What birdsong tells us about brain cells and learning

Most scientists who study the brain believe that memories are stored through networks of synapses, or connections that form between neurons. Learning takes place as neurons form new connections and strengthen or weaken existing ones, giving the brain its so-called synaptic plasticity. There is growing evidence, however, that the intrinsic, built-in properties of the cells … Read more What birdsong tells us about brain cells and learning

Binaural beats synchronize brain activity, don’t affect mood

An auditory illusion thought to synchronize brain waves and alter mood is no more effective than other sounds, according to research in adults recently published in eNeuro. The effect reported in other studies might be a placebo but could still have helpful effects for some people. Binaural beats are an auditory illusion caused by listening to … Read more Binaural beats synchronize brain activity, don’t affect mood

Researchers were not right about left brains

The left and right side of our brain are specialized for some cognitive abilities. For example, in humans, language is processed predominantly in the left hemisphere, and the right hand is controlled by the motor cortex in the left hemisphere. The functional lateralization is reflected by morphological asymmetry of the brain. Left and right hemisphere … Read more Researchers were not right about left brains

State of mind: The end of personality as we know it

We all have our varying mental emphases, inclinations, and biases. These individual dispositions are dynamic in that they can change over time and context. In a study published today in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Prof. Moshe Bar, a neuroscientist at the Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University (BIU), together with Noa … Read more State of mind: The end of personality as we know it

Hidden away: An enigmatic mammalian brain area revealed in reptiles

The state of unified perception characteristic of a conscious state in humans appears to require widespread coordination of the forebrain and thus, the existence of a physical and anatomical substrate for this coordination. The mammalian claustrum, a thin sheet of brain tissue hidden beneath the inner layers of the neocortex, is widely interconnected with the … Read more Hidden away: An enigmatic mammalian brain area revealed in reptiles

AI, brain scans may alter how doctors treat depression

Artificial intelligence may soon play a critical role in choosing which depression therapy is best for patients. A national trial initiated by UT Southwestern in 2011 to better understand mood disorders has produced what scientists are calling the project’s flagship finding: a computer that can accurately predict whether an antidepressant will work based on a … Read more AI, brain scans may alter how doctors treat depression

Squid brains approach that of dogs

We are closer to understanding the incredible ability of squid to instantly camouflage themselves thanks to research from The University of Queensland. Dr Wen-Sung Chung and Professor Justin Marshall, from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, completed the first MRI-based mapping of the squid brain in 50 years to develop an atlas of neural connections. “This the … Read more Squid brains approach that of dogs

Living near major roads linked to increased risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS

Living near major roads or highways is linked to higher incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), suggests new research published this week in the journal Environmental Health. Researchers from the University of British Columbia analyzed data for 678,000 adults in Metro Vancouver. They found that living less than 50 metres from … Read more Living near major roads linked to increased risk of dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS

Expert in visual neuroscience has international award in his sights

Pioneering discoveries about the ‘extraordinarily strange’ visual systems of shrimps – that could improve early detection of cancer – have been recognised with an international prize. University of Queensland researcher Professor Justin Marshall shared the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics with long-term colleague Professor Tom Cronin from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Optoelectronics focuses on light-emitting or light-detecting devices, and the pair has revealed … Read more Expert in visual neuroscience has international award in his sights

A new role for neurogenesis

The ability to create new neurons may exist as built-in protection for sensitive brain areas, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci. For a quarter of a century, scientists have known that the brain creates new neurons even into adulthood – a process called adult neurogenesis. The question has been: why? Adult neurogenesis occurs … Read more A new role for neurogenesis