It’s these brain cells that really make humans unique.
We have more neurons in our cortices than any other species, courtesy of an early technology – and along with them came our long, slow lives, with plenty of chances to gather around the dinner table.
We knew people with Parkinson’s disease were at heightened risk of developing addictive behaviours like gambling. Our research gives insight into why this is.
About one in six people who take the most common medication for Parkinson's disease will develop addictive behaviours. We found whether this happens depends on a person's unique brain structure.
Your brain is conducting multiple orchestras of information at the same time.
Like a cocktail partygoer able to focus on one discussion in a noisy room, brains are able to make reliable connections against a busy neural background. Here are two phenomena that help it happen.
Outside Earth’s protective atmosphere, there is nothing to shield astronauts from the dangerous cosmic radiation of space.
Space missions are dangerous. But when it comes to long missions, radiation may be the greatest threat to astronauts' health.
Existing BMIs focus on restoring function for people with mobility or communication issues.
UPMC/Pitt Health Sciences
BMIs like the ones Neuralink is working on are already used in laboratories around the world as assistive technologies. But melding your mind with an AI is probably not happening anytime soon.
Artist impression of neurons communicating in the brain.
A new technology has enabled neuroscientists to examine the chemistry of individual brain cells. The finding reveal how genes are regulated differently in brain cells of people with autism compared to neurotypical people.
Your brain is about 70% water.
An adult brain weighs about 1.5kg. It's mostly water with some fat, protein, sugar and a dash of salt. Sounds like pancakes, I know, but I once tried chicken brains and, well, pancakes are tastier.
Feeling itch is a warning from your skin.
Itch is usually caused by something harmful, or something our body assumes might be harmful when actually it's not.
Beware of the blind use of artificial intelligence: used as a "magic wand", for example in an autonomous car, it presents risks.
Still from a video feedback sequence.
© Robert Pepperell 2018
Video feedback may be the nearest we have to visualising what conscious processing in the brain is like.
A new study offers an explanation as to how we remember events by forming mental images.
Andrew Pontzen, Fabio Governato/Wikimedia Commons.
Our brain cells do look a lot like a map of the universe – but that doesn't mean they're the same thing.
Other cultures view dementia differently. Could they help us be better caregivers?
More than 16 million people in the U.S. take care of people with dementia. Could we learn something from how other cultures view dementia as more of a social disease rather than a lonely one?
In an epileptic brain, the neurons fire wildly.
During epileptic seizures, neurons in the brain fire without rhyme or reason. New research identifies a possible way to wrest back control by stopping these signals before they can get started.
African elephant bull.
Cells that transmit nerve impulses in the part of elephants' brains responsible for functions such as learning and memory are structured differently from those of any other mammal.
Like the day’s newspaper, the brain has a temporary way to keep track of events.
How do brains convert experiences into memories? New research explores the chain of events by focusing on what genes shift into gear when neurons are firing.
Psychedelic drugs have inspired great songs and works of art. But they may also have potential for treating disease like depression and PTSD by helping to regrow damaged regions of the brain.
Marius Wernig, Thomas C. Südhof and their colleagues created these “Induced neuronal (iN) cells” from adult human blood cells.
Figuring out what causes diseases like autism, schizophrenia and depression is tricky. Now Stanford University researchers are turning blood into brain cells to study these diseases in a dish.
HIV becomes dormant in the body and can hide in brain cells.
Joseph Lebowitz, Dr. Min Lin, and Dr. Habibeh Khoshboue
While drugs have been developed to treat HIV and AIDS, the virus can still lie dormant in the brain, increasing the risk for brain disease such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Could it be that a baby has all the brain cells she ever will?
Jv Garcia on Unsplash
Neuroscience labs around the world may need to reevaluate some of their assumptions about whether what works in animals will really produce meaningful treatments for people.