Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Goethe University Frankfurt have uncovered a neural pathway in the rodent brain that may play a key role in processing spatial perspectives and help the animal to detect boundaries to avoid bumping into things. Animals use landmarks in the environment as a reference point to identify the self’s position and navigate their surroundings. In rodents, this ability is supported by very specialized types of neurons, including place cells and grid cells, that fire only when the animal is at a precise location in the environment, even in an open arena,
When you hear a sound, how do your senses figure out what direction it is coming from? A sound coming from your right will reach your right ear a few fractions of a millisecond earlier than your left ear. The brain uses this difference, known as the interaural time difference (ITD), to locate the sound. But we are also significantly better at locating sounds that come from in front of us than from sources at our sides.
A model explaining how empathy and perspective taking are constructed by the brain has been developed by researchers1. Numerous studies have been conducted that examine empathy and perspective taking (also known as “theory of mind”) as a whole. However, what constitutes the core of both competencies and where in the brain their bases lie has not yet been clarified. Both of these abilities are processed in the brain by a main network specialised in empathy or changing perspective, which is activated in every social situation.
Astrocytes play an important role in preventing acidification of the brain, a new study in mice led by University College London researchers reports. The researchers hope their findings1 will help further understanding of several common brain diseases that involve disturbances of pH balance. These include stroke and epilepsy. The human brain consumes an immense amount of energy, the rate of which is estimated to be equal to human leg muscles running a marathon.
Researchers can now predict whether an individual will remember or forget based on their neural activity and pupil size. As we navigate our lives, we have these periods in which we’re frustrated because we’re not able to bring knowledge to mind, expressing what we know. Fortunately, science now has tools that allow us to explain why an individual, from moment to moment, might fail to remember something stored in their memory,
In 1907, the American zoologist Ross Granville Harrison developed the first technique to artificially grow animal cells outside the body in a liquid medium. Cells are still grown in much the same way in modern laboratories: a single layer of cells is placed in a warm incubator with nutrient-rich broth. These cell layers are often used to test new drugs, but they cannot recapitulate the complexity of a real organ made from multiple cell types within a living, breathing human body.
“All’s well that ends well”, wrote William Shakespeare over 400 years ago. The words may still seem to ring true today, but turns out they don’t. We have just busted the old myth in a recent brain imaging experiment, published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Experiences that end well are not necessarily good overall and experiences that end less well are not necessarily all that bad. For example, if you play five rounds of poker you get more overall enjoyment from winning twice in the middle than once at the end – but we don’t always realise this.
Delirium with a fever could be an early marker of COVID-19, report researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). The manifestation of this state of confusion, when accompanied by high fever, should be considered an early marker of the disease, particularly in the case of elderly patients, they argue. Delirium is a state of confusion in which the person feels out of touch with reality, as if they are dreaming.