Neuroscience

Purkinje cells, the primary output neurons in the cerebellum, have the ability to modulate and filter incoming signals, according to research from Kyoto University[1]. The findings shed new light on learning mechanisms of both the cerebellum and the brain. The cerebellum is a structure located at the base of the brain, and is known to… Read more

Rats are able to use other rats as danger antennas by attending to the emotions of the rats around them, researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience report[1]. With this finding, new targets for treatment of empathy disorders in humans, such as psychopathy and fronto-temporal dementia, could someday be possible. Rats are experts at avoiding… Read more

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center traveled down the pathways in the brains of mice that trigger fear responses, and which normally extinguish the behaviors once the danger has passed, in order to explore how fear becomes entrenched. Their scientific journey, detailed recently in Nature Neuroscience[1], challenges conventional wisdom about how the brain is “remodeled”… Read more

Without hardly noticing, we make countless decisions: to turn left or right on the bus? To wait or to accelerate? To look or to ignore? In the run-up to these decisions the brain evaluates sensory information and only then does it generate a behavior. For the first time, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of… Read more

A Columbia University study in fruit flies has identified serotonin as a chemical that triggers the body’s startle response, the automatic deer-in-the-headlights reflex that freezes the body momentarily in response to a potential threat. The study reveals that when a fly experiences an unexpected change to its surroundings, such as a sudden vibration, release of… Read more