New neurons for life? Old people can still make fresh brain cells, study finds

By Emily Underwood One of the thorniest debates in neuroscience is whether people can make new neurons after their brains stop developing in adolescence—a process known as neurogenesis. Now, a new study finds that even people long past middle age can make fresh brain cells, and that past studies that failed to spot these newcomersContinue reading “New neurons for life? Old people can still make fresh brain cells, study finds”

Bravery-associated brain cells identified in the hippocampus

The hippocampus is a region of the brain largely responsible for memory formation. Why can some people comfortably walk between skyscrapers on a high-wire or fearlessly raft Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel, whereas others freeze at the mere thought of climbing off escalators in a shopping mall? In a new study, scientists have foundContinue reading “Bravery-associated brain cells identified in the hippocampus”

Researchers discovery an independent role for astrocytes in cognition

The majority of the cells in the brain are no neurons, but Glia (from “glue”) cells, that support the structure and function of the brain. Astrocytes (“start cells”) are star-shaped glial cells providing many supportive functions for the neurons surrounding them, such as the provision of nutrients and the regulation of their chemical environment. NewerContinue reading “Researchers discovery an independent role for astrocytes in cognition”

New research shows a map of neuronal activity that gets encoded in the hippocampus with learning

by Nicolas Scherger Dr. Thomas Hainmüller and Prof. Dr. Marlene Bartos of the Institute of Physiology of the University of Freiburg have established a new model to explain how the brain stores memories of tangible events. The model is based on an experiment that involved mice seeking a place where they received rewards in aContinue reading “New research shows a map of neuronal activity that gets encoded in the hippocampus with learning”

New research shows that human make lots of new nerve cells in the brain well into old age.

Roughly the same number of new nerve cells (dots) exist in the hippocampus of people in their 20s (three hippocampi shown, top row) as in people in their 70s (bottom). Blue marks the dentate gyrus, where new nerve cells are born. BY LAUREL HAMERS Healthy people in their 70s have just as many young nerveContinue reading “New research shows that human make lots of new nerve cells in the brain well into old age.”

How flashing lights and pink noise might banish Alzheimer’s, improve memory and more

Illustration by Paweł Jońca by Helen Thomson In March 2015, Li-Huei Tsai set up a tiny disco for some of the mice in her laboratory. For an hour each day, she placed them in a box lit only by a flickering strobe. The mice — which had been engineered to produce plaques of the peptideContinue reading “How flashing lights and pink noise might banish Alzheimer’s, improve memory and more”

Zika may hurt the adult brain.

By Meghan Rosen Zika may harm grown-up brains. The virus, which can cause brain damage in infants infected in the womb, kills stem cells and stunts their numbers in the brains of adult mice, researchers report August 18 in Cell Stem Cell. Though scientists have considered Zika primarily a threat to unborn babies, the newContinue reading “Zika may hurt the adult brain.”

The risk of everlasting consequences if our brains don’t get adequate stimulation in our early years

by Bahar Golipour What is the earliest memory you have? Most people can’t remember anything that happened to them or around them in their toddlerhood. The phenomenon, called childhood amnesia, has long puzzled scientists. Some have debated that we forget because the young brain hasn’t fully developed the ability to store memories. Others argue itContinue reading “The risk of everlasting consequences if our brains don’t get adequate stimulation in our early years”

Women can navigate better when given testosterone, study finds

To investigate whether the differences in how men and women navigate are related to our sex or to cultural conditioning, researchers in Norway measured male and female brain activity while volunteers tried to find their way through a virtual reality maze. Wearing 3D goggles and using a joystick to make their way through an artificialContinue reading “Women can navigate better when given testosterone, study finds”

Scientists encode memories in a way that bypasses damaged brain tissue

Researchers at University of South Carolina (USC) and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a brain prosthesis that is designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss. The prosthesis, which includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain, has performed well in laboratory testing in animals and is currently being evaluated inContinue reading “Scientists encode memories in a way that bypasses damaged brain tissue”