Researchers Make Mice Smell Odors that Aren’t Really There

by Ruth Williams By activating a particular pattern of nerve endings in the brain’s olfactory bulb, researchers can make mice smell a non-existent odor, according to a paper published June 18 in Science. Manipulating these activity patterns reveals which aspects are important for odor recognition. “This study is a beautiful example of the use ofContinue reading “Researchers Make Mice Smell Odors that Aren’t Really There”

Light Enables Long-Term Memory Maintenance in Fruit Flies

S. Inami et al., “Environmental light is required for maintenance of long-term memory in Drosophila,” J Neurosci, 40:1427–39, 2020. by Diana Kwon As Earth rotates around its axis, the organisms that inhabit its surface are exposed to daily cycles of darkness and light. In animals, light has a powerful influence on sleep, hormone release, andContinue reading “Light Enables Long-Term Memory Maintenance in Fruit Flies”

How a New AI Translated Brain Activity to Speech With 97 Percent Accuracy

By Edd Gent The idea of a machine that can decode your thoughts might sound creepy, but for thousands of people who have lost the ability to speak due to disease or disability it could be game-changing. Even for the able-bodied, being able to type out an email by just thinking or sending commands toContinue reading “How a New AI Translated Brain Activity to Speech With 97 Percent Accuracy”

New evidence that dogs can recognize vowel changes in words

by Gege Li Dogs pay much closer attention to what humans say than we realised, even to words that are probably meaningless to them. Holly Root-Gutteridge at the University of Sussex, UK, and her colleagues played audio recordings of people saying six words to 70 pet dogs of various breeds. The dogs had never heardContinue reading “New evidence that dogs can recognize vowel changes in words”

Ketamine Could Help Cut Alcohol Consumption by Rewiring Memory of Alcohol Reward

Preliminary findings from a clinical trial of heavy drinkers suggest that the drug can weaken certain memories tied to the reward of imbibing, although the mechanisms aren’t fully clear. by CATHERINE OFFORD he anesthetic drug ketamine could be used to rewire heavy drinkers’ memories and help them cut down on alcohol consumption, according to aContinue reading “Ketamine Could Help Cut Alcohol Consumption by Rewiring Memory of Alcohol Reward”

Study shows extra virgin olive oil staves off multiple forms of dementia in mice

Boosting brain function is key to staving off the effects of aging. And if there was one thing every person should consider doing right now to keep their brain young, it is to add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to their diet, according to research by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine atContinue reading “Study shows extra virgin olive oil staves off multiple forms of dementia in mice”

People who cannot read may be three times as likely to develop dementia

New research has found that people who are illiterate, meaning they never learned to read or write, may have nearly three times greater risk of developing dementia than people who can read and write. The study is published in the November 13, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy ofContinue reading “People who cannot read may be three times as likely to develop dementia”

Scientists reverse cognitive symptoms in a mouse model of Down Syndrome

By Kristin Houser Down syndrome is a cognitive disability that can affect a person’s memory or ability to learn — intellectual impairments researchers traditionally thought were untreatable and irreversible. But now, researchers from the University of California San Francisco and Baylor College of Medicine say they’ve reversed the impairments in mouse models of Down syndromeContinue reading “Scientists reverse cognitive symptoms in a mouse model of Down Syndrome”

Robert Provine, neuroscientist with pioneering work in laughter, yawning, hiccupping, and tears, dies.

by EMILY MAKOWSKI Neuroscientist Robert Provine, known for his groundbreaking research on common but mysterious human behavior such as laughter and yawning, died October 17 of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to The Washington Post. He was 76. Provine studied human social behaviors through innovative methods. In one 1993 study, his team observed people laughingContinue reading “Robert Provine, neuroscientist with pioneering work in laughter, yawning, hiccupping, and tears, dies.”

How information is like snacks, money, and drugs—to your brain

By Laura Counts Can’t stop checking your phone, even when you’re not expecting any important messages? Blame your brain. A new study by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has found that information acts on the brain’s dopamine-producing reward system in the same way as money or food. “To the brain, information isContinue reading “How information is like snacks, money, and drugs—to your brain”