons overexpressing CREB at the time of training became critical components of the engram, we examined memory expression while the activity of these neurons was silenced. Chemogenetically (hM4Di, an inhibitory DREADD receptor) or optogenetically (iC++, a light-activated chloride channel) silencing the small number of CREB-overexpressing DG neurons attenuated memory expression, while silencing a similar number of random neurons not overexpressing CREB at the time of training did not. As post-encoding reactivation of the activity patterns present during initial experience is thought to be important in memory consolidation, we investigated whether post-training silencing of neurons allocated to an engram disrupted subsequent memory expression. We found that silencing neurons 5 min (but not 24 h) following training disrupted memory expression. Together these results indicate that the rules of neuronal allocation to an engram originally described in the lateral amygdala are followed in different brain regions including DG, and moreover, that disrupting the post-training activity pattern of these neurons prevents memory consolidation.
Still searching for the engram.
Learn Behav. 2016 Mar 4.
Eichenbaum H1.
For nearly a century, neurobiologists have searched for the engram-the neural representation of a memory. Early studies showed that the engram is widely distributed both within and across brain areas and is supported by interactions among large networks of neurons. Subsequent research has identified engrams that support memory within dedicated functional systems for habit learning and emotional memory, but the engram for declarative memories has been elusive. Nevertheless, recent years have brought progress from molecular biological approaches that identify neurons and networks that are necessary and sufficient to support memory, and from recording approaches and population analyses that characterize the information coded by large neural networks. These new directions offer the promise of revealing the engrams for episodic and semantic memories.
Comparative cognition; Episodic memory; Memory; Rat; Spatial learning

Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy

Tapping into Digitized Behavioral Therapy: Lessons from the Safety Net
November 2015
Patients with depression or chronic pain may be helped by computerized cognitive behavioral therapy. Two pilot tests in safety-net clinics point to both barriers and solutions.

Californians with chronic pain or depression are frequently seen in safety-net clinics. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective with both conditions, but a shortage of behavioral health providers is a significant barrier to timely treatment in these settings.

Digital programs that provide computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) may hold promise for these patients. Such programs can be used on computers and handheld devices. To find out what the barriers are and how they might be overcome, the California HealthCare Foundation funded two pilot tests, one focused on depression and one on chronic pain.

You do the best you can

Adapting to the Possibilities of Life
by Donald Rosenstein, MD
April 27, 2008

I believe in adaptation — that is, the same stimulus does not invariably elicit the same response over time.

The first time I saw my son flap his arms, I nearly threw up.
My son Koby was 2 at the time, and he and my wife and I were at an evening luau in Hawaii. Dancers emerged from the dark twirling torches to loud, rhythmic drumbeats. I thought it was exciting and so did Koby. He began to flap his arms — slowly, at first, and then with an intensity that mirrored the movement of the dancers.
In an instant, I was overwhelmed. I knew just enough about arm-flapping to know that it was characteristic of autism. I was confused, panicked and strangely preoccupied with the fear that I would never play tennis with my son as I had with my father.

I believe that “reframing a problem” can help to overcome it. But adaptation is not the same as becoming tolerant of or inured to something. Adaptation allows for creative possibilities.

before he adapted to his son’s illness, he wouldn’t always know how to respond when his very sick patients would tell him, I just don’t know what to do. Now his answer is, you do the best you can.



Do the plan. Follow the plan.

A Coping Plan Can Help Fend Off Depression From Vision Loss
by Patti Neighmond
August 11, 2014

about 25 percent of people with macular degeneration in both eyes go on to develop clinical depression.
So Dr. Rovner decided to test a style of psychological therapy called behavior activation. This treatment helps give patients strategies to build on whatever functional vision they have so they can continue their day-to-day activities and carry on an active social life. Rovner wanted to see if the approach would help people with macular degeneration ward off depression.

The results were dramatic: Patients in the study who created a plan and stuck to it cut their risk of depression by more than half, Rovner says, compared to those who received only the talk therapy.

Vision is the primary way sighted people engage in the world, he says. If you can help someone who is losing their sight come up with coping strategies, there’s a good chance you’ll keep them engaged — and keep depression at bad.

“People tend to ruminate on what they’ve lost,” says Dr. Barry Rovner, a geriatric psychiatrist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. “That’s why we say, ‘Do the plan. Follow the plan, not your feelings.’

a just do it philosophy.