Neuroscience

Our brains not only contain learning mechanisms but also forgetting mechanisms that erase “unnecessary” learning. A research group at Lund University in Sweden has now been able to describe one of these mechanisms at the cellular level. The results explain a theoretical learning phenomenon which has so far been difficult to understand. The premise is… Read more

Neurons communicate by passing electrical messages, known as action potentials, between each other. Each neuron has a highly specialized structural region, the axon initial segment (AIS), whose primary role is in the generation and sending of these messages. The AIS can undergo changes in size and location in response to alterations of a neuron’s ongoing… Read more

One of the big challenges with spinal cord injuries is that spinal cord neurons don’t have the ability to regrow after an injury. That’s why most spinal paralysis in patients is permanent. So scientists tend to focus their research on regrowing peripheral neurons – those that extend from the spinal column to the tips of… Read more

Fifteen years ago, a study showed that the brains of London cab drivers had an enlargement in the hippocampus, a brain area associated with navigation. But it wasn’t clear if the experience of navigating London’s complex system of streets change their brains, or only people with larger hippocampi succeed in becoming cab drivers. Classic cause… Read more

Rehearsing information immediately after being given it may be all you need to make it a permanent memory, a University of Sussex study suggests. Psychologists found that the same area of the brain activated when laying down a memory is also activated when rehearsing that memory. The findings have implications for any situation in which… Read more