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Latest Human brain Stories

Different Areas Of The Brain Are Used For Thinking And Choosing
2012-08-21 14:31:55

Caltech researchers study over 300 lesion patients The frontal lobes are the largest part of the human brain, and thought to be the part that expanded most during human evolution. Damage to the frontal lobes–which are located just behind and above the eyes–can result in profound impairments in higher-level reasoning and decision making. To find out more about what different parts of the frontal lobes do, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)...

Study Reveals Brain's Mysterious Switchboard Operator
2012-08-17 16:08:49

A mysterious region deep in the human brain could be where we sort through the onslaught of stimuli from the outside world and focus on the information most important to our behavior and survival, Princeton University researchers have found. The researchers report in the journal Science that an area of our brain called the pulvinar regulates communication between clusters of brain cells as our brain focuses on the people and objects that need our attention. Like a switchboard operator, the...

Cleansing System Inside Brain Drains Waste Products
2012-08-16 12:47:44

Connie K. Ho for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers recently discovered a cleansing system in the brain with a new imaging technique. Neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center found a system that can drain the waste from the brain; it was previously unrecognized by scientists. The system is highly organized and is designed with a series of pipes that depend on the brain´s blood vessels, providing the same function in the brain as the...

2012-07-20 01:41:22

UT Dallas researchers recently demonstrated how nerve stimulation paired with specific experiences, such as movements or sounds, can reorganize the brain. This technology could lead to new treatments for stroke, tinnitus, autism and other disorders. In a related paper, UT Dallas neuroscientists showed that they could alter the speed at which the brain works in laboratory animals by pairing stimulation of the vagus nerve with fast or slow sounds. A team led by Dr. Robert Rennaker and...

Brain Functions During Visual Searches Revealed
2012-07-17 09:10:02

You're headed out the door and you realize you don't have your car keys. After a few minutes of rifling through pockets, checking the seat cushions and scanning the coffee table, you find the familiar key ring and off you go. Easy enough, right? What you might not know is that the task that took you a couple seconds to complete is a task that computers —— despite decades of advancement and intricate calculations —— still can't perform as efficiently as humans: the...

2012-06-27 10:28:24

Researchers have long been interested in discovering the ways that human brains represent thoughts through a complex interplay of electrical signals. Recent improvements in brain recording and statistical methods have given researchers unprecedented insight into the physical processes under-lying thoughts. For example, researchers have begun to show that it is possible to use brain recordings to reconstruct aspects of an image or movie clip someone is viewing, a sound someone is hearing or...

2012-06-21 21:07:02

Findings could open avenues for improved therapies for a range of conditions Researchers at McGill University have discovered the cause of an inherited form of epilepsy. The disease, known as double-cortex syndrome, primarily affects females and arises from mutations on a gene located on the X chromosome. Drs. Susanne Bechstedt and Gary Brouhard of the Department of Biology have used a highly advanced microscope to discover how these mutations cause a malformation of the human brain. The...

Psychologists Reveal How Brain Performs 'Motor Chunking' Tasks
2012-06-12 15:29:40

You pick up your cell phone and dial the new number of a friend. Ten numbers. One. Number. At. A. Time. Because you haven't actually typed the number before, your brain handles each button press separately, as a sequence of distinct movements. After dialing the number a few more times, you find yourself typing it out as a series of three successive bursts of movement: the area code, the first three numbers and then the last four numbers. Those three separate chunks allow you to type the...

Area Of Brain Identified That Determines Distance From Which Sound Originates
2012-06-12 06:40:52

MGH team uses functional imaging to find neurons sensitive to distance but not loudness Researchers at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a portion of the brain responsible for determining how far away a sound originates, a process that does not rely solely on how loud the sound is. The investigators' report, which will appear in the early edition of Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, is receiving early online release...

2012-06-07 09:21:21

Stress may affect brain development in children – altering growth of a specific piece of the brain and abilities associated with it – according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. "There has been a lot of work in animals linking both acute and chronic stress to changes in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in complex cognitive abilities like holding on to important information for quick recall and use," says Jamie...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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