Holiday drinking brings good cheer, but it can also be a sign of problem drinking.
Alcohol contributes to close to 90,000 deaths a year. Because repeated binge drinking damages the brain, it's hard to know when we've developed a problem. Here are some things to consider.
Why do we retain some memories better than others?
Wes Mountain/The Conversation
The Florey Institute's Dr Jee Hyun Kim explains how the different aspects of memory work and why attention is the most important element of improving your memory in this long-form comic explainer.
The brain doesn’t cause lying.
A recent study suggested that the brain becomes accustomed to lying, making people merely puppets of their brains. That's too simple an explanation – and one that lets liars off the hook.
Autophagy lets neurons clear out harmful proteins.
UCI Research via Flickr
Yoshinori Ohsumi's research on autophagy – a process that lets cells clear out harmful materials – brought biology and medicine closer to finding treatments for chronic and deadly diseases.
Who’s making the decisions around here?
White House (Pete Souza)
Different animals and different behaviors rely on various forms and combinations of 'government' to carry out desired actions.
Running causes new brain cells to grow. But why does this happen? What is the evolutionary advantage?
Humidity levels can mean life or death for insects.
Detecting drier or wetter conditions is crucial for insect survival. We've long known they can do this – now researchers have discovered the genetic and neural basis for their humidity-sensing system.
Researchers are trying to fill in the blanks between genetic blueprints and psychiatric disorder by studying changes in the brain.
Antimemory, the yin to memory’s yang.
The theory of antimemories could help explain many cognitive problems in the brain such as autism and schizophrenia.
Why does some kind of light touch make us want to scratch?
Image Point Fr
Scientists have long struggled to explain what actually causes the sensation of itching – now we know what to blame.
Don’t forget the genes!
Brain image via www.shutterstock.com.
It's time for neurons to share the glory. Gene activity isn't just a background utility of the brain, but an integral part of its operation.
Just how quickly are those thoughts bouncing around in there?
Head image via www.shutterstock.com
Sensory information comes into the system, and we initiate actions in response. Quantifying how quickly that happens is tricky – especially since our own perceptions of the timing aren't quite right.
Just ask a cab driver - they’ve got that map in their head.
When we figure out how places connect geographically, local maps in the brain join into a single, overarching map.
Sleep by Shutterstock
When you sleep your brain consolidates memory and encodes experiences. A recent study sought to show how this was happening.
The hippocampus has been object of scrutiny since the days of Gray’s Anatomy.
This year’s Nobel Prize in medicine recognises work on “cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.” Those cells are found in the hippocampus. It is just one tiny part of the brain, but this…
Neurons provided inspiration for a new type of computer chip.
Computers and brains work in virtually opposite ways. Computers are laboriously programmed for specific tasks. Brains learn from experience and can perform a wide variety of complicated tasks that are…
Researchers have developed a method for “silencing” neurons using an external light source. Research done by the Massachusetts…
Stem cells from teeth have the capacity to develop into complex neurons, and could provide assistance in the treatment of…
Let’s say Martians land on the Earth and wish to understand more about humans. Someone hands them a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare and says: “When you understand what’s in there, you will understand…