News tagged with human brain

Related topics: brain · genes · brain cells · neurons · neuroscientists

Networking neurons thrive in 3-D human 'organoid'

A patient tormented by suicidal thoughts gives his psychiatrist a few strands of his hair. She derives stem cells from them to grow budding brain tissue harboring the secrets of his unique illness in a petri dish. She uses ...

May 29, 2015
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The coming merge of human and machine intelligence

For most of the past two million years, the human brain has been growing steadily. But something has recently changed. In a surprising reversal, human brains have actually been shrinking for the last 20,000 years or so. We ...

May 25, 2015
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How the brain makes decisions

Some types of decision-making have proven to be very difficult to simulate, limiting progress in the development of computer models of the brain. EPFL scientists have developed a new model of complex decision-making, and ...

May 25, 2015
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A new window into the brain

Tübingen neuroscientists have made an important advance in studying the human brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This imaging technique is used in research endeavours to investigate the interactions ...

May 19, 2015
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Memory and the hippocampus

New work by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'île-de-MontréalI) computational neuroscientist Mallar Chakravarty, PhD, and in collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Addiction ...

May 13, 2015
popularity150 comments 0

Brain scan reveals out-of-body illusion

The feeling of being inside one's own body is not as self-evident as one might think. In a new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, neuroscientists created an out-of-body illusion in participants placed inside a brain ...

Apr 30, 2015
popularity576 comments 1

Human brain

The human brain is the center of the human nervous system and is a highly complex organ. Enclosed in the cranium, it has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but is over three times as large as the brain of a mammal with an equivalent body size. Most of the expansion comes from the cerebral cortex, a convoluted layer of neural tissue that covers the surface of the forebrain. Especially expanded are the frontal lobes, which are involved in executive functions such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought. The portion of the brain devoted to vision is also greatly enlarged in humans.

Brain evolution, from the earliest shrewlike mammals through primates to hominids, is marked by a steady increase in encephalization, or the ratio of brain to body size. The human brain has been estimated to contain 50–100 billion (1011) neurons[citation needed], of which about 10 billion (1010) are cortical pyramidal cells.[citation needed] These cells pass signals to each other via approximately 100 trillion (1014)[citation needed] synaptic connections.

In spite of the fact that it is protected by the thick bones of the skull, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid, and isolated from the bloodstream by the blood-brain barrier, the delicate nature of the human brain makes it susceptible to many types of damage and disease. The most common forms of physical damage are closed head injuries such as a blow to the head, a stroke, or poisoning by a wide variety of chemicals that can act as neurotoxins. Infection of the brain is rare because of the barriers that protect it, but is very serious when it occurs. More common are genetically based diseases[citation needed], such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and many others. A number of psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia and depression, are widely thought to be caused at least partially by brain dysfunctions, although the nature of such brain anomalies is not well understood.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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