Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have perfected a noninvasive “chemogenetic” technique that allows them to switch off a specific behavior in mice – such as voracious...
Many studies have linked more sleep to better memory, but new research in fruit flies demonstrates that extra sleep helps the brain overcome catastrophic neurological defects that otherwise would block memory formation, report scientists at...
New research highlights how nerves – whether harmed by disease or traumatic injury – start to die, a discovery that unveils novel targets for developing drugs to slow or halt peripheral neuropathies and devastating neurodegenerative disorders such...
What happens if a musician experiences some sort of brain damage? Music is the ultimate “brain” activity, as it involves the motor, visual, auditory, audiovisual, somatosensory, parietal and frontal areas in both hemispheres and the cerebellum. By being such a “complete” brain activity, music has a lot of beneficial effects on the brain. Amid the countless examples of the virtues of music, let’s mention a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, which determined that kids who took music lessons for two years did not just witness an improvement in their abilities to play their instrument, but they also processed language more easily: in fact, learning music improves the brain’s ability to process pitch, timing and timbre, which actually helps pick up language too.
Introduced in 1992, social neuroscience seeks to specify the neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms underlying social behavior, and in so doing to understand the associations and influences between social and biological levels of organization (Cacioppo and Bernston, 1992; Cacioppo and Decety, 2011). The past twenty-three years have seen not only the acceptance of the field of social neuroscience, but also its tremendous growth as an integrative and interdisciplinary field, as several neuroimaging procedures were burgeoning, and human lesion studies, comparative research, and animal models began to focus more on the biological basis of social structures and processes. With such a fast growth, there is a crucial need for social neuroscientists to stay up-to-date on the available neuroimaging methods and cutting-edge analytic tools to study the social brain.
Did you know that you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else than if you're alone? Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares this and other surprising facts about laughter in this fast-paced, action-packed and, yes, hilarious dash through the science of the topic.
As adults age, vision deteriorates. One common type of decline is in contrast sensitivity, the ability to distinguish gradations of light to dark, making it possible to discern where one object ends and another begins.
When an older adult descends a flight of stairs, for example, she may not tell the edge of one step from the next, so she stumbles. At night, an older driver may squint to see the edge of white road stripes on blacktop. Caught in the glare of headlights, he swerves.
But new research suggests that contrast sensitivity can be improved with brain-training exercises. In a study published last month in Psychological Science, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and Brown University showed that after just five sessions of behavioral exercises, the vision of 16 people in their 60s and 70s significantly improved.
After the training, the adults could make out edges far better. And when given a standard eye chart, a task that differed from the one they were trained on, they could correctly identify more letters.
“There’s an idea out there that everything falls apart as we get older, but even older brains are growing new cells,” said Allison B. Sekuler, a professor of psychology, neuroscience and behavior at McMaster University in Ontario, who was not involved in the new study. “You can teach an older brain new tricks.”
Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It’s not a parlor trick; it actually works. You have to see it to believe it.
Researchers have found that the proteins that control the progression of Alzheimer’s are linked in a pathway, and that drugs targeting this pathway may be a way of treating the disease, which affects 40 million people worldwide.
If we compressed the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth into a 24 hour period, the first single-cell organisms would have emerged around 18 hours ago, the first simple nervous systems separating animals from plants would have emerged around 3.75 hours ago, the first brain would have emerged about 2.67 hours ago, the first hominid brain would have emerged less than 2.5 minutes ago, and the current version of the human brain would have emerged less than 3 seconds ago. The human brain is the most complex living structure known, and the determination of how the human brain works to maintain a healthy body and produce our mental and behavioral existence is one of the grand challenges in science. The mission of the Center is to create a rich intellectual environment and a supportive academic environment, to address this grand challenge, with an emphasis on rethinking what is possible. We do this through international, interdisciplinary, multi-level analyses, ranging from genes to societies, that utilize multiple methods in human studies and animal models. The common core for CCSN is rigor, quantification, and theoretical sophistication shaped by reproducible empiricism designed to disconfirm, or at least to identify the limits of, rather than to confirm apriori expectations.
Despite the abuse potential of opioid drugs, they have long been the best option for patients suffering from severe pain. The drugs interact with receptors on brain cells to tamp down the body’s pain response.
Using a new ‘chemogenetic’ technique invented at UNC, scientists turn neurons ‘on’ and ‘off’ to demonstrate how brain circuits control behavior in mice. This unique tool – the first to result from the NIH BRAIN Initiative – will help scientists understand how to modulate neurons to more effectively treat diseases.
Patients with traumatic brain injuries are not benefiting from recent advances in cognitive neuroscience research – and they should be, scientists report in a special issue of Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.
Scientists have for the first time captured live images of the process of taste sensation on the tongue. The international team imaged single cells on the tongue of a mouse with a specially designed microscope system.
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