Scientists just found the part of our brain that actually gets physics. Many science students might dread the more complex aspects of physics, but far removed from the mathematical equations that define how our physical world behaves, we each have an inner intuitive sense for how things will bounce, wobble, or fall.
Now, researchers say they've identified the brain region responsible for making these instinctive, immediate calculations for the movement of physical objects, dubbing it the brain's "physics engine". "We run physics simulations all the time to prepare us for when we need to act in the world," says cognitive scientist Jason Fischer from Johns Hopkins University.
Scientists just identified 97 brand-new regions in our brains. Scientists have created the most detailed map of the human brain ever, using brain scans of hundreds of people to identify almost 100 new regions in the cerebral cortex.
While researchers have been charting the brain for over 150 years, the new map – which delineates 180 cortical areas – will give scientists unprecedented understanding of how we think, talk, and feel – and offer new insights into disorders like autism, schizophrenia, and dementia. "The brain is not like a computer that can support any operating system and run any software," said neuroscientist David Van Essen from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who led an international team of researchers for the study. "Instead, the software – how the brain works – is intimately correlated with the brain's structure – its hardware, so to speak. If you want to find out what the brain can do, you have to understand how it is organised and wired. " The end result? Breakthrough Initiative Will Grow Organs and Regenerate Human Tissue. Brain scans highlight a hidden, "higher" state of consciousness. Reaching a higher state of consciousness is a concept you're more likely to hear a spiritualist spout than a scientist, but now neuroscientists at the University of Sussex claim to have found the first evidence of just such a state.
From wakefulness down to a deep coma, consciousness is on a sliding scale measured by the diversity of brain signals, and the researchers found that when under the influence of psychedelic drugs, that diversity jumps to new heights above the everyday baseline. The research builds on data gathered about a year ago by a team at Imperial College London, which dosed up volunteers with psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin and ketamine, then scanned their brains with magnetoencephalographic (MEG) techniques to examine the effects. When a person is asleep, their brain signals are far less diverse than when they're awake and aware, and past research has noted that it varies by what stage of the sleep cycle they're in. On Flipboard.
Study finds altered brain chemistry in people with autism. MIT and Harvard University neuroscientists have found a link between a behavioral symptom of autism and reduced activity of a neurotransmitter whose job is to dampen neuron excitation.
The findings suggest that drugs that boost the action of this neurotransmitter, known as GABA, may improve some of the symptoms of autism, the researchers say. Brain activity is controlled by a constant interplay of inhibition and excitation, which is mediated by different neurotransmitters. GABA is one of the most important inhibitory neurotransmitters, and studies of animals with autism-like symptoms have found reduced GABA activity in the brain.
Music in the brain. Scientists have long wondered if the human brain contains neural mechanisms specific to music perception.
Now, for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex that responds selectively to sounds that people typically categorize as music, but not to speech or other environmental sounds. “It has been the subject of widespread speculation,” says Josh McDermott, the Frederick A. and Carole J.
A delicate balance between positive and negative emotion. Our emotional state is governed partly by a tiny brain structure known as the amygdala, which is responsible for processing positive emotions such as happiness, and negative ones such as fear and anxiety.
A new study from MIT finds that these emotions are controlled by two populations of neurons that are genetically programmed to encode memories of either fearful or pleasurable events. Furthermore, these sets of cells inhibit each other, suggesting that an imbalance between these populations may be responsible for disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. “The positive memory cells identified by the genetic markers, which counter negative memory cells, promise an opportunity to identify effective molecular targets for treatment of emotional disorders such as depression and PTSD,” says Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and director of the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. How the brain recognizes faces.
MIT researchers and their colleagues have developed a new computational model of the human brain’s face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have missed.
The researchers designed a machine-learning system that implemented their model, and they trained it to recognize particular faces by feeding it a battery of sample images. How the brain perceives rhythm. When it comes to perceiving music, the human brain is much more tuned in to certain types of rhythms than others, according to a new study from MIT.
A team of neuroscientists has found that people are biased toward hearing and producing rhythms composed of simple integer ratios — for example, a series of four beats separated by equal time intervals (forming a 1:1:1 ratio). This holds true for musicians and nonmusicians living in the United States, as well as members of a Bolivian tribe who have little exposure to Western music. However, the researchers found that the Bolivians tended to prefer different ratios than Westerners, and that these ratios corresponded to simple integer ratios found in their music but not in Western music.
“Both of these cultures seem to prioritize rhythms that are formed by simple integer ratios. It’s just that they don’t prioritize all of them,” says Josh McDermott, the Frederick A. and Carole J. Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear - Neuroscience News. Summary: A new study reports the rhythm of your breathing can influence neural activity that enhances memory recall and emotional judgement.
Source: Northwestern University. Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behavior. Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall. These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth. In the study, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered the face when breathing in compared to breathing out. The study was published Dec. 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience. Wiring of the 'little brain' linked to multiple forms of mental illness: Findings implicate brain regions known for helping coordinate complex movements. A Duke University study is the first to link specific differences in brain structure to what is common across many types of mental illness.
Having a single mental illness like anxiety, depression or schizophrenia is hard enough on its own. But studies consistently show that up to half of people with one mental illness also experience one or more additional forms of mental illness at the same time. The high numbers of patients who suffer from multiple forms of mental illness has many researchers shifting focus away from studying individual disorders and instead hunting for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders.
"The fact that comorbidity rates are so high is kind of mind-boggling," said Adrienne Romer, a clinical psychology graduate student in neuroscience and psychology at Duke University. Are you listening? Your pupils indicate if you are: Study finds pupil dilation patterns synchronize during shared attention. A new Dartmouth study finds that listeners are most likely to tune in when a speaker delivers the most emotional peaks of his/her narrative, as revealed by synchronous pupil dilation patterns of speakers and listeners due to shared attention. The findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
The findings also demonstrate how empathy comes into play. While listeners with both high and low empathy tuned in for the climax of a story, overall, listeners with higher empathy tuned in more. Speakers who are highly expressive were more likely to evoke pupillary synchrony. 5 New Studies Report Previously Unknown Cerebellum Functions. Restorative Sleep Is Vital to Brain Health. MIT Scientists Identify Brain Circuits of Memory Formation. Brain cells we thought were just fillers might actually be the key to our body clocks. Scientists have discovered that brain cells that were once considered to be simple place-holders for neurons could actually play an important role in helping to regulate our circadian behaviour. Astrocytes are a kind of glial cell – the support cells that are often called the glue of the nervous system, as they provide structure and protection for neurons. But a new study shows that astrocytes aren't just gap-fillers, and may be crucial for keeping time in our inner body clock.
Physicists discover an unexpected force acting on nanoparticles in a vacuum. Researchers have discovered a new and unexpected force that acts on nanoparticles in a vacuum, allowing them to be pushed around by pure 'nothingness'. Of course, quantum physics is beginning to make it clear that 'nothingness', as we like to think of it, doesn't actually exist - even vacuums are filled with tiny electromagnetic fluctuations.
This new research is further proof that we're only beginning to understand the strange forces that are at work at the smallest level of the material world, by showing how nothingness can drive lateral motion. So how can a vacuum carry force? One of the first things we learn in classical physics is that in a perfect vacuum - a place entirely devoid of matter - friction can't exist, because empty space can't exert a force on objects travelling through it. This is called the Casimir effect, and it was first predicted by physicists back in 1948. Scientists Discover a Hidden Network of 'Mini Brains' That Could be Responsible for Pain. Scientists have found evidence of a hidden network of 'mini brains' that could overhaul our understanding of how pain is transmitted throughout the body, and revolutionise the way we design pain medication.
The current assumption is that pain sensations are only interpreted by the central nervous system - the brain and spinal cord. But the new research suggests that the peripheral nervous system plays a much more important role that's been eluding us for centuries. To be clear, this research has only been done in rats and mice for now, and the results need to be replicated in humans before we think about rewriting the textbooks. But given the similarities between rodent and human nervous systems, the finding provides a pretty compelling reason to take a closer look at the peripheral nervous system in humans, too.
Especially given the ongoing struggle to create effective pain relief for chronic and severe pain. Medium69/Wikimedia Commons We'll be watching the progress in humans closely. We Just Created an Artificial Synapse That Can Learn Autonomously. In Brief A team of researchers has developed artificial synapses that are capable of learning autonomously and can improve how fast artificial neural networks learn. Mimicking the Brain Developments and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have been due in large part to technologies that mimic how the human brain works. In the world of information technology, such AI systems are called neural networks. These contain algorithms that can be trained, among other things, to imitate how the brain recognizes speech and images. Neuroscientists have accidentally discovered a whole new role for the cerebellum.
Giant neurons from the claustrum found wrapped around mouse brains could explain the biological origin of consciousness — Quartz. Nobody yet understands how a collection of mushy cells in the brain gives rise to the brilliance of consciousness seen in higher-order animals, including humans. But two discoveries give scientists vital clues to how human consciousness works. In 2014, a 54-year-old woman went to George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, DC, for epilepsy treatment. Scientists just found evidence that neurons can communicate in a way we never anticipated.
Researchers have discovered a brand new mechanism that controls the way nerve cells in our brain communicate with each other to regulate learning and long-term memory. Becoming Immortal: The Future of Brain Augmentation and Uploaded Consciousness. Basic algorithm that enables our intelligence discovered in brains. 9 Brainy Facts About the Neocortex. This world-first brain implant is letting a 'locked-in' woman communicate. Science AMA Series: I’m Dr. David Kimhy of Columbia Psychiatry. My study showed that an aerobic exercise program improved cognitive functioning in people with schizophrenia, and with increases in fitness and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein in.
Dentate gyrus basket cell. This single protein influences how your brain copes with stress - ScienceAlert. New research has suggested that there’s a single protein that determines whether someone will cope with stress, or whether they’ll be more susceptible to depression. 10 Research-Based Truths About People in Love. S_L/ShutterstockLife without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit—Khalil Gibran Love is one of the most important, yet most misunderstood emotions we experience. Human brains are naturally wired for connection with others, and we experience loneliness and rejection as painful threats to survival. For both biological and cultural reasons, many of us believe we need a lasting love relationship to be truly fulfilled.
THE PHOSPHOTRON - Seno(9007).pdf. What the Things You See When You Rub Your Eyes Are Called. Today I Found Out what the things you see when you close your eyes and rub them hard are called, namely “phosphenes”. Bypass commands from the brain to legs through a computer. Prepare to Be Shocked - Alexis C. Madrigal. 10 Scientific Studies That Prove Consciousness Can Alter Our Physical World.
Fractal Geometry and its Correlation to the Efficiency of Biological Structures - viewcontent.cgi. Biologists Create 'Zombie Cells' In The Lab Which Outperform Living Counterparts. New Clues to Memory Formation May Help Better Treat Dementia. Evidence of Psilocybin “Magic Mushrooms” Growing New Brain Cells. Ballet Brain. Untitled.
Decoding Space and Time in the Brain. Finding Injury. Eyes: a Window to the Diagnosis. Growing New Neurons.