I recently had the opportunity to sit down with other scientists—along with famed director Julie Taymor and legendary composer Philip Glass—to wrestle with the riddle of genius.
Flashy neurons may get the attention, but a class of cells called glia are behind most of the brain's work—and many of its diseases
An article by Rob Stein on the front page of today’s Washington Post (May 20, 2011) announces a stunning breakthrough treatment for paralysis that has transformed the life of a man who was paralyzed in a car accident. The successful experimental treatment involves electrical stimulation of his damaged spinal cord through implanted electrodes. Scientists are still not exactly sure how it works, but it does. For one individual reading this article, this breakthrough was very old news—more than 27 years old. In the early 1980’s a researcher had performed similar experiments on rats...
Chemicals in cannabis encourage masculine behavior in young rats
It has happened to everyone. You can’t recall a name or you forget your credit card PIN number. Rather than waiting two weeks for a new one to arrive in the mail, wouldn’t it be great if there were a pill you could swallow to pop that lost memory back into your head?...
Functional brain imaging has revealed that some blind people's brains rewire themselves, giving them extraordinary auditory comprehension
The current issue of the journal Science (November 5) marks a turning point in research on the brain. This event is fascinating not only for the wealth of new information about how the brain functions and how it fails in mental and neurological illness, but equally as a rare display of a field of science changing course...
Thinking about cash impairs the ability to savor experiences
A new study from Princeton University reports that a female student of lead investigator, Uri Hasson, can project her own brain activity onto another person, forcing the person's neural activity to closely mirror that in her own brain...
Curiously, the cancer rate is 10 percent higher in the left breast than in the right. This left-side bias holds true for both men and women and it also applies to the skin cancer melanoma...
At the age of 17 he began dissecting corpses from the church graveyard. Between the years 1508 and 1512 he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
How do people learn complex new skills, such as juggling and reading?
Glia are nervous system caretakers whose nurturing can go too far. Taming them holds promise for alleviating pain that current medications cannot ease
Cannabis can kill or rescue neurons—children are at risk, whereas adults may benefit
A neuroscientist reveals how telling people about his surprising dysfunction led to other discoveries about the brain.
Using a mobile phone just before bed may cause insomnia
Electromagnetic signals from cell phones can change your brainwaves and behavior. But don't break out the aluminum foil head shield just yet.
The neural cost of high-altitude mountaineering
Although scientists have long regarded the brain's white matter as passive infrastructure, new work shows that it actively affects learning and mental illness
Cells get all the glory, but the spaces surrounding them are important, too