The Brain

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The Brain in Nature magazine

Articles on the Brain in New Scientist. The Brain in Discover magazine. The Brain in MIT Technology Review. Articles on the Brain in the Daily Mail. Brain Notes. The Brain: When things go wrong. Brain scans reveal what happens during an out-of-body experience  Neuroscientist used video headsets to trick volunteers into believing they were looking out from a stranger's bodySpecific regions of the brain lit up during the out-of-body experienceNeurons called 'place cells' appeared to also play a role in the illusionIt suggests abnormal brain activity may lie behind out-of-body experiences By Richard Gray for MailOnline Published: 12:54 GMT, 1 May 2015 | Updated: 17:30 GMT, 1 May 2015 They have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of a soul and even life after death, but now scientists may have unravelled what is going on when people have out-of-body experiences.

Brain scans reveal what happens during an out-of-body experience 

Researchers devised a devious experiment to trick volunteers into thinking they had left their own body while undergoing brain scans. They found that specific areas of the brain lit up with activity according to where in the room a person thought they were. Scroll down for video Others claim to have had such experiences after taking hallucinogenic drugs or mushrooms. Scientists recreate ghosts, or, strange phenomenon in the lab. Swiss researchers carried out an experiment to make artificial 'ghosts'The sensation was re-created by researchers using a robot to interfere with the sensory signals in the brains of blindfolded volunteers By Mark Prigg For Published: 17:25 GMT, 29 April 2015 | Updated: 17:42 GMT, 29 April 2015 Neuroscientists have succeeded in creating 'ghosts' in the laboratory by tricking the brains of test subjects into feeling an unexpected 'presence' in the room.

Scientists recreate ghosts, or, strange phenomenon in the lab

The spooky experiment which conjured up a ghostly illusion in the laboratory has proved once and for all that it's only our mind playing tricks. Gene that makes human brain unique identified by scientists. Train Your Brain To Let Go Of Habits – 10 Methods For Creating New Neural Pathways. When you understand how neural pathways are created in the brain, you get a front row seat for truly comprehending how to let go of habits.

Train Your Brain To Let Go Of Habits – 10 Methods For Creating New Neural Pathways

Neural pathways are like superhighways of nerve cells that transmit messages. You travel over the superhighway many times, and the pathway becomes more and more solid. You may go to a specific food or cigarettes for comfort over and over, and that forms a brain pathway. The hopeful fact, however, is that the brain is always changing and you can forge new pathways and create new habits. Human brain. The human brain has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but has a more developed cortex than any other.

Human brain

Large animals such as whales and elephants have larger brains in absolute terms, but when measured using the encephalization quotient which compensates for body size, the human brain is almost twice as large as the brain of the bottlenose dolphin, and three times as large as the brain of a chimpanzee. Much of the expansion comes from the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobes, which are associated with executive functions such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought.

The portion of the cerebral cortex devoted to vision is also greatly enlarged in humans. The human cerebral cortex is a thick layer of neural tissue that covers most of the brain. This layer is folded in a way that increases the amount of surface that can fit into the volume available. Structure[edit] Brain: Multiple contacts are key to synapse formation. Multiple synaptic contacts between nerve cells facilitate the creation of a new contact, as neuroscientists from the Bernstein Center Freiburg and the Forschungszentrum Jülich report in the latest issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Brain: Multiple contacts are key to synapse formation

An integral mechanism of memory foundation is the formation of additional contacts between neurons in the brain. However, until now it was not known what conditions lead to the development of such synapses and how they are stabilized once created. By studying mathematical models, the scientists found a simple explanation for how and when synapses form -- or disappear -- in the brain.

The scientists investigated the hypothesis that synapses between nerve cells strengthen if they are active in quick succession. This consolidates memory. Dr. New regulator discovered for information transfer in the brain. The protein mSYD1 has a key function in transmitting information between neurons.

New regulator discovered for information transfer in the brain

This was recently discovered by the research group of Prof Peter Scheiffele at the Biozentrum, University of Basel. The findings of the investigations have been published in the scientific journal Neuron. Synapses are the most important sites of information transfer between neurons. The functioning of our brain is based on the ability of the synapses to release neurotransmitter substances in a fraction of a second, so that neuronal signals can be rapidly propagated and integrated. Peter Scheiffele's team has now identified a new mechanism, which ensures that synaptic vesicles, the carrier of the transmitter substances, are concentrated at their designated place, thereby contributing to rapid signal transmission. Communication problems in the brain.

For brain cells to communicate, the contacts to each other must function.

Communication problems in the brain

The protein molecule neuroligin-1 plays an important role in this as it stimulates the necessary maturation processes at the contact sites (synapses) of the nerves. A synaptic maturation disorder is possibly involved in the development of autism. Dr. Thomas Dresbach and his team from the Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Heidelberg, in cooperation with the study group led by Professor Dr. The Whole Brain Atlas. 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain. Neil Burgess: How your brain tells you where you are. Neil Burgess.

Neil Burgess: How your brain tells you where you are

Explore the Brain and Mind - Mapping the Brain. Nuts and Bolts the neuron. A single neuron may be connected to as many as 200 000 others, via junctions called synapses.

Nuts and Bolts the neuron

They form an extensive network throughout the body, and can transmit signals at speeds of 100 metres per second. This enables animals to process and respond to events rapidly, for example by carrying sensory information from the ears to the brain, then instructions for movement from the brain to the leg muscles Within a neuron, signals are transmitted by a change of membrane voltage – a variation in the difference in electrical charge between the inside and outside of the cell. This electrical signal moves along the neuron as an electrical pulse (the ‘action potential’). The nature of the connection between neurons was hotly debated until early-20th-century experiments by Otto Loewi and Sir Henry Dale (a founding trustee and chairman of the Wellcome Trust) showed that signals are typically transmitted across synapses by chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Induction: The Making of a Neuron. Even more astonishing is that this process takes place as the embryo is developing.

Induction: The Making of a Neuron

Induction and proliferation are followed by migration, during which the newly formed neurons travel to their final destination. Throughout life, the nervous system is active, making new connections and fine-tuning the way messages are sent and received. During the early stages of embryonic development, three layers emerge — the endoderm, the ectoderm, and the mesoderm. These layers undergo many interactions to grow into organ, bone, muscle, skin, or nerve tissue. How does this process of differentiation occur, especially since each cell contains 25,000 genes, the entire sequence of DNA instructions for development? Neurons: A Curious Collection of Shapes and Sizes. Like blood, liver, muscle, and other body cells, neurons have an outer membrane, a nucleus, and smaller structures called organelles that perform important functions. But neurons also have something other cells don’t: highly complex extensions called dendrites and axons that transport electrical and chemical messages in and out of the cell, enabling neurons to communicate with one another with incredible speed and precision.

The intricate branches, or arbors, of these extensions are what give neurons their beautifully strange and varied shapes. Dendrite arbors, for example, make some neurons look like sea coral, others like spider webs, and still others like round balls of tumbleweed. Axonal arbors are equally diverse. They can have a simple T shape and be quite short (less than one inch). Neuron Conversations: How Brain Cells Communicate. Nerve impulses involve the opening and closing of ion channels. These are selectively permeable, water-filled molecular tunnels that pass through the cell membrane and allow ions — electrically charged atoms — or small molecules to enter or leave the cell. The flow of ions creates an electrical current that produces tiny voltage changes across the neuron’s cell membrane. Neurons and Memory. Whenever I read about someone diagnosed with Alzheimers who apparently goes in and out of the memory problems it makes me wonder how carefully they were diagnosed.

There is a kind of simple partial seizure that mimics Alzheimers called a jamais vu. Sometimes this merely subtracts the sence of familiarity from a situation such that the person feels the people around him are imposters because they don't feel right. Sometimes it subtracts their memory of one element of a situation. One woman having this kind of seizure complained to the bank that her ATM card wasn't working. Mirror Neurons. In the early 1990s, Italian researchers made an astonishing and quite unexpected discovery. Complexity of single neurons? Physics Forums. Neurotransmitters: How Brain Cells Use Chemicals to Communicate. Glia: the Other Brain Cells. After legendary genius Albert Einstein died in 1955, his brain was removed from his body and placed in a jar of formaldehyde. For the next 30 years, scientists examined small slices of his brain, hoping to uncover clues to the great man’s genius.

Mystery of the Human Brain's Glia Cells Solved. Mapping Brain Circuits. Brain Evolution: Neurogenomics Targets the Genes That Make Us Human. "I think evolutionary comparisons between species who share common ancestors are central to understanding the genome," says Michael E. Zwick, of the Emory University Department of Human Genetics. "It's a powerful approach to identifying functionally important areas. " Beyond basic science, researchers believe that identifying genes and gene expression patterns unique to humans may illuminate how higher cognitive processes go wrong-and suggest treatments for disorders like autism and schizophrenia. The Human Brain Atlas at Michigan State University. Keith D. Sudheimer, Brian M. Winn, Garrett M. Kerndt, Jay M. Did a Copying Mistake Build Man's Brain? A copying error appears to be responsible for critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin, new research finds. When tested out in mice, researchers found this "error" caused the rodents' brain cells to move into place faster and enabled more connections between brain cells.

When any cell divides, it first copies its entire genome. During this process, it can make errors. Brain Scans Show Who You're Thinking About. The Invisible Hand Illusion. Brain damage can make people immune to the gambler’s fallacy. Sex or Attachment: Why Do We Fall in Love, Really? By Bonnie Williams. Allen Brain Atlas: Human Brain. Debunked: Memory-Molecule Theory. Scientists Cast Light Onto Roots of Illness Deep in the Brain. Spurious Positive Mapping of the Brain? Brain scan breakthrough show researches just what you're thinking about and could lead to treatment for disorders like autism. How to Make Your Own Evil Twin. Researchers map Phineas Gage's pierced brain.

How the Brain Creates and Uses Personality Models to Predict Behavior. The brain's emergency response call. Vaughan Bell: the trouble with brain scans. Brain Not Required For Antidepressant To Act. Brain Cells Know Which Way You'll Bet. A surprise makes memories wobbly. Brainbow: See the brain in different lights. Paralyzed Patient Swills Coffee by Issuing Thought Commands to a Robot. Been Thinking of Somebody? Brain Researchers Know Who. Neurons never forget a face. The Brain May Disassemble Itself in Sleep. Is There a Difference between the Brain of an Atheist and the Brain of a Religious Person?

Why is it Impossible to Stop Thinking, to Render the Mind a Complete Blank? Buff Your Brain. The Split Brain Experiments : Games from Brain and Behavior Student Site. Why we forget. Slacker or go-getter? Brain chemical may tell. Solving the 'Cocktail Party Problem'