What birdsong tells us about brain cells and learning

Zebra finch (stock image).Credit: © thawats / Adobe Stock 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, […]

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Empathy can be detected in people whose brains are at rest

Empathy concept, holding hands (stock image).Credit: © fizkes / Adobe Stock UCLA researchers have found that it is possible to assess a person’s ability to feel empathy by studying their brain activity while they are resting rather than while they are engaged in specific tasks.advertisement Traditionally, empathy is assessed through the use of questionnaires and psychological […]

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Researchers stimulate areas vital to consciousness in monkeys' brains — and it wakes them up

Brain illustration (stock image).Credit: © PIC4U / Adobe Stock One of the central questions in neuroscience is clarifying where in the brain consciousness, which is the ability to experience internal and external sensations, arises. On February 12 in the journal Neuron, researchers report that a specific area in the brain, the central lateral thalamus, appears to play […]

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Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function

Individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) because of family history or genetic predisposition who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise training improved their brain glucose metabolism and higher-order thinking abilities (e.g., planning and mental flexibility) called executive function; these improvements occurred in conjunction with increased cardiorespiratory fitness. The results of this study are […]

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Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain

Experiences early in life have an impact on the brain’s biological and functional development, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists. Its findings, which centered on changes in mice and rats, reveal how learning and memory abilities may vary, depending on the nature of individual experiences in early life.advertisement “The implications of this […]

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MRI-based mapping of the squid brain

Squid (stock image).Credit: © Francesco / Adobe Stock We are closer to understanding the incredible ability of squid to instantly camouflage themselves, thanks to research from The University of Queensland.advertisement 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 […]

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