Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, which includes the brain and the spinal cord. It's a broad term encompassing numerous, more specific disciplines, including cognitive, clinical, and developmental neuroscience.
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Time to get some of those iridescent Chris Moneymaker glasses. According to a new study published in the journal Current Biology your eyes could give away not just whether you have a good hand or not, but the actual numbers of the cards in your hand. Researchers asked study participants to name a string of random numbers, and by measuring horizontal and vertical eyes position the researchers were able to reliably predict the next number before it was spoken. Your bluff just might be toast.
Anyone who's tried to learn a second language knows that the earlier in life you start, the easier it is to learn. Now, a scientist at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (SUNY) has not only discovered why learning becomes much harder after puberty, but also how to fix it.
Fluid buildup or bleeding in the heads of preemies can damage the developing brain or even prove fatal, but draining the cerebrospinal fluids through needles has not noticeably improved the health of such babies. Now a clinical study offers hope through a new technique that "washes" the baby brain with fresh fluid.
Neurologists love picking the brain, but getting in there can be both difficult and dangerous, and once inside it's tough to make the brain do exactly what you want. But researchers at medical device maker Medtronic are developing a neural implant that uses light to manipulate the neurons in the brain in a far more controlled fashion than current electrical therapies. All they need to do is genetically tamper with your brain first; no big deal.
For over a hundred years, Campbell's Soup cans have sported the iconic label inspired by Cornell's football uniform and made famous by Andy Warhol. Now, thanks to market research that measured customers' involuntary physiological responses, Campbell's will introduce the most radical can design change in decades.
Physicians usually rely on surgery or drugs to bust blood clots in the brain that might otherwise cause a stroke, but sound waves might provide a third noninvasive choice. U.S. researchers have begun testing an Israeli ultrasound device to see whether it may prove accurate enough to break up a clot without causing collateral damage in the brain, Technology Review reports.
It's after dark on a warm Monday night in April, and I'm lying face-up in a 13-ton tube at the Henry H. Wheeler, Jr. Brain Imaging Center at the University of California at Berkeley. The room is dimly lit, and I am alone. A white plastic cage covers my face, and a blue computer screen shines brightly into my eyes. I'm here because a neuroscientist named Jack Gallant is about to read my mind. He has given me strict instructions not to move; even the slightest twitch could affect the accuracy of what he's about to do. As I stare straight up, I notice an itch on my thigh.
Five years after a 1999 car crash left Eric Ramsey a victim of locked-in syndrome--essentially a conscious mind trapped inside a completely unresponsive body, unable even to blink--he soon found himself on the cutting edge brain research. In an attempt to allow Ramsey to communicate with the outside world, scientists implanted a device in his brain linking it directly to a speech synthesizer. After years of practice, Ramsey could generate vowel sounds just by thinking of them.
Now, 36 months after Ramsey began the trial that partially reconnected his isolated mind to the rest of the world, the researchers who implanted the device in Ramsey's brain have revealed how they produced this nearly miraculous outcome.
We've all been there, late at night and early in the morning, forcing any and every last morsel of knowledge into our weak and exhausted brains. But when the test flops down on our desk, we just stare blankly at the forbidding blue book page. All that knowledge, gone. Either it didn't stick, or it has hid in some inaccessible crevasse deep in the brain.
Memory problems related to sleep deprivation have stymied everyone from college students getting ready for a biochemistry test to Army interrogators probing a tired detainee. Now, scientists have discovered that the memory loss associated with lack of sleep comes down to a single neurological pathway, opening up the possibility of a drug that fixes the memory of a tired brain.
Though we do it without thinking, keeping track of time is integral to the brain's function, keeping our senses and our actions ordered in a chronology that we then recall in the form of memory. But important as it is, researchers have never understood the mechanism by which humans index the happenings of everyday life. Now, two macaque monkeys may have helped MIT researchers solve the time tracking puzzle.