New research sheds light on an area of the brainstem that is so little understood the first author of the paper, Rockefeller University’s Inna Tabansky, calls it “the black box.” Many traits of our central nervous system depend on an underappreciated deep brain mechanism that Donald Pfaff, head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior… Read more

A new study may bring us closer to understanding the challenging phenomenon of internal mental experiences. We can, for example, vividly recall an embarrassing episode from adolescence, as well as what we did just five minutes ago (on a good day, that is). We can imagine and plan in detail our next vacation. We can… Read more

Emotional and flexible learning rely on an important division of labor in the brain, suggests a new study from RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan. Emotional learning can create strong memories and powerful emotional responses, but flexible behavior demands that these responses be inhibited when they are no longer appropriate. This study shows that these… Read more

Chemical modifications of DNA molecules in individual neurons have, for the first time, been profiled. The work was done by Salk Institute and University of California San Diego scientists. This is a critical step in beginning to identify how many types of neurons exist, which has eluded neuroscientists but could lead to a dramatically better… Read more

The human brain seems well protected, encased within the skull. Yet something as simple as placing a pair of wet sponges onto someone’s head and sending a weak electric current between them can actually alter the brain’s activity. A refined version of this method – known as transcranial electric stimulation – has attracted considerable interest… Read more