Organs that have lost their function over the course of evolution, such as our wisdom teeth, are called vestigial. New research on the vestigial muscles behind human ears shows that ancient neural circuits responsible for moving the ears may still respond to sounds that attract our attention. Neuroscientists studying auditory function could use these ancient… Read more

For Harvard neurobiologist Jeff Lichtman, the question hasn’t been whether scientists will ever understand the brain, but how closely they’ll have to look before they do. The answer, it turns out, is very, very close. Led by Lichtman, the Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Santiago Ramón y Cajal Professor of… Read more

Using light pulses, Berlin scientists have recently managed to control theta oscillations in brains of lab mice. They discovered that these brain waves coordinate movement, enabling signaling between distant brain regions, a common code for controlling mental states and behavior. Theta oscillations were discovered in Berlin-Buch almost 80 years ago, but despite decades of intensive… Read more

Brown University researchers have created a new type of optoelectronic implantable device to access brain microcircuits, synergizing a technique that enables scientists to control the activity of brains cells using pulses of light. The invention is a cortical microprobe that can stimulate multiple neuronal targets optically by specific patterns on micrometer scale while simultaneously recording… Read more

To understand how life works, figure out the proteins first. DNA is the architect of life, but proteins are the workhorses. After proteins are built using DNA blueprints, they are constantly at work breaking down and building up all parts of the cell—ferrying oxygen around the body, sending signals to patch wounds, transmitting thoughts across… Read more