One of the most intriguing questions about the human brain is also one of the most difficult for neuroscientists to answer: What sets our brains apart from those of other animals? “We really don’t understand what makes the human brain special,” said Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. “Studying the

You don’t focus as well as you think you do. That’s the fundamental finding of a team of researchers from Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley who studied monkeys and humans and discovered that attention pulses in and out four times per second. “Our subjective experience of the visual world is an illusion,” said

The desire for revenge can be the consequence of a feeling of anger. But is this the case at the cerebral level? What happens in the human brain when injustice is felt? To answer these questions, researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, have developed an economic game in which a participant is confronted

Many patients with neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression experience negative moods that lead them to focus on the possible downside of a given situation more than the potential benefit. MIT neuroscientists have now pinpointed a brain region that can generate this type of pessimistic mood. In tests in animals, they showed that stimulating

Led by Philippe Peigneux, ULB Neuroscience Institute, a group of researchers found that our learning capabilities are limited during slow wave sleep. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), they showed that while our brain is still able to perceive sounds during sleep, it is unable to group these sounds according to their organisation in a sequence. Hypnopedia, or

FOXP2, a gene implicated in affecting speech and language, is held up as a textbook example of positive selection on a human-specific trait. But in a paper published August 2 in the journal Cell, researchers challenge this finding. Their analysis of genetic data from a diverse sample of modern people and Neanderthals saw no evidence

When it comes to memory, it’s more than just “location, location, location.” New research suggests that the brain doesn’t store all memories in ‘place cells’, the main type of neuron in the hippocampus, a structure crucial for navigation and memory. Instead, memories seem to be powered by a subset of hippocampal cells that have little

The recently-discovered species Homo naledi may have had a pint-sized brain, but that brain packed a big punch. New research by Ralph Holloway and colleagues — that include researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa — published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the imprints of the brain

In a study of mice, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers describe a new circuit involved in fine-tuning the brain’s decision either to hide or confront threats. The study, published in Nature, was partially funded by the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. “Being able to manipulate specific circuits can uncover surprising relationships

If you keep a close eye on an MRI scan of the brain, you’ll see a wave pass through the entire brain like a heartbeat once every few seconds. This ultra-slow rhythm was recognized decades ago, but no one quite knew what to make of it. MRI data are inherently noisy, so most researchers simply

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