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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Given a choice between eating chocolate alone and rescuing their pals, rats will apparently save their pals and then share the chocolate with them. Trapping a rat in a cage sparks its cagemate into action, as it figures out how to open the cage and liberate its jailed friend. This is an unusual example of rats expressing empathy, a trait thought to be reserved to us higher mammals, the primates.
A fluorescent protein derived from a Dead Sea microbe could be a novel way to track electrical signals in the brain, researchers say. It’s noninvasive and nontoxic, so it could enable neuron tracking without harming the neurons.
Super-entities are not just limited to dominance of the globe. Just as the economy is intertwined and largely controlled by a small and powerful core network, so too is your brain. Researchers have long known that some areas of the brain are deeply connected to other regions — but now a team from Indiana University and the Netherlands says these connected brain regions form strong connections to each other, creating a cerebral "rich club."
Brain-like computers could soon become a lot more common. Earlier this year, we heard about a project involving DARPA and IBM to create a functioning neurosynaptic chip, which works somewhat like a brain in the way it learns and remembers. Now MIT engineers have designed a chip that mimics the function of a synapse in the brain, in its ability to model specific communications among neurons.
Staring into the brains of fruit flies could clarify the connection between genes and behaviors
By Mara GrunbaumPosted 10.17.2011 at 11:02 am 3 Comments
Gaby Maimon, of Rockefeller University, can read fruit flies’ minds. As their wings buzz under his microscope, he watches the neurons fire in their poppy-seed-size brains. By doing so, he is able to discern how the firing of certain neurons corresponds to certain behaviors. His goal is to untangle precisely how genes and neuron activation trigger behavioral disorders like autism and ADHD.
Pervasive, persistent optimism is one of those uniquely human traits/flaws — we tend to believe things are better than they really are, or that negative consequences won’t befall us, even if they befall others. It stands to reason that people would adjust their expectations when confronted with harsh reality, yet they don’t. Our brains are to blame, according to a new study — we’re wired to have a positive outlook.
The day when doctors can patch up the human brain with electronics, cyborg-style, hasn’t dawned just yet. But if the rats at Tel Aviv University are any indication, that day may not be so very far away. Researchers there have developed a synthetic cerebellum that has restored lost brain function in rats, demonstrating that artificial brain analogs can potentially replace parts of the brain that aren’t functioning properly. Paging officer Alex Murphy.
The act of deception is probably as old as civilization — not long after humans began communicating, they began communicating lies. Shortly after that, they probably started trying to force others to tell the truth. Modern technology has given us a few options in this arena, from dubious polygraphs to powerful drugs — and now a new study suggests brain interference can work, too.
Less than three weeks from now marks the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one of the most traumatic events in modern memory and the motivation behind the persistent wars in the Middle East. If you could take a pill that would make you forget that day, would you do it?