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Neurogenesis (birth of neurons) is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells. Most active during pre-natal development, neurogenesis is responsible for populating the growing brain with neurons. Recently neurogenesis was shown to continue in several small parts of the brain of mammals: the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. Studies have indicated that the hormone testosterone in vertebrates, and the prohormone ecdysone in insects, have an influence on the rate of neurogenesis.[citation needed] Occurrence in adults[edit] New neurons are continually born throughout adulthood in predominantly two regions of the brain: Many of the newborn cells die shortly after they are born, but a number of them become functionally integrated into the surrounding brain tissue. Role in learning[edit] Effects of stress[edit] Some studies have hypothesized that learning and memory are linked to depression, and that neurogenesis may promote neuroplasticity.

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The Human Connectome Project The Human Connectome Project Human Connectome The NIH Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. The overarching purpose of the Project is to acquire and share data about the structural and functional connectivity of the human brain. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analyzing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics. Altogether, the Human Connectome Project will lead to major advances in our understanding of what makes us uniquely human and will set the stage for future studies of abnormal brain circuits in many neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp Something as easy as adding more spinach, kale, collards and mustard greens to your diet could help slow cognitive decline, according to new research. The study also examined the nutrients responsible for the effect, linking vitamin K consumption to slower cognitive decline for the first time. "Losing one's memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older," said Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center and leader of the research team.

Decision-Making and Control in the Brain Damage to the brain's frontal lobe is known to impair one's ability to think and make choices. And now scientists say they've pinpointed the different parts of this brain region that preside over reasoning, self-control and decision-making. Researchers say the data could help doctors determine what specific cognitive obstacles their patients might face after a brain injury. Human Connectome Project The Human Connectome Project (HCP) is a five-year project sponsored by sixteen components of the National Institutes of Health, split between two consortia of research institutions. The project was launched in July 2009[1] as the first of three Grand Challenges of the NIH's Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.[2] On September 15, 2010, the NIH announced that it would award two grants: $30 million over five years to a consortium led by Washington University in Saint Louis and the University of Minnesota, and $8.5 million over three years to a consortium led by Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California Los Angeles.[3] The goal of the Human Connectome Project is to build a "network map" that will shed light on the anatomical and functional connectivity within the healthy human brain, as well as to produce a body of data that will facilitate research into brain disorders such as dyslexia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia.[4]

Daily Marijuana Use Doesn’t Really Change Brains of Adults or Teens, Study Finds Last year, the press and marijuana-legalization opponents gave a lot of attention to a study suggesting that daily marijuana causes abnormalities in the brain. New research, reportedly using better techniques, indicates that claim and other reports of cannabis-caused changes to brain structure simply aren't true. The authors of the new study, "Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults," published in the latest edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that alcohol use was responsible for previous studies finding brain changes. An abstract of the study's findings was published last week on the Journal's website.

UCSB scientists discover how the brain encodes memories at a cellular level (Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. "When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen," said senior author Kenneth S. Kosik, co-director and Harriman Chair in Neuroscience Research, at UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute.

The Connectome — Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Lead investigators Hanspeter Pfister (SEAS ), Jeff Lichtman (FAS/Molecular & Cellular Biology, Center for Brain Science) and Clay Reid (HMS/Neurobiology, Center for Brain Science) Description The overall goal of the Connectome project is to map, store, analyze and visualize the actual neural circuitry of the peripheral and central nervous systems in experimental organisms, based on a very large number of images from high-resolution microscopy. The proposing team from the Center for Brain Sciences has already demonstrated its capacity for, and expertise in, high-throughput imaging. The critical challenges are computational, as the total number of voxels needed to establish the Connectome is ~1014.

Decoding spectrotemporal features of overt and covert speech from the human cortex Introduction Mental imagery produces experiences and neural activation patterns similar to actual perception. For instance, thinking of moving a limb activates the motor cortex, internal object visualization activates the visual cortex, with similar effects observed for each sensory modality (Roth et al., 1996; Kosslyn et al., 2001; Kosslyn, 2005; Stevenson and Case, 2005). Auditory imagery is defined as the mental representation of sound perception in the absence of external auditory stimulation.