News tagged with brain
Over the past few decades, neuroscientists have made much progress in mapping the brain by deciphering the functions of individual neurons that perform very specific tasks, such as recognizing the location ...
Neuroscience May 20, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (12) | 1 |
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 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
Neuroscience May 21, 2013 | 5 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have ...
Medical research May 20, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 4 |
'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 |
Widely available in pharmacies and health stores, phosphatidylserine is a natural food supplement produced from beef, oysters, and soy. Proven to improve cognition and slow memory loss, it's a popular treatment for older ...
Medical research May 21, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(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 |
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)—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 |
Faulty energy production in brain cells leads to disorders ranging from Parkinson's to intellectual disability
Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken of VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and KU Leuven has shown for the first time that dysfunctional mitochondria in brain cells can lead to learning disabilities. The link between ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 17, 2013 | 4 / 5 (2) | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
Neuroscience 9 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 20, 2013 | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 3
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 |
Men who are heavy drinkers and homeless for long periods of time have 400 times the number of head injuries as the general population, according to a new study by researchers who said they were shocked by their findings.
Health May 16, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Neurological disorders can have a devastating impact on the lives of sufferers and their families.
Neuroscience May 17, 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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