Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Neuroscience

The inferotemporal cortex is key to differentiating between objects

As visual information flows into the brain through the retina, the visual cortex transforms the sensory input into coherent perceptions. Neuroscientists have long hypothesized that a part of the visual cortex called the inferotemporal ...

Neuroscience

Study finds the circuits that may help you keep your cool

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Potential arthritis treatment prevents cartilage breakdown

Osteoarthritis, a disease that causes severe joint pain, affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Some drug treatments can help alleviate the pain, but there are no treatments that can reverse or slow the ...

Neuroscience

Biologists discover an unusual hallmark of aging in neurons

As we age, neurons in our brains can become damaged by free radicals. MIT biologists have now discovered that this type of damage, known as oxidative stress, produces an unusual pileup of short snippets of RNA in some neurons.

Neuroscience

How the brain switches between different sets of rules

Cognitive flexibility—the brain's ability to switch between different rules or action plans depending on the context—is key to many of our everyday activities. For example, imagine you're driving on a highway at 65 miles ...

Neuroscience

Dopamine primes the brain for enhanced vigilance

Imagine a herd of deer grazing in the forest. Suddenly, a twig snaps nearby, and they look up from the grass. The thought of food is forgotten, and the animals are primed to respond to any threat that might appear.

Neuroscience

Study reveals how the brain overcomes its own limitations

Imagine trying to write your name so that it can be read in a mirror. Your brain has all of the visual information you need, and you're a pro at writing your own name. Still, this task is very difficult for most people. That's ...

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