Articles on Neuroscience

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The new study has implications for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other neurological disorders. http://www.flickr.com/photos/arselectronica

Self-healing brain study offers Alzheimer’s hope

Brains are smart enough to rewire themselves, a new international study of rats has found. The study turns on its head the…
A patient with a drug addiction is in a very different situation to someone with Parkinson’s – and should be treated as such. killermonkeys

Deep brain stimulation: the hidden challenges of a technological fix

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a remarkable therapeutic innovation that has restored the lives of many individuals with intractable neurological disorders. Nowhere is this more evident than in crippling…
The researchers found a non-invasive way to selectively impair memories. http://www.flickr.com/photos/frisky21

Rewriting memories with red herrings

Certain types of long term memories can be “rewritten” without drugs or surgery, according to a new study that experts say…
Completely immersive virtual reality is still a little way off - unless you have room to move. Trypode

Rats! Why virtual reality doesn’t feel ‘real’

Have you ever noticed that even detailed, sophisticated virtual reality experiences don’t feel completely “real”? It all comes down to your inner ear - and a study published earlier this month using rats…
Implanted electrodes can alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and help treat addiction. Wikimedia Commons

Deep brain stimulation: a fix when the drugs don’t work

Neurological disorders can have a devastating impact on the lives of sufferers and their families. Symptoms of these disorders differ extensively - from motor dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease, memory…
Interpreting what different types of laughter mean requires different brain regions. chris.huggins

I amuse you? Judging laughter is no joke for the brain

There’s nothing quite like overhearing a hearty belly-laugh, unless perhaps it’s having a good chortle yourself. The happy likelihood is that, in any case, one guffaw will lead to the other. Laughter is…
The centre will develop new teaching methods based on lab research and tested in two experimental classrooms. AAP/Dan Peled

Q+A: $16m boost to unpack the science of learning

A research centre where experts will use the latest findings from neuroscience, education and psychology to better understand…
Pick a card, any card - and maybe a research paper too. Micah Taylor

The science of magic: it’s not all hocus pocus

Think of your favourite magic trick. Is it as grandiose as David Copperfield’s Death Saw, or is it as simple as making a coin disappear in front of your very eyes? These two very different tricks have…
Genetically engineered mice were fitted with wireless LED devices which emitted light, triggering the release of dopamine. Image from shutterstock.com

Wireless device lights up pleasure centre in brains of mice

Scientists have found a way to control the reward centre of the brain, using a miniature wireless device that emits light…
A woman reads the Sydney Morning Herald in its new tabloid-sized format while a neuro test monitors her reaction. Fairfax/AAP

Neuromarketing for the compact Fairfax papers was a no-brainer

If there’s one thing that could be observed from Fairfax’s move to publish its first tabloid-sized broadsheets it was a surprising level of neuro-illiteracy. Fairfax’s head of advertising, Sarah Keith…
Plans are afoot to map the brain, but the scientific methods of US scientists involved may be too ambitious. shutterstock.com

Wham BAM: Obama’s brain map aims are laudable, but laughable

Recently, I wrote a sceptical article for The Conversation on the subject of new proposals for computer mapping of the brain. The two top contenders are the European Human Brain Project (HBP - which has…
The race to map the human brain may be more political than scientific. brewbooks

The brain race: can giant computers map the mind?

In the past month, we have seen two major announcements of huge projects to map the brain – the European Human Brain Project (HBP) and the Obama Brain Activity Map (BAM). What you may not have noticed…
Are there things you’d rather not remember? Megyarsh

Going, going, gone: the where and why of memory erasure

If you could erase your memories, which ones would you choose? As a neuroscientist, one of my raisons d’etre is to achieve, in a way, some form of memory erasure, especially for individuals that suffer…
Neuroscience is used to explain everything from sexual attraction to voting habits to why we buy particular products. Flickr/mutsmuts

Blame it on the brain: our modern obsession with all things ‘neuro’

In May last year, a new attraction called The Ascent opened for a brief season in Brooklyn, New York. Described as “part art installation, part adventure ride and part spiritual journey,” The Ascent consisted…
“Wait a minute. I’ve been here before …” PhotoJonny/Flickr

Explainer: what is déjà vu and why does it happen?

Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of familiarity while in a completely new place? Or the feeling you’ve had the exact same conversation with someone before? This feeling of familiarity is, of…
Despite having “simple” brains, dragonflies appear to be capable of more complex tasks than was first thought. Henry McLin

Enter the dragonfly: insect shows human-like visual attention

Being able to focus on an important object or task while surrounded by distractions is a valuable skill. It’s an ability that’s probably widespread in the animal kingdom, but is best known in large mammals…
Different parts of the brain do different things, but there’s more overlap than you might think. Brain image from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: the brain

If I had been asked 15 years ago to write a short piece about what the different parts of the brain did, it would have been a fairly straightforward task. Not any more. Over the last 15 years, the methods…
There’s still plenty to discover about how the brain works but what we know now is irrelevant to education. Brain image from www.shutterstock.com

Weird neuroscience: how education hijacked brain research

Neuroscience: the word oozes sophistication and intelligence – the very qualities we might want to nurture in our students, our children, our general populace. Maybe that’s why many people involved in…

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