Tag Archives: neurosciences and behavior

New research offers clues into how the brain shapes perception to control behavior

New research offers clues into how the brain shapes perception to control behaviorSome of the visual information our brains receive is potentially misleading. New research on fruit flies demonstrates how even a simple brain can filter out such misinformation, hinting at how our own brains might shape how we see the world—and how we react to it. More »

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Gaby Maimon, who studies sophisticated brain functions in fruit flies, is promoted to associate professor

Gaby Maimon, who studies sophisticated brain functions in fruit flies, is promoted to associate professorAs head of the Laboratory of Integrative Brain Function, Maimon uses flies to study the computations with which the brain estimates values like angles and time. His promotion is effective January 1. More »

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Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brain

Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brainWhen the brain is at work, neurons talk rapidly to one another, forming networks. Using a new method based on so-called light sculpting, scientists have recorded the activity in these networks within three-dimensional sections of the brains of mice. More »

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Researchers find new signs of stress damage in the brain, plus hope for prevention

Researchers find new signs of stress damage in the brain, plus hope for preventionNew research shows that when mice experience chronic stress, neurons within part of their brain’s fear and anxiety center, the amygdala, retract. It also suggests how such changes could be prevented. More »

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A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected ways

A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected waysGlial cells nourish, protect, and support neurons, but their role is far from passive. A new study shows how they can change the shape of nerve endings and distinguish between the different types of neurons they encase. More »

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Scientists question a popular theory about how the nervous system trims its branches

Scientists question a popular theory about how the nervous system trims its branches Scientists have long believed axons regulate their own pruning during development. But recent findings have challenged this assumption, and now scientists have proven that axons receive instructions from the cell body when its time to degenerate.
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Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addiction

Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addictionTwo chemical signals, acetylcholine and glutamate, were known to act as part of the negative reward system that fuels craving, but it wasn’t clear how this happened. In new experiments, researchers have learned that one of these neurotransmitters, acetylcholine, regulates the other, glutamate, to reinforce nicotine dependence. More »

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A newly discovered signaling molecule helps neurons find their way in the developing brain

Commissural neurons in a mouse embryoIn the developing nervous system, some neurons must extend their branches to connect one half of the brain with the other. A new study sheds light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the winding paths of their axons. More »

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Newly described ion channel structure reveals how excited neurons settle down

The long anticipated structure of an ion channel reveals how excited neurons settle downThe channel, Slo2.2, helps restore neurons’ internal electrical state, and so prevents them from firing at too high a frequency for too long, which has the potential to damage the cells. With the new information about Slo2.2’s configuration, researchers can better understand how it accomplishes this. More »

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Finches offer researchers a new tool to study Huntington’s disease

Finches offer researchers a new tool with which to study Huntington’s diseaseThe most common lab animals, rats and mice, can’t tell scientists much about speech disorders. However, a new study shows how songbirds, specifically zebra finches, may be able to aid research on neurodegenerative disorders that affect speech and vocalization. More »

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Funding from Kavli Foundation to establish new institute at Rockefeller devoted to neuroscience

The Kavli Foundation and The Rockefeller University today announced the formation of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI) at Rockefeller, funded by a $20 million endowment supported equally by Kavli and Rockefeller. The Institute will become part of a network of seven Kavli Institutes carrying out fundamental research in neuroscience, and a broader network of 20 Kavli Institutes dedicated to astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics. More »

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Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants works

Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants worksThe experimental drugs target brain cells’ ability to respond to the chemical messenger glutamate, however, it has been unclear how they work. The recent discovery of a molecular amplification system helps explain how the drugs alter signaling in particular neurons to achieve an antidepressant effect. More »

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Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in mice

Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in miceNew research shows that a family of experimental cancer drugs can induce neurological changes in mice. The findings underscore the need for more research to determine whether these compounds can enter the brain, where they potentially might cause side effects such as memory loss. More »

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A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s

A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s Researchers have identified within neurons a series of molecular interactions — known as a pathway — that can dampen the production of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid-β. These results suggest a new route in the search for therapies for this degenerative disease. More »

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In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral action

In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral actionA new study explains how taste and smell signals travel from a male fruit fly’s sense organs and into his higher brain areas as he assesses a potential mating partner. The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions. More »

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