Brain & Behaviour
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Brain damage has unleashed extraordinary talents in a small group of otherwise ordinary individuals.
Stopped at a red light on his drive home from work, Karl Deisseroth contemplates one of his patients, a woman with depression so entrenched that she had been unresponsive to drugs and electroshock therapy for years. The red turns to green and Deisseroth accelerates, navigating roads and intersections with one part of his mind while another part considers a very different set of pathways that also can be regulated by a system of lights.
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate and other species including birds . In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex , the supplementary motor area , the primary somatosensory cortex and the inferior parietal cortex . The function of the mirror system is a subject of much speculation. Many researchers in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology consider that this system provides the physiological mechanism for the perception/action coupling (see the common coding theory ). [ 3 ] They argue that mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation.
Mirror Neurons PBS air date: January 25, 2005 ROBERT KRULWICH: Hello again. Gaze into a mirror, and what do you see?
I always knew we humans have a rather tenuous grip on the concept of time, but I never realized quite how tenuous it was until a couple of weeks ago, when I attended a conference on the nature of time organized by the Foundational Questions Institute.
July 1, 2009 — An observer feels more empathy for someone in pain when that person is in the same social group, according to new research in the July 1 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience .
Think inside the (restless, curious, eager) minds of highly accomplished company builders. Getty 4,111 in Share Connect with Evernote: Please Login to Connect Your Account with Evernote
For thousands of years people have pursued happiness, but the problem has been that it has always been seen as a kind of fuzzy concept. But now, in a new BBC Two series called The Happiness Formula, neuroscientists say happiness is tangible and the result of brain activity - you can see it and even measure it. Dr Kringelbach is a contributor to the programme. In November 2005 the Dalai Lama was invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC.
With rendition switcher
<img src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2011/07/3108436630_f0950b9b3c_z.jpg" alt="" title="3108436630_f0950b9b3c_z" width="511" height="640" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-67892" /> Over at the always excellent Not Exactly Rocket Science , Ed Yong summarizes a new investigation into the neural substrate of beauty: Tomohiro Ishizu and Semir Zeki from University College London watched the brains of 21 volunteers as they looked at 30 paintings and listened to 30 musical excerpts. All the while, they were lying inside an fMRI scanner, a machine that measures blood flow to different parts of the brain and shows which are most active. The recruits rated each piece as “beautiful”, “indifferent” or “ugly”. The scans showed that one part of their brains lit up more strongly when they experienced beautiful images or music than when they experienced ugly or indifferent ones – the medial orbitofrontal cortex or mOFC.
<img src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2012/04/KANDEL_AgeInsight-660x983.jpg" alt="" title="KANDEL_AgeInsight" width="590" height="893" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-105116" /> Eric Kandel is a titan of modern neuroscience. He won the Nobel Prize in 2000 not simply for discovering a new set of scientific facts (although he has discovered plenty of those), but for pioneering a new scientific approach.
<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-61639" title="friday_night_lights" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/wiredscience/2011/05/friday_night_lights.jpg" alt="" width="660" height="440" /> My episodic memory stinks. All my birthday parties are a blur of cake and presents. I’m notorious within my family for confusing the events of my own childhood with those of my siblings. I’m like the anti-Proust. And yet, I have this one cinematic memory from high-school.