by Anqi Zhang figures by Yunlong Zhao Cyborgs may sound like science fiction, but the field of brain-machine interfaces has been around for quite some time. If you paid attention to Elon Musk’s brain implant announcement, they are aiming to test the system on a human patient by the end of 2020. In reality, electricity forms the basis of these novel cyborg-like interfaces. Brain cells called … Continue reading Nanowire Army Glances at the Interior of Neurons
As you read this article, you may not be consciously trying to memorize each sentence, but the words do need to stick around temporarily. After all, you have to remember what you just read to understand the full article. This is your working memory, sometimes called “short-term memory,” and it allows us to remember things just long enough to complete a task. Its decline is … Continue reading Need to jog your memory? A zap to the brain could help
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – but maybe you can have an old brain grow new neurons. New research published in Nature Medicine has shed some light onto the debated topic of whether adult brains can create new neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is important in short- and long-term memory consolidation. As you might expect, … Continue reading Old Brain, New Neurons?
Note to the Reader: The following article discusses material of a potentially upsetting nature. While the narrative details are fictional, the ideas and themes—both scientific and personal—are real. Information regarding resources for those in crisis can be found at the end of this article. by Emily Orwell figures by Sean Wilson I’m having one of those days. You know, the type where I accidentally slice my … Continue reading When Everything Hurts: The story of a grad student trying to rise above chronic pain and depression
The Dorsal Raphe Nucleus, or DRN, is an area of the brain located along the midline of the brainstem, which is found towards the back of your brain. The DRN contains the largest number of serotonin-containing neurons, called serotonergic neurons, in the brain. You may recognize serotonin from the drug advertisements on TV, as it is a popular target for treating depression. Unsurprisingly, serotonin is … Continue reading Sweet Serotonin
Hi, my name is Maddie Ray, and I am a proud cat mom and neuroscientist originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I did my undergraduate at Kansas State University where I majored in Psychology. While at K-State, I fell in love with neuroscience through a course on drugs and behavior. This course propelled me to join a behavioral neuroscience research lab where I had the opportunity to … Continue reading Maddie Ray
by Anqi Zhang figures by Daniel Utter What do you think of the idea of inserting a long metal wire into your brain? That’s what doctors have done to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease over the past 20 years. Sound scary? A new technique called temporal interference stimulation is exploring the possibility of achieving the same effects by attaching electrical stimulators to the outside of … Continue reading Remote Brain Stimulation: A new treatment for Parkinson’s disease?
A new study has compared the brains of dogs and cats and found cats wanting. Scientists counted the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of brains and found that dogs have more than double the number of neurons of a cat. While this doesn’t immediately rule that dogs are the smarter species, it does suggest they have a higher capacity for learning. Continue reading Dog owners rejoice! Dogs could be smarter than cats
The brain is arguably the most complex organ in the human body and understanding its structure could help explain a fundamental mystery of human existence: consciousness. The brain is composed of billions of specialized cells called neurons, which communicate with each other via electrical and chemical signals. Neurons are responsible for processes ranging from vital life functions to the ability to walk, talk remember, … Continue reading One Neuron to Rule Them All?