Archive for March, 2012

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The Brain Grid

Connections in the brain aren’t all tangled up – they’re organized into a grid of tightly-knit bundles, says a new study. By applying mathematical analysis to the latest imaging technology, scientists have discovered that connective pathways are knit into a three-dimensional geometric pattern. When scientists first set out to map the connections in a brain, […]

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3 Popular Neuroscience Ideas…That Aren’t Really True

Like science? Sure – we all do. And you like to stay informed about it – but it’s not like you’re going to set aside hours of your time for studying scholarly journals, when you could be…eating ham, or whatever it is you enjoy doing. And who could blame you? Science journals don’t have that […]

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Memory Control

Scientists can now turn a particular memory “on” and “off” by controlling the specific neurons that help encode it, a new study reports. Thanks to cutting-edge technology that allows researchers to control individual brain cells, a team has found a way to activate and deactivate memories of certain environments in mouse brains. The past few […]

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Reward Lasers

Our ability to feel pleasure in rewarding situations depends on a delicate balance of two specific types of brain circuits, a new study reports. By using targeted lasers to activate specific cells in a mouse brain, researchers can disrupt and reactivate small sections of that brain’s reward pathway, causing mice to drastically change their behavior. […]

Enteropneust

The Worm Did It!

The basic “scaffolding” for the vertebrate brain has been found in an unexpected distant relative: a marine worm, a new study reports. The worm’s brain is much simpler than that of even the simplest vertebrates – but it contains three signaling centers almost identical to those found in the brains of vertebrate embryos. I leaped […]

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Mixed-Up Memories

Just a minute of physical exertion can seriously impair a person’s memory of the threat that triggered it, says a new study. When we undergo a strenuous task, such as a chase or a fight, immediately after witnessing an event, we have much less ability to remember the event’s details than if we’d taken time […]

consciousness

“Consciousness, Dreams & Drugs” — Podcast 2

On the second Connectome podcast, I muse about three of the hottest topics in neuroscience today: what “consciousness” might be, how it relates to dreams, and how drugs can play some strange tricks on that relationship.   Click here to play or download:   Enjoy, and feel free to email us questions and suggestions for […]

Neuroscience Friends!

I’ve just returned from a thrilling weekend at the BIL Conference in Long Beach, California (yes, the pun on “TED” is very intentional) where I met all kinds of smart, fun people – including lots of folks who share my love for braaaiiins! So I thought I’d introduce you guys to some of the friends […]

Consider This an Invitation

This photo got me thinking. Only 24 percent? Really? We’re finding weird new exoplanets every day – hell, NASA hasn’t even ruled out the possibility that there could be life on Europa and Titan, two moons in our own solar system – yet so many people have lost faith in space’s limitless potential to surprise […]

Don't Forget

Forget Me Not

Having trouble remembering where you left your keys? You can improve with a little practice, says a new study. It’s an idea that had never occurred to me before, but one that seems weirdly obvious once you think about it: people who train their brains to recall the locations of objects for a few minutes […]

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