Processing of visual stimuli occurs at the earliest waystation on the way to the visual cortex, but not all stimuli are treated equally, research from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München has uncovered. In humans, the visual system collects up to 80% of all the sensory data received from the environment. In order to make sense of this deluge… Read more

A single control center for the sleep-wake cycle in the brain has been identified by researchers at the University of Bern. The finding is of great importance in the search for new sleep disorder therapies, as previously it was thought that multiple brain areas were needed to control sleep and wakefulness. Every night we spend… Read more

The thalamus, long assumed to be a mere “relay,” sustains the ability to distinguish categories and hold thoughts in mind, a trio of studies in mice reveals. The often-overlooked egg-like structure in the middle of the brain also turns out to play a pivotal role in tuning-up thinking circuity. By manipulating activity of thalamus neurons… Read more

A microRNA that may be essential to restoring normal function in a brain circuit associated with the “voices” and other hallucinations of schizophrenia has been identified by scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The finding provides a potential target for antipsychotic drug development. The work was conducted in a mouse model of a human… Read more

More than 3 million Americans suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that usually emerges in childhood and can lead to difficulties at school or work. A new study from MIT and New York University links ADHD and other attention difficulties to the brain’s thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), which is responsible for blocking… Read more