How the Brain Selectively Remembers New Places

The image shows the locus coeruleus, which drives neuronal circuits of the hippocampus and enables novel contextual memory. The red staining shows norepinephrine transporter (NET)-positive cells, indicating the locus coeruleus. The green staining shows adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated expressions of light-sensitive inhibitory opsin, archaerhodopsin (Arch). The blue staining shows all cells in the brain stem. / Akiko[…]

The Human Brain’s Bandwidth for Visual Images is Severely Limited

All too much; Ikea shoppers overwhelmed in the showroom, 6 July 2014, Beijing, China. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty By Dr. Rebecca Keogh / 12.18.2017 Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience University of New South Wales Imagine you are at Ikea to pick up a sofa for your new flat. You see one you like, a wine-coloured two-seater[…]

Why a Grateful Brain is a Giving One

By Dr. Christina Karns / 12.19.2017 Associate Researcher Brain Development Lab University of Oregon When you think about gratitude and its place in our culture, you might not immediately think about morality—that is, matters of right and wrong. Often, we make gratitude sound like it’s all about you. In the domain of self-help, we hear that gratitude[…]

Where the Beauty Lies

Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons By Dr. Mark English / 11.26.2017 The neurologist treating my mother’s Parkinson’s disease, an old-school physician with a heavy Afrikaans accent, first suggested using music as part of her treatment some ten years ago. We probably would have got around to it anyway, as she had had some early training[…]

Embedded Beings: How We Blended Our Minds with Our Devices

Photo by Gonzalo Baeza/Flickr    By Dr. Saskia K. Nagel and Dr. Peter B. Reiner / 10.04.2016 Nagel: Assistant Professor is Philosophy and Ethics of Technology, University of Twente (The Netherlands) Reiner: Professor and Cofounder of the National Core for Neuroethics, University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Like life itself, technologies evolve. So it is that[…]

Split the Brain, Split the Person

Charles Bell The Anatomy of the Brain. / Wellcome Images By Dr. Yaïr Pinto / 09.26.2017 Cognitive Psychologist and Physicist Assistant Professor of Psychology University of Amsterdam The brain is perhaps the most complex machine in the Universe. It consists of two cerebral hemispheres, each with many different modules. Fortunately, all these separate parts are not[…]

On Shared False Memories: What Lies behind the Mandela Effect?

Huh? Shazaam? Courtesy Touchstone/Interscope/Polygram By Caitlin Aamodt / 02.15.2017 PhD Candidate in Neuroscience University of California, Los Angeles Would you trust a memory that felt as real as all your other memories, and if other people confirmed that they remembered it too? What if the memory turned out to be false? This scenario was named the ‘Mandela[…]

Glossolalia: Making Sense of the Words and Images Produced by the Dying Brain

By Lisa Smart / 05.31.2017 The following has been excerpted from Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death, in which Lisa Smartt presents her findings from her Final Words Project—an up-close and personal study of the words of more than 100 dying individuals. Nonsense and mysticism are commonly connected Nonsense appears[…]

Living with Tourette Syndrome

Campers at Twitch and Shout, a camp for teenagers with Tourette, in Winder, Georgia, say goodbye in this 2014 file photo. David Goldman/AP By Michael Okun, M.D. / 06.08.2017 Professor of Neurology University of Florida Tourette syndrome is a mysterious medical curiosity that has puzzled doctors for more than a century. People who have it[…]

How the Brain Recognizes Faces

Image: Massachusetts Institute of Technology From MIT News / 12.01.2016 MIT researchers and their colleagues have developed a new computational model of the human brain’s face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have missed. The researchers designed a machine-learning system that implemented their model, and they trained it to[…]