Brains at the crossroads: Motor neurons always map out several possibilities

Even if you’re already following a path after coming to a fork in the road, your brain may still be preparing for an alternative scenario. Results of a new study provide evidence that motor neurons are continuously working to translate information from the visual systems into action. Previous research has hinted that the brain’s motor […]

Brain-computer interface allows locked-in patients to communicate

Imagine being completely paralyzed, but still have the capacity to think and feel without the ability to communicate your thoughts to others. This is what patients experience in what’s called the complete locked-in state, a state in which actions are limited to, at most, eye movements or blinks. It’s these movements that researchers have used to […]

A good night’s sleep can make it harder to suppress negative memories

Sleep to forget? Apparently not, when it comes to negatively charged memories you’re actively trying to suppress. New research found that negative associations were easier to recall after a good night’s sleep, even if the individual has been actively trying to suppress those memories. In the study, subjects were given memory suppression tasks which involved […]

Brain damage may be repaired by “replacement” cell transplants

Damage to the brain is one of the most difficult injuries to repair — in large part, because of the highly specialized functions of cortical cells. But a team of scientists from LMU Munich recently found that the damaged neural connections can be rebuilt by transplanting embryonic neurons into the affected areas of the brain. […]

Eyesight sharpened in the blink of an eye

The next time you reach for your reading glasses, try this weird trick instead: staring at a flickering display. Researchers at Western University found that staring at a series of flickering images can help temporarily sharpen vision. This is due to the decreased activity from the visual pathway responsible for carrying less detailed visual cues […]

The secret compound behind ketamine’s antidepressant properties

Ketamine is a fast-acting ‘dissociative’ anaesthetic previously found to have antidepressant effects in humans. But the negative side effects of ketamine make it a problematic candidate for depression treatment. However, new research published shows that the compound responsible for ketamine’s antidepressant effects is actually formed as the body metabolizes and breaks down the drug. The […]

Mapping the meaning of words in the brain

Researchers have mapped out how meanings of words are represented in the human brain. Researchers collected MRI data from seven participants while they listened to over 2 hours of stories on a radio show called The Moth Radio Hour. They found that information about the meaning of language is distributed broadly across over 100 distinct […]

This is why you feel groggy after sleeping in a new place

When sleeping in an unfamiliar environment, half of your brain doesn’t really sleep. Instead, that hemisphere stays awake to “guard” against potential threats. In a new study, researchers from Brown University monitored the brain activity of 35 people in a sleep lab over the course of two nights. The first night sleeping in the new […]

How memories become knowledge

An experiment with mice sheds light on how the brain turns individual memories into knowledge over the course of time. Mice were trained to swim in a pool of water and look for a hidden platform that could be in one of several locations, with some locations more likely than others.Mice that were tested one […]

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