Category Archives: Neuroscience

A First Big Step Toward Mapping the Human Brain

It’s a long, hard road to understanding the human brain, and one of the first milestones in that journey is building a … database. In the past few years, neuroscientists have embarked on several ambitious projects to make sense of … Continue reading

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Every bite you take, every move you make, astrocytes will be watching you

Chewing, breathing, and other regular bodily functions that we undertake “without thinking” actually do require the involvement of our brain, but the question of how the brain programs such regular functions intrigues scientists. A team lead by Arlette Kolta, a … Continue reading

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Scientists have found a reset “button” for our body clock

Canadian scientists have discovered the molecular switch that resets and synchronises our internal body clock, and targeting it could help treat a range of disorders, such as insomnia, depression and obesity, that are triggered when our sleep patterns get out of whack, or when we’re … Continue reading

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The Backwards Brain Bicycle

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Near-Death Experiences Likely Caused by Lack of Oxygen

Near-death experiences, in which people claim to encounter a variety of unusual phenomena, including moving through a tunnel toward light, feeling lightweight, feeling peace and joy, and profoundly spiritual moments, have often been classified by scientific researchers as a function … Continue reading

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Brain activity boosts processes that promote neural connections

Brain activity affects the way the developing brain connects neurons and a study by researchers at the School of Medicine on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Hospital Colorado suggests a new model for understanding that process. … Continue reading

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Prof Raymond Tallis to challenge Stephen Hawking claim that “philosophy is dead”

Leading polymath Prof Raymond Tallis is set to use a Birmingham pub to challenge Stephen Hawking’s declaration that “philosophy is dead”. In a meeting of the Birmingham Salon at the Victoria in John Bright Street, Prof Tallis will discuss ‘Has … Continue reading

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Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking—awareness of dreaming

To control one’s dreams and to live out there what is impossible in real life – a truly tempting idea. Some persons – so-called lucid dreamers -can do this. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin … Continue reading

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Economists find rare empirical evidence of love in unique marriage survey

Economists are not famed for their romantic insights. But a new study by two University of Virginia economists, Leora Friedberg and Steven Stern, has found quantitative evidence of love – something very few economic studies ever have claimed – in … Continue reading

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We can trick our brains into burning more fat, new research suggests

Scientists may have found a way to naturally get our bodies to shed excess fat – we just need to trick our brains into telling them to. Scientists from Monash University in Australia have found that encouraging the actions of … Continue reading

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Neuroscientists have worked out how to “read” and “write” brain signals

A new technique allows researchers to both observe and control brain activity in mice. Just like a very complicated computer, our brains control our thoughts and behaviours via electrical bursts of activity. Essentially, that means we should be able to … Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s patients could restore lost memories

New research suggests that our memories may not be stored in our synapses, as previously thought. If true, it means patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may be able to one day reactivate their lost memories. Research into … Continue reading

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What’s the difference between us and a psychopath?

In 2005, James Fallon’s life started to resemble the plot of a well-honed joke or big-screen thriller: A neuroscientist is working in his laboratory one day when he thinks he has stumbled upon a big mistake. He is researching Alzheimer’s … Continue reading

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This single protein influences how your brain copes with stress

Scientists have discovered that a single brain protein can make some people more vulnerable to depression than others. New research has suggested that there’s a single protein that determines whether someone will cope with stress, or whether they’ll be more … Continue reading

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Neuroscientists awaken ‘ghosts’ hidden inside the cortex

Ghosts exist only in the mind, and scientists know just where to find them, an EPFL study suggests. Patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric conditions have often reported feeling a strange “presence”. Now, EPFL researchers in Switzerland have succeeded in … Continue reading

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Scientists have invented a brain decoder that could read your inner thoughts

brain

Scientists have figured out how to read the words of our inner monologue, a finding that could help people who cannot physically speak to communicate with the world. Talking to yourself or having mindless internal thoughts is something which most … Continue reading

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A new type of brain cell has been discovered

pyramidenzelle

A strange new type of nerve cell, or neuron, has been observed in the brain that transmits information without involving the cell body – and, incredibly, it appears to be better at transmitting information than regular brain cells. Neurons rapidly fire … Continue reading

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Atom-scale brain sensors will show exactly how your mind works

Neural activity maps frequently present an incomplete picture of how a brain works; you can measure electrical activity, stimulate it or visualize the anatomy, but you can’t do all three. DARPA and the University of Wisconsin might just pull off … Continue reading

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How curiosity changes the brain to enhance learning

The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about that topic. New research publishing online October 2 in the Cell Press journal Neuron provides insights into what happens in our brains when curiosity … Continue reading

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Strategic or random? In the face of uncertainty, the brain chooses randomness as the best strategy

Many of the choices we make are informed by experiences we’ve had in the past. But occasionally we’re better off abandoning those lessons and exploring a new situation unfettered by past experiences. Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia … Continue reading

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