Neuroscience

A new technique is letting scientists study the exact way two brain cells interact. The work focuses on myelin, the fatty insulator that enables communication between nerve cells. Cellular interactions that trigger the production of myelin are especially hard to pinpoint. That’s because the crucial point of contact between two types of cells, the connection… Read more

Brain pathways linked to reward and aversion behaviors are so close together that they could be activated at the same time, even unintentionally. New research, conducted with mice, suggests that drug treatments for addiction and depression may simultaneously stimulate reward and aversion responses, resulting in a net effect of zero in some patients. Principal investigator… Read more

Making moral decisions is a complex process. We have to think about the consequences of our actions for ourselves (will I go to jail?), others (will this person suffer as a consequence of my decision?), and society at large (does society benefit from my choice?). Depending on the situation, it involves brain regions linked to… Read more

Juries in criminal cases typically decide if someone is guilty, then a judge determines a suitable level of punishment. New research confirms that these two separate assessments of guilt and punishment, though related, are calculated in different parts of the brain. In fact, researchers found that they can disrupt and change one decision without affecting… Read more

Perhaps because we all need sleep, we have an enduring interest in tales of people who sleep continuously or cannot stay awake – popular characters such as Sleeping Beauty and Rip Van Winkle are just two examples. Totally somnolent characters in films, such as Rat Race (2001), Moulin Rouge! (2001) or Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo… Read more