News tagged with brain
With obesity reaching epidemic levels in some parts of the world, scientists have only begun to understand why it is such a persistent condition. A study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry adds substantially to the st ...
Medical research May 16, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2 |
(Medical Xpress)—The instability of "white matter" in humans may contribute to greater cognitive decline during the aging of humans compared with chimpanzees, scientists from Yerkes National Primate Research ...
Neuroscience May 14, 2013 | 5 / 5 (4) | 2 |
All mammals sleep, as do birds and some insects. However, how this basic function is regulated by the brain remains unclear. According to a new study by researchers from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, ...
Neuroscience May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 2
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
Neuroscience May 17, 2013 | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
Neuroscience May 18, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Working with lab mice models of multiple sclerosis (MS), UC Davis scientists have detected a novel molecular target for the design of drugs that could be safer and more effective than current FDA-approved ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Every cell in our bodies runs on a 24-hour clock, tuned to the night-day, light-dark cycles that have ruled us since the dawn of humanity. The brain acts as timekeeper, keeping the cellular clock in sync ...
Medical research May 13, 2013 | 4 / 5 (19) | 4 |
Neurological disorders can have a devastating impact on the lives of sufferers and their families.
Neuroscience May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Human intelligence cannot be explained by the size of the brain's frontal lobes, say researchers.
Neuroscience May 13, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 4 |
In the future, if you want to improve your ability to manipulate numbers in your head, you might just plug yourself in. So say researchers who report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 16 on studies of a harm ...
Neuroscience May 16, 2013 | 4.6 / 5 (8) | 1 |
If you're a left-brain thinker, chances are you use your right hand to hold your cell phone up to your right ear, according to a newly published study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Neuroscience May 16, 2013 | 2 / 5 (2) | 0 |
'Brainbow,' version 2.0: Researchers refine breakthrough system for producing images of brain, nervous system
(Medical Xpress)—The breakthrough technique that allowed scientists to obtain one-of-a-kind, colorful images of the myriad connections in the brain and nervous system is about to get a significant upgrade.
Neuroscience May 16, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
In our interaction with our environment we constantly refer to past experiences stored as memories to guide behavioral decisions. But how memories are formed, stored and then retrieved to assist decision-making ...
Neuroscience May 16, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists from the United States and Australia have advanced our understanding of brain plasticity by showing that the brain forms complex new circuits after damage, often far from the ...
Neuroscience May 15, 2013 | 4.3 / 5 (8) | 0 |
People in the military who suffer more than one mild traumatic brain injury face a significantly higher risk of suicide, according to research by the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.
Psychology & Psychiatry May 15, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate, and most invertebrate, animals. Some primitive animals such as jellyfish and starfish have a decentralized nervous system without a brain, while sponges lack any nervous system at all. In vertebrates, the brain is located in the head, protected by the skull and close to the primary sensory apparatus of vision, hearing, balance, taste, and smell.
Brains can be extremely complex. The cerebral cortex of the human brain contains roughly 15-33 billion neurons depending on gender and age, linked with up to 10,000 synaptic connections each. Each cubic millimeter of cerebral cortex contains roughly one billion synapses. These neurons communicate with one another by means of long protoplasmic fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body and target them to specific recipient cells.
The most important biological function of the brain is to generate behaviors that promote the welfare of an animal. Brains control behavior either by activating muscles, or by causing secretion of chemicals such as hormones. Even single-celled organisms may be capable of extracting information from the environment and acting in response to it. Sponges, which lack a central nervous system, are capable of coordinated body contractions and even locomotion. In vertebrates, the spinal cord by itself contains neural circuitry capable of generating reflex responses as well as simple motor patterns such as swimming or walking. However, sophisticated control of behavior on the basis of complex sensory input requires the information-integrating capabilities of a centralized brain.
Despite rapid scientific progress, much about how brains work remains a mystery. The operations of individual neurons and synapses are now understood in considerable detail, but the way they cooperate in ensembles of thousands or millions has been very difficult to decipher. Methods of observation such as EEG recording and functional brain imaging tell us that brain operations are highly organized, but these methods do not have the resolution to reveal the activity of individual neurons.
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