The brain performs visual search near optimally Public release date: 8-May-2011 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Graciela Gutierrezggutierr@bcm.edu 713-798-4710Baylor College of Medicine HOUSTON -- (May 9, 2011) – In the wild, mammals survive because they can see and evade predators lurking in the shadowy bushes.
The ability to learn and to establish new memories is essential to our daily existence and identity; enabling us to navigate through the world. A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), McGill University and University of California, Los Angeles has captured an image for the first time of a mechanism, specifically protein translation, which underlies long-term memory formation. The finding provides the first visual evidence that when a new memory is formed new proteins are made locally at the synapse - the connection between nerve cells - increasing the strength of the synaptic connection and reinforcing the memory. The study published in Science, is important for understanding how memory traces are created and the ability to monitor it in real time will allow a detailed understanding of how memories are formed.
Illustration: Jonathon Rosen "A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources.
Caitlin Stier, contributor (Image: Kristen Brennand / Salk Institute for Biological Studies) The neurological root of schizophrenia continues to baffle researchers, but a new cell model of the disease could provide fresh insights into the condition. Fred Gage of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California and colleagues took connective tissue cells from people with schizophrenia and programmed them to form stem cells. The team then coaxed these cells into becoming neurons that can be used to better understand their behaviour and to test new drug candidates. Confirming previous work in cadavers, the neurons (pictured) made fewer connections with each other than would be expected from healthy neurons. Short Sharp Science: Schizophrenic brain cells created in the lab
When the Blind Can Suddenly See, Do They Know What They’re Looking At? | 80beats
The Brain's Dark Energy Imagine you are almost dozing in a lounge chair outside, with a magazine on your lap. Suddenly, a fly lands on your arm. You grab the magazine and swat at the insect. What was going on in your brain after the fly landed? And what was going on just before?