In movies, exploring the body up close often involves shrinking to microscopic sizes and taking harrowing rides through the blood. Thanks to a new virtual model, you can journey through a three-dimensional brain. No shrink ray required.
The Society for Neuroscience and other organizations have long sponsored the website BrainFacts.org, which has basic information about how the human...
Improvisation may give jazz artists a creative boost not seen among musicians more likely to stick to the score. Jazz musicians’ brains quickly embrace improvisational surprises, new research on the neural roots of creativity shows.
Neuroscientist Emily Przysinda and colleagues at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., measured the creative aptitudes of 12 jazz improvisers, 12...
Globs of an inflammation protein beckon an Alzheimer’s protein and cause it to accumulate in the brain, a study in mice finds. The results, described in the Dec. 21/28 Nature, add new details to the relationship between brain inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers suspect that this inflammatory cycle is an early step in the disease, which raises the prospect of being able to...
An astonishing number of things that scientists know about brains and behavior are based on small groups of highly educated, mostly white people between the ages of 18 and 21. In other words, those conclusions are based on college students.
College students make a convenient study population when you’re a researcher at a university. It makes for a biased sample, but one that’s still...
If more nerve cells mean more smarts, then dogs beat cats, paws down, a new study on carnivores shows. That harsh reality may shock some friends of felines, but scientists say the real surprises are inside the brains of less popular carnivores. Raccoon brains are packed with nerve cells, for instance, while brown bear brains are sorely lacking.
By comparing the numbers of nerve cells, or...
Year in Review
There have been hints for years that playing football might come at a cost. But a study this year dealt one of the hardest hits yet to the sport, detailing the extensive damage in football players’ brains, and not just those who played professionally.
In a large collection of former NFL players’ postmortem brains, nearly every sample showed signs of chronic traumatic...
Year in Review
One of the top stories of 2016 quietly exited much of the public’s consciousness in 2017. But it’s still a hot topic among scientists and for good reasons. After Zika emerged in the Western Hemisphere, it shook the Americas, as reports of infections and devastating birth defects swept through Brazil and Colombia, eventually reaching the United States. In a welcome turn, the number of Zika...
News in Brief
PHILADELPHIA — Flat brains growing on microscope slides may have revealed a new wrinkle in the story of how the brain folds.
Cells inside the brains contract, while cells on the outside grow and push outward, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, discovered from working with the lab-grown brains, or organoids. This push and pull results in folds in the...
James Davis used to be an avid outdoorsman. He surfed, hiked, skateboarded and rock climbed. Today, the 48-year-old from Albuquerque barely gets out of bed. He has the most severe form of multiple sclerosis, known as primary progressive MS, a worsening disease that destroys the central nervous system. Diagnosed in May 2011, Davis relied on a wheelchair within six months. He can no longer get...
Very subtle control of artificial limbs by means of a tiny electronic device may become possible.… [The] electronic device … [is] designed to be injected into a muscle through a thick hypodermic needle. A tiny package strapped to the outside of the limb will beam radio waves at the device, which will return them, modified by the electric current produced in the muscle...